Friday, October 5, 2012

Stuff: Canon City, early storms, Travis Shilling

-We went to Canon City last weekend, which of course means that I got to explore the exquisite downtown park and playground with Will-J:


Say what you want about the U.S.A., but we take our playgrounds seriously.  Canon City had an expansive downtown park - with a large and new playground, a small pond populated with ducks and geese, a dedicated beach volleyball court, several picnic areas, and more - all with the Arkansas River rolling by.

Our morning was a Will-J fantasy.  Right next to the playground - and a new friend named Noah - was the train:


And next to the train is the Dinosaur Depot Museum:


Where Will-J happily left me by the wayside and immersed himself in the upstairs kid area for a few hours:



It's a tiny little museum, lovingly maintained and improved by volunteers.  It's brimming with laminated reports, carefully-made exhibits, and information generally.  All of which was counterbalanced by the staff's opprobrium of kids generally - they shushed Will-J repeatedly, admonished him to clean up, etc.  An odd combination.

We were there for Catherine's Colorado Native Plants Society meeting, and camped at the Holy Cross Abbey.  If I was still writing about the PCT (which apparently I am), I would lament that the Abbey is just the kind of place I would have liked to stay on my trip, but didn't exist - flat lawn for camping, showers, accessible kitchen, space to wash/dry things, etc., for a reasonable price.  One interesting trend on the trail is the creep from "trail angel" generosity ("here, camp for free on this lawn") to semi-commercial pseudo-trail business ("only $50 to camp on this lawn, plus a few all-you-can-eat meals" or "camp for free on this dirt patch, but by the way most people are donating a few dollars to upgrade our cafe").  There's nothing wrong with this given the numbers of hikers, but unfortunately the facilities didn't always justify the cost.

-Time for my annual first snows post - on my Colorado Trail hike, it was the first weekend in October.  This year, it has already snowed a few times, and snowmaking at Loveland is already in full swing.  This morning, Will-J found a trace of snow outside and announced that WINTER IS HERE.  At least in the mountains it is.

-I've blown past this art on the way into work for two weeks now, but today it caught me:




It's by Travis Shilling.  Real art in the basement of the tallest building in Denver, with that building providing substantial additional context.  Interesting.