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3022 Miles and More

I took the last couple of weeks of June to travel back to the Midwest to visit family and friends. It's 830 miles from Florence, CO, to Iowa Falls, IA, which would make a sub-1700 mile round trip. By the time my travels were done, I had taken side trips to Cedar Falls, Minneapolis, Duluth, Ames, and Iowa City. Six states in all, and many great hours with friends I haven't seen in far too long. Thanks again to all of you who made time for me, and my door is open for you should you ever come my way.

Last Monday my first guests of the summer arrived for several great days seeing sights and getting some outdoor exercise. Tuesday we went to the Great Sand Dunes, complete with a hike to the top of the High Dune. Wednesday we went to Leadville, highlighted by a visit to the National Mining Museum. It may not sound very interesting, and the endless display of interesting mineral specimens does get somewhat tiresome and redundant, but overall it is very much worth the $6 admission. Thursday we relaxed in the morning before driving into the Wet Mountains for a night of camping at 11,300 feet. The skies have been pretty hazy, probably the result of the Arizona wildfires, but the red sunset that night made up for it. Yesterday morning we packed up camp and hit the trail, climbing Greenhorn Mountain in the Greenhorn Mountain Wilderness. The flowers were good and the wildlife better - we saw a brown bear at a distance of about 300 yards. I saw a black bear in the Boundary Waters in 1995, but this was much more exciting. Let's just hope the pictures turn out. After our climb, we drove back to Florence, got cleaned up, and my friends started the long trip home. Let's hope they avoided the late afternoon, high plains thunderstorms. And falling asleep at the wheel.

So now I think I have a week of relative rest, time to spend at home organizing things that probably should have never gotten disorganized in the first place. The temperatures here will be above 95 degrees for the foreseeable future, so any outside work will have to be done early or late in the day. I may take off for Greenhorn Mountain again tomorrow, to attempt to find my camera lens which I must have carelessly dropped while stopping to take a break. I have an idea of where it might be, and fortunately I won't have to climb the whole mountain to get it.

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