Never having been west before, I had ideas of what it would be like, but most were based on television serials of the 60s....Gunsmoke and Bonanza...not based on reality. The Colorado we entered Saturday afternoon surprised me because of how dry everything was. Bridges built over stony river beds, scrubby hillsides, sandy roadsides, all were different from what I had expected. We had left near drought conditions behind us in Kentucky, but they were green and thriving compared to the Colorado Springs basin. John later infomed me that 15 inches of rain per year is common, but these guys are smart and maximize their resources. 70 miles of piping lead down from Pikes peak collecting snow melt into resevoirs, and the city has water all year round. Pretty brainy, I think
I don't know why I was surprised at the poverty we saw, either. Jesus said the poor will always be with us, and I saw abandoned farms left and right and homes that were in ramshackle conditions, again going against my notions that folks out west had it better than their counterparts in Appalachia. Don't get me wrong, though, because we saw homes that were movie star qualitiy, high on the hill, with private drives that rival the Pike's Peak highway.
John says that Colorado Springs has exploded since he lived there and suburbia has taken over. Food chains I recognize and many I didn't were everywhere, along with strip malls aplenty. With the exception of the beautiful Rockies in the background, this city could be any other city in America. Huge masses of suburban homes dominate the hillsides, though, because there are few trees to hide them, so the landscape looks overrun with development. Thank goodness for the preserved areas where we were headed.
Next post, Lone Duck Campground, Garden of the Gods, and altitude sickness.