One of the best days we spent in Colorado was the day that we went to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. And it was also one of the worst days. Why, you ask? Well, get ready for a story.
For starters, this particular zoo is 3 hours away from my Aunt Ruth and Uncle Nathan's house. So we had a long day of driving. That's not the bad part though. This zoo is TOTALLY worth a three hour drive. It might actually be the best zoo I've ever been too. Only the Henry Doorly Zoo can rival it in sheer awesomeness.
No, the reason that the three hour drive was so bad, was that my iPod died that morning. Like flat out gave up the ghost. Plus, my iPad had also died on the way to Colorado, so we had absolutely no music for the entire three hour drive to Colorado Springs. We still have no idea why those things died. Maybe the altitude? Who knows. The iPod came back to life a few days later, but the iPad never recovered.
Anyway, we had no music for three hours. Nothing. Thankfully Shaina had brought a book to read, so for three hours she read Wuthering Heights to us. Though I still have no idea what Wuthering Heights is about. Was there a ghost? I can't remember. It must not have been the most riveting book. Sorry, Shaina. At least it kept me occupied at the time. :p
But all that was still not too bad. The real problems were just getting started. When we finally made it to Colorado Springs the car's temperature warning light came on, and it was sounding alarms. Now, my car had been having problems like this before. We had tried to leave for Colorado the week before, and it died with smoke pouring out of the hood before we'd even made it to Shelby. But I'd gotten it fixed and we left the next week. There should have been no further problems!
So now, in addition to the blaring heat alarms, the GPS isn't taking us to the right spot, and we went up a steep hill ending up in what appeared to be some sort of gated community where a bunch of rich people lived. To top it all off, Sasha was starting to feel sick! So I called Uncle Nathan and he walked me through what to do. He thought it was just overheating from driving up and down mountains all day. So I dumped water into the car, at his direction, trying to cool it down. He told us to find the zoo and just let the car cool down all day. If it didn't start he'd come get us, but if it did start, we should just drive as far as we can, and if it dies, he could meet us wherever we ended up.
Since we couldn't just leave the car sitting in what is quite possibly a rich person's giant driveway, I had to drive a little more. I knew the zoo had to be nearby, because even when the GPS is off, it's not off by much, so we slowly left the posh little village, taking a different turn, a little further up the steep hill. This turned out to be the right place, so I parked the car. Sasha was still feeling bad, but she said she'd probably be fine after awhile, so we just walked slowly, and eventually she came around.
After the zoo we did manage to drive back to Uncle Nathan and Aunt Ruth's but we had to drive so slowly to prevent it from overheating that it was like 9 or 10 o'clock that night before we got home. And the next day we took the car to a mechanic and left it there for a few days to rack up another huge bill, and even then it wasn't fixed completely. I had to have the transmission replaced when we got back to Harlan. All in all that summer, that car cost me like $3000. I let it live for another year before replacing it, which is more than it deserved.
And that was why the day was so horrible. Now, after all that, that day was probably still my favorite day of the trip. And here's why.
I got to feed a giraffe. We went to the zoo to pet the giraffes, but unbeknownst to me, Shaina bought a bunch of lettuce for me to feed to them. It was so awesome. :)
This is what makes this zoo is so amazing.
This is the reason we drove three hours to go to this particular zoo. When I was 18, my parents sent me to a camp/seminar thing in Colorado Springs, and on one day of that trip, part of the group I was with had gone to a zoo, and I remembered petting a giraffe. When my cousins and I decided to go to Colorado, I figured out where that zoo had been, and we made a point to go there, so we could all pet them. It was so worth the trouble. :)
This is the kind of joy you can only get from contact with these magnificent creatures. :)
I'm going to make this the end of this post. I was just going to do a picture post, but then I remembered what happened that day, and that story ended up taking up all my time. I'll do another post soon, and I might even do a post on my photo blog. I think I have enough good material from the zoo trip. Keep an eye out for that!