Sunday Musings – Evie Goes to Idaho Springs

Happy Sunday! I’m turning the blog over to Evie today so she can tell you about the trip she took last weekend.

Evie here. I got to go on a car trip with Mom and her furriend, Chris. We went to a town called Idaho Springs. It’s an old mining town not very far west of Denver. From the highway you can see what’s left of some of the mine openings and some other mining equipment that’s been left behind. But I’m getting ahead of myself, so let me start with the drive.

Mom and Chris are not big fans of taking the highway. They like to drive through Clear Creek Canyon instead. It’s very pretty and much more fun. There’s a creek running through it. Right now the creek is low, but in just a couple of weeks it will be running very high and fast. That’s when the snow melts and fills all the rivers, streams, and creeks. That’s the water that flows into the reservoirs, too.

When you go through the canyon you have to go through three tunnels. People used to honk their horns in the tunnel. Beep, beep beep beep beep, beep, beep. Now they don’t. But if no one else is in the tunnel, Mom and Chris honk the horn anyway. It’s fun and always make me laugh.

The main things we went to see were this water wheel and waterfall. If you biggify the picture of the statue, it will tell you all about the water wheel and the man who built it. He was a bit odd and it’s a funny read.

Here I am riding in Mom’s camera pack. It was a great place to see everything from. I’m glad I got to ride in the pack. I don’t think my little legs could have kept up with Mom & Chris.

We went higher up the mountain to Chicago Creek. Mom & Chris always have to find someplace to stick their feet in the water. It doesn’t matter how cold the water is, they’re gonna stick their toes in. As you can see by their faces, the water was pretty cold. They’re so silly.

When they were done freezing theirs toes off we had a lovely snack of strawberries and plums.

This is some of what we saw while we were out. We saw pussy willow just starting to bloom. Mom managed to catch a picture of a bird in flight, and another one sitting on a wire. We saw lots of hawks flying, but they were so high they look like little dots in the pictures, so I’m not using any of those shots.

There’s one place Mom and Chris always have to stop when they’re in Idaho Springs – Tommyknocker Brewery and Pub. They always have to get beer or soda to take home. This time Mom got soda – Orange Cream & Root Beer. Both flavors are very delicious. They make other flavors, but those are Mom’s favorites.

They make the beer right there where the restaurant is. Here I am in front of some of the vats where the beer is brewed.

Here I go getting ahead of myself again. *blushes*. On our way to Tommyknocker we passed a place that sells restored antique stuff, mostly stoves. They were so beautiful we had to take pictures of them. There were wood stoves and some of the earliest gas stoves and radiators. Can you imagine a place taking the time to make a stove or radiator look that beautiful today? The lady that ran the store said that the rich people used to buy these fancy stoves to show off their wealth.

So that’s my latest trip to the mountains. I’ll turn the blog back over to Pumpkin now.

Well pals, sounds like Evie had quite the trip. Sometimes I wish I could take car trips and see all these cool things, but I’m not a big fan of riding in the car. I guess I’ll have to live vicariously through Evie. MOL.

Have a great week!

Garden of the Gods, Manitou Springs, Pikes Peak

Treasure here. I got to go on another mountaintop adventure. Mom and her friend, Chris, took Stanley and me to Manitou Springs for the weekend. We only went overnight, but we got to see and do a lot!

We started out at the Garden of the Gods. This place has some of the most amazing rock formations you’ll ever see. Stanley and I had a great time climbing rocks, hiding in trees, and seeing all the wonder scenery. There are walking paths all over the place. Many of the walking paths are wheelchair accessible. We only got to see a small portion of the park, but what we saw was incredible. Take a look.
http://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf

When we arrived at the park, we saw an historical ranch right next to it – Rock Ledge Ranch. We decided to leave time to go to the ranch too. The ranch was having a festival with a pumpkin patch, a barn dance, house tours, musicians, and lots of other activities.
http://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf

After the ranch closed, we still had some time before it got dark so we went up to Cave of the Winds. We didn’t have enough time to tour the caves, but we did get some great pictures. The entrance is high up a cliff side and has quite the view.
http://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf

Before going to the hotel, we decided to stop in town for a drink. We went to the Townhouse Lounge They had an outdoor area with beutiful flowers everywhere. They also have some cats that pretty much live there. Anyplace with cats hanging around was ok by us.

We stayed at the Towne Place Suites off Garden of the Gods road. The room was nice and clean. It had good amenities, in fact, more than we needed for just overnight. Rosemary was the person on duty. She recommended a great restaurant for dinner, and it turned out to be one Mom had eaten at 25 years ago with her sister! She didn’t know it was still in business and was thrilled to find it again. The restaurant was The Mason Jar and the food was just as good as Mom remembered. Rosemary also recommended a place for breakfast – The Peak Grill. Mom had pancakes with her breakfast and they were very light and fluffy.

