Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Magnificence of the mountains......

Thanks to all for your kind words of condolences at the passing of my mother.    As the ever-eloquent Jan (P's wonderful sister) wrote....."you are never too old to be a mother-less child."   A celebration of her life will be held next month.   

We are currently in a most favorite area of the country.    Colorado is diverse and stunning and magnificent.   It begs one to get out and be a part of it.     We left Denver and drove south and then west and settled in Pagosa Springs.    It is a small community, near a ski resort and the hot springs.    We are at Wolf Creek Run, in a pretty site with view of the creek and aspen.   
Yesterday, we headed 50 mi west to has grown significantly since our last trip.    Not as 'wild west' looking as I remembered.    We stopped at the Saturday morning Farmer's Market and found some fresh squash, spinach and garlic.    Then we headed north ...............   I took 290 pictures......I'm sharing about 15 of them and it was very hard to just pick these.    Most of them are "right out of the box" with only a couple lightened or enhanced a bit.    


 The San Juan Mtns are magnificent.   More rugged and 'newer' than the eastern  Rockies.

 The road is slow, with switchbacks and hairpins and 10-15 MPH speeds in many areas.   There are no guardrails and the shelf roads are narrow and intimidating......there are warning signs about the danger.....and yet............RV's make this daunting drive...all sizes including ones as long and wide as ours.    I would have to crawl in a fetal position on the bed if anyone ever suggested trying it.   Between Silverton and Ouray, it is called the Million Dollar highway as that is the reported cost for 1 mile when it was built in the '20's.    There is a nice tribute to 3 men who were killed in past years in their snowplows keeping the road open.

 Our purpose was to return to Ouray.    Many many many years ago, well, about 25, we had  a place for a week and rented Jeeps and spent our days on the high mountain trails both terrified and amazed.   The boys and a very pregnant Jenna joined us and it was an unforgettable time.  
 Ouray was settled in the 1870's when most of these buildings were designed.    It is nestled among
 these towering walls.   This area is known for its "alpen glow"....when the  setting sun causes a glowing off the rocks.  
 The first snowfall has frosted the peaks.
 This final picture was taken with my new iPhone 5....using the panorama mode, I was able to take a 180 degree view ....   It is dark and not that great but you get the idea.

If you ever need to be awed, plan a trip to the western mountains this time of year and prepare to be humbled by it's beauty.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

September 25, 2012

Yesterday, as we marveled at Nature's finest season in the mountains, I thought of my mother frequently.       She tirelessly tended the flowers  and plants that bloomed and blossomed with her care.     She scoffed at those who dwelled on their  worries and anxieties and said she dealt with her frustrations by pulling weeds.    She shared a long marriage with my dad and never quite recovered when he was gone.     
   She listened to many at the kitchen table as they came for her counsel and she volunteered to brighten the days of the elderly .   She cooked plainly but the cookies were abundant.    She saw generations of grandkids and great-grandkids grow and do well.    She was short and tiny but only in stature.....She was vigorous and spunky and stubborn.     She lived a wonderful life, happiest in her garden.     Today, after almost 92 years , she moved on to another place of beauty..........

Monday, September 24, 2012

Catching up in Colorado......

No, we didn't drive off a cliff.....just enjoying family and our favorite Colorado views and places.   For all of you campers out there, be sure and check out Chatfield St Park for a first class camping experience.   Full hookups and stunning views.      Except, the foothills and mountains are totally obscured by wildfire haze from fires in other states.     This was the view early one morning 
from our campsite......!

We arrived just in time to share in the joy of Nicholas and Kelsey as they announce their engagement.   They have been together for over 6 years so it was no surprise but we are delighted to welcome Kelsey officially and look forward to the wedding next Thanksgiving.    And boy, do we feel OLD now......Nicholas is still a 2 year old with cute curls in his grandmother's eyes....not a 24 year old engineer !     And we loved reuniting with our own Fairy Godmother once again.   Becca is back at CSU and growing into a beautiful woman but still has that pixie dust twinkle in her eye.   Alex was away for the weekend but not before he played 18 holes with his grandfather.....who called for an infusion of Motrin halfway thru and then went on to play a really good round.     Lizzie, at 14 has blossomed and grown up......I remember well carrying her around the house strapped to my chest while I tended to her siblings when the parents were away.   Ah, time.....fleeting at this age but the memories are brilliant.  
Next week, we will head towards Albuquerque ( try typing that fast ! ) for the Balloon Fiesta.    Mike and Jenna and the kids have crewed for a family of ballooners for several years but we've not been able to meet up with them before......  on Saturday, we joined them, very early, to watch the process.

