Sunday, August 12, 2012


Burlington, Colorado is a town of 4,000 people 11 miles west of the Kansas/Colorado border. Right on I-70, many a traveler knows the place due to frequent blizzards during the winter months. Burlington offers safety from the storms of the plains. 

Burlington is also home to "the jewel of America," a fully restored, hand carved and painted carousel from 1906, which was originally purchased by a theme park in Denver but later bought by the Kit Carson County for about $2,000 when carousels started coming with horses that ride up and down.

I've just filled you in on why some might know Burlington. I know Burlington because of the Billingtons. My grandparents lived in Burlington, CO, for my entire childhood. This little farm town is like the Wonder Years of my memories. When we got to Denver, Tyler suggested we drive the 2 hours and change to get to this place that brings a smile to my face on mention. As we traveled across the flat lands, Tyler asked if he really had to ride the carousel. I was outraged he'd even think of not going.

It didn't take a lot of convincing once we arrived. The charm of the county fair grounds, the well-kept lawns, the 25 cent fair, and the historical museum describing the mysterious and complex history of the carousel's arrival and upkeep won Tyler's heart.

My heart was set on riding the hippocampus, the mermaid-tailed horse. I intentionally waited to get in line for the ride after a crowd of a dozen left so that I could be the first person on.
Here I am with the said hippocampus:
You'll notice that there are no pictures of me riding the hippocampus :(. Because the animals are all original with original paint, the rule is that once you pick your animal, you stay on it and cannot get on any others. If my plan to be the first person on would have worked, you would have seen that dreamy picture of me atop my childhood mare. But alas, a less than delightful child crept up in front of me as the gate up, handed his wooden token to the lady in charge, and ran straight to my beloved saying, "I'm going to ride this one!" Curses!

Tyler convinced me that my life was not over and I could still ride and have a good time. Nostalgia really does bring out the child in me :). We picked a family of giraffes instead. Tyler rode the papa:
 I rode the Mama:
And someday. . . that baby giraffe will have a rider, too.

Just down the country rode from the fair grounds is the Burlington LDS chapel, a tiny building filled with too many beautiful memories to enumerate. Summer mowings, winter craft bazaars, Sunday meals, testimonies rich in love. 

And of course, Grandma and Papa Billington's house. The one I have most memories in, on Pomeroy Street:
 And the one where I lived for a summer. I survived a tornado in this house (in the bathtub with a mattress atop my sweet 5th grade head :):

We went to Pizza Hut for lunch (Burlington never was known for its cuisine), drove past the middle and high school, and stopped by the pool, another spot full of summer memories. Sadly, the park across the street with the space ship is no longer. I guess it was a little old, but otherwise, the place is as I remember it, minus all the loved ones.

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