Target Practice

Today Bill/Papa and I went target practicing.

 

We bought a package of reactive targets,

and a box of 525 Remington 22 long rifle shells,

and drove out to a free state shooting range just outside of Kremmling, Colorado.

They have designated areas here for folks shooting rifles, clay pigeons, and hand guns like what we were going to shoot. I like the fact that most of the shooting areas have shade, and they are blocked off by high dirt walls from other folks shooting.

I had never loaded a gun in my life, and in fact, I had only shot a gun once or twice, when I was very young, and my dad took my brothers and I out target practicing with a rifle that kicked so hard it knocked me to the ground, and that immediately ended my desire to ever shoot a rifle again… But I loaded my own gun today, after Bill/Papa showed me the proper way to load and handle a gun.

That allowed Bill/Papa to just worry about loading his own gun, and not have to worry about helping me…

When our guns were loaded, Bill/Papa and I walked together to the spot where we would shoot at our target. Then I took aim,

and shot all my bullets, and missed the whole target all but once. This is my first target after my first try.

Then Bill/Papa took aim,

and put all his bullets into the target. This is one of Bill’s first targets.

 

After I made more than several attempts to try and get more than one bullet into my target, Bill/Papa showed me how to shoot by cocking the hammer, so I wouldn’t pull the trigger so hard, which was making my hand move all around, causing me to miss the whole target almost every time. What a difference that made. By the way, Bill/Papa had a trophy from the Army given to him for expert marksman. He said he was the top marksman in his company. Who better to teach me how to shoot! This is one of my targets after Bill/Papa showed me the better way for me to shoot! I got all but one bullet into the target and one is even touching the center bull’s-eye. 🙂 I believe I like this kind of shooting…

After several rounds of hitting my target where we were, we decided to move over to a spot that had a seat and table to use that I suppose is designed to help you have better control and aim… That didn’t work out at all for me because the target was much too far away. But I did give it a good try. As I was taking aim, I was reminded of a quote I saw that showed a picture of a big male lion charging after it’s prey, and above the lion it read “you get what you focus on, so make sure you focus on what you want”. Well, I was focused on hitting that target, but it sure didn’t help any when in the middle of my full attempt at concentrating on my aim, a train went past right behind me, and of course, had to blow that loud whistle…

Bill/Papa sat down, and of course, he hit seven out of nine times from 90 feet away. Great job!

After a couple of hours of fun target practice, we walked around and picked up empty shells,

and trash, and put it in a bag to carry out with us because we always try to leave places we visit a little better than we found it.

Then we packed up our gear, and headed home for lunch. It was a really great time and we will for sure be back to do it again… 🙂

Thank you Bill/Papa for showing me how to load and properly handle a gun, and especially for showing me how to shoot better, by cocking the hammer before I shoot, and then like you said”gently squeeze the trigger”.

Stay Tuned!

 

 

 

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Breckenridge, Colorado

Yesterday we took a scenic drive from Kremmling, Colorado through Silverthorne, Keystone, and finally ended our trip in Breckenridge, Colorado upon the great advice of some friends. Along the way we saw hay fields with beautiful mountain ranges in the background.

Note to our daughter Shantel: The hay fields had already been harvested, and big round bales of hay still laid in the fields waiting for the farmers to pick them up and stack them in their barn for the winter. In the background, above the hay fields, were mountain ranges of multi-layers of light and dark colors, sprinkled with green trees.

Then we passed a lake surrounded by trees and mountains.

And as we climbed higher up the mountain road, we continued to see the lake, trees, and lake-side homes.

When we reached Breckenridge, we were in for a wonderful, unique, experience/adventure.

This little ski resort town has it all, from a building that looks like it is decorated for Halloween at first glance,

to benches that are made from all sorts of snowboards/ski’s..

There are so many places to eat, and adorable, unique little shops,

like this one named Marigolds farmhouse funk & junk. Just my kind of place.

