|It has been over a month since I have done an journal entry, so this just might drag on for a while. I need to catch up as we left Snow Mountain Ranch in Colorado on September 5th and need to get things updated.
We left Colorado the end of July to fly back east for our annual family reunion at Lake George. This year was a little difficult as it was the first one without my Mom. She loved this week more than any other time of the year, and it was so easy to picture her there watching everyone enjoying being together and enjoying the lake. We had 7 of my father’s great grandchildren there, ranging in age from 3 months to 16 years, and it is so much fun to watch them interact even though they may not see each other more than once a year. People ask us what we do at the lake for the week, and the answer is usually “as little as possible”. We swim, take boat rides and go tubing, play games both indoors and out, some go hiking and some play golf, but to be honest we are all just happy to have time together to catch up on the events in each other’s lives. Having a full week with no time schedules is a real treat, and we all take full advantage of it.
We arrived a week before the family gathering to catch up on all our doctor’s appointments. We have made the Lake George area our home base as it is the place we most frequent to visit my Dad. So between Buzz and I we suffered through a colonoscopy, an MRI, blood work, a cystectomy, and general appointments – the results of ALL being A-ONE. It has been 2 years now that Buzz has been cancer free – and counting!
We had decided to return to Colorado and finish out the season rather than leaving after our time away. We really enjoyed the people we had met and there were still some places we wanted to visit before leaving. The YMCA has vans and drivers available for the the staff and volunteers to take them to events and attractions in the area. So with 2 other couples we arranged for a van to take us to Glenwood Springs which is about 3 hours from where we were staying. We stayed at the old Hotel Colorado which is across the street from the largest hot sulphur springs pool in the world. We spent about 3 hours enjoying the 2 pools (one was 104 degrees, so when you were sufficiently cooked you strolled over to the 93 degree pool, until you were ready to warm up again). The next morning we toured the town and then boarded the Amtrak train for the magnificent ride through 7 canyons back to Granby, where the van once again picked us up and returned us to the Y about 10 minutes away.
Colorado probably has more railroad attractions than any other state in the country, due to the history of mining which required the trains to transport the ore in the high terrain. It seems each little town in the mountains had its own train, and now has a museum and/or tourist train. We visited the town of Georgetown and rode the Georgetown Loop train; the ride up to the mine from the town was so steep that the railroad had to make a loop in order to have the momentum to make it up the hill.
In the last week before we left we drove over to Nederland to see the eastern terminus of the Moffat Tunnel, the western end of which is in Winter Park right near where we have been staying for the summer. Also in Nederland is the Carousel of Happiness. All the animals have been hand carved by a Vietnam Vet who decided he wanted to do something to make people happy. The animals are fantastic, and the townspeople contributed their time, energy, and money to purchase the carousel and an old organ to complete the project.
We knew it was getting to be time to leave, as there were very few volunteers left especially in the RV park and the morning and night time temperatures were getting pretty uncomfortable – right about at freezing a couple of days. There were also very few guests except for Labor Day weekend. So we finished up the day after Labor Day, left the motorhome there, and flew to Palm Springs so that Buzz could see the eye doctor there that he really has come to rely on over the past few months. He has been seeing other doctors who have been doing the scans of his eye and sending them to this doctor, who then has adjusted his medication accordingly. But Buzz has not been happy with his vision and wanted to see the doctor personally, so we flew down so that we could work out our plans for the next few months. It turned out to be the best decision we could have made. The swelling behind his retina is gone, which means that the doctor is now willing to do the surgery to remove the cataract that has grown there because of the prednisone they have had him on. So they reduced the prednisone and scheduled the surgery for the end of the month. They expect no problems as cataract surgery is pretty routine now, and the result should be 20/20 vision in that eye (the other eye will always be a problem, but at least he will have his sight restored in the good eye).
So our plan is to work our way through southern Colorado and southern Utah, to arrive in Palm Springs the end of September and get the surgery done. In fact, we shortened out sightseeing trip and upped the date for the surgery, as Buzz decided it didn’t make much sense to go to all these sights which he could hardly see when within a few weeks everything would be so much clearer. So we were able to move the surgery up a week and will make the push for Palm Springs. It has been almost 2 years since this virus showed up in his eyes and it has taken its toll. We are both ready to return to as close to normal as possible, as soon as possible. So we are on our way!