1. We flew to Colorado Springs.
2. We hiked in the wonderful city park called The Garden of the Gods.
3. We walked at the Bear Creek Nature Reserve, after a wonderful woman gave us good tips on what to look to see.
4. We ate at an organic cafe in Manitou Springs. My meal was a vegetarian chowder. The cafe made very good non-iced, non-sugared smoothies.
5. We met a very nice park guide at Bear Creek Nature Reserve. Then we hiked the trails there, where I snapped a good photo of a Weidemeyer admiral butterfly.
6. We ate Italian food for dinner at Zito's.
7. We checked into the suites hotel, which was very satisfactory.
1. We went birding at Bear Creek Nature Reserve in the early morning. We saw lots of black-capped chickadees, white-breasted nuthatches, broad-tailed hummingbirds, rufous hummingbirds, and scrub jays.
2. We went to Cheyenne Mountain State Park, where we hiked from a prairie zone to a scrub transition zone. It was a lovely park.
3. We stopped at the best roadside attraction I have ever seen, the May Natural History Museum of the Tropics, a decades-old collection of insects and in particular exotic butterflies, in glass cases in a building that doubled as headquarters to an RV park.
4. We ate lunch at an incredibly good Ethopian restaurant in Old Colorado City. I loved visiting The Dulcimer Shop, where I bought a small Peruvian flute but barely resisted buying a Cripple Creek strumstick.
I liked the owner, who advised that she made the dulcimers by hand, but had failing eyesight. She apparently had bought a laser to assist at just the right moment in time, which was a good thing.
5. We picked up a musician friend of our friends C. Reider and Auzel. We all drove to Denver.
6. We attended a unique concert by 7 artists called the Disquiet Junto concert. Disquiet.com is an internet weblog about abstract music. Its founder, Marc Weidenbaum, began a project in which he assigned musicians a task to create a song with unusual constraints within three days. The Denver show featured pieces created with the constraint that a glass harp must be used as the basis of the piece. A glass harp is an old instrument in which wine glasses are filled with water and "played" by rubbing one's finger on the rim.
In the concert, each artist used a looping machine or software and various other synthesizers and effects to make a unique song. Most songs were on the ambient end of the scale, with a nod in a few to noise. The works were fascinating--so fascinating that my wife and I largely let our pizza get cold. We also enjoyed seeing our friends C. Reider and Auzel. I was delighted to hear C. Reider play live. I met for the first time two artists I listen to at home--Mysterybear (who performed a fantastic piece) and Darren Harper (who did not perform but was a spectator). I knew Marc of @disquiet through the internet, and it was good to meet him in person. I enjoyed hearing 4 artists I did not know. We had a delightful time driving Jeff Sampson, a voice artist, to Denver and back to his home in Colorado Springs. The concert did not make me wish I had performed live, but it did make me want to create samples from glass harps.
1. We rose early and took the Pike's Peak COG Railway to the peak of Pike's Peak. We saw hummingbirds at the train station, a good half-dozen bighorn sheep, lots of marmots on the rocks, lots of swifts flying, and hazy lovely views, aided or dissuaded by distant forest fires in other states. We loved the ride.
2. We had another smoothie. We ate a chicken pita lunch in downtown Colorado Springs at Pita Pit and drove a bit downtown.
3. We returned to Garden of the Gods and hiked the Scottman's Trail. We saw a mule deer, a chipmunk, two rabbits, a disembodied post-mountain-lion deer hoof (our second, the first being at Bear Creek), a very yellow goldfinch, and lots of little birds I cannot identify.
4. We then went to North Cheyenne Canon Park, where we drove to the Helen Hays waterfall. We saw lots of Stellar's Jays and the beautiful falls.
5. We dined on sushi at a place off Union.
1. We took the morning easy.
2. I had a work call at noon. My wife toured the Broadmoor while I worked.
3. Then we drove to the black forest region northeast of Colorado Springs, where we hiked in a ponderosa pine forest. We saw a northern harrier hawk, a lot of nuthatches and chickadees, and a lovely female kingfisher (the last being near a park pond).
4. We dined on grilled fish at the Elephant Bar.
5. I got the good news that someone wishes to use two of my songs in a documentary.
It's been a very good trip. We fly home tomorrow morning. We left Bea with a dogsitter. We hope she has had a good vacation, too.