Saturday, June 25, 2022

Lazy Days, 1st Day of Summer Chill, Good Eats & Flowers

 The days have been clicking by smoothly, with the lawn greening-up and the flowers growing stronger and it seemed like the summertime weather had arrived, but then, on June 21st the morning temps were a chilly 35°. Wow! we thought and fired up the furnace, but the sun warmed things right on up throughout the morning and it was a beautiful day after all.

At this altitude (7200') the sun's rays are particularly strong and really make you feel like you're getting a solid daily dose of vitamin D. Based on all the flowers in the park, it's easy to see that the plants love it here.

A mixed petunia planter on a tree stump with
columbine below growing up to meet it.

I did a little thrifting last time we were in Ft. Collins grocery shopping and I found a few bits and bobs for the yard. A chili pepper planter tub and a yard welcome sign that I particularly liked. I've filled the planter with 8 plants hoping for a really full bloom show when they grow up some.

2 yellow marigolds, 2 coleus and 4 verbena - I hope they take off.


A little "kitchy" but what the heck, it's friendly right?

We've been tackling a few projects around here and taking local walks so not too many pics from farther afield, but I do have a couple of shots from around here.

A shot taken from the island's river shore.
The river is raging right now.

This next shot is directly across the river and you can see the burn scar on the far right side at the top of the canyon ridgeline. Bummer, let's hope we don't have any flash flooding this year, that was very deadly, with 5 people killed at the mudslide site and the debris generated took out the center support of the little bridge over to the tent camping island here in our park.


The 2020 fire came too close for comfort!


The owners fixed it by using several 
40' steel beams as underlayment support
for the rebuilt bridge span topper.


The food situation has been really good around here, featuring plenty of grilling and summer fresh fare interspersed with comfort food like enchiladas with Mexican rice, and spaghetti with meatballs.

Grilled chicken thighs, baked potato, asparagus plus a tomato,
pickled cucumber and kalamata olive salad.

We will split this enchilada and only eat half of the rice,
I make extra for a breakfast treat, or as I say 'put an egg on it'.

And to wrap things up a few more shots of some flowers in the vicinity, including a cut wildflower Ed brought home for identification and possibly inclusion in our yard scheme. Surprisingly after 6 days of being cut it still looks fresh as can be - wish I knew what it was.

It's growing wild in an abandoned house's yard.
If you have a clue what it is, please let me know.
It seems to grow about 16" to 24"or so tall.



Friendly garden arrangement alongside their trailer.


Pretty box of iris

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog, hope you found it a relaxing respite to all the daily drama.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Leftover trip highlights and some doings around here

I finally took the time to dump the pics from his phone and found a few nice shots, so I've decided to include them here as well as to do a "catch-up" session from Rocky.

Because Ed's not only braver than I am, but taller as well, he got a few nice shots of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

One year we camped down at the bottom of the
canyon at the East Portal Campground. Totally 
different perspective at the bottom.


Between the sheerness of the cliff faces and the depths
to the bottom to the narrowness of the canyon itself,
Gunnison is truly unique.

Here's a nice shot from that same drive, not exactly sure where the shot as taken.

Might have to use this one for the header shot. Nice trail!

When we first got here in Rustic we had a few cold snaps, one of which garnered some snow for us on the last day of May.  Here's a shot from the next morning, so pretty, but obviously didn't stick around more than a half day.

Not much more than a dusting but fun to see snow falling.

We went into town for a shop-up the other day and boy, did we get shopped-up! I could barely squeeze it all into the fridge and freezer but didn't dare use the small fridge we have out back - bears.  All 'n all a great day that involved lunch at Odell's Brewing Co and one of the food truck burgers.

They always have the most glorious salvia by their signage.



Odell's courtyard, large, and full of tables/chairs.

I've been working on getting the flowers I picked up the other day planted so we might have a lovely, flowery yard since we spend so much time out there.  

Looking out of our yard 


The following shot was taken last July and demonstrates how many wildflowers there are around the Poudre Canyon and surrounding areas. I hope we get a show like this this year as well.

Beautiful, isn't it?


The Glen Echo staff held a seasonal customer appreciation luncheon on Saturday and it was a delicious Mexican spread, including beer and wine. A pretty good turnout was had and a nap was required afterwards, lol.

These are just some of the seated folks. 

Linda's deconstructed taco's, pork, chicken and ground beef - yum.

Finally, we had a big rain shower the other day and afterwards we had a swarm of Western Yellow Swallowtail butterflies show up for the minerals (I guess) - very cool.

