06.30.15 Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine and the Heritage Center

Tmk1uesday, June 30, 2015 – Roy absolutely loves the gold mining television shows.  Whether its gold mining from the ocean or on land, he watches it!  He got me interested in the show Gold Rush a couple of seasons ago.  One of the mining company owners on the show is Parker Schnabel, a young man who inherited the business from his precious grandpa.

They mine pure gold in Alaska. In Colorado they mine gold ore and use a long process of crushing and then using chemicals on it, but what we saw at the second mine tour of the day looks a lot like what we see on the TV show.

The first mine we went to today was the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine.

mkentracesignAfter purchasing our tickets in the Country Store we  had time to look around a bit and we did.  All around the surrounding areas are still standing, though deteriorating, abandoned mines.  Those are pretty interesting to see! They have on display old mining relics which were very cool as  you can see from the pictures below.

mk4 mk8 mkpan1This was one of the other visitor’s car which was very neat!mkredcarThe tour cost was $20 per adult and lasts about an hour. Mollie was the first woman in the United States to own a gold mine.  This was a non-active mine.  Hasn’t been producing since 1961.  The tour took us 1000 feet under the ground in a small (4’x4′ is stretching the size) metal elevator at 5 miles per hour.  6 full sized adults with jackets and hard hats on squeezed, rather difficulty, into the tiny elevator for the ride down. There are two elevator cages connected to each other, one orange and one yellow.

I thought the sign in front of the elevator at the surface was quite funny so I got Roy to pose in front of it! mk2mkoutsidemkelevator

mk1000ftsignWe had a wonderful guide, Alicia, who is a fourth generation miner.  She knew everything and share so much with us.  We went through the chronological advancing of mining techniques at various stations along the tour route.  She demonstrated each of them and as the technology advanced so did the loudness of the tools!

The tool storage area.  Pretty sure they have one on each level and there are ten levels within this mine.

mk5The first tools used in the mine were hammers and chisels and dynamite.  The next two pictures below is of the next stage.  mk9 mk10The green stuff is copper on the walls and ceilings through part of the mine. mk12This is the path we walked for over an hour learning about underground mining operations

mkhallThe pile of rocks e were able to pick through as our take away souvenir.  We got an extra one for Madisyn.  They had quartz, iron, and gold in our pieces..  mksamplesThis is very important in the operation of the a mine.  A universally used set of bell rings is used in all mines to communicate.  This is posted next to the bell and a light is also there in case someone can’t hear the bell, hopefully they can see the light bulb light up! mkbellsignThis was the little tram we took for part of the tour, sure was nice to rest our feet for a bit!!  mktrainThe type of mining uses chemicals to remove everything from the gold unlike the Alaskan mining where they get pure gold.   This was a very interesting tour yet I felt it was overpriced compared to the tour we got a the next stop.  I’m glad we went though and would recommend it to anyone wanting to learn about the type of mining they did there.

When we left Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine we drove over to the area’s Heritage Center to check it out.  A beautiful building with lots of information about the history of gold mining in the area.  There were over 500 gold mines in that area at one time in the past.

hc1 hc220150629_114213 20150629_114625I think I’ll stop here before moving on to our next stop which was my favorite of the day.  Next we went to the Cripple Creek & Victor Mining company which is still in operation and which we got to tour from lots of different levels.  It was a great experience and I look forward to sharing it with ya’ll tomorrow!

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06.29.15 – Sitting around the campfire and visiting!

1926946_934084569956366_5020423035008971205_nMonday, June 29, 2015 – Saturday evening we were invited to join the circle of folks under Larry’s tent  Larry is our neighbor across the way who is from Natchitoches, Louisiana.  Lots of nice people here from all over the country.  They brought some neat snacks I’d never eaten before and were kind enough to share with us.  One unusual one was a smoked salmon dip and another was a sausage made from lamb.   Both quite delicious.  Larry brought out his portable campfire, so cool!  We all moved up a bit and got nice and warm by the fire.

The pictures following this are of the wonderful folks we visited with, and of Larry’s portable campfire which did the trick! The first is a panoramic picture so click on it and it will open in a new window.