If you are into old, antiques, and/or farmhouse decor (all the things I know you, Shantel, are NOT into), then this is the place for you. They have everything from old typewriters and phones,

to guitars made out of old license plates and barbedwire,

to pigs, cows, and any other kind of farmhouse decor you could want…

And right in the middle of this ski resort town,

is a waterfront, where people can enjoy stand-up paddle boarding, and some kind of water sport where you get inside of what looks like GIANT beach balls,

and roll and tumble your way around the lake. All of this part of our trip to Breckenridge was the unique part of our trip, and we had so much fun exploring this area. Big thanks to our friends, Mary, and Megs, for recommending we visit Breckenridge. We had so much fun and appreciate the tip.

However, the last part of our trip was all on us, and why I’m calling it our “adventure” because that is what Bill/Papa calls anything that goes wrong…” As I mentioned, there are lots and lots of places to eat in Breckenridge, and we even stopped in at the Visitor Center to ask for advice on where to eat. Of course they said “what kind of food do you want” so I said any kind of burger or sandwich type of place. They recommended Flip Side burgers, and said it was just one block up the road. We thanked them and went on our way. However, along the way, I mentioned to Bill/Papa that we’ve had burgers the last three times we ate out, and asked if he would like to try something else, like the Mexican restaurant we were passing, Fiesta Jalisco.

The saddles caught my eye, and I was thinking “this has to be some great southwestern mexican food…”

Well, I could NOT have been more wrong. I mean this place was beyond bad. I ordered just two shredded beef tacos, no sides just the tacos. Bill/Papa ordered a pork burrito. My tacos came, and I know they were store-bought taco shells with just a thin line of what tasted like canned, unseasoned beef, and a small amount of lettuce and cheese sprinkled on the side of the tacos because they were laying on their side, because they were to thin, and frail, to open them up and put the lettuce inside the taco. Bill/Papa was just as disappointed with his burrito, saying it lacked any spice/mexican taste…

I don’t know how, but we managed to find probably the only really bad place to eat in the whole town of Breckenridge. But, hey, we never let one bad experience ruin our day… No, we just start looking forward to, and planning our next really great experience…

Stay Tuned!

 

 

 

Estes Park, Colorado

We left early this morning to visit Estes Park, Colorado, with HIGH hopes of seeing a Moose.

I have never seen a moose in my entire life, and we have been full-time camp hosts in Utah, Wyoming, and Oregon, over the past three years. In addition, we have been visiting, for a month at a time this summer, in Questa, New Mexico, Antonito, Colorado, South Fork, Colorado, and now we are spending a month in Kremmling, Colorado. We have fished all the lakes and streams in all the back roads and high country, hiked all the mountain trails, and have never once seen a moose, until today!!

The very first thing we saw on our trip today was this group of Elk grazing on the side of the road.

A little further down the road we saw this lone Elk grazing all by itself.

We climbed higher, and higher, on the mountain road that took us way above the tree-line to a Forest Canyon Overlook that is a Tundra Protection Zone. When we read the sign we learned that “here, above the treeline, winds often exceed 100 miles per hour, and temperatures remain below freezing for at least five months each year. Decades are required for the tundra to recover once it’s been trampled. Each year, millions of visitors travel Trail Ridge Road to experience this high-elevation ecosystem. Help preserve this slow-growing resource by walking only on marked trails in the Tundra Protection Zone”. I can’t tell you how many people blew past this sign, walked right out on the grass area, put down a blanket, and sat down to take in the views… All I could think was SHAME on them for not making themselves aware of what their responsibility is when visiting areas like this. We are all responsible to take care of the areas we love to visit, and do our part to not make the experience all about ourselves, but more about leaving it better than we found it so future generations can enjoy the same views we are enjoying today. The next four pictures are of that Tundra Protection Zone.

We stopped at the Visitor Center to check it out, and use the facilities. On the way out we noticed this memorial to one of their fallen Rangers. The next three pictures speak for themselves, but for our daughter,Shantel, there is a Ranger hat on a big rock, and under that is a sign that reads, “On July 29, 2005 US Park Ranger Jeffrey Christensen was killed in a fall while patrolling in the Mummy Range of Rocky Mountain National Park. His service and sacrifice to the National Park Service and the people of this country will never be forgotten”.