Chatfield has a designated area for balloonists so we didn't have to drive very far.   

Smooth landing.......The balloon is piloted by Marnie and her husband.....  she is the daughter of the famous balloonist  ( Dr Carol Davis )who was lost 2 years ago over the Adriatic Sea..... We followed the race and the devastating news  on our blog  during those sad days. (Sept 29, 2010 if you care to check my posts).     The balloon that they are currently flying represents the Denver flag.  

We have frequented favorite haunts and had some really good food.    This was my pizza the other night.....outstanding flavor from those little heirloom tomatoes.    Last night it was Mexican while watching the Broncos .............wonder if they still consider the $95,000,000 they are paying Peyton to be worth it !!
Today, we are heading into the mountains to take in the breathtaking beauty of the changing aspens.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Taking a break in the middle.........

We're in the heartland of the country altho it's more like the FLAT land of the country......We've driven many miles these past few days and are able to see the landscape for miles and miles.    The corn is dried up and the flelds are fallow now and  we never seem to catch the horizon.    After New England hills and narrow windy roads, the straight interstates are a welcome change and the long distances don't seem so fatiguing.     I've had the camera by my side but haven't seen much that was blog-worthy.    Altho, at one rest stop, this racing boat certainly caught our eye.    Not sure if you can make out the painting but it is of the interior of the boat as if the skin was ripped away..    It also caught the eye of the Highway Patrol as they were walking around it with a measuring tape and later, wrote out a ticket or warning or something.    Assuming it was too long and too wide.    

We are currently loafing in Topeka, Kansas.    We've enjoyed the downtime these past couple of days.    Today it rained but weather looks good for our departure tomorrow.    We'll take two more days to cover the 550 miles to Denver.
We're staying at the Deer Creek Valley RV Park .    The first thing you notice when you get close is the hill you need to go 18% grade !!!   It gets your attention but it is short.    The next thing is the amount of concrete from the entry and throughout the park.    It is all very nice, with grass between the wide open sites.   We later found out that the owner also owns a concrete company.....!   Campgrounds in the East tend to be older and heavily treed and rather cramped at times.....but out here, everything has plenty of space.

Yesterday we had a visitor perched on the slick side of the coach.   He was about 2 inches long and a nice shade of green.
I had a couple more pictures to add but Google is telling me that I've run out of picture storage and need to buy more.....either $2+ or $4+ / month, depending on amount.    Has anyone else had to do this ??  Seems like there must be another way.....maybe if I deleted some .....  I'll have to do some searching around to figure this out.       

Time to put on my Bronco shirt and settle in for Monday Night Football................

