Well today is the first day back to work since taking 13 glorious days of vacation. Actually I am ready to head back up to the mountains, even though it is a lot cooler here than when we left. I somehow miss the pastoral serenity of the mountains. There is something very peaceful about the order of things. Strange about order in the mountains, you never know what is around the next turn, whether you will see a wall of rock blocking your path or a beautiful valley that draws you into its heart.
Amore & Arrivederci For Now
Today Dave and I have been married for 37 years. Been together 39 years total. Go figure. In this day and age that is a rarity. Everything seems to be disposable these days.
No seriously, there is not a day that goes by that I don't count my lucky stars and thank God for giving me such a wonderful man. He is kind, gentle, considerate, warm, friendly, a great provider, a wonderful husband and a fabulous father. I could not have done better. I sometimes wonder how he has put up with me for all these years. But we both give and take, we both share the same interests. Although our signs say that he is fire and I am water we have mixed very well like paint and canvas creating a beautiful picture. I am honored to be his wife, helpmate and lover. He has given me more than I could have ever asked for, and for that I am thankful.
Amore and Arrivederci For Now
It was good to sleep in my own bed. Did not get up until about 10:30. Was able to get up and walk like a normal person. Thank goodness the temperature outside had cooled off some. Christie had made coffee so I went and got a cup. It was good. Now to unpack the car and put things away and start getting laundry done. All the fun stuff after a vacation. Dave asked if we wanted to go to the 3:55 P.M. showing of Harry Potter. I said "no" as I was too tired and would not enjoy it. Maybe tomorrow.
We took the car to a service shop and they plugged their little outboard computer into it and the "service engine light" was indicating that the car needed to have the catalytic converter looked at. If we had known that we would have continued on up to Leadville for that "mountain pleasure" "comme ci, comme ça" .So tired but came in and read Bobbie and Jim's Blog and thought I can do this. So that is how this blog of Musings came about. I more than likely will not write in it much except for the special occasion here and there, until we get out on the road. But you never know I might surprise myself.
I hope you have enjoyed following along with our story of our first vacation in some time and the pictures we took. It has been fun! Until next time...
Amore and Arrivederci For Now
|Big Meadow Lake|
We planned to meet Jim and Bobbie and go to breakfast in town. Got dressed and went to knock on their door. Jim answered and said to give them 30 minutes or so as they were just stirring. Seems they had a bad situation in the campground last night and had to call out the sheriff and stayed up all night to make sure the person did not come back. This is what all the car lights and flashlights were about. I felt sorry for Bobbie as she looked whipped as did Jim, and they had a long busy day ahead of them.
We went over to the lake and watched an early morning fisherman float the lake in his tube. The lake was so still, it was like glass and the reflections beautiful. Dave took some more shots. Some of the animals we have encountered at Big Meadows have been deer, chipmunks, a weasel (I had never seen one before, they are quite small and very fast), hummingbirds and marmots, lots of marmots or as they are better known as whistling pigs. What we have not encountered is bear, moose and elk, thank goodness. If you ever get this way be sure to stop at Big Meadow and take time to take in the view and experience the solitude and wonder of this great country and what it has to offer you.
I will miss this place and boondocking. It is so beautiful and peaceful and cool here. A great place to escape the heat of Oklahoma. We are finally packed. We went and said our goodbyes. Bobbie and Jim will be coming through to visit the Ramirez's around the 13th of October and promised to come by and see us.
We discovered that we had a lot in common. We both like to have the occasional glass of wine. We both love opera, are artistic, see objects and faces in everyday items. You
|Me and Bobbie, my new friend!|
|Christie's thinking rock which is taller than me!|
I remember when the girls were younger they loved camping here, they had so much fun and didn't want to leave. There is so much to see and do. No wonder children love it here.
|Moss in bloom|
As we were leaving the area I had been wanting to shoot pictures of the moss in bloom. Now I have my chance. I think I got some great shots.