Our Sunday adventure was to take the cog railway to the top of Pikes Peak. But before we got on the train, we stopped to take pictures of Miramont Castle. It wasn’t open yet, so we just pictures from the outside. Other people were taking pictures, too. One of them started asking Mom and Chris about Stanley and me. She thought the fact that we go on adventures with Mom and Chris was so interesting, that she was taking pictures of us, too, and taped Mom and Chris talking about our adventures. She was also interested in Pumpkin’s blog. I’m sorry we didn’t get her name. Ma’am, if you’re this hello, and it was lovely to meet you.
http://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf

Pikes Peak is another one of those places where there’s no air. I don’t know why Mom and Chris keep going to these places. I’m glad I don’t need air cause there just isn’t any at that altitude! The train ride up was lots of fun. The conductor told us about the history of Pikes Peak and the cog railway. Most people know Pikes Peak was named for Zebulon Pike. What most people don’t know is that is was the same guy that started Simmons mattresses that built the cog railway! A trip on the Pikes Peak cog railway also inspired Katherine Lee Bates to write ‘America the Beautiful’. After taking the trip I can understand why. You can see for hundreds of miles in every direction and truly see the beauty of the surrounding landscape. It’s always amazing to go above treeline and watch the trees get shorter and shorter until they disappear all together.

We got to see lots of fall color on the ride up and down. I saw a marmot, but it hid before Mom could get a picture. We saw some of the old water tanks from the days of steam engines. On second thought, I do know why Mom and Chris keep going to the places they do. It’s always interesting and always beautiful. The more places I see in Colorado, the more I’m glad I live here.
http://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf

I know this post is a little long, but we did a lot of different things on this trip. Until the next trip, this is Treasure saying Happy Travels!

Pet Gear AT3 Stroller Review – Update

I’ve had my new stroller for a couple of weeks now and I want to compare the old one and the new one.

 Old stroller.

 New stroller.

This is the second generation of the stroller that I had. As you can see, it no longer has the big pet step sticking out in the front. This makes the stroller more compact, more maneuverable, and easier to fold up and put in the car. But that’s just the first improvement!

The drink tray, which in the old version was so difficult to put on, now comes attached. The fabric cover has been slightly redesigned and zips with ease. The mesh windows are lighter so it’s easier for me to see out and for Mom to see me.

The way the stroller folds has been changed completely and is now so easy I could do it! (If I had opposable thumbs. MOL.)

The front wheel is now the same size as the other two wheels. The wheels simply snap on. And more important, they can now be removed to be replaced if by some miracle you actually manage to wear them out.

The only thing on the version that I would consider a negative is that the basket underneath sits much closer to the body of the stroller which makes it harder to put things in it. But frankly, everything else is soooooo much better that it really doesn’t matter. I thought this stroller was pawsome when I had the first generation of it. The new version is miles above the old one. I would recommend this stroller to anyone wanting wheels for their pet.

I’ve had a few requests for tips for buying a stroller. So here they are!

Pumpkin’s Tips for Fancy Wheels for your Pets

Bring the stroller in the house and let your pet get used to it before trying to take him/her out in it. Also, get your pet used to wearing a harness. Even though I’m enclosed in the stroller, I’m also harnessed and on a leash attached to the stroller. This way Mom can open the stroller to give me water or treats and I can’t run off. The leash and harness also help with getting me from the carrier to the stroller if we’ve gone somewhere in the car. I can’t run off while Mom’s taking me out of one and putting me in the other. I wouldn’t run off anyway, but you can’t be too careful. 
Mom also always brings something for me to play with in the stroller. Usually it’s my duckie, Fred. As much fun as riding in the stroller is, sometimes it’s nice to have a toy to play with.
My stroller came with a nice pad in the bottom, but Mom put a fleece bed in anyway. I like fleecy beds and Mom wanted to make the stroller extra inviting. And like any other time you’re training your four legged furriend to something new, make sure lots and lots of treats are involved!
When picking a stroller, think about how you’ll use it, how big your pet is, and what fits you. How easy or difficult is it to use? Will you take it in the car a lot? How easily does it fold and unfold? What kind of terrain do you walk on? Lots of the paths around here are mulch or hardpack (very fine gravel). The strollers with the little wheels would get stuck, so we got all terrain wheels. How tall are you? Mom also liked this stroller because it’s very tall and she’s on the tall side. Some people don’t mind using a stroller with a lower handle even if they are tall and then other things would be more important. Will you need to haul anything in it beside the pet (like a picnic)? She also liked that there’s a basket for stuff underneath and a tray for drinks and keys and other small stuff (like the flashy box).
There are lots of strollers to choose from. Some can go from carrier to backpack to stroller. That would have been nice because I wouldn’t have to go from carrier to stroller when we go in the car. But we couldn’t find one with big wheels. There are double-decker ones for people with multiple pets. There’s every color of the rainbow to choose from. There are strollers special for small pets all the way up to one like mine that’s for 60 lb. pets. Of course, I don’t weigh anywhere near 60 lbs. MOL! But Mom liked everything else about the stroller and I have lots of room to play in. Look at several before picking one. If you don’t get the best one for your needs, likes, and that suits your pet you won’t like it.
I think a stroller is a great way for people to take their pets with them to places they otherwise wouldn’t get to go. Without it, I’d always get left behind when Mom goes out. Now we get to go fun places and have more together time. What’s better than that?