Friday, September 14, 2012


We spent a couple of days in Pa, near Hershey, in order to wander the Hershey RV show.   We stayed at Twin Grove CG which is a wide open area with great spaces and internet and satellite...two of our must-haves.....but we aren't always so fortunate.    Anyhow, we spent much of the day at the is overwhelming at times and would take days to take it all in.   Of course, we toured the newest and best at the Tiffin section (and still like ours the best) and viewed the Entegra brand....very very nice but we still like ours and peeked into a Newmar (if you have to ask the price, you can't afford it) and we still liked ours the best.   We window-shopped the vendors and found nothing we needed.   We sat in on lectures about satellites, solar panels and fitness.    We caught up with the Maritime travelers again and had lunch and laughs with Dean and Diane and Cay and Ron.    Cay's name was announced for all to hear that she had won a drawing !   Excitement reigned until she came back with a HAT !!     We did manage to get a 3 night stay at a resort on the border of Virginia/North Carolina that looks nice.    The owner was more enthusiastic about our interest after learning we had a new coach as they are restrictive on the age and type of coaches allowed in.   Actually, we weren't that interested, just stopped for a free pen and walked away with the free nights.  
We had a campfire with Dean and Diane and said "See ya down the road" and we headed West.   After  350 miles, we stopped at Wolfie"s CG in Zanesville, OH.    We have about 6 days to get to Denver and hopefully, can take a break or two along the way instead of driving 300 miles each day.   But with both of us driving, it's not so tough as long as the construction zones and narrow tunnels are kept to a minimum.   I was driving when we came to one of those tunnels....two-way traffic and about a foot between that huge truck in the opposite lane and me and the wall on the other side......I didn't look at anything except the blue tape on the windshield and the center line and kept them lined up......and hoped those trucks didn't move over even an inch.  
The nights are cooling off and it is delightful......we keep warm with a big fluffy down blanket.   But, I do like to crawl into a pre-heated bed.   I picked up an electric blanket and it worked fine....for one night !   Took it back and got another.    It worked just fine as well.    Then we disconnected from the electric at the CG yesterday morning and I walked thru the coach and smelled something very electrical.   Smoke was pouring out of both controls and it was making popping sounds.    It took just a minute to disconnect it and throw it all out the front door.     The electrical wizard that I travel with figured out that those outlets are powered by the inverter and the modified sine wave inverter that we have can't power the blanket in that mode (don't I sound like I know what I'm talking about?)    We'll take this one back as well and figure out what to do next.   Either never have the blanket plugged in except to warm up the bed while we are in the coach....or get a different inverter (read $$$) or forget about pre-heated beds and try a warm brick instead.  

Saturday, September 8, 2012

September and the living is easy.......

We left the South to escape the heat and humidity.....we managed to lose the heat but the humidity seems to hang out everywhere.....especially this week in Connecticut.    The day we leave, fall is moving in and we'll just miss the perfect weather.   Hopefully, it will travel West with us.  

I neglected to show the Scouts in all their parade finery last week.   
 A highlight of our stay here was getting together with one of my very favorite people.   In another life, I think she would have been the daughter we never had......she would have been called Michelle as that was the name I had picked out for a girl and we would have called her Shelly (after a classmate in college) but instead, she became a friend called Nancy.      We don't see each other much nor talk as much as we'd like but she's just a wonderful mother, superb nurse and great friend.    And she and Michael really really need to come to Florida and play golf and relax with us. !!
We're getting ready to roll once again.....yesterday, with the knee behaving better , I cleaned and cleaned the MoHo from top to bottom and everything in it.....  We'll head to the Hershey area for the HUGE RV show and meet up with Dean and Diane around the campfire.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day Weekend......New England Style

We spent most of our  years in Newtown living across the street from Lake Lillinonah.    We had a ski boat and we spent many  hours  on the lake, skiing , picnicking, tubing and sharing it all with friends.  And now, we are able to return to the lake and it's familiar inlets and hillsides.     

 Jon has a new boat and two excited boys to share it with.  

 This lake was formed by a dam across the Housatonic River in the 50's.   It is long and narrow in parts but that only adds to its beauty.   This point is the famed Lover's Leap where  Princess Lillinonah leaped to her death when she was unable to be with her Indian brave from an enemy tribe .... (I'm sure it's a true story!!)
 Newtown has a long tradition of having a parade on Labor Day.    This year was the 51st year for this Americana event.    In all of the 34 years we lived here, I doubt that we missed more that a couple.   Seems like some of us were always marching or blowing up balloons or making floats for it.    AND , until last year, the parade had never been rained out..... but last year a hurricane made a mess of things.
 The chairs are carefully placed in chosen spots the night before and the crowds start lining up 90 min before.
 There were large bands.........
 And several bagpipe bands

 And Civil War reenactors....
 And fife and drums......

The Democrats followed the horses and had to side step a bit..........the Republicans had a good time with that .......
Our favorite Cub Scouts
 More fife and drums.....
 Portuguese dancers
 Moses showed up......
 As did the ever popular Shriners in their tiny noisy cars.....
 A beautiful stagecoach.......

And  the Septic Company's  large colorful truck was at THE END !!