20150628_175108 - Copy

20150628_180841 The night before Larry lit up his laser light which throws tiny green dots (that’s his laser color) all over the trees, ground and even on Roy and Larry standing in front of it.  PJ lives nearby and she had the green laser light shining on her 5th wheel!  Both very cool looking.  Of course Roy now wants to get one for us. Actually he wants one green, one red and one blue……… We may even use it on our house in Amite at Christmas time.   Three of the pictures are of the green laser lights.

20150627_21181020150627_21191120150627_212229One of the things they recommended we see, which we haven’t seen before, are the area gold mines.  This area has a deep history of gold mining so that’s what we did today and what I’ll share with you on Tuesday and Wednesday.

We’ll be leaving Diamond Campground in Woodland Park, Colorado Tuesday morning headed north.  We will probably stay at a Walmart Tuesday night and then head to  Glenrock, Wyoming Wednesday morning.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!


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06.26.15 The wonderful little world of Diamond Campground and the town of Woodland Park, CO

20150627_143215Saturday, June 27, 2015 –  Roy and I may have found our favorite campground so far – Diamond Campground!  It is so comfortable here in a naturally beautiful setting.  We are parked amongst several seasonal residents who are all friendly and welcoming.


Several of their lawns are decorated with flowers, flags and other decorations I mentioned in my last post.  I could really imagine coming here every year and staying a while.   The temperature here is way below what it was in Monument even though that is only a few miles away.  High yesterday was low 60s and low was high 40s!!! Very weird for being so close to where it was in the high 80s but we like it. Roy obviously enjoyed it here today!

20150626_132025Below are some pictures I took while out for a walk today.  I got to visit with the three ladies in one of the pictures who are living across the street from us while we are here. 20150626_133201 20150626_133222 20150626_133336 20150626_133429 20150626_134132 20150626_134141 20150626_134513 20150626_133137 20150626_142109These pictures are from some of the same spots after the solar lights start shining in the evening.

20150626_205112 20150626_205024 20150626_205044 20150626_204942During the day on Saturday we drove into town, Woodland Park, Colorado.  It is a lovely town with beautiful views of the mountains.  Here’s some pictures we took today.  We bought some over sized donuts at the Donut Mill which is one of the pictures below.

20150627_130945 20150627_132111 20150627_13352820150627_142948 20150627_133726 20150627_131945 20150627_125431We stopped at a Safeway Grocery to get stocked up on fresh fruits, vegetables and a little meat.  I’ve started cooking fresh vegetables (instead of canned or frozen) with our meat and picked up some good ones today!  Tonight we’re having BBQ ribs and fresh brocolli!!  Yum!

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06.25.15 Wrapping up our stay in Monument, CO and what’s to come!

go rvingFriday, June 25, 2015

We left Colorado Heights RV Resort in Monument, Colorado Thursday morning.  We headed over to Diamond Campground in Woodland Park, Colorado.  This was a 38 mile trip.  It was that far because you can’t go over the mountain to get there you  have to go around it which makes it much further.  We never have mountains to go around in Louisiana so this is a new driving consideration.

We were only able to stay at Colorado Heights 12 days out of our usual 14 days at a Coast2Coast-Corporate-4Clow1Deluxe park in the Coast to Coast System.  The reason is that most Coast to Coast parks reserve several days before and after a holiday (July 4th) for their home park visitors.  Our home park with Coast to Coast is TLC RV Resort on the Gulf Coast in Mississippi. Between Tuesday and Wednesday we saw at least half of the RVs parked here leave.  The locals will start coming in and stay until after July 4th.

rv campingThe drive to Diamond Campground as beautiful. We are now more “in the mountains”  as opposed to being “near the mountains” like we were at Colorado Heights.

Diamond Campground is a Passport America park in Woodland Park, Colorado where we will stay for five days.  We pay half their normal charge through our Passport America membership.  Our daily rate at this park is $18 per day. I would highly recommend joining if you haven’t.  Their membership and annual renewal is somewhere around $50 and you’ll save that the first couple of days you use the membership.

Diamond Campground is a lovely park.  Several people live here all Summer and have attractively decorated their yards with flowers, rocks, flags, solar lights.  At night their yards come to life with all sorts of solar decorations.  We saw a deer (possibly a moose) hanging around the area across the street from us for a few hours in the evening.  We will only be here 5 days but I’m liking it a lot already.  Oddly enough, as close as we are now to where we were at Colorado Heights it is much cooler here.  I love it!