We pressed on through the rest of the day and into the night. Fixed Peanut Butter sandwiches and had chips while the car was in motion. We stopped and got gas in Clayton, NM. I did a little driving so Dave could take a break and get some rest I made it all the way to Dumas, Tx, I'm proud of myself as I am not a night time driver. We made the decision not to stop except for gas and to also take the longer route home down through the panhandle of Texas to Amarillo and across into Oklahoma, as there was cell service should we run into trouble. We did stop to take a break in Dumas, TX at a DQ around 10 P.M. We pressed on into Amarillo which was getting ready to get hit by a big thunderstorm. Somehow we managed to miss it.
Jim soon came to say the tow truck was on its way and was coming. Dave and Jim went down to get the food box, ice chests, books, my jeans and take the hitch rack off the back of the car. Boy what a mess.
Got coffee fixed, put fuel in stove and fixed myself some peanut butter honey toast for breakfast. The first piece I fixed I held the bread over the flame with the tongs, the second one I did, I put it on the griddle. It was great!. Yum! could have some more but won't. Am going to read now.
Dave came back to say they were getting ready to leave and he showed me how to change out the photo card on the camera. He is off now. Blew him a kiss and told him I loved him.
Bobbie and I are off to the Farmers market in South Fork this morning. Bought some blueberry, strawberry rhubarb and sweet jalapenos Jams made locally, and an Amish Cookbook, what else is new with me. Purchased some cute pot scrubbers and sun visors. Picked up a few things from the grocery store, one of them being bread.
Amore and Arrivederci For Now
Darn! the car quit just as we pulled into the turn off for the campground, thank-goodness it didn't happen up on the pass. A very nice lady by the name of Becky who is from San Antonio, gave me a ride to Bobbies. She is staying in South Fork this year but came up to look at the campgrounds, said that it must be a God thing that she was there to help us. Jim has gone down to give Dave a tow back to the campgrounds. I am making the rounds with Bobbie as she collects the money from the campers who have not paid and telling new campers about the campground rules of "quiet time". The campground is "Full" for the first time since 4th of July and Jim and Bobbie are quite excited about it.
Found out that Jim is a retired radio man, did everything at the station and a was volunteer firefighter for Alamosa, Co. Bobbie is a retired media person from the library in Alamosa. They have been married for 25 years, and have been full-timers for two years now. Sold everything and hit the open road. They have been living their dream. Both Dave and I have been in the radio business so know what it's all about.
Amore & Arrivederci For Now
This is the scene that greeted us when we got down to the shore of the lake. Who could not love this?
There were ducks out on the lake lazily paddling around feeding. There were some hikers off in the distance. The water was so clear. The wild flowers leading up to the lake were just dazzling. After getting back to the car we then decided to follow the road on up to
the Upper Beaver Reservoir 4 miles higher up in the mountains and captured this picture on the way back. There are camping sites all along the road. I love camping in the tall pines. Something about it is very relaxing. After coming down off the mountain we decided to head on back over to Pagosa Springs this time we stopped at the Scenic turnout to take some pictures.
In this shot it is a long ways down and if you happen to make a misstep... apparently someone did and we found a flower memorial stuck in the fence. How sad. The fencing is in need of repair there. I think they need more fencing around the area. A lot of the area us unprotected. But the view is spectacular.
On our way down we stopped so Dave could take my picture and a very nice gentleman asked if he could take the picture for us and we said yes. As it turns out he is a Forrester from Arizona and he was commenting on how this particular area of forest was dying and without fire it would not renew its self, that basically, man was killing it by not allowing it to burn. He said the forest was about 100 years old. Very interesting guy, to bad I did not get his name. The Forrester also told us that the cankers that you see on this tree indicates that you don't want to put a chainsaw to it as it will collapse on you. Apparently it's already hollow and very dangerous. he actually said not to even touch it as it could collapse on you.
We then went into the vestibule of the church, an Adoration service was in progress so Dave shot the body of the church through the windows in the doors of the vestibule. I thought that the etched hands in the glass of the doors made a rather interesting picture.
