Monday, September 7, 2009

Day 46 “Hoopla” in Walden

We spent several hours here poking around and visiting with owner Amy.

Mike found a couple of saddle options for me.

Gregory likes this old Vista Cruiser. It reminded me a bit of our friend Mike's yellow Schwinn.

Gregory is excited to find this "Build A Bear" in Hoopla. Dad agrees to ship it ahead to North Carolina for Gregory to play with over the holidays.

Librarian Debbie Anderson lets Gregory choose some books for the road.

Play structure at the Walden Park

Trevor and Nick join us for dinner at the River Rock


Date: Sept. 3, 2009

From: Walden, CO

To: Walden, CO

Route: Hwy 125


Miles: 0 miles

Top Speed on this trip: 49.2 mph

Weather: 30 degrees this morning but glorious temps in the 70s today

License Plates Collected: 5 Montana plates, 7 Wyoming plates (2 motorcycle) and 1 Idaho plate (found in WY), 1 Colorado plate (Found first day in state)

Mike & I agreed that we felt beat up (nothing seems to bother Gregory!) and Mike let me make the call as to whether I needed the day off. I answered with a resounding YES. It has been great to have the down time and I wasn’t looking forward to getting back on the saddle.

We arose to 30-degree temperatures but it was sunny and seemed warmer than it was. Though I had a rough night (see yesterday) I felt pretty rested. I think the swim at the indoor heated pool was definitely key.

We walked a few blocks to Main Street and had breakfast at the River Rock (a restaurant and hotel) that has amazing wood (Mike commented on the 6” cedar) and rock work. Apparently there was a fire (of questionable circumstance) in 2002 and they rebuilt in 2003 adding the hotel upstairs in 2004. Later, I was talking to the PE teacher (having class at the park because new equipment was being installed) and he said a millionaire out of Oklahoma came in and did all this work and lived here a short while and sort of abandoned his “little” project here. The restoration on the theater that neighbors the River Rock was begun but the town folks don’t have much hope it will be finished.

Though there are no bookstores in town our waitress got on the phone to track down a book for Gregory. She put me on the phone with the school librarian who invited me to stop by and look through a couple of boxes that had just been donated. We ended up with 3 books, “Shiloh,” “Island Of The Blue Dolphins,” and “The Incredible Journey.” We also found out that school is 4 days a week here and runs from 8 A.M. to 4 P.M. (even for the kindergartners). This saves money on overhead, substitutes, etc. and gives a travel day to the sports teams. Like my home state of California their district has had to come up with creative solutions to the financial crisis and closed their elementary school. They now have one wing of junior high students, one wing for high schoolers and one wing for elementary. They expect to graduate 18 seniors this year (last year it was 9) and they only have 9 juniors this year. There was some doubt as to how this would work with seniors and kindergartners in the same school but so far so good.

We spent several hours at “HOOPLA” an antique/thrift store in town owned by Amy who has a great eye for merchandising. This is my kind of store and I had a blast investigating every nook and cranny. Gregory was thrilled to find a “Build-A-Bear” complete with outfit and sunglasses for only $8.00. (They run about $40-$50 at places like Disneyland.) Dad agreed to pay for shipping if Gregory wanted to buy it with his own money. So, he will play with it tonight and ship it to North Carolina tomorrow to play with over the holidays. I found a Christmas present for my mom and again was just thrilled to just have some downtime. We saw Amy again at the park this afternoon when she came to pick up her son and he was already playing with Gregory.

Gregory was the first one to see Trevor and Nick pulling in on their bikes and he hollered, “Hey over here! We’re cyclists too!” They are from Cleveland, OH and are actually cycling the same direction as we are. We filled them in on the pool, restaurants, etc. and we ended up eating dinner together and going to the pool. We walked “home” bathed in the light of a full moon in a crystal clear sky. It looks to be a chilly one tonight.

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