Shantel, the next picture shows Jeff Christensen, and shows his date of birth and death 1974-2005 and a description of his career. But at the bottom of the picture it says “You know, if I ever die while at work in the mountains, do not cry for me because you will know that I died doing what I love. But if I die in a car accident on my way to an office job, then cry for me because you will know I was miserable and not doing what I loved.”

As we were leaving the Visitor Center, and walking back to our car, we saw two deer running and jumping past some picnic tables towards the parking lot. A teenager was sitting alone at one of the picnic tables, with her head in her phone, and even though the deer ran past her so close she could have touched them, she never even looked up… Now that was so sad for me to see… Get your head out of your phone people and notice what is happening all around you… (:

But, the absolute highlight of my day today was when we saw this big bull moose. It was hard to get a close picture of him because he was 50-75 yards away, and there were lots of other people in the way, all trying to get the same picture I was trying to get. Some of them had lenses on their camera’s so long, I’m sure they could capture a tick on a hummingbird… Ha 🙂 The next two pictures are of the moose, but you really have to look hard in the middle of the picture to see him…

After the excitement of seeing the Moose, we made our way on to Estes Park. The area around Estes Park is beautiful as shown in the next three pictures. Big beautiful rock formations,

A beautiful lake.

And of course, there are lots, and lots of shops to visit as well

So after a fun day exploring Estes Park, on our way out we came across this big Elk grazing right on the side of the road.

I mean he was so close, I could have reached out and patted his rear-end..

And, as we moved further down the road on our way home, we passed the exact same area where we saw the Moose. This was the Moose-Jam it was causing. I looked, and looked, but I didn’t see the moose anymore, but a Ranger was there directing traffic by this time…

It was another beautiful day, and an amazing experience, and I’m so HAPPY we finally found that elusive MOOSE!

Stay Tuned!

 

 

 

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Today Bill and I took a day trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. We are on what we are calling our summer celebration tour this summer, because we are celebrating my 66th birthday that was in April, our 30th wedding anniversary coming up next month, and Bill will turn 70 this December. We decided we would splurge on three different things to celebrate each of these important events in our lives… We took a six-hour scenic train ride in Antonito, Colorado, and today we decided we would try the gondola ride to the top of Mt.. Werner, where we took a hike and enjoyed a delicious lunch with spectacular views.

This is a picture of the enclosed gondola we rode in.

Once you’re in, and seated, the door closes and your off…

I happened to notice this warning on the wall of the gondola we were riding in and both Bill and I laughed and said “we won’t approach any of these animals, but we would at least like to see one, especially a MOOSE”! I have a stiff neck from straining to try and see a moose in the bushes. 🙂

This is the view from the back window of our ride as we made our way up the mountain.

As you climb higher, and higher, up the mountain, the views only get better and better.

Then, when you make your landing at the top of the mountain, and step outside, you are greeted with all this beauty.

Which of course beckons for a photo opportunity. Bill needed to take one of me,

and of course, I needed to take one of him…

Everywhere you look is something beautiful to see.

Next, we were off to take a little hike to see what other beautiful things we could find, like these pretty trees.

And there is no shortage of mountain bike trails. People put their mountain bikes right on the gondola rides to get them up the mountain so they can ride them back down.

I was surprised to find there were still lots of pretty wild flowers in full bloom. I don’t know what these pretty purple flowers are (my friend Patricia would know), but I love seeing them and they were everywhere.

I also love seeing the mixture of purple, yellow, and white wildflowers growing among the wild grasses.

Along our hike we came across these open-seat ski lift chairs that take folks from one ski trail to another.

And, we got to see this helicopter with a Bambi bucket attached flying to and from the water source on its way to fight wildfires. We saw a lot of this type of activity when we were hosting in Cody Wyoming a few years ago.

After we finished our hike, we made our way to the outside dining area of the Oasis Sundeck for lunch. Who could ask for a more beautiful view while enjoying a delicious lunch?

Bill and I both had the Bison burger with cheese and bacon, but I had kale and quinoa salad, while Bill had the waffle potato fries. YUM!!

