Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Out where we belong..............

I am now a woman of leisure.    Thanks to the arrival of this clever Roomba, I no longer have to worry about dust bunnies under the beds and crumbs in the kitchen.     I had my doubts and couldn't get too serious about thinking that this was worthy of my $$$$ but I might be a convert.    I have no idea how it works.   The cleaning  seems totally random with no logical pattern.   It slows down when it comes near an obstacle, goes over area rugs (not our shaggy ones), maneuvers over most cords, sweeps up stuff in corners ( I deliberately put stuff down) and then goes back to it's dock when its done or low on battery.     It is a bit noisy so I close doors or run it when we are gone.    I can see how it would totally freak out a dog or cat.    It was a total extravagance and it wasn't MY idea !!!    (The best thing is the under the bed cleaning!)

Because we have so much extra time on our hands ..... well it's not that I actually spent a lot of time vacuuming, but you get the drift .....    we headed to the mountains.      Snow has come to the high country and we needed to be up close and personal. 

This is the gate to the Ralph Lauren ranch, 17000 acres of prime cattle country.    Last Dollar Road is a scenic unpaved backroad over to Telluride.  

 We passed by the iconic ranch barn featured in "True Grit".

Around 9000 ft we found snow and bare aspen and snow laden pines....and a muddy road.

 The snow became deeper ....  (and more blurry)...

 ....and then our plans had to change !    Where's  that chain saw when we really need it ??

 The aspen stands were worthy of remembering even without color..........

Cows by Lauren

We are watching the weather closely and preparing for departure.    I think we've shifted our leaving to a few days earlier due to predicted snows on the passes on the way to Denver.    We are, if nothing else, very flexible and not foolish about driving the house in snow and ice.     Time to get organized............

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Four letter words..........

FALL,    KIDS,   JEEP,    VIEW,    GOLF.....   maybe I should have chosen longer words to describe our week.....

Becca and Lizzie drove over the mountains and through the woods to grandmother's house this week.....Lizzie, still on a high from getting excepted into her first and only choice college (Northern State Colorado) AND a scholarship,  (obviously Grandmother genes ), spent part of her fall break driving the 5 hours from the Front Range to our Western Slope.    Aside from catching up and enjoying these special girls, we took the Jeep road to Telluride.    Color is fading but still worth the views to get out in this beautiful back country.   

Dogs are welcome most places but when their not, there's always a fence or post to let them wait by.

We saw political signs around touting the reasons why you should vote for "Glider Bob" but not all thought this was a good idea.   

A 'must do' when in Telluride is to ride the free gondola from the valley up to Mountain Village.    It's like taking the bus and saves on congestion, parking, gas and pollution by connecting the villages, the ski areas and Telluride.    It accepts bikes, ski's snowboards, strollers, dogs and old people.   It is smooth and quiet and each gondola will hold about 6-8 seated.    

This is the only picture I took of Becca and Lizzie....we thought about having a group pic taken while eating on the patio of the TomBoy (best vegan burger ever) but I failed at that as well.    
This is the view descending into Telluride...

They made the long drive back home the next day but we'll see them again soonly in Denver.

I actually played golf this week.....not well, not pretty but so good to get back out again.    The weather has been just glorious,   Colorado blue skies, near 80 and snow on the mountains for that added amazing touch to our favorite mountains.      But, all good things change and yesterday, the real fall weather showed up.     Snow in the high country and rainy predictions for the week ahead.

Our hiking group met in Ridgeway yesterday and Bonnie, who has great connections to the movie "True Grit",  showed us the scenes from the movie that were filmed there back in 1968.   Many buildings, now repurposed, are still alive and well.     It was chilly, windy and drizzly so we skipped the walk around town after hearing all about the movie and it's making in the town park under the gazebo.    Then it was to the True Grit Cafe.   Built after the movie, it contains memorabilia
 from  many of the John Wayne movies and Dennis Weaver TV shows.    Weaver had a home nearby and generously donated a large area for a beautiful park with sculptures and trails along the Uncompaghre River ( say that 3 times fast and then spell it ).      Anyway, it is a popular watering hole and we ate our fill..............Then it was off to Bonnie and Bud's beautiful home overlooking the San Juan's for a viewing of the original movie.     Never having seen it, I had no idea it was so violent or that the horses seemed to suffer injuries and great falls.   JW won an Oscar for the movie but I really couldn't see why......, Jeremy Slade, Robert Duval, Glenn Campbell in their younger years also were in it.   John Wayne wanted Karen Carpenter to play the female lead after hearing her sing...??  We enjoyed calling out mountain peaks and familiar distant hiking  areas and roads.    It was filmed in Sept and Oct and they weren't very consistent with their choices of backgrounds.    Starting out in aspen groves with few leaves, the next scene showed them in fully green aspens and then back to falling leaves again.     Some scenes were also filmed in California.      A fun evening.  

We're off in a few days for our annual hiking trip to Capitol Reef in Utah.    Weather is looking iffy with rain and much cooler temps so we'll see how much hiking we do and how much Jeeping we opt for.    But always a good time with friends.   

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Seasons change.......

 Before we left for California, we drove south of Ouray to get a quick look at the changing aspens.   They weren't fully at their peak but awe inspiring nevertheless.     Who would think that brilliant blue and golden yellow and shades of green could produce such wonder ?    It never gets old. I have gazillions of pictures of this same area but each fall there is a powerful draw to get out and see what nature's paintbrush has created once again.

Our drive back from California was uneventful.    We opted not to stop in Las Vegas.   We checked out the shows and there was no one of interest.     Elton John will be there later in the month and that is always tempting.   So we drove the long miles in 3 days.   The Nevada and Utah scenery is of endless open space and the wide and smooth highways make the driving  easy.

Fall definitely descended while we were gone and the mornings have a crisp and invigorating feel.   Saturday is hike day and the group plan was of a difficult and high altitude jaunt.    So, some of us opted for a visually breathtaking hike instead of just a breathtaking hike.     We headed south of Ouray again (the pictures above) and strolled along Crystal Lake.    Jessica decided we should get an early start (as we do all summer to avoid the hot sun and afternoon rain).    When we got to the trailhead it was 32 degrees and the sun had not come over the mountains .    We layered up and complained about frostbite but continued boldly forward.    Soon, we saw the suns rays beginning to appear and just as our fingers were about numb, it came over the mountain.    Red Mountain #1 and #2 ahead.

The lake was calm and mirrorlike.   Which way is UP ??     I actually rotated this picture and it's hard to see the difference.    The reflection is the one on top....

 The peak of color is over but still wondrous.   Most of the leaves can be seen by looking down.

The views aren't  too shabby out the back door either.   This large tree on the golf course shades our patio from the bright summer sun and is a noisy apartment for the birds.