Amore & Arrivederci For Now
Had a restless sleep. Dave woke up around 4 with a headache and I hogged the bed. Hmmmm Bad Me! He took some Tylenol and went back to sleep, I got up around 6 and fixed coffee and shot some pictures of the critters. Dave has been teaching me how to use the camera and change out the lenses so I have been having fun with it.
Here are some of the pictures that I took. This is a series of early morning shots at the campsite. I thought that the color of these clouds were especially nice since the sun was just starting to come up over the ridge of the mountains. It was very early and the campground had yet to stir. Quiet time is between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.
This little fellow was enjoying some Bing cherries that had become a little too ripe. (Fermented) He was a little wobbly as he left his perch. Actually it was somewhat funny to watch him. At one point he sat and barked at me with a woeful voice, it was like he was trying to hold on to his perch with all his might while chewing me out for making him drunk from Bing cherries...too funny!
There was plenty fodder for the fire. I managed to get it started with a single sheet of newspaper. It is so pretty here. We saw a weasel last night inspecting the wood Dave brought back then it chased off a chipmunk. Apparently chipmunks are on their diet. I did not know weasels were yellow with black tipped tails and very small. I found out that their diet consists of chipmunks and the one we saw was chasing a chipmunk. I love the play of light amongst the trees. The filtration of the morning light is nice. If you see red marks on the trees it means that they are going to be removed once the campground has closed for the season. They are going to install a water system for the area and enlarge the lower loop to accommodate more handicapped campers. Our stimulus dollars at work.
We spruced up a bit around the campsite and then we went in for breakfast around 11:30. A little late for breakfast but the girls at the Coffee shop accommodated us. Definitely a Facebook must. Love those Buckwheat pancakes.
Heading into Alamosa today for gas and ice. Wal-Mart time, going to get some tomato soup to have grilled cheese & soup for lunch. Going to take it easy today and do some reading and just rest. Had another bout with Travelers D yesterday, sure makes you feel punky. Hmmmm...Just the word Punky made me think about the time Christie, many moons ago had to have Punky Brewster Shoes. Just got a call from the girl again, had to transfer more money into her account to keep her from overdrawing. She needs to get a job. She said she killed two wasps today out by the trailer. She also said that all the theatres at the Warren were sold out for Harry Potter for the midnight showing. Drove back to the campsite and along the way we stopped at a DQ in Monte Vista and got chocolate malts MMMMMM Good!
Dave built a fire and I started reading. Am trying to finish my book "Shelters of Stone" by Jean M. Aule. Took a break and fixed dinner, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Tomato Soup & Baby Dill Pickles with Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips. Good Stuff Maynard! Had a real treat this evening, Marshmallow and a friend came into camp this evening. One of our neighbors Frank, from Tuttle, OK walking his Cocker spaniel "Chelsea", dropped by to chat and pointed out the two bucks that were laying down in the grass up by the outhouse that I had just departed from. They then got up and moved into one of the campsites where the people were feeding them marshmallows. One was a 6 point and the other and 8 point buck. it was a delight to see the two of them. I went back to my book as Dave put another log on the fire. It was overcast so no stars tonight. It got cool enough for me to move into the car to finish reading my book. I am ready for the next and last book in the Earth Children Series. Went to bed at 10:10 P.M.
Amore and Arrivederci For Now
Went over Wolf Creek Pass and the Great Continental Divide to Pagosa Springs. Stopped at the ranger Station and purchased a book on Colorado Wildflowers and a wildlife guide. Dave happened to overhear 3 guys talking bout hiking and such with the Ranger and thought to himself, professor types. He wanted to go over and ask them were they taught, but he resisted.
Saw a Colorado Blue Bird, sad to say Dave did not get a picture of that one. But he did get pictures of the hummingbirds. Ruby Throats, Broad tails and Grey Hummingbirds.
We finished dinner and headed back to the campsite, built a nice fire, our first, and reminisced about the day and watched the stars pop out in the evening sky. Then we retired for the night.
