Friday, July 31, 2015

Crested Butte

This week, we spent a couple days over in Crested Butte....about 2 hours from here.   Like many of the small western ski/destination towns, it is a bit funky with exaggerated local color (both in paint and people).   It's very popular with the mountain biking crowd.   ATV, Jeeps, horses and hikers and bikers all compete for the same areas.    We went on a short stroll above a meandering river with a goal to view wild flowers but altho they were fairly plentiful, the variety was limited.    It was a nice walk with a small waterfall and aspen grove for a cool respite. 


 All of those assorted straps attached to my backpack are for a device to hold my heavy camera.    Found it on Amazon and it was reasonable and it actually works.    No more sore neck from the camera strap.    And it's easy to slip it out of the bracket to take a pic and feels secure if I bend or jostle around.  

 That night the group voted to go to a family style all-you-can-eat-fried chicken restaurant.    So, I called ahead and asked if they had any offerings for our way of eating.    She said she had steamed potatoes. I asked about veggies, salad.    She said no, it all has cream and butter in it and no salads.    Then she said, "but we have a plate charge and you can bring your own food !"     We prefer not to let our choices interfere with our social life so this seemed like a good option.       We stopped at a Trip Advisor  recommended Mexican take-out and got huge veggie burritos to put on our $11 plate !!!     This Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, white gravy, biscuits, creamed corn and cole slaw eatery didn't get a very good rating on Trip Advisor but they all seemed to enjoy it and served family style, the supply was endless.     So much so, that cold fried chicken and biscuits were the lunch on the next day's hike.   (we had PB&J)

The next morning we headed out to West Maroon trail, about 45 min out of town.   Bonnie suggested that if we had lots of energy and a full day, we could walk to Aspen.
The road was scenic and the morning started out pretty cool.    It was 35 degrees at 7 am.   The previous night when we got back to our room, it was stuffy despite an open door to the balcony.   So P called the desk and said he didn't think the A/C was working.    The nice young lady said gently  that there was NO A/C in Crested Butte...... color us spoiled.
It was a crystal clear day and we warmed up quickly.     The trail moved gradually upward at a nice pace considering we were around 10,300 ft and climbed up to over 11,000.  

We were surrounded in color the entire hike.    Everywhere we looked were masses  of yellow and clusters of purple and rose and white. 


Standing quietly by the fence,
you smile your wondrous smile.
I am speechless, and my senses are filled
by the sounds of your beautiful song,
beginningless and endless.
I bow deeply to you.
       I like this  flower poem  .... from the book "Peace Is Every Step", by Thich Nhat Hanh

What a privilege to walk among the glories of nature...

We took a  scenic jeep trail back to town.    A perfect day.  

And never far from our thoughts are the hopes that very special friends will be able to join us next year...................

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Come along on a jeep ride.......

My brother Tom and his wife, Regina, are riding along on our Jeep rides.    They live in the foothills of the Sierra's  of California and Tom has a photographer's eye for the perfect shot.   And a very good camera as well.    Most every day, we have been high up on the trails despite gloomy rainy weather.    I'm sharing some of his pics and some of mine.    They headed home today.   

A delicate mariposa lily just opening up............

It's wildflower season in the high country and Mother Nature is wearing her best finery.

On Monday, five  4X4's and their Cobble Creek owners took to the trails.    Led by Randy and Gisela (in the red Jeep ) and tiny Beau (an adorable little furry mix of a dog), we headed out to explore Corkscrew and Hurricane Pass Trails.    They are rated fairly easy with enough bumps and water splashing to make it a bit exciting but no scary-close-your-eyes places.......well, except for the main road of 550  going over the Million Dollar Highway.

We climbed up to about 11,000 ft for our views of Red Mountain #1 and #2.   Always a Kodak moment.

This is a geranium........yes it is !

These trails reflect the thriving silver boom in the late 1800's with deteriorating wooden structures and large iron equipment that boggles the mind as to how they got it up to 12,000 ft.

Breathtaking (literally) at nearly 13,000 ft on Hurricane Pass.

SueEllen is a reluctant adventurer but gamely tries most things.    This was her first Jeep outing and at one point she said she wondered if Matt knew what he was doing.   He apparently did as they followed the leader admirably and even kept the white Jeep clean.

The other side of Red Mountain......

A tiny alpine flower aptly named Spring Beauty.

Lake Como below Hurricane Pass.....still has ice on it.

As we wound down towards Silverton we came upon Animas Forks.    A partially restored mining town, it is a popular short stop for lunch and breaks.     We opted to have a picnic in the foundation of an old building, filled with wild flowers..................and tiny biting flies.  

This tiny flower was just beginning to open up.    Our flower expert, Vera, said that the center will open up into a daisy-like flower with the fuzzy stuff mostly hidden.   I preferred it this way.     I am terrible at remembering names of all these delightful gems.     I have an excellent flower book but it's mostly just the fault of my aging brain cells.

The sun is shining again and we will be heading out for more of the intoxicating views.........maybe on foot as well.