Then it was time to head back down the mountain and go visit the downtown area of Steamboat. On our way back to the parking garage, we passed this adorable stagecoach jumping/bouncing house free for the kids.

The downtown area of Steamboat proved to be VERY busy, so much so, that we were not able to find a parking space anywhere, so we decided to call it a day and head back home.

We have only been in Kremmling, Colorado for five days, and we have already seen so many beautiful places and are having so much fun. I can’t wait to see what all we will see and do between now and the end of the month.

Stay Tuned!

Exploring Grand Lake, Colorado

Today, Bill and I, drove from Kremmling, Colorado, to Grand Lake, Colorado. What a beautiful drive, and an almost,  perfect, day.

The first thing we did when we arrived in Grand Lake was visit the Grand lake Lodge.

 

Loved these two old vehicles sitting right out front of the lodge waiting to greet arriving guests.

The lodge is beautiful, as seen in the next two pictures. Love all green trees,

and the wood staircase, that takes you into the lodge, where you can see beautiful views of the lake from the dinning room.

And of course, beautiful lake views from the pool area.

Inside the lodge lobby, is a huge wood-burning fireplace that smells wonderful when you walk through.

After touring the lodge, we took a hiking trail from the lodge through the woods. I don’t know what happened to me today, but a short way into the hike, I had a mini panic attack, and just became very afraid of going deeper into the woods. I started thinking about running into a bear, and became almost frozen with fear. I told Bill that I wasn’t feeling good about this hike, and he said “then why don’t you go back to the car and wait, because I want to go on”? Well, that made me tear up, because I didn’t want him to go on alone, and I knew I was being unreasonable, but at the same time, I couldn’t help what I was feeling… So, I started doing lots of self-talk, and told myself I can, and will, do this, and I did, with tears in my eyes, but I kept hiking until Bill asked if I was ready to go back which was about one mile into the deep woods hike.

We had our hiking sticks our friend, Ken, hand-carved for us, and they came in very handy,

because we hiked over streams,

and balance beams.

And don’t you know, we meet two people that told us they saw a moose today. One woman told us she saw a big bull moose right on the trail we were hiking. She said she saw it about 7:30 this morning and actually had to turn around and go back. Now, we were on that same trail at 9:30 this morning and saw nothing. Then, we came across this woman, on her horse, as we were making our way back from our hike. She said she saw a big moose this morning, on another trail, that connects to the trail we were on. But, as of this writing, I still have not seen any MOOSE!

After our hike, we walked all around Grand Lake Village,

visiting all the little adorable shops.

Great views of the lake could be seen from different parts around the Village,

and of course, there were lots of folks having fun out on the lake.

You can rent stand-up paddle boards, larger party boats, and I’m sure, if  you happen to know someone that owns one of these private boats, you might get lucky enough to have them take you out on the lake in it.

Such a beautiful drive between Kremmling, Colorado, and Grand Lake. I just love the big rock formations.

Other than the day trip to Costco, in Eagle, Colorado yesterday, this was our first official outing to explore the surrounding areas of Kremmling, Colorado. We’re here for the month of August, so we know we will have many more exploring outings to come.

Stay tuned!

Big Meadows Hike

Our time here in South Fork, Colorado, is much too quickly coming to an end. We have so enjoyed our time here, and we are going to sorely miss our new friends, Ken and Tricia, and all the good times we have had with them. But, we’re making plans to get together again somewhere in our travels. They both love to hike, and fish, as much as we do, and I swear we have never laughed so much in our lives as we have this past month with them.

Ken does beautiful wood carving work. In addition to the old world Santa carving he made for us, he also carved these beautiful old world walking sticks for us. They just need another couple of coats of oil on them and they will be ready to use. Can’t thank him enough for making these for us.

 

We’ve fished many times with Ken and Tricia at Big Meadows Lake, but yesterday morning, we did the 2 1/2 – 3 mile hike around the lake. Such a beautiful, peaceful, place to fish and/or hike. Take note of the dead trees seen in this picture. That is caused by a bark beetle that has destroyed so many trees in and around Colorado. Such a sad thing to see.

This young deer hangs out around the lake and isn’t really afraid of people.