Got camp secured and went into town for breakfast around 9. Went to the Feelin Good Coffeehouse and Cafe. Lots of people there and the staff seemed swamped. They had a large mission group in from Kansas for breakfast. The group is in South Fork building a church. Unless the food is super this one won't go on my Facebook site. However I will say the coffee is really good. So far the food is good and plenty. Had one egg over medium, hash browns, bacon and a buckwheat pancake, Dave had the same. Service is just a tad slow although the coffee kept coming. Just found out that the place just reopened last week and they haven't got their system down yet. Will give it a C for now. We will try it again tomorrow to see if there's any improvement.
After we passed 30 Mile Campground which is below the dam we finally stopped at a fishing site and had our picnic lunch. Dave had some pickles, cheese turkey slices and a peanut butter & honey sandwich. I had a turkey sandwich which Dave said looked like a Dagwood sandwich. I didn't think it was "that big" We took lots of pictures of the valley and lake. Spent time looking for a rock that I saw on the way up that was a beautiful green with a rust red stripe across the top. It was like trying to find a needle in a huge haystack. We never did find it. It would have been perfect to take back home for our garden. There is not a good way to show how big these boulders were, but if I were to stand beside one I would be dwarfed by them. This is the deepest part of the lake. Believe me when I say it is a long ways to the bottom as I have seen this thing empty 20 years ago. It's amazing to see water in it now.
This is the Rio Grande river heading out through the mountains onto the plains. It looks like a gentle river but it is not. On the way back into South Fork we saw a little open car type of train for sight-seeing. It's a Silver Thread project that is yet to be completed. When it is it would be fun to come back up and ride it. We got back into South Fork and drove east to see what eatery places there were for dinner later on. We passed several that were closed and saw one called The Shaft. We had a big laugh over that one and wondered how people came up with these names. We then stopped at the malt shop and got a chocolate malt. It was good. Christie called to say hello. She was on her way back from Tulsa where she went up to see Heather & J at Uncle Frank and Auntie Karen's place. Karen made Grandma Teena's lasagna. Chris said she had two helpings of it. Russ was making chili for Frito Chili Pies for Monday for Heather and J. and the family. After calling Heather and J and wishing them Happy Anniversary we went on back up to the camp site. I piled the sleeping bag and comforter on top of each other on the sleeping mat and took a nap. I finally got comfortable and had a good snooze. Dave went down to the office to get firewood. Earlier in the day when Bobbie was calling over to Creede, I asked her what you had to do to become a full-timer. (A term meaning living out on the road full time) She was so excited that she gave me a book called "Take Back Your Life, Travel Full-Time In An RV", which is out of print now.Great Information! It was waiting for me when I awoke from my nap. Here is another one about how to work out on the road.We decided to go into town for dinner and saw Bobbie and her husband Jim and asked them where a good place would be for dinner. They both said The Shaft". We had a huge chuckle over that one. Dave and I split a chicken-fried steak dinner. It was very good, lots of food and filling. One leg of the table was held up by a stack of dinner plates. I never said these places were fancy, they just have great down home cooking. Went back to the campsite sat for a bit and looked at the stars. Wow what a day. Time to call it a night.
Amore & Arrivederci For Now
Had a crappy sleep until it cooled off inside the car. Yes we slept in the car. 4:30 A.M. woke up and watched a man put his boat together for a day of fishing, strange. Well back to bed. Woke up at 7:30 A.M., very cool outside. Ah the smell of the pine trees, sweet! I love that smell, makes you think of something very fresh and clean.
Trinidad - Finding a place to eat. The hotel manager recommended the Country Kitchen across the way, we went there and Dave had an immediate reaction to the musty air so we just got up and left. We went on into Trinidad and got gas for $2.41a gal. While we were filling up I looked off to my right and saw a ranger truck with a bear trap, so I had to have a picture with Bob the Ranger.