Our most recent travel plan was to head towards Gunnison, CO when we leave Woodland Park, CO.  We had reservations there but have since cancelled them.  We’ve been in Colorado for almost 4 weeks and now we feel it’s time to head north to Wyoming and Montana.  We have until early October to see the northern US before snow starts in that area.  So that’s the new plan – always subject to change!  Part of this new plan includes a week of boondocking somewhere in Yellowstone Park!  If anyone has stayed in Yellowstone Park I welcome any suggestions for great places to boondock.

My heart goes out to the families of the nine church members killed last week in South Carolina.  I am more than dt.common.streams.StreamServer.clsgreatly impressed with the way their fellow church members and towns folk have handled this horrible tragedy.  The love in their hearts could only come from God.  Their faith in God, along with people just using their brains for a change, made this a tragedy that I hope other towns will learn from on how to handle it.  God is the only source of strength that can get you through times like this.  Just knowing that all nine of the deceased were at a Wednesday night Bible Studies tells me that they were probably all Christians.  The moment they died they are blessed to get to live with God FOREVER.  WOW is the best word I can use to express that!

SKYPEWe’ve begun Skypeing with Madisyn and Chip and it works out really well.  We’d love to Skpe with any of ya’ll that can and want to.  Skype is free.  You can see us and we can see you when we talk.  Download it and learn about it.  Then let us know!!  I don’t know enough about it to walk you through it but if you can figure it out we’d love to visit!

Ya’ll have a great weekend!  I’ll be doing my 6 hours of work for RVillage and we’ll be checking out the new area we are in.  RVillage has over 25,000 members.  If you RV please join – it’s free! We found a great church in Monument (Monument Hill SBC Church) so we may go back there this Sunday.  The sermon topic will be a Christian’s faith vs the World’s faith.  Sounds very interesting and the pastor was really good last week.  We also loved the small church feel and the fact they sang hymns we knew!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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06.25.15 RV Entrance Door Lock Repair – TriMark 030-0900

Roy’s RV Tips – TriMark 030-0900 RV Entrance Door Lock Repair

The TriMark 030-0900 is a 2 lock system. It has a regular lock and a dead bolt built in.

roys rv tips 1Each lock uses a different key for security reasons. I don’t always use the deadbolt but when I do****** Ha Ha!! I do use it if I am planning on being gone for a while or if I park in a place that I am not comfortable with the surroundings. One day when I opened the door I noticed that the deadbolt was crooked and was sticking out a little bit too far. When I touched it to check it out, it fell inside the door. I took the door apart and found that the actual deadbolt had cracked into 2 pieces. Upon examination it is easy to see how this can happen as it is made from cheap cast aluminum.

roys rv tips 2I did some research and found the cost to replace this lock is anywhere from $75 to $150. Not willing to put out that much money for a simple cracked deadbolt I decided to create a new one. There is a brass plate on the back of the lock that is riveted to the casting making it impossible to remove the metal rod that extends the deadbolt. However, I was able to remove the deadbolt by using the key to extend the deadbolt all the way out, then bending the rod up just enough to slip the broken deadbolt out. The closest home improvement store to me at the time was Home Depot. I went to Home Depot to try and buy a piece of flat stock that I could build the new deadbolt from. Nothing they had was thick enough so I had to use the MacGyver in me and be creative with something else. I was able to find a clamp that has a steel rod on it that was exactly the thickness that I needed and it was only $10.79. I quickly purchased it and headed back to the RV with the intention of creating a new deadbolt. Below is a picture of the clamp after I cut off what I needed.

roys rv tips 3This seemed to work better than flat iron as it appears to be made from chromoly steel which does not rust as easily as flat iron. I left the cutting outside in the rain and so far there has been no sign of rust. Armed with a hacksaw, dremel tool, a good metal file, vice grips and a power drill, I proceeded to remove everything that did not look like a new deadbolt. I was able to take advantage of the clamp itself by using it to hold it in place while I made all major cuts. Then I cut the length last and used the vise grips to hold it while I fine-tuned the new deadbolt. Below is a picture of the results.

roys rv tips 4Here is a picture of the broken and the newly made deadbolt.

roys rv tips 5I installed the new deadbolt back into the lock the same way I removed it. It was a little challenging to get the rod perfectly straight again but I managed with the help of the vice grips to hold the rod down in the deadbolt hole while prying it up with a screwdriver.

roys rv tips 6I reinstalled the lock into the door and it now works perfect again. I don’t think that the new deadbolt will break any time soon as it is made of steel and not cheap cast aluminum.

