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Giant Metal Net

May 20, 2007

High above the border town
I can see the golden ground
If I wasn’t looking down
I might have lost you in the miles

Ocean blue and foaming white
surround the body of my flight
as I flew out of sight
You were turning in the stiles

and I know what it means to you
and I know what it means to me
and I know how it feels to be
burned by the sun, the sun
I love the sun

Now I’m sleeping on the sand
of an unfamiliar land
And I’m dreaming up a plan
to get you on the breeze

And I’m staring at the speck
Of the map laid on the deck
It’s time to make a trek
On forgiving seas

and I know what it means to you
and I know what it means to me
and I know how it feels to be
burned by the sun, the sun
I love the sun

and I know what it means to you
and I know what it means to me
and I know we all want to be
Burned by the sun

BeulahBurned By The Sun

I made it out to the Great Sand Dunes National Monument last weekend along with my camping buddies Amanda, Reece, Greg, Mitch, Laura, Betsy, David and Mary. It was way cool. Actually, in the evening it was pretty damn cold. You wouldn’t think after getting a sunburn and sweating in shorts and a tee shirt during the day that you’d be freezing your butt off in a down sleeping bag, two pair of socks, jeans, tee shirt, sweatshirt, fleece coat, Baumeister Carhart coat, gloves and a hat at night, but you’d be wrong 🙂 . I took about a million pictures (okay 138 pictures) so I can’t post all of them, but I’ll try and throw a nice sampler package up. Hey, does anyone want to know what South Park, Colorado looks like? Here it is:

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Doesn’t look at all like a quiet little red-neck, po-dunk, white-trash, mountain town, does it? The country in southern Colorado is really beautiful if you like the whole purple mountain’s majesty, sweeping desert plains, breathtaking sunrises and sunsets thing. Here are a batch of shots I took when we drove into the park near sunset and then in the morning after thefuckincubscoutswokeusallupat5:30inthemorningyellingandscreaming. While lying there trying to ignore them and sleep just a little while longer, I heard one of the “adults” who were chaperoning the scouts talking about the loud people down the way from the night before. He was saying, “they were hootin’, hollerin’ and carrying on so loud I finally had to go over there and tell them to shut up.” No doubt the irony was lost on them.

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So after everyone managed to get themselves together and the caffeine addicts got their coffee fix, we headed to the park. There’s a mountain stream of sorts that runs through the park that’s about 100 yards wide and 6 inches deep. It makes for a great place for folks to play in the water and the sunshine. Since the water is shallow, there were tons of little kids there building sand castles and dams, splashing in the water and chasing toy boats down stream. Apparently we have beaches here in Colorado, but they’re just like everything else here; they’re vertical. Later in the day, Betsy, Mitch, Laura, Reece and I decided to climb the dunes… well at least a little ways up anyway. After making our way up the first decent sized peak, we decided that to go all the way up to the top would just be redundant 🙂 . Check out the shot of Laura way out in front, determined to get to the top first. She’s *so* competitive!

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Of course there were the tourist traps that were a “must see” as well. First up were the Colorado Gators. You wouldn’t think Colorado weather would support gators, but these folks have a natural geothermal well that keeps the water at a gator comfortable 87 degrees. They boast 400+ gators along with ostrich, emu, snakes, monitor lizards, turtles, and a working tilapia fish farm. Check it, like the Lemon Jelly lyric goes, “and a big fella too!”:

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My title this time out comes from a tale Reece regaled us with. Reece and Mitch were talking about the alligators, capturing them and how does one go about getting them up on land. Reece explained that the alligators were caught in a net. Mitch said, “well, wouldn’t the alligators just bite down and chew their way out of the net?” To which Reece, who was just riffin’ on the whole ‘gator thing said, “the net is made out of metal. Imagine being caught in a giant metal net….” as he raised his arms to show how large the net was supposed to be. During this same conversation, he and Laura were talking about the whale shark, the largest living fish species. Laura was explaining that while they did indeed have a giant mouth, they were “filter feeders” meaning they swim around with their mouths open feeding on whatever little things are suspended in the water. Reece claimed they also ate big things too. “Like what?” “Well, they eat moose.” “Moose?!” “Yeah, if one falls in the water they’ll eat it.” It truly is amazing what you can learn on these camping trips.

There’s also the worlds largest grain of sand. I’ve gotta tell ya, you don’t want to be around when those big ass dust devils start whipping these babies around.

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But by far, the best stop we made was at the UFO Watchtower. Where do I start?!? There are apparently two cosmic vortexes (one spinning clockwise, the other spinning counter clockwise) that overlap RIGHT ON THE SITE OF THE WATCHTOWER!!! Conveniently, these vortexes are located right in the Healing Garden in front of the tower. Whatertheodds? To her credit, the lady that runs the place was lots of fun. Never made any claims, just said there are things out there that are unexplained. Tough to argue with that 🙂 .

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On the way home we traveled back through Leadville, the highest incorporated city in the United States (10,152 feet above sea level). Very cool Victorian era mining town. We also stopped by the Thai Mini Cafe in Poncha Springs. Yeah…. I *so* wanted it to be a gem of a find, I really did. John and Jim will recall the whole Tijuana ID fiasco that I will never be able to forget as long as they’re around? Well now it looks like “remember what happened the last time we let Greg choose the restaurant” will follow me around out here. But the sign *said* authentic damnit!

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This Sunday is The Rocky Mountain Steel Guitar Show at the Grizzly Rose. Mitch is supposed to sit in with a guy he knows and we’re trying to get a few folks together to go. Between now and then however, I’ve got to do all my weekend stuff that I’ve neglected for the past two weeks. With that in mind, I’ll post this and try and get on with my chores 🙂 . Write when you can.

– G

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 7, 2007 7:23 am

    Hi Greg,

    I lived in CO for 6 years and am very familiar w/the South Park *and* North Park regions. Next time you are there you should check out the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs!
    And if you ever make it to North Park check out the HS at Strawberry.

    Enjoying these accounts,
    Vickie

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