Ranger Bob said there were a lot of bears in town this year so he was staying busy catching bears. We then asked where a good place would be to have breakfast. He hemmed and hawed and said he lived there and couldn't recommend much but he did say there was a place where all the construction guys would go to eat. Bob & Earls up on route 12. It was good, good? It was Great! If you’re not careful you will drive by it. It is a small off white building that looks like its been added on to. The corn beef hash breakfast was awesome. Good home cooking. Worth every penny! Back in the car and headed up the Scenic Highway of Legends. Attached is a link so you can read about the Highway of Legends. http://www.trinidadco.com/Main/HighwayofLegends.asp It's an awesome drive and one of the most beautiful in Colorado. At the bottom of the Cuchara Pass is the entrance to the Blue Lake and Bear Lake (4 mile drive up the mountain) campground areas. It’s $13.00 a night to camp, $6.50 if you’re a Senior Citizen. Being 62+ has its perks. It brought back memories of 20 or so years ago when the girls were little. We took some pictures, they should be great.
The wild flowers up in the high country were spectacular. Colorado
had received lots of rain this past Spring.
While driving up to Blue Lake the scenery was beautiful. Around each turn in the road was a different picture worth taking. Dave got this shot of Orange Sneezeweed. I did not bother getting out of the car to check whether I was going to sneeze or not. I think Aspens are one of my favorite trees. The area was loaded with them. Dave and I get put out with people defacing the trees. We managed to find this one next to the road that had yet to be defaced.
It saddens me that people are not more protective of their environment.
This particular shot is an Aspen Grove dotted with Giant Red Paintbrush. Just to the right of this picture is a small canyon with a rushing brook. It would be quite a fall if you were to miss step. We arrived at Blue Lake. There were lots of people fishing. We then went to the campground to see if we could find the spot where we camped all those years ago. We had a little couple, The Longs, in our neighborhood that would camp at the blue lake campground and they were the ones that told us about the Spanish Peaks. They had a map on their wall that would let you feel the mountains and valleys of Colorado, so of course I had to get one.
The sun up in the mountains was hot but the temp was in the high 60's with low humidity. We came down off the mountain to the little town of La Vita, 88 degrees. Stopped at a road side stand at La Vita and got some honey from Pueblo, CO and Bing cherries. Yum! Just before you get to La Vita there is a natural arch in a rock formation. If you were to remove one stone the whole structure would come down. What is interesting it that this whole area of rock is only about 8 ' wide. Amazing that is has stayed in one place for all this time.
We got on the road again and headed to Monte Vista, went by a twin screen drive-in, the Star Drive-In on W. Hwy. 160 in Monte Vista, CO it had a two story motel built facing the screens, the motel is wired for sound and they will put you in a room of which movie you would like to see. Then we passed through Del Norte, who has a guy who does steel art.
Mr. Webb has some rather interesting stuff and he's very talented, all the main street light poles display his art work.
found out there's no water here so we had to drive back into South Fork for some supplies. Got back to camp and fixed Southwest Veggie soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner it was good. Had a delightful surprise, a young buck came bounding through the vegetation and came within 30 feet of our campsite. Dave got some awesome pictures of Marshmallow (We later learned that was his name given by the campers in the area). Decided to set up the tent and pull the sleeping mattress out of the car. I swear that silly deer was posing for us. He stood there for the longest time waiting for Dave to go get his camera. Our neighbors across the way came over and introduced themselves to us. That is the thing I like about camping. People are so friendly and if they see something out of the ordinary they get concerned. There seems to be a real brotherhood amongst campers.
I decided to take a break and do a little reading after getting camp set up and finishing up dinner. Dave was playing with his camera when he looked up and snapped this picture. It sort of says it all at the end of a beautiful day. What more could you want?
It's dark now, so time for bed. I'm tired and I know Dave is. I had my pedometer on and walked 3440 steps today. Need to do more of it. Trying to get use to this altitude at 9540 feet. Had a few raindrops fall from the sky, looking for good sleeping weather. It was a good day today.
Amore & Arrivederci For Now