Not quite over...
We packed up, checked out and left the hotel this morning. Mary needed to be at the airport by noon or thereabouts, though our early eveing flight left us with a few more hours to kill.
As always, we tried to use every last minute to best effect and this time, my hero came up with a humdinger. Mind you, the journey there this morning led us through some very odd places.
A National Wildlife Reserve sounded just the ticket, but "Arsenal"? What was that all about?
We started at the visitors centre, where we hoped to find the answers to this and other questions. First, a map. Not of the reserve itself, but of the grasslands in the region. We'd begun our road trip in Missouri and driven through Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming and lastly, Colorado, taking in all three different types of prairie along the way.
We had also learned about the Homesteaders who'd settled this part of the country. Here, in what is now a suburb of Denver, families had settled with all the benefits of the Homestead Act and made this land their own.
At times of National Crisis, however, swift action needs to be taken and after the events at Pearl Harbour, there was a need for an arsenal...and guess where it was built?
Not that it's at all apparent today, save for a couple of Army structures within the parkland. We decided to follow the directions for the 10 mile driving tour and with map in hand, set out into the prairie to see what we could see.
We hadn't got as far as the first marker before my Hero spotted some wildlife. Quick..wind down the windows and get the camera ready! But actually, these little chaps were all over the place, popping up and down in their burrows (?) in a comical fashion.
Sunday morning was a great time to visit, as there was just a handful of cars on the trail and the air so warm and tranquil, we opened all the windows and moved along very slowly indeed.
It was good to be able to take it slowly, to stop and smell the fresh air and take a good look round, We were in no hurry.
No sooner had we passed the sign than we spotted someone!
A bit further along, we spotted a couple of deer too, though I seemed to be more capable of focusing on the flowers.
Thankfully, if I missed those two, another one came along shortly afterwards!
Another bison too Wow....these are huge creatures!
The smalls were still there, though!
Every so often, we'd see the car in front of us slow right down and stop, watching. Wondering what they had seen, we did the same and frequently, we were rewarded.
Occasionally, we were trying to photograph jumpy and skittery creatures who might run off at any moment.
At other times our subject was calm and serene, sitting comfortably and seemingly with no intention of moving anywhere right now.
As for the prairie dogs, well, they kept popping up all over!
Just as I had given up on seeing any more bison and was looking at the skyline of Denver there on the horizon, we turned a corner...
...the park herd was there to our left, rather far away but nevertheless, looking good.
Three fine creatures were right there by the roadside, just ahead of us, too. Time for the closeup.
When one of the three settled down to have a rest, I thought that was it.
But he had one more trick up his sleeve for the audience! A great parting shot, eh?
We were back at the Visitors Centre now and it was time to head off towards the airport.
Bye Mary! See you in October (we hope!)
For us, one last errand to run in a nearby shopping centre with the cutest of family figures in the play area. No details of the errand, except to say for Mary's benefit that it was "mission accomplished"!
As we returned to the car we were reminded that this new shopping centre had been built on the site of the old Denver airport.
We were headed back to the new one, from where our flight leaves this evening. A couple of hours in the lounge enabled me to catch up with today's goings on and in a short while, we'll be on our way, I hope.
What a trip!