Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Did you know?

 Post (C) by Doris McCraw

aka Angela Raines

Photo taken on a cog ride to the
summit of Pikes Peak

Did you know April is National Poetry Month? Did you also know it's National Card & Letter Writing Month? 

Before the Internet, we wrote letters and sent cards.  We wrote in journals/diaries. In honor of this special month, I thought I'd share a piece I wrote for a local publication as a letter from Katharine Lee Bates. Yes, I did costume performances as this amazing lady.

 Dear Friends,

I realize we have never met, but in truth we are adventurers together. It is in that spirit that I am sharing with you some advice I garnered from my time in Colorado Springs at the base of Pikes Peak.

You will want to have a plan, but at the same time, be open to spontaneous options, for exciting adventures await those make the journey. You also will want to stay hydrated. The area is high plains desert and as such the air is dry. Drinking, especially water is highly advised.

During the six weeks I was in Colorado Springs, teaching two courses at the Colorado Springs Summer School, I was busy with lesson plans and grading papers. Those duties were just a portion of the experiences that awaited.

You can start or end with The Garden of the Gods, This is a place where one can enjoy the beauty no matter what the time of day. Each hour brings another vista of changing color and grandeur. If planned, one can also take time to picnic, and hike the trails that wind their way through the area.

The waterfalls of South Cheyenne Canyon, called Seven Falls, are a sight to behold. One does not need to be athletic to stand at the base of those falls, but to climb the stairs to the top does take physical effort. They offer another option of viewing the top of the falls from a vantage point that is less strenuous to access.

The above options fall into the planned category. You may ask, how can one be spontaneous with so many options available that you plan? The answer is simple, you take advantage of unique opportunities that happen unexpectedly.

My friends and I planned a trip to the top of Pikes Peak, but the day we set aside for the trip, the Cog Railway was not running. Instead of giving up, we took the road. As they say, it was a trip to remember. It was from the top of the mountain that the first stanza of my poem ‘America’ came to fruition.

The residents in this town have many smaller and fun events they plan throughout the year. One never knows what may be found when you search out events you may have overlooked. Fairs, dances, music and more await those who will take the time to seek them out.

If time had permitted I would have enjoyed journeying further into the mountains and down to the Royal Gorge of the Arkansas River.

So many wonderful options await. Choose the ones that call to your heart and soul, and take the adventure of a lifetime. Carry the memories fondly throughout your life. I know I did.

So, dear friends, I leave you with a poem and heartfelt wishes that my tips will help you enjoy your adventurous journey.

Mountains soar

Over Native lore

Under turquoise skies

Breezes sigh

Red spires rise

Where dinosaurs lie

Creeks and rivers sing

As laughter rings


Katharine Lee Bates

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As Always,

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, 



Julie Lence said...

What a wonderful letter and poem, Doris! I truly felt as if Katharine had written it. Thank you for sharing your work with us.

Renaissance Women said...

Thank you, Julie.

It was a fun assignment to write. I'm glad you heard Katharine's voice. That is a great compliment. Doris

GiniRifkin said...

Hi: great recommendations of places to see in our beautiful state. Such a sweet, meaningful poem.

Renaissance Women said...

Thank you. Glad you enjoyed the poem. I do enjoy writing verse. Doris