Saturday, September 17, 2016

Change is in the air......

My two favorite guys.    

 We've totally moved in to the new digs.   It's spacious and comfortable but needs a few tweaks.   The front door needs painting, the fireplace is getting a facelift, the grey lavender wall color will be replaced with a warm beige ..... and the list goes on.  

Mike and Jenna drove over and helped tremendously.    This house was wired for a state of the art sound, TV, electronic system, circa 2008.    The equipment even has it's own little room.    The previous owner loved toys and we think he invested A LOT in this extremely complex system, requiring frequent house calls by the company.     The wife said she couldn't figure it out and had to rely on him to turn on the TV or change a channel....they left 5 TV's attached to walls.     Since it is all Microsoft equip, our first born and talented Microsoft employee spent many hours with his able assistant attempting to understand and make the system operable.    They succeeded and the learning curve is becoming less daunting.   I suspect that in today's world, all those X Boxes and cables would be replaced with one computer.  

 Friends of Mike and Jenna's were in the area so we all met up for some time in the hills.    Here, we are airing-down the tires before heading out.    This makes a big difference in the comfort level....from a jarring jangling ride to a bouncy rolling climb.    

Up above Red Mountain and down the other side  to have lunch in Silverton.  

The aspen are changing rapidly  and full color will be showing up before we leave.     We'll get out once more time to capture the wonder of it all.  

Plans, as of today, will be to leave on the !st and head to Florida.    We'll stop in SC for the annual RV maintenance and then hit the ground running to get the house ready FOR SALE.   We'll let the realtors handle it this time.
Meanwhile, we're putting on our boots and hats and heading to a barn dance tonight....yee haw !!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

August happenings....and a bit of September.......

Since last we talked.............. The Connecticut Crew arrived and I can now look up to Andy.    What a good looking kid with a mop of curly hair.    Mason is all about baseball and wears his Newtown team hat proudly.    They spent a day rafting on the Colorado ( I shopped in Glenwood Springs).

For some reason (probably operator error) I could not get pictures to go here....see them at the bottom.

Mary Beth and Jon hiked the iconic Hanging Lake trail (we did it years ago and might consider the challenge again).

The National Park service offers a scenic trip down Gunnison Canyon ...... in the late 1800's, an attempt was made to build a railroad thru this canyon but it was short lived.

This was the symbol for that railroad.....Note the peak in the distance and the one on the sign...same view.    The rail bed is now submerged but the Ranger talk of history, geology and ecology was interesting.    Some people resist this adventure because of the 232 steps down to the river and back UP.   Of course, Andy and Mason were first down and up!    But the old folks weren't that far behind.  

We've had busy busy weeks since their leaving.      Last week, we took a break from the house stuff and headed over to Mt Princeton Hot Springs Lodge.     We spent 3 days exploring the Collegiate Peaks from on high with 2 other Jeeps.   It was a perfect get-a-way.

After we came back to earth, we closed on the new house.     This is the great room with views of the golf course and the San Juan Mountains.
This kitchen needs a party!

Hanging Lake

 The FSBO on this house was successful with a hopeful closing the end of the month.....altho nothing is for sure until the paperwork is done.  
This is the best time of year.....well, spring and summer aren't bad either.....  fall is in the air and the leaves are turning.   Plan a trip west ( or east )....we have plenty of room !

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Summer Synopsis

It's been a busy summer.    Golf ( Couples and Ladies), Pickleball ( in the Cobble Creek groupings and with Montrose Rec Dept ( a beautiful new Rec Center will be ready in winter...yea !!  ),  Hiking with our Hiking Club friends in the stunning beauty of the mountains and Jeeping into the thin air of the mountain passes to revel in the carpets of amazing wildflowers and the unparalleled vistas.

That would be huge herds of sheep.....and if you get up close, they are smelly and dirty and really mess up the place.......


That's the shelf road down to room for passing....

Meanwhile, when we are having down time, we are enjoying the high-speed antics of the hummers at the feeder.  We have about 6 that are feeding all day and they do not always play nice.    They can be very aggressive and defend their habitats and feeders.    I think they are black chinned hummingbirds.   I can stand up close and personal and they seem to not even notice....but I do wear glasses to avoid a run in with that beak.  


And the BIG consuming summer activity has been the buying and selling of houses. ( altho the house seems to be a bit crooked, I think it was the photographer who was not quite awake )    We've been thinking of making some changes for awhile and have considered any number of options.    After all of the angst and pondering and hand wringing and a bit of wine,  we are in process......   We are selling this house and will sell the FL house (going back in Oct to get it listed) and we are going to combine all of our 'stuff' into one larger house just a few doors down the street here in Cobble Creek.     We are excited about staying in this wonderful part of the world but a bit stressed by all the changes and commotion that needs to happen.   We just feel like this is where we belong, surrounded by great neighbors and friends and nature at its best.   We will miss our Florida friends and neighbors and warm winters but  we probably won't spend too many snowy days here and look forward to exploring Arizona or Mexico or .......  