They didn't mind me at all, super intent on getting whatever they were after.


Thanks for taking the time to stop by for a visit.



Sunday, June 5, 2022

Heading up to Rustic & the Antelope Mash-up.

 Still playing catch-up on the blog but I'm almost current! This is just prior to Memorial Day weekend. 

After our stay in Cortez we got on the road to points north on our way "home" to Rustic, CO. We planned a hit 'n run overnight stop in Glenwood Springs at the Hanging Lake Inn, an unassuming old-style inn we've stayed at before. But first, a beautiful drive up Hwy 145 towards Telluride then up through the Grand Mesa area on Hwy 65, the Grand Mesa Scenic Hwy. The scenery in the Grand Mesa area started out  flattish, and dry, with rock formations and cliffs.

 

The diversity of Colorado's landscape is always amazing to me.

Up on top of the Mesa there was lots of snow and small frozen lakes. Apparently it is a big cross country skiing attraction during winter. We'd made sandwiches before we left Cortez so we stopped to  picnic up on top.

Small, mostly frozen lake up on top of Grand Mesa.

It was a great day for driving and the scenery didn't disappoint. Once we made it into Glenwood and got settled we ordered a delivery pizza and called it a day.

The thought was to make it to 'Rocky' on Thursday mid-day to assess her condition after 8 months away. Then, hopefully spend the night assuming all was well (no critters), and do a big shop-up on Friday prior to Memorial Day weekend.

When we left Glenwood Springs, the head honcho decided our route should be scenic (of course, it's his M.O. and I'm glad of it) so we took 70E a short ways, then headed north on 131 then east again until we got on 125 which is a long straight shot from Granby up to Walden, where we would catch 14 up over the Continental Divide then on to Rustic, tada.

Definitely some great scenery around and about. Talk about the lazy-man's way of sightseeing!


Somewhere near Glenwood Springs

Gee whiz, it's hard to keep them all straight, mountains everywhere!





Pronghorn Antelope, Courtesy of CCO Public Domain

So cool how when you come up towards Walden it's wide open spaces, grasslands, ranches  and part of it is even a wildlife sanctuary. So we're tooling along about 30 miles south of Walden, it's noon'ish and we're starting to get excited to be (finally) getting to Rustic, when out of nowhere, an antelope leaps out right in front of our car - BAM! No way of avoiding it whatsoever - BUMMER for all concerned.

Luckily, the lady in the car behind us stopped to make sure we were OK, (we were ,but the antelope wasn't 😞) and after some discussion she offered to call the sheriff once she had made it back into cell phone range. What a lifesaver that was, as we wanted to get an official incident report for insurance purposes.

Messed-up left front corner, wiring harness for cruise control, 
lane keeping etc. but driveable, fortunately!

We were sure thankful that it was a smallish doe rather than a big buck and that nobody was hurt. It was so strange to get back in, crank up and head off up the road like nothing had happened. Great scenery and all. The area between Walden and the Cameron Peak Pass (continental divide) sure is pretty. 360° of gorgeous mountains (with the snow lit up in the mid-day sun).



We made it up to Rustic, the rig was in great shape and we did get shopped-up. Now we just have to decide what to do about it all. Oh well, into every life a little rain must fall. (Isn't it funny how these little sayings come creeping back into our vocabulary at times like these?)

Thanks for stopping by and we'll see you next time.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Now we head even further west to Cortez

 After our short stay in Durango we headed even further west to the town of Cortez where we had arranged to stay for a couple of nights on a working sheep ranch.  The weather in the northern parts of Colorado was still not co-operating with snow predictions and cold temps. The arrangements were to have the bottom floor of the ranch house, a self-contained studio apartment with a small kitchenette area.  The host/hostess were so very nice, both retired teachers, and the property had fantastic views every which way.

We had the whole bottom floor, a very comfy setup.

Their views in every direction were incredible!
Put yourself into the middle of this shot and imagine
the vastness of the views - breathtaking!

You can't tell much by this picture but in the evening's
golden hour the lighter striations on those cliff faces lit up.


On the way there we passed by the Canyon of the Ancients Nat'l Monument Visitor's Center/Museum, located near Delores, Co.  They have a massive display of artifacts, covering native pottery and lifestyle, a detailed section on the archeology of the area and on and on.  And a bonus is a great, paved hike up to the hilltop of about 1/2 mile one way, where there is an ancient Puebloan building site. We would highly recommend all of it if you are in the area.

