Saturday, October 29, 2011
Santa Fe is about 40 miles northeast of Albuquerque. We felt that there was a lot to be seen in the capitol city so we made the trip yesterday. Our entire day was pretty much spent walking around the older section of Santa Fe, which we found to be somewhat similar to old Albuquerque's town square,although much bigger. In that section there are historic buildings and museums, among which include several Catholic churches. Santa Fe is sometimes called the Royal City of the Holy Faith, translated into Spanish it is referred to as La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Assisi. I will first start here with San Miguel Mission, the oldest church in the United States. At the time of its construction the old Santa Fe trail passed in front of it. It was built in 1610, when the town was founded. Part of the structure was damaged during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, but it was rebuilt after the Spanish reconquest in 1692.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
This garden is one of the top-ranked botanical gardens in the nation. Fortunately for us winter has not done its damage there yet. Many of the plants are at the end of their blooming, but we still found some awesome beauty in the garden when we toured it Friday. We had only a couple of hours to see the gardens before we were due at a bridal shop for our daughter Melissa's first appointment of the week-end. She had flown in early Friday morning to spend the week-end with us and her cousin Heather. I was surprised to discover at the gardens that there is an autumn crocus. That plant is pictured below, it caught my attention as it looked so pretty nestled among the lamb's ears foliage.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
We are now parked just outside of Denver in Englewood. And I am very happy that a hard frost has not hit this area yet. Fall foliage is seldom seen this late in the year here in Colorado. Oaks and aspen leaves are just turning, primarily we are seeing trees which are a brilliant yellow in color. Those trees can be seen in the picture below, that picture was taken just outside of Coors Brewery, which we toured Thursday.
Monday, October 17, 2011
We are now parked outside of Goodland, Kansas. Its biggest claim to fame is that, as of 2002, it is the place of a 24 foot by 32 foot reproduction of Van Gogh's Sunflowers, created by a Canadian born Cameron Cross. The reproduction stands on an 80 foot high easel. The artist has plans to place reproductions of Van Gogh's seven different sunflower paintings on the seven continents; so far he has placed one in Canada, Australia, and now in Kansas. Kansas was chosen for the site because of its large sunflower fields.
Coincidentially, I just finished reading Sunflowers by Sheramy Bundrick. It is a fictional story of the last two years of Van Gogh's life as seen through the eyes of a young prostitute. The book has many references to the artist's sunflower paintings ( they were a favorite of his mistress Rachel, according to the story line), so I was thrilled to see one of those reproductions here in Kansas. Pardon me now if I jump to another subject entirely. Yesterday John and I had the wonderful experience of attending Goodland United Methodist church. The call to worship for the service adapted a quote from Steve Jobs: "Out time is limited, so lets not waste it living someone else's life... don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice...Let us have the courage to follow our heart and intuition.God is at work beyond all our imagination". Pastor Dustin Petz pointed out in his sermon that Goodland Methodist needs to find a way to reach out to the younger people of Sherman County. The average age of the surrounding community is 35 years, while that of the congregation is 54 years of age. It was the first time John and I had seen a pastor whip out an iPhone to read from the Bible. That was a very good object lesson to demonstrate the point of his sermon!
Saturday, October 15, 2011
These rock formations are about 20 miles southeast of the town of Oakley. Just before turning off the dirt road, which leads to the formations, we stopped at an old restored stone building. A sign by the road said it was the Keystone Gallery, an art gallery/fossil museum. I grumbled a bit about making the stop, as I just wanted to see Monument Rocks. It turned out to be a very informative stop, however! Barbara Bonner, who owns the museum with her husband Chuck, greeted us warmly and was very eager to share with us their stories of fossil hunting in the surrounding area. The land having the fossils covers two counties of Kansas. We saw some of their collection of fossilized ancient fish which they have found over the twenty some years they have had their museum. Chuck's primary occupation is painting and his work is also displayed in the museum. Barbara and I also discovered that we both have sons, of of the same age, out on the west coast and in the gaming industry. Despite that rather long stop we did make it out to the rock formations. The wind-carved and water-eroded limestone towers average about 70 feet in height. The site can be described best as a many layered ancient Cretaceous seabed sitting on a semi-arid plain.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Our plan was to leave this area on Monday. However, we recently learned that our daughter Melissa will be in Denver later this month and consequently we now are in no rush to get there. We do have a concern about the weather as it is getting cooler even out here in Kansas. Hopefully the snow will hold off for awhile yet in Denver! We also felt that there is a lot more in the town of Lindsborg to explore. Our first stop today was about one mile outside of the town at the Hoglund Dugout. In 1868 a young couple from Sweden, Gustaf and Maria Hoglund, created their first home in a 6ft.x12 ft. pit. During their first summer they used their wagon as a roof. It was hard for me to comprehend living in that small of a space with no windows!
Monday, October 10, 2011
The Swedish festival of Lindsborg ended Saturday, but yesterday we were treated to more of the culture at Bethany Lutheran during the Sunday services. A children's choir, with the children in their Swedish garb, sang "Children of the Heavenly Father" in Swedish. It is wonderful that the town and its people still holds onto its heritage after 140 years! The town of Lindsborg was settled by Lutheran Swedish immigrants in 1868. By 1881 the citizens had started up Bethany College. On Saturday we stopped at the college and its campus church, Messiah Lutheran (daughter church of Bethany). Messiah has five sets of beautiful stained glass windows designed by Eldon B. Swensson, a church member. Below is a picture of one of them which has the title "Messiah's Path of Light". In the picture are Bethany's steeples as well as the Bethany College dove.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
It was a wet day yesterday, with continuing winds of up to 30 miles an hour. We still managed to have a great day in the town of Lindsborg. We knew there was a festival going on in the town, but we did not know the particulars. As it happened, we were most fortunate to attend the town's biennial Hyllningsfest. This festival, which honors the first Swedish pioneers of the town, has been occurring every odd year since 1941. During the year of Hyllningsfest the local schoolchildren learn Swedish dances in their general music classes. These performances, as well as other musical offerings, were a part of the festival which we enjoyed yesterday.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
On Tuesday my husband John was released by his doctor to travel once again. By Wednesday we were on the road again, heading west to California. We are now parked outside of Salina, Kansas and have experienced the strong winds of the plains. Yesterday we drove to Abilene to tour the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum. The campus has been built around the childhood home of Dwight D. Eisenhower. That house seemed to small for a family of six boys! It was built in 1898 and Ida, Dwight's mother, lived in it until 1946. It has since then been preserved as a museum.