"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Magical Carousel

Something new I have learned about blogging is this: when I am traveling, I need to schedule some time at the end of each day to write about the events of that day, otherwise they are crowded out of my mind by the next adventure (which is sure to come along on any and all excursions). One of the stories I skipped over on my last trip was the the new discovery up in the Rockies, in the little town of Nederland. Danny and I have loved this tiny town, tucked away on the side of the Mountains, up the hill from Denver, for some time. It sports a whole foods grocery, with local produce when it is available; a rock shop where we like to purchase stone marbles and small jars; a rustic cafe where we can sit on the patio and look out at a gorgeous lake nestled at the foot of the mountain while we eat simple meals together; and, of course, hear the latest tale about the dead man who is being kept on dry ice somewhere in town until his relatives can come pick him up. Yes, it is as quaint (or odd) as it sounds, at least it is to us. This time, when we were passing through, we noticed a new building and stopped to investigate. Outside, there were native drummers and a tiny young dancer, getting ready for a dance

as well as someone selling ribbon garlands and handmade jewelry, the type that feels and looks perfect while you are on vacation but feels incredibly odd once you return home. The garland salesgirl also made lovely little flower headbands, as modeled here by the dog. Inside an old diner car you could buy frozen yogurt or homemade candies (caramels, taffy or fudge), hot flavored coffees or ice cream cones. Next door to the diner was the wonder of wonders: an old fashioned carousel! The buyer had located it somewhere in California and had moved it out to Nederland in pieces; there a local woodcarver had worked at refurbishing all the animals, carving new ones and recreating the turning gears, braces and the calliope. We all bought tickets and climbed aboard. I rode the lion (Aslan), Danny rode around on a bench, sitting next to a life sized gorilla, Able rode the frog and Katie rode a large cat of some kind (I think). The animals were odd and exciting with only one horse among the lot, and he was a unicorn. One of my favorite elements, besides the lovely old music, was the tiny brass bells which were hung from every scallop of the roof and showered us with magical whisperings as we rode round and round. Everyone was laughing, riders and spectators alike! For some inexplicable reason it felt more acceptable to ride this particular carousel, because the animals were all of unorthodox types. I somehow felt that the sight of a 'chubby' middle aged woman going up and down on a painted horse would be terribly ridiculous but I could ride a lion, a fish or a snake festooned giraffe with grace and style.

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