Sunday, July 3, 2016

When last we talked...............

.......we had just returned for the summer.   It was a bit chilly and breezy and we were happy to be back.     Fast forward a few weeks.....its now hot and sunny and dry and the wildflowers are ready to burst forth. 
    These are claret flowers on a small mounded cactus. 

Our first hike of the season was a nearby canyon.    It's been a challenge to find hikes as it is too hot at lower altitudes but the deep snow this year is keeping us out of the high country.  

 In the past two weeks, we've been able to get up into the mountains.    The snow is melting and those amazing  snow plow drivers have cleared the narrow roads.    The iron ore has colored the stream beds but the water runs crystal clear.  

On top of California Pass, we found the perfect place for our lunch with Gisela and Randy.    In the far far off distance, you can see the valley and Grand Mesa.

The miners were the real intrepid adventurers and most of the roads and trails are following in the footsteps of mules and men trying to make their fortunes.   

A week later, we headed to the thin air once again with friend Matt and Matt Jr who was escaping the soggy Houston air.    The snow had melted considerably and the ATV's , rental jeeps and dirt bikes with the tourists were out.
 Note the snow flow near the center of the picture.   We headed for the old mining town of Gladstone, then up and back into Velocity Basin for a picnic.  And up close and personal with that snow flow.

 Lake Como is coming out of it's winter hibernation and soon, the turquoise waters will reflect the towering mountains.   It is always a breathtaking sight.  

After the 4th holiday, we hope to try the other passes which are recently cleared.    There is NOTHING like being in the mountains.  

Except, maybe having success with a new driver.......NO...... I only tried it out.   And it worked wonderfully.    It is very light and the ball soared  higher than usual and farther as well.  (actually, I've never hit a ball and watched it soar but it did stay  above the grass )   I plan to start a GoFundMe site and  know you'll want to contribute to my happiness.!!

On a sadder note .... last month, a 17 yr old with his 17 yr old very pregnant gf, decided to breeze thru a stop sign and an intersection and meet me in the middle.  (no injuries thankfully).     Of course, he had no insurance....and of course , we have very good insurance.    Anyhow, initial estimates said $3-4000 to fix it.    And then they looked underneath at the bent rails and ended up TOTALING it.   We are not happy.   We liked that car.    We didn't name him Brad  but we really liked it.      And of course, being a low mileage 2011 with all the bells and whistles and driven by a little old lady,  they didn't even consider anything but what the book says and so we are out a bucket of coins if we want to replace with new.    For now, the Jeep is fine and we don't need two cars.....but it's not comfortable for longer rides and we'll have to consider a more permanent solution. 

Life is good out here in the southwest...... come visit !

Monday, May 16, 2016

Back where we belong..............

No news is good news.............

For whatever quirky reasons, I can't upload pictures so you'll have to use your imagination.

We made it to our Western abode about 10 days ago.     Our trip after San Antonio was uneventful and we planned to take a short break in AZ.     Jeff and Jen moved from their beautiful home on the Columbia River in WA to their equally lovely home in North Scottsdale.     So we had to enjoy the sunshine and the desert and the magnificent saguaros.    This mighty cactus is only located in the Sonoran Desert  ( Northern Mexico, SW Arizona and So California).    It is highly prized and protected and very slow growing so the stately tall ones are very very old.

To celebrate my lengthy stay on this earth, they treated me to a lighted sculpture show at the Desert Botanical Garden one beautiful evening.    Non-professional pictures just didn't capture the views.  After, we retired to their home to eat VEGAN chocolate cupcakes and Ben and Jerry's VEGAN ice cream.    Yes, it's full of calories but ........ How often do I turn 73 !!  

We so enjoyed our stay in the desert.    The varied restaurants, featuring fresh well prepared food, was a real treat.    The outdoor mall and a light lunch and sangria with Jennifer was special.    Hikes in the hills at the campground amid the flowering cactus was the best.    

We explored the many 55+ communities in the Phoenix area and were intrigued.    We met up with some RV friends who winter there and learned a lot from various sales centers.     No, we haven't committed to anything but we are thinking broadly about the next chapter in our lives.

AND, we had great fun reminiscing with my cousin Diane and husband Mark.   They live in Cave Creek which is next to No Scottsdale.      We grew up together in nearby states  ( ND and MN) and shared a wonderful grandmother and great memories.  

And then we came north to Cobble Creek and found it to be COLD.    It's ok tho.  We love the morning fireplace, the jeans and sweaters and pickle ball and morning walks in the crisp air.    It does warm up quickly and the Colorado blue sky with the snow capped peaks is always a wonder.    Yesterday, we had some spring winds.    They are notorious this time of year and my Weather Underground app said the winds were 52-63 mph.    One of us left a chair cushion out and altho we drove around the neighborhood, it is likely in Utah.

We had barely unpacked when my brother Tom and wife Regina arrived on their way to Arkansas from California.   We were happy to give them a break on their long drive and he brought more outdoor spinners for neighbors who admire ours.    He sold a bunch last year and hopefully, I can find homes for the 3 that I have.