Keep an eye out for future posts of Roy’s RV Tips!  Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!


06.22.15 Part 2 – Denver Broncos’ Sports Authority Field at Mile High

Monday, June 22, 2015 – Part 2

Located less than 50′ from the site of original Mile High Stadium, Sports Authority Field at Mile High standselevation-updated at an elevation of 5,280 feet above sea level, a characteristic that remains today as one of the most internationally recognized of any sports venue in the world. For visiting teams, coming to a an elevation of 5,280 feet above sea level to play a football game presents physical and mental challenges that are always part of an opponents game plan.  I think it looks like a regular stadium that melted some in the sun!  It was actually designed to look like this!

stadium_denver Sports Authority Field at Mile High seats 76,125 fans on five levels of seating, including 144 luxury suites. While seating only two more fans than original Mile High Stadium, Sports Authority Field is more than twice as large, encompassing a total of 1.8 million square feet. It was constructed at a cost of $ 400.7 million dollars and opened on August 11, 2001.



Part of the main entrance to Sports Authority Field at Mile High


This is a party room that represents the 5,280 mile high location


Our tour group

20150622_12541350 feet from the current stadium in the new parking lot was the location of the previous Mile High Stadium.


The new Jumbo-tron at the Broncos stadium


The writers press room went on and on way past what this picture should show. It has a capacity of 400 writers. You’ll see more of it below.


Each section of the writers press room has three levels of chairs and tables.


Looking out the windows in one of the writers press room.


The Bronco’s field is currently configured for Lacrosse.


This isn’t one of those random pictures taken by accident. This is the ceiling in the broadcast production booth. It’s a pitiful looking room which is transformed for each game into what the production people want it to be.


This is one of the walk ways leading to the stadium. The white objects you see (tiny as they may be in the pictures) represent various parts of football equipment. A kicker’s tee, bottom of cleats, etc.


Looking out from some of the seats in one party room. These rooms are rented for $15,000 and up per game.


This ultra plain room is the referees dressing room. Outside their door was a braille room designation tag. Kinda goes along with the common fans thought that the refs are blind!


Part of the beer distribution system.


Just part of the huge bottled and canned beer storage. Roy’s lurking around in the back on the right!


Another part of the beer distribution system. It’s all kept in one place and distributed through hoses to all over the stadium.


The medical room from the door – again visitors room – the Bronco’s is much much bigger and nicer but that is not part of the tour!


Panoramic picture of the medical room from a different view. Click on it to see it larger. Then back click to return to the blog.


Some of the visitor’s dressing room. In the Bronco’s dressing room it’s one big much nicer room. They do that for unity. They divide the visitor’s to help divide them!


A lot of the stadium from the end zone. This is also a panoramic picture which looks better if you click on it to enlarge it.


Close up of the Bronco in the end zone


One pooped but happy old couple resting at the end of the tour!

20150622_133857The view as we were leaving the stadium.


This was a really nice day for two sports enthusiasts!  The cost for the tour was $20 each, significantly more than the $8 each for the Colorado Rockie’s tour.  We both felt that the Rockie’s ballpark was much nicer than the Bronco’s stadium.  One thing I do know is that touring the Rockie’s field surrounded by so much baseball really deepened my love for the sport.  Oddly enough as many times as we’ve seen the Braves play at Turner Field we’ve never taken the tour there.  Maybe, one day!

We’re resting for a couple of days before heading on Thursday to a different RV park in Woodland Park, Colorado which is not far from here.

Roy wrote a blog post about a part he made for our RV front door lock.  I’ll get that together and posted tomorrow!

Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear

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06.22.15 Denver Rockie’s Coors Field tour

Monday, June 22, 2015 – Roy and I love professional baseball and football so traveling to Denver to see Coors Field CoorsFieldand Mile High Stadium was a must do on our schedule. Roy wanted to see Mile High Stadium and I wanted to go to Coors Field and watch a game there. We compromised and are going to tour both stadium for less than the cost of a ticket to see the Rockies play. We started the day at the Denver Rockie’s Coors Field for the 10 am tour.

The center field bleacher section is named “The Rockpile”.

20150622_101727While most of the seats in Coors Field are dark green, the seats in the 20th row of the upper deck are purple. This marks the city’s one mile elevation point.

img_1425Behind the center field wall is a landscape decoration that reflects the typical environment of the Rocky Mountains. This landscape area consists of a waterfall, fountains, and pine trees. After a Rockies home run or win the fountains shoot high into the air.

20150622_110508 20150622_110520Built in 1999, Coors Field has a capacity of 50,398 sitting on 76 acres. Fans sitting in the first-base and right-field areas are treated to a spectacular view of the Rocky Mountains.

The exterior of the stadium:

4841_coors_field 20150622_093816 20150622_094327 20150622_094408The field, dug outs and stands

20150622_10182620150622_10004620150622_100204 20150622_100432

Markings being hand painted on the field20150622_100454 20150622_101153The Rockies big screen

20150622_100210The visitors dug out.  We made a call to the bullpen while we were there!!20150622_10123120150622_101554The press box from the field20150622_101241

A small part of the press box from inside – 20150622_103636 20150622_104605 20150622_104613

The visitor’s locker room and training room – check out the free sunflower seeds and bubble gum!

20150622_102855   20150622_102135 20150622_102154 20150622_102551

Visitors batting cage20150622_102608

Part of the visitor’s snack room20150622_102621

Part of the visitor’s bathroom.  All sorts of products laid for them to use.20150622_102704  Colorado Rockies All Stars20150622_103207      One of the many suites 20150622_110256 20150622_110906

The Rooftop – a standing room only area that can hold 2000 people.  20150622_111930 20150622_111947 20150622_112528Miscellaneous pictures!


We then traveled over to the Denver Bronco’s Sports Authority Field at Mile High.  I’ll continue today’s adventure in tomorrow’s blog post.  Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!!

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06.21.15 To my wonderful husband Roy Chauvin, Happy Father’s Day!

Reposted Sunday, June 18, 2016 with updated photos of Roy and his family added at the end.  We all love you Roy!  Thanks for being the great father and grandfather that you are!

11377100_10152526363489364_1682411937975987897_nSunday, June 21, 2015 –  Father’s Day is a day set apart to honor fathers.  Mine, Leroy Blum, was an amazing father throughout my whole life.  My husband Roy Chauvin has been even more amazing raising two young men, our oldest son and Chip Chauvin.  Our oldest son and Chip have gone on to be amazing fathers to their children.  God has blessed us abundantly!

Here are some pictures of Roy being a father and grandfather over the last 36 years.  Hope you enjoy it honey!!

  100_0099  100_0277 100_0343 100_0396  100_0404 100_0715 100_1642   100_2687 100_3017     100_3865 2012-04-14_09-53-09_704 2012-04-14_11-25-00_216 2012-12-19_16-38-58_131 8521_582243687324_50313942_34223581_1755361_n 34152_636525895344_50313942_35934664_618025_n 168357_690093111214_50313942_37117162_8327494_n 168931_694599729914_50313942_37193326_2595233_n 254027_777612162334_50313942_37893903_405749_n 386630_874394849054_50313942_38716179_176219602_n   20150219_144519 20150327_092112 20150404_134747 20150505_192405            madisyn010 mcrcicecream   n50313942_33341010_4351934 P1010069_0073_073  paqwpawandmccarussel  sf1Some more revent photos of Roy and his fmaily!20160519_183027 20160523_171209 20160524_131705 13466250_1197523346939157_3486680157466409262_n index

20160122_162451 20160122_162537 20160116_175132 20160116_164030 12523011_876348775816555_6829501545475702756_n 12523064_876349062483193_4412369657477699580_n WEDDING

roy and chip at ball field20160611_095423 (Large) 20160524_125952 20160415_143837 (Medium) 20160406_162724 20160403_142649 (Medium) 20160403_125206 (Medium) 20160313_145648 20160313_140702 20160313_123410 12814496_907413912710041_968367528670057839_n20160613_142312 (Large) IMG95513520160616_140545 20160602_181445 (Large) 20160602_181956 (Large)

20160524_125952 20160423_130036 (Medium)

Roy has worked hard every day to provide for our family.  He’s brilliant in more ways than I can count.  The knowledge and skills he passed along to his sons is amazing.  For all the years of sweat and tears, love and caring you’ve given to me and the boys, I thank you Roy!

Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful and caring dads out there!

P.S.  This is your card and your present!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!1510450_10153041365362857_2327190532320591423_n

06.19.15 Riding on the COG Railway, Cave of the Winds and the North Pole!

its who you go withFriday, June 19, 2015 – What an ambitious day we took on today!  We set out at 6:50 am which is way before we usually wake up!  Our reservations were for the 8:00 train.  The town of Manitou Springs is a unique, quaint town loaded with charm.

pikes peak train depotFirst stop was the Pike’s Peak COG Railway.  No driving for Roy and clear skies this trip!  We met two nice guys from Ohio who sat across from us!  The path we took on the train ride was 95 percent different than what we drove in our car.  Lots of different sights from our first driving trip, but the snow was still on the ground near the Summit.

At the Summit,we DID NOT venture out into the snow where we sunk the last time! We tried the Pike’s Peak donuts.  The only donuts made at an altitude of over 14,000 feet. They were very good.  You can see Roy enjoying them in one of the pictures below!

Following are pictures from our train ride up, at the Summit, and our ride down the mountain.

20150619_08162920150619_08443120150619_093139 20150619_084739 20150619_084838 20150619_085032 20150619_085815 20150619_085847 20150619_090431 20150619_093445 20150619_093449 20150619_093526 20150619_094712 20150619_094726 20150619_100348 20150619_101044 20150619_101244 20150619_102546 20150619_102638 20150619_102946(0) 20150619_103556 20150619_105235 20150619_105623 20150619_110459 20150619_114708This is a panoramic picture of the view from the Summit.  Click on it to see it full size.  Then click your browser’s back button to come back to the blog post.

20150619_093750From there we drove over to nearby Cave of the Winds.  The road up to the Cave of the Winds begins directly across the highway from where you come down from Pike’s Peak.  We only drove up to their parking lot and saw the different views from there.

Following are a couple of pictures we took from there:

20150619_115018 20150619_114914 20150619_114750 20150619_114708 20150619_114705 Santa-2011-0121-300x255Our last stop, and the most strenuous, was visiting the North Pole Colorado Santa’s Workshop, a Christmas themed family amusement park..  This is a huge 25 acre amusement park with several rides for us old children and many rides for the littler children.  Several shops and food places too.  We rode on the Ferris wheel, Santa’s Sleigh zip line, Candy Cane Coaster, Sky Ride, the Paratrooper and the train.  The admission here is $21 per person but since we are both 60+ we got to enjoy it all FREE!!!

The following are pictures we took throughout the park and from the air during the Sky Ride.

20150619_135400 20150619_135250 20150619_135240 20150619_131825 20150619_131332 20150619_131258 20150619_131059 20150619_131007 20150619_124149 20150619_124110 20150619_123823 20150619_123642 20150619_123031 20150619_122800 20150619_121209 20150619_121046 20150619_120448

We purchased a large snow snow globe with Santa’s feet sticking out at the top and his head at the bottom in his red Santa suit.  The snow in the globe circulates constantly because of a little fan at the bottom.  We decorate the dashboard at Christmas and thought this would make a great addition to our current decorations.

To say that after this very busy week we are quite exhausted would be an understatement.  I’m looking forward to some down time this weekend when I  can spent a few hours working!   Wow, working is way easier than all this sightseeing.  It’s getting hot here in Colorado now and we really felt it today.

On Monday we have tours scheduled at the Denver Rockie’s baseball Coors Field and the Denver Bronco’s Mile High football stadium.  I’ll probably wear my Atlanta Braves Jersey and some New Orleans Saints apparel to spice up the day!  The high Monday is suppose to be in the mid 90s.  Eek! Too much like the southern heat…….

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