Eye-candy of the area leading up to Delores.

Visitor's Center/Museum entrance area with local plantings.

I thought this "bug house" was cute,
meanwhile Ed's getting the scoop on the 
site prior to our hike up the hill.

what you see when you make the hike to the building site at top of hill.

A very pretty view from the top with Ute Mtn over there somewhere.




The walls had a ton of information on them too.

For my friends who sew, knit, quilt or weave, I was happy to see a loom and a display of what natural things were used to dye the yarn.  There was also a display where they showed how they used to slice turkey feather quills open and glue them to sinew and weave them into garments of various kinds. They did the same with rabbit leg furs. So innovative.

They used everything from onion skins to oak leaves, nuts and berries too.


Hanging from the left is a rabbit cape, next to it a turkey feather cape,
plus a good selection of awls, needles and scrapers.

The landscape is quite a bit drier here. This is Sleeping
Ute Mountain @ approx 10,000', his head is to the left.

This web site does a better job, with better pictures, of describing the Visitor's Center/Museum and it's property.


Another "must do" was to make a trip to Hovenweep Nat'l Monument and the surrounding areas. Even though Mesa Verde is also in this general area, we decided to give it a skip since we had both been there before and we were concerned about crowds. 

We packed a lunch and planned a loop drive to and around the Hovenweep site. The following snippets are courtesy of the National Park Service website.

<snippets>

The towers of Hovenweep were built by ancestral Puebloans, a sedentary farming culture that occupied the Four Corners area from about A.D. 500 to A.D. 1300. Similarities in architecture, masonry and pottery styles indicate that the inhabitants of Hovenweep were closely associated with groups living at Mesa Verde and other nearby sites.

Most of the structures at Hovenweep were built between A.D. 1200 and 1300. There is quite a variety of shapes and sizes, including square and circular towers, D-shaped dwellings and many kivas (Puebloan ceremonial structures, usually circular). The masonry at Hovenweep is as skillful as it is beautiful. Even the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde rarely exhibit such careful construction and attention to detail. Some structures built on irregular boulders remain standing after more than 700 years. 

There were a few building sites both near and far (hiking). We only did the near ones, which weren't nearly as elaborate as the towers and it's surrounding buildings. All in all though, a good visit, although from my perspective, I enjoyed the displays in the Visitor's Center more than just seeing these ruins.  It was a nice loop drive that took just a few hours.

The view of these closer buildings was a pleasant stroll,
the towers are seen in the distance.

Our time was up and we decided to head to Glenwood Springs on the way up to Rustic, with the thought being that we could get all set-up and shopped-up before the Memorial Day weekend. 

Thanks for visiting!


Monday, May 30, 2022

Driving southwest to Ouray, Silverton and Durango.

The weather around the 23rd was predicting snow over most of Colorado so we made a reservation at a B&B in Durango for 2 nights and headed that way. We had a snowy drive through Ouray, but the roads were dry, thank goodness no ice or chains required! 

Snowy ride through Ouray



Check out this route through the mountain range between Ouray and Silverton!


It was a nice drive down from Paonia and we were welcomed at the Country Sunshine B&B where we had a nice room for a couple of nights.

The Aspen Room


Here's our view from our room, the deck you see is on the bank of the Animas River. Not a very sunny day, but the grounds were sure peaceful.


View from the Aspen Room @ Country Sunshine B&B.

The next day was sunny and bright, so we did some small touring, had a good burger at the James Ranch Grill, and I made a shopping stop at Honeyville, (a local bee attraction & shop), for some lemon flavored whipped honey, (and cinnamon too).  One spot we checked out was the Butch Cassidy Bridge, from the famous jump scene in the movie. What a gorgeous view of the Animas River! You had to be there, the picture doesn't nearly do it justice.

Animas River, Durango, CO




We also checked out the Lemon Reservoir, one of the many we saw whose levels were low. The area by the reservoir had a huge grassy meadow upon which there were a few people practicing obedience training with their dogs - always a treat to see a well-behaved dog/person combo. 

Lemon Reservoir, looking pretty low at this, the shallow end.


Another reservoir we perused was the Vellecito Lake Reservoir. It too was low, but what a lovely spot to have a lake house. (I'll bet the prices are sky-high during this housing boom.)  

It was a short but sweet stay here in Durango which we enjoyed if just for the great drive through the mountains. Next up we head even further west to Cortez. Stay tuned.