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The Springs in Fall — 2015 Photos #29: Outtakes, Colorado

Rocky Mountains!

Those amazing colossal Rocky Mountains up in Rocky Mountain National Park. Better or worse than the shots we shared before?

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: we guided you through our second trip to Colorado in twenty-eight episodes — November 1-6, 2015, Sunday through Friday, which represented our very first experience with air travel. We didn’t lose any luggage, eat any airline meals, wait extra hours for a delayed flight, land early due to onboard nuisance, see any Muslims snap-judged, or throw up at any point. And between the flights there and back again, we saw lots more Colorado we hadn’t seen our first time around when we drove out there from Indianapolis in 2012.

Here, in our grand finale: a selection of outtakes from various chapters — a few skipped by dumb oversight; a few that captured isolated moments disconnected from the rest of the narrative; and a few left behind due to inadequate wow factor. We may be aging amateurs who don’t have thousands of unconditional superfans, but we do have light standards.

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The Springs in Fall — 2015 Photos #28: Farewell, Colorado

Southwest Wing!

Have wing, add prayer.

At last our six-day excursion to Colorado was drawing to close, with one last chance to wander Denver International Airport before our flight home to Indianapolis around 6 p.m. MST. We tried to make the most of it.

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The Springs in Fall — 2015 Photos #27: Clocking Out of Cloudy Colorado

Colorado Clouds!

At 3:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time on Friday, November 6, 2015, my wife wrapped up the final shift of her Colorado Springs business trip, jumped in the rental car with me and sighed in relief. Her work week hadn’t been an easy one. The branch appreciated her assistance, but it was clear they needed more help than she could give them in her 40+ hours on the premises. She did her part, but what happened after she left was no longer her concern. At long last she was free. She could finally unwind and enjoy a little Colorado sightseeing before we ended our six-day experience.

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The Springs in Fall — 2015 Photos #20: Three Cities, Much Rock

Castle Rock!

Castle Rock, a 37-story butte sitting next to the town of Castle Rock, Colorado. No relation to the Stephen King Literary Universe.

Day Four was a busy driving day for me, trying to cover as much ground as I could before we had to fly home on Day Six. I spent the first half up in Denver and the late afternoon back in Colorado Springs, with a stopover in between to stare for a while at the formidable formation above. Works of God and of Man were each the order of the day.

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The Springs in Fall — 2015 Photos #19: The Denver Museum of Nature & Science on $0.00 a Day

Fossil!

Remember, kids: if it isn’t packed with eighty-six tons of dinosaur fossils, it isn’t a real science museum and you should report it to your local science authorities right away.

After lunch and conversation with an old friend in Denver, I spent a bit more of Day Four wandering a few other locations over the next two hours. Halfway through our week, though, a bit of budget consciousness was tampering my mood, leading me to think carefully how else I spent my remaining time and personal funds in Colorado. That’s what happens when you can’t normally afford two vacations a year but can’t resist a good deal on a second one.

Not far from the Denver Biscuit Company and All in a Dream is the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, five hundred thousand square feet of Smithsonian-affiliated exhibits, experiments, and special presentations about all the niftiest sciences ever. For visitors in a cheapskate position like me, a few points of interest stand on the path leading from the free parking lot to the ticket counter, a.k.a. the point of no return.

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The Springs in Fall…2015 Photos #8: Munchies in the Mountains

Mountain Wookies!

This is not the Star Wars toy store you’re looking for.

By the time I left the Cave of the Winds, it was after 12 and lunch sounded like a great idea. My original plan had been to work my way up US 24 into the Rocky Mountains for a while, eventually switch to another winding highway, and browse the restaurant and sightseeing options in the town of Cripple Creek. All the brochure photos looked like Deadwood or other Old-West throwbacks filled with arts, crafts, state-themed souvenirs, cheesy knickknacks, period boutiques, and probably casinos in every other storefront. Plenty of opportunities for bemusement and/or learning experiences, maybe.

Halfway there my appetite was seriously interfering with my enthusiasm for driving all those dozens and dozens of elevated disaster curves. I reached the much nearer hideaway of Woodland Park, noted a smattering of old-fashioned facades, cut my drive a couple dozen miles short, and thought to myself, “Yeah, this’ll do. Food now.”

Right this way for an impromptu stop in a quiet Colorado town!

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