Tomorrow we head East to celebrate Lizzie's graduation from Mountain View HS.   As with the other's graduation, it will be held at Red Rocks Amphitheater.     An amazing natural setting unless it is 80 degrees and brilliant sunshine.....then it feels a bit like getting fried on the stone seating.    Forecast is for partial sun and 60's.      Can't wait to see all those grown-up grands once again....such a  great bunch of kids........but when did they become adults.    I was at their births and that means we are really old !!     But thankful that we are !!

When and if the blogger app decides not to censor my pictures, I'll post a few .................

We're happy to be back in the West and among friends and family once again.....   Life is Good.!!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Quick travel catch up...........

You'd think that blogging and sharing our exciting life with the world wide web would be a priority, especially when we are wandering about the country.   But at this age, just staying upright and mobile seems to be a higher goal.   But for all of you hanging on my every word, here's the latest.....

 After New Orleans, we enjoyed a few hours on the River Walk in San Antonio.    Our KOA campground was very very nice and as an added plus, was on the bus route directly into downtown.   We got to see a bit of local color on the route and decided it was probably best not to do this after sunset.  

We had stops planned for the next leg of our trip but our impatience to just get across Texas/NM, made us put pedal to the medal and drive over 575 mi one day.   The speed limit for others was 80 on the wide open roads and we rumbled along at 65 and with both of us driving, we made good time.

We stopped in Tucson to catch our breath and then turned north on I 10 for a short drive to Palm Creek in Casa Grande.     Quite the amazing and lovely winter resort.   It boasts 1000 RV sites and 1200 small homes around a golf course, beautiful facilities, world class pickle ball and tennis courts and 3 pools.   We were there for the Tiffin Allegro Rally.    More than 250 coaches made by the Tiffin company gathered for 4 days of seminars, entertainment and catching up with others of similar interests.   One of the perks of the rally is the assorted techs they bring.   We made a list of minor things that needed looked at  and before we left, the A/C had been checked, another item repaired and a motor on the steps replaced. ( all at no charge! )    Plus, we had the coach washed and waxed by an efficient young crew that didn't mind being on the roof.   They also rolled in sparkling new 2016 coaches to encourage us to trade up..... it was easy to resist, we like ours.    But they sold a few.  

The resort is worthy of an extended stay but there is not much outside it's gates as the town has struggled to stay alive.   It does have some major stores and being half way between Tucson and Phoenix, I'm sure those populations will eventually creep that way and revitalize it.

It was very well organized and we met a fun group at our nightly Happy Hour in our section.   Marian and Allen have recently become full timers and plan to wander the country for the next year or so with plans to join us in Montrose this summer.  

And so, yesterday, we headed north to Scottsdale to check up on Jeff and Jennifer and Guiness in their new home.    A bit windy with blowing sand around here but we are looking forward to spending time exploring and enjoying.      Talk soon............

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Where we've been so far...........

Trying to take our time as we cross the southern states.  But we had an auspicious start.    We only went 100 miles the first day and then realized that we'd left P's eye drops behind..... Rats !   So we unhitched the car and backtracked.    Naturally, as I wandered thru the house, I found a few more things that needed to make the trip.     The RV steps decided to stop working so they are tied up to prevent wandering out suddenly and we have a  kitchen type step that looks pretty ugly but works.    Then the forward A/C decided to stop working.   Not a problem unless it was summer in AZ as we have two more to keep us cool.   It's always something when you own one of these behemoths so maybe we got lucky that they are relatively minor and can be fixed easily.    

   Usually, we zip along (well, we don't exactly ZIP  considering our mode of transport), and keep our noses pointed in the direction of our destination.    This time, we are taking it a bit slower ..... it's easier on the old bodies and broadens our   view of this great country.  ( yes Donald, it's still great ! )    These pictures reversed themselves so we'll go with the flow.

We spent a day in New Orleans.    Once was enough.   I'm sure it looks a whole lot better in the colorful evening but in the harsh light of day, it was dirty, smelly, crumbling and still full of tourists.    Fortunately, all of the night people were still hidden and the street musicians that we did enjoy were 

fabulous.    We took a break at the well known Cafe du Monde and even succumbed to the lure of fried, sugary beignets and cafe au lait with cream.... horrors!.    The coffee, made with a dark roasted bean and chicory was delicious and the cream certainly didn't hurt.    Our arteries didn't close up and the scale didn't move..... who knew?

A few days before , we made a nice stop at Topsail State Park, near Destin FL.    A beautiful beach and a very nice camp ground was a welcome respite  despite the rain.  


All of the FL beaches that we have visited of late have these walkways over the dunes and prohibit walking on the dunes..... No shells on this beach but beautiful powdery sand that we remember from so many years ago in Pensacola.

Currently, we are in San Antonio.   Heading out shortly to do the River Walk.    We've been there a few times in the past and it's a good walk.      Tomorrow we'll continue our way west following I 10 to Tucson.     Talk later..........