It never did run away, just turned to see what I was doing as I approached it to take the pictures.

Something about a red boat sitting on the shoreline that speaks to me. Just had to take a picture of this one.

Not all the trees have been affected by the bark beetles, many of them are still strong and beautiful, like this one with baby pine cones all over it.

Around every bend of the trail is another beautiful view of the lake.

Some areas of the trail are hidden, and some are right out in the open. Both are equally beautiful to me.

We saw lots of these bushes with big, red,

and white berries on them. Not sure if they are edible, or if they are ripe when they are red or white, and I wasn’t going to try them to find out… 🙂

Somewhere around this area of the hike, I stopped to take a picture of some purple and yellow flowers, lost my balance, and fell face first on the trail. Had I stepped back 2 inches, I would have gone over a cliff. Lucky for me I was able to get my hands out to catch my fall so I didn’t hit my face, but boy, are my shoulders sore!!

I have been looking for a Moose since we landed here in South Fork but haven’t seen one yet. I keep being told that they hang out in wet, marshy, areas like this… but still, no Moose here…

This pretty black and white butterfly landed on the yellow flower just as I snapped the picture.

These pretty purple flowers are called monkshood. They are everywhere around this area.

These green and yellow plants are called corn lily, and they are abundant throughout the area as well.

Sure going to miss these two great, fun-loving, people.

I just hate saying goodbyes, so I won’t! I’ll just say thank-you for a fun-filled month in beautiful South Fork, Colorado. Until we meet again!

I hope you enjoyed this tour of our hike around Big Meadows Lake. I haven’t been able to do as many blog posts as I would have liked because the internet here in the high mountains is sketchy at best.

Stay Tuned!

 

Beautiful Colorado Wildflowers

Oh, my, I don’t even know if I have the words to express how I really feel about all the beautiful scenery we have seen, and the fun we are having here in South Fork, Colorado. The day after we arrived, our neighbors, and now new friends, Ken and Patricia, parked right next door to us, and we almost immediately struck up a friendship. They are from Alabama, but have spent time in South Fork, Colorado. So they know the area well. They love to fish, and hike, just as much as we do, and they have taken us under their wings, and shown us places to fish and hike that we would not have known about if not for them taking us to visit all these beautiful places.

Yesterday, we left our campsites at 8:00 a.m. and spent the whole day driving through the most beautiful countryside on our way to see the wildflowers in full bloom. This first picture was taken off the side of the road of a steep mountain we had to drive up in order to see the wildflowers.

Even though, we had to drive up a very narrow mountain road, where you had to pull over as far as you could if you encountered another car coming down the mountain, the beautiful wildflowers, and surrounding mountains, were well worth the adventurous trip up the mountain. I will let the next few pictures speak for themselves.

My new friend, Patricia, studies wildflowers and birds, and she could identify almost every wildflower, and almost every bird we saw.

Patricia told me this is the Colorado state flower, the columbine flower. Isn’t it pretty?

Everywhere we looked, we saw a field of beautiful wildflowers.

When we came back down the mountain, after spending ample time with the wildflowers, Ken and Patricia took us to a place where we had a delicious pizza. Then we move on to see the North Clear Creek Falls. Oh, wow! Another hidden treasure we would most likely have overlooked, had we not crossed paths with Ken and Patricia.

After a fun-filled day of seeing a small glimpse, of what Mother Nature has to offer in this area of South Fork, Colorado, we headed home. We arrive home at about 5:30 p.m. Then we sat out on Ken and Patricia’s covered patio, and had happy hour before we called it a day/night.

A BIG thank-you to Ken and Patricia for spending so much quality time with us, and showing us things in this area that we wouldn’t have known about if not for them.

Stay Tuned!

Previous Older Entries

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On the Road Since 2010, Traveling Across USA & Europe With 12 Paws

The Brantley Blog

In the eyes of the law, we reach adulthood the day we turn 18 years old. God help anyone who actually believes that.

the next few years

family life..with a unique perspective of motherhood

Gotham Girl Chronicles

a mixture of random musings...life in NYC...travel...photography...cycling

Blooming Burgh Boomer

Living An Active Full Life

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