Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Feeling left out

I've been thinking back on our trip, mulling over various days and events and wanted to include some things we'd left out. Chronologically, they'll be out of order, since I'm writing them as they come.

Mormons....Travelling through a stretch of Wyoming that almost hurt my eyes it was so dry and barren, we came across a ranch off to the west of us that was advertising Mormon handcarts...Hmmmm...I had to do some really deep stretching, way back in my mind to come up with what a Mormon and a handcart had to do with each other. (This has brought to mind the Way Back Machine from Underdog. Anybody remember that and Miss Polly Purebred?)
Back to the subject! Long ago when the Mormons were heading west, looking for a place to freely worship, some of them decided to move everything they owned in handcarts, pushing and pulling all the way. What a thought! I'm not sure how successful they were, but I can't imagine pushing a handcart across my neighborhood, much less the country. Anyway, this particular ranch in Wyoming recreated these carts and sold them, and more than that, they offered a place for LDS members to come and recreate the experience. On this particularly hot day in June, the hillside was covered with people, many dressed in costume, pushing and pulling handcarts in the good old fashioned way. I assume they were teaching their children of the great hardships faced by their ancestors, but I'm not sure how far they went, how long it went on, whether they just pushed carts round and round and round in the heat until somebody dropped, then back to the rv for refreshment...not sure but worth mentioning. A curiosity for me.

Another day we visited Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, CO. The same day we'd visited the Air Force Academy and left out of there kind of late, but hustled over to the FOTF site. It was situated in a new clutch of buildings, high on a hill overlooking Pike's Peak. I told John what a pleasure it would be to work there everyday, gazing out on what God had created. The place was humming with activity, people coming and going despite it being late afternoon and a closing time of 5pm.

We were greeted upon entry by a young gentleman, enthusiastic in his welcome. Directed to the children's section, complete with soda shoppe, or the bookstore or business office tour, we filled out name tags as though we were at a family reunion and opted for the soda shoppe in the children's section. We ain't no dummies! The most fun we had was in the getting there.

To the back of the building we went, to a huge slide that started in the building, went out of the building and then back into the building. In order to slide in it, a person had to be as tall as Eugene from the Odyssey series, and as we were all that tall, we decided to give it a go. Feet in burlap sacks, and hands and elbows encased in socks, we clambered into the slide, whooped it up and shot down it in a flash. I managed to get friction burns on my hand in a couple of places because I couldn't quite right myself and was going down crookedly and painfully, but what fun it was. I dumped out at the bottom, at the feet of families waiting for just that purpose and laughingly moved out of the way for the big boys to come out. Barreling out they came, all laughing and so...we entered the underworld of Focus on the Family.

What a pleasure for small children. Mine were too old for the fun, even Jonathan declared himself not quite interested, but children under 7 or so would have been enchanted. All sorts of nooks and crannies where little ones could poke into and pretend and hallways leading to other areas where radio performances could be enacted and puppet shows performed made the space magical. Of course, mine were much too sophisticated to try anything so we meandered around, looking at radio broadcast rooms where children are allowed to enter and make all of the sound effects, on past party rooms for birthdays and finally into Mr. Whit's Soda Shoppe. Ice Cream Floats for everybody!!!! Now that was a way to end a day, slurping on cold sweet ice cream and coca cola. YUMMM.

A few minutes were spent wandering around the gift shop but since everything there was what we could purchase back home at the Christian bookstore, we didn't spend too much time. Everyone was super friendly and if we had had the time, I'd like to take the tour of the business offices, but what we did see was great. Finally, back in the car to zoom off to Denver and Casa Bonita for dinner.

More thoughts as they come to me :)

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