Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Benign neglect........

In a minute, I would give up the blog.   Don't take it personally..... But if I did, I would have no way to remember what we did or didn't do or who we did it with and when we did it.   I depend on this feeble journal to keep track of yesterday, last month, last year and 8 years ago.   
So, when the mood strikes or the camera gets used or we do something worth remembering, I'll show up.     

Meanwhile, the Connecticut crew came to the West.     We spent a few days in Glenwood Springs, a charming picturesque community next to the stunningly beautiful Glenwood Canyon and the rushing Colorado River.    One time we said we'd want to live there..... I still could.    We stayed at the Hot Springs Lodge which is across the street from the world famous historic Hot Springs Pool and Spa.   

 The water bubbles out of the spring at a steamy 122 degrees.    Watered down a bit, one part is 104 degrees and the main pool is about 92-94.   It's only 3-4 feet deep but perfect for family fun.   And, you can bring in all sorts of floats and balls and such plus in the pic above, there is a large water slide.

Andy and Mason were either swimming or rafting or busy at the Adventure Park.    We had full days 

and fun evenings.    

 Pretty tulip from a bouquet I bought at the market.  

The 3 grandparents went exploring one afternoon up to a small community called Redstone.   There is a castle there but it was out of sight and we didn't want to pay the entrance fee so we had a nice lunch and enjoyed the spring flowers.  

 We've been busy but it's been good busy.    Paul played in a PB tournament in the next town over.    Two days of 100 degree unrelenting heat made for difficult conditions for players and spectators alike.    He and his partners  did really well in their divisions.
Somedays, I'm thinking I may give up golf and take up PB seriously.     I have only played golf ONCE since we got here and can't say that I've missed it one bit.    But most days, I just enjoy my morning 4+mile walk.     No hiking due to conflicts but were looking forward to a 3 day hiking trip the end of the month.      
Meanwhile, we're heading over to Denver tomorrow to help Lizzie celebrate 17 years, catch up with Nicholas and Kelsey who are home from Oklahoma City for a week or so and enjoy some fireworks.  

A view of the San Juan's one evening as the sun was setting....... I love those mountains.    

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A good walk...unspoiled..........

 If it's Wednesday, it's a choice between MahJong  at the Club or out in the grandeur of nature on a hike.    I chose the hike.    Paul chose neither and played PB.

The plan was to do the Keystone Gorge outside of Telluride.   Because of the melting snow and afternoon heavy rains, the San Miguel River was wild and loud and angry and impressive.    The trail follows the river, often
very close to the deafening turbulence.

We were going downhill but it was no easy feat.    The trail was narrow and rocky and eroding in areas so that it was only wide enough for our shoes and our poles.   Sometimes, we were at the river's edge.   Other times found us high up teetering on a narrow shelf.   It was not always for the faint of heart but I felt fairly secure and steady.
This boulder field was a challenge and was long and tedious.   A misstep would have been painful.

After about an hour + , we finally reached the sturdy bridge  and 

crossed over to begin the ascent up to a mining road and a return to our cars.   The climb up was STEEP and breathtaking....literally.     Frequent stops for respiratory therapy were needed.   This was not an easy hike, despite what the trail description said.    It was even recommended for families !   No way would I take kids on this, at least not in the spring with the high dangerous waters.   But it was exhilarating and challenging and a good days walk.     (Disclaimer:    I take all my pictures with the iPhone 6 Plus.   I can't deal with a big camera when I'm out and about (unless we are driving) and although I don't get decent flower pics, I'm fairly pleased with the rest....considering it doesn't weigh anything.)

I've been trying to broaden my repertoire of recipes.    There are unending sources of plant based inspired recipes and I've tried a few....some OK, some tossed and inedible and then, there's the occasional winner.     This is the making of a delicious stir-fry.    We served it over rice noodles but brown rice would have been equally tasty.    The meat-like strips are known as soy curls.   I just recently heard about them.    They are loaded with protein and made with just soy....nothing else.    They come dry and you reconstitute them in liquid.   I used soy sauce, made a nice stir fry sauce and it tasted like chicken.....really !!   Would be great as tacos, or in spaghetti or as pulled pork which apparently is the most popular use.    I don't think most people could tell that it wasn't meat.    I don't normally try and duplicate any meat product.     We just eat our whole food unprocessed starches, veggies and greens and are very happy.    But this was a good find.  

