21 June 2013

City of Dreams

Canon City Sunset

14 June 2013
Flag Day
Ride the Rockies, Day 6
Salida to Canyon City
0 miles

I sagged today.

And I cried because I elected to sag.


Cypher in the Soot

Bicycle SAG


The Shuttle to Canon City

Predawn Cyclist Gets Pass by Shuttle

The sun peeks over the hills.

One of the first things I noticed when I got off the bus this morning was a poster advertising the need for foster parents. Oh, the memories, in this, the very town in which I gained a daughter...

Message in a Bottle
Did that; adopted one of yours.

Back in 1993, my first husband and I adopted a 10-year-old boy, Taz. We were his foster parents for five years; his complicated adoption took that long.

I wanted a daughter. I prayed for a daughter.

One day, a Wednesday's Child in the other Denver newspaper (there were two back then) described a 7-year-old girl with many of the same circumstances and difficulties my adopted son had experienced. I thought she'd be a good match because I thought I knew by then what I was doing. I was experienced! I was a therapeutic foster parent, and I was pretty good at managing severe stuff.

Later in the day, a co-worker brought me a clipping of that same Wednesday's Child. She thought the girl was a perfect match for me.

So that night, I asked the husband. The then 12-year marriage had never been strong and fulfilling and had been deteriorating at a more rapid pace since the adoption. Responsibility and he just didn't get along. He said no. So I let go of the dream.

Until the following Sunday, when my bishop gave me a copy of that very same Wednesday's Child.

I knew it had to be. Without consulting the husband again, I applied to become foster parent to a little girl in Canon City in need of a permanent home.

We and two other families were selected to meet the little girl, Raz, on three separate weekends and spend a day with her in Canon City. The husband was not thrilled, but Taz was bursting at the seams over the possibility of a little sister.

We had a good visit with Raz. We hiked up a waterfall, we had lunch together, and she and Taz seemed to bond instantly.

One of the other families was selected. I let go of the dream once again. The husband decided to let go of the marriage. We separated. Taz and I moved to Denver alone.

A few weeks later, I got a call from Raz' caseworker. The selected family was military and received orders for outside the country. They decided, due to special needs, not to take Raz. Was I still interested?

Without telling the caseworker my current situation, I agreed to pick up Raz at the home of her foster grandparent in Silver Cliff the following weekend. My bedroom in my tiny apartment became hers, and I slept in the living room until a three-bedroom apartment became available.

During our first official home study, I disclosed the ugly secret. Raz' caseworker blew a fuse. She said she had not followed this child for seven years to watch her go to a broken home. Yet she allowed me to keep Raz because of the progress I'd made with Taz and because of the bond between Taz and Raz. The caseworker said she would watch me like a hawk.

One short year later, I adopted Raz alone, as a single parent.

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is my connection to Canon City.

The cyclists begin arriving.

Inflatable Agent Orange

The nice thing about sagging today is I got to see The Lizard pedal into town. The only time I ever get to see him pedal into town is during the Triple Bypass, because I can't ride that one.

I was so excited to see him, I forgot to take a photo! He's been craving ice cold pop every day, so I met him with a big, cold, icy soda, and he downed the entire thing almost immediately!

Because I was one of the first riders in town, I got just about the best tent site ever. While waiting on the other side of the school for The Lizard, our tent got moved. No note, so we didn't know why. Tonight we received a voice mail that was sent when the tent was moved but not delivered in this city of signal weak until many hours later explaining I'd parked in a no-parking zone before volunteers had a chance to put up the no-parking signs.

Prime Real Estate

Waiting for the Last Baggage Truck

After bedtime, we moved our tent to a better location and wound up with the best spot we've had all week, the only tent on the concrete between two buildings. Total quiet, total isolation, no foot traffic and a good, solid sleeping surface with no bugs.

A Baby Visitor!



What a beautiful flower!

Roses, Roses

Before retiring for the night, we visited a yarn shop, a quilt shop and a bike shop. The Lizard picked a yard of Kokopelli fabric for a new bandana, and then he found a lizard family I got to stalk and shoot before rain set in once again. More help for the firefighters, I hope.

Many of the volunteers here have family members fighting the fires. All of the bike security volunteers but one are fighting the fires, and the lone remaining security volunteer is manning the bike corral through the night by himself.

The town of Florence, which the riders went through today on the reroute and which we will pedal through again tomorrow, had planned to use whatever ride funds they raise for their own non-profit organizations. Now they are donating everything they take in to the firefighters.

The smoke today is not as bad, but reminders of what is happening are everywhere.

Baggage Trucks

The Sherpa Service in Action

More Sherpa Action

Up go the Tents

Canon City Bike Corral

Canon City Sunset

Canon City Sunset


  1. Great shot of the lizard and riders everywhere. I guess it was truly meant to be too.

  2. So sorry you had to sag - but better by far to spare your lungs. (And other parts obviously benefited from the break as well.) Those top photos - that soot is just nasty.

    Great lizard shot though! And roses, and mystery blossom, and sunrise.

  3. Read the previous post and was happy to see you were kind to yourself. I know it was hard to do, but was so happy that you got the unexpected joy of handing the lizard a cold bottle.


Dusty words lying under carpets,
seldom heard, well must you keep your secrets
locked inside, hidden deep from view?
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