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The Way We Really Were

Photo courtesy of Virginia McConnell Simmons
Photo courtesy of Virginia McConnell Simmons

By Virginia McConnell Simmons

“Where have all the flowers gone?” wondered Peter, Paul and Mary. One explanation of many might be the Gay Nineties’ wildflower excursion on the Colorado Midland Railroad (CM) to South Park. Snipped from stems and pulled from the ground, armloads of wild iris, columbine, anemone, penstemon and paintbrush had wilted in laps, alas, by the time that the CM disgorged its weary passengers from its standard-gauge coaches back at Colorado Springs. Little wonder that the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival, the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory and national parks have rules, like stay on the trail and do not pick the wildflowers.