Saturday, August 23, 2008

Fresh Produce, Street Fair, Tornado

Leaving Glenwood Springs this morning, we spied a farmer's market, one of our favorite things ever! Of course we had to pull over and make some purchases: red heart plums, golden honey plums, miniature purple varietal plums, heirloom peaches, and sun ripened tomatoes. Then into the City Market to add some crusty bread, fresh marinated mozzarella balls, and a mixture of fresh blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. We were all set for a fabulous picnic lunch.

What luck! As we turned onto Hwy. 24, we came across a street fair in the town of Minturn. We decided to stop and walk through the stalls, enjoying the sights and smells and sunshine. Rich was fascinated by some guys making crepes on large round griddles. I found a long-sleeved Tshirt (for Alaska--I don't wear too many short sleeved shirts at home) with a cool design on it, along with the word "inspire." After browsing for awhile and standing in line for the portapotty, we got back on the road. Having a fun Saturday so far!

Today's drive took us winding through the mountains, with more spectacular (and sometimes scary) views into the valleys below. Check out the bridge we had to drive across! We also encountered some weather, taking us from warm sunshine to cloudy skies, rain, and cooler temps. We meandered through Leadville, looking for a place to stop and eat our lunch, but found none. Eventually we just pulled off the road and enjoyed our fresh delicious treats in the car. Oh, my gosh, I only wish we could get produce this good in Dutch Harbor!

Our drive took us through several small communities, Hartsel and Buena Vista and Florissant, farm land with grazing horses and cows, valleys populated with old dilapidated log buildings and corrals. Stopping in Manitou Springs for the night, we wandered the downtown streets before having dinner at the Stagecoach Inn. "Manitou" is a Native American word for "spirit," and this area was considered sacred by the Ute and Cheyenne people. The town lies between Pike's Peak and the Garden of the Gods, both big tourist destinations.

In our hotel room for the night, we checked the TV news and discovered that a tornado hit near Hartsel this afternoon! We are not sure if we were there before or after, but certainly saw some of the rain as we drove through. Crazy!

Tomorrow we are going to explore this area a little more and then make our way to Denver.

Vehicles damaged in tornado near Hartsel

Associated Press - August 23, 2008 7:24 PM ET

HARTSEL, Colo. (AP) - Park County sheriff's officials say a tornado damaged vehicles and turned over two boats at a campground near Hartsel, but no life-threatening injuries have been reported.

The tornado hit Saturday afternoon.

Sheriff Fred Wegener estimated about five vehicles were damaged, including a motor home and pickup truck with a camper that overturned. He says another camp trailer was "completely obliterated." Other vehicles had damage such as broken windows.

He says injuries were limited to cuts and scrapes, and everyone is accounted for at the campground.

The campground has 24 spaces. Wegener says the complex was about 80% full. Campground officials say they had no warning of the tornado.

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