And speaking of cooking.............awhile back, we gave Jeff and Jennifer a couple of nice sharp Wusthof knives.    So now I feel a bit guilty and maybe a little responsible for this nasty slice that Jenn acquired ...... cutting a piece of MEAT !!   See, we told you that meat wasn't good for you!!   She'll be away from golf for awhile but hopefully, nothing permanent.    Heal fast Jenn.   

And, guess who came to Colorado today !!     Can't wait to see them in Grand Junction on Sunday.   

Sunday, June 14, 2015

It's all about the mountains......

Southwestern Colorado is a jaw-dropping, awe inspiring visual experience.     To see the beauty every morning on my walk makes me so happy and thankful.    This is the panorama that never changes and yet always changes.  

 But today, we were able to go into the heart of the San Juan's and the rugged peaks  surrounding Ouray     The Cobble Creek Hiking Club chose The Portland Mine trail.    The trailhead is at the edge of town and we were soon in a shrub oak and pine forest.    The views were stunning as we climbed

up and up and up.    Elevation gain was 1000 ft and the Overlook area was at 9200'.    It took us about 90 min to go up......that included stops to breathe and take pictures and stay hydrated.

There were a few wildflowers beginning to show their colors.    Above is chokecherry.   They are quite fragrant .    We had a tree when I was growing up and mother made the best chokecherry jam out of the astringent and bitter berries.   We only tasted them ONCE as kids.  

I was thrilled to see the Red Columbine.    It looks much different from it's relative, the state flower but is very impressive among the green.  

Altho the group starts out together, we end up getting spread out but always meet up for snacks.   This was at the Overlook, a view of the amphitheater formation that surrounds Ouray.   Paul is relaxing on the left.    Weather was perfect, in the mid 60's and mostly sunny.  

I hope you can see this message in the dirt.   Coming back down, we came a different way and altho there were directional signs most of the time, our group had concerns about taking the wrong trail.    But we shouldn't have worried.....our intrepid leaders left my name and arrows pointing the way at every fork.  

We hiked about 5 miles and a bit over 3 hours.   I would go back in a minute.    It was a perfect walk !

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


....... and the livin' is easy................

The summer concerts have started and we are right in the mix ...... first one was at the public golf course in town.   Great music and when you buy wine/beer in the local bank plastic cup, it looks blue.   

A week later found us at the park in beautiful Ouray, listening to one great all girl band and one not so great band of guys from Austin Tx who were described as an "Indie Band".   Not so much to our taste but the wine was good, the views spectacular.   Oggie insisted on being part of the picture.   We know Oggie well from last year's hikes and watching him grow from a small puppy.  

The rain/snow  in the mountains has been heavy and is keeping these jeeping and hiking enthusiasts to lower altitudes.    On Saturday, a bunch of us headed over to Dennis Weaver Park for some paved walking and one fairly dry loop that followed the Uncompaghre River.    It started out sunny but

by 11ish and after 4.5 miles, the dark clouds rolled in, the thunder started and we hustled back to the car.   I nearly had a coronary when a smallish but lively snake slithered across my path.    I didn't know I could be so 
nimble on my feet !! 

While I was out dodging creepy snakes, Paul ( in the red ) was involved in the Montrose Pickleball Tournament.   Rain forced it indoors.    He and his partner, Jimmy, played against this grandfather and his young teen grandson.    I chatted with the GF later.   They've just been playing 3 months and the kid is good at every sport he tries.   It was fun to see his youthful exuberance and he shows all the signs of being a very good player in the next year.    I loved that the GF didn't dress to impress !!
They lost all of their matches but I have no doubt they'll keep trying.    Meanwhile, P and his partners ( Tina in mixed doubles) won a few and lost a few.