Colors Of Fall

This week our son Pat, and daughter-in-law Celina, took us on a spectacular drive to see the fall colors on our way to visit Crested Butte, Colorado. About an hour into our drive, we started seeing the beginning of the leaves changing colors.

For our daughter Shantel, remember when you were a little girl, and you asked me what its like to see color? And I started teaching you what colors might feel like if you could feel color? I told you colors like red, orange, and yellow might feel warm to the touch, while green and blue might feel cool to the touch. Well, the leaves on many of the trees along our drive were changing from green,

to yellow,

and in some areas, we even saw hints of red.

Before we made our way into Crested Butte, we stopped at a beautiful lake named Lost Lake. Oh, Shantel, all the beautiful colors of the changing leaves were also being reflected off the still water of the lake. So as we were looking at the leaves on the trees around the lake, we were also seeing their image reflected on the water. Even the clouds in the sky were reflecting on the water. All of these images created a peaceful, calming, feeling.

We took a short hike around part of the lake,

and around every curve of the trail was a scene more beautiful than the last. In the next picture, we were looking across the lake at trees displaying every shade of color.

And in this next picture the clouds were moving across the lake creating shadows that reflected off the water.

We left the lake and made our way into Crested Butte. What an adorable, colorful, little town. Every building in the town is painted a different color. Orange, red, blue, and green, just like the colorful leaves on the trees.

And they have the most beautiful flowers planted in big flower beds and hanging pots all along the street and sidewalks.

Aside from the magnificent colors we saw in the fall colors of the trees, the highlight of the trip for me, was when we visited a little mini donut shop where they make mini donuts fresh right in front of you, and they come with hot toppings of your choice. Papa and Pat bought six of the donuts with a variety of toppings, like hot caramel/bacon to name just one. Then, they sat outside the donut shop on a bench and ate all the donuts. But the look on their faces as they enjoyed their sweet treats just made my day. As you know I don’t eat sweets, and Celina didn’t have any either, but she stood close by and kept handing Papa and Pat napkins to wipe their hands and face after they finished each of the six donuts. I got so tickled watching them, I could hardly hold the camera straight to take some pictures.

Just before we arrived in Crested Butte, we passed a grave site and stopped to make a visit. The headstone said the person died in 1881. But there was a message engraved into the bottom of the headstone that read,

“My good people as you pass by, as you are now so once was I. As I am now you soon must be, prepare yourselves to follow me.” I thought that was a profound message on a gravesite headstone, so I included a picture of it here on my blog as a reminder to enjoy every minute of your life, and especially enjoy the donuts!

Big thanks to Pat and Celina for taking us on such a beautiful drive and spending their day showing us around Crested Butte, Colorado.

Stay Tuned!

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Canyonlands And Arches National Parks

Yesterday our son, Pat, and daughter-in-law, Celina, took us to visit Canyonlands National Park, and Arches National Park in Utah.

We left Fruita, Colorado and took a beautiful scenic drive to Moab.

For our daughter, Shantel, I will do my best to describe the beautiful scenery we saw. The scenic drive took us through an amazing canyon that follows the Colorado river. The mountain colors are almost beyond what I have words for, because they have multiple shades of color. Shades of red, blue, white and hues of everything in between. And, in some areas, they stand majestic against the deep blue sky, green grass, and trees that surround them.

 

From Moab, we made our way to Canyonlands National Park. The information we received when we entered this National Park says “Canyonlands National Park preserves 337,598 acres of colorful canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches, and spires in the heart of southeast desert. Water and gravity have been the prime architects of this land, sculpting layers of rock into the rugged landscape it is today”. It reminded me a lot of our Grand Canyon in Arizona, but on a smaller scale.

Pat, Celina, and Papa like to stand on rocks too near the edge for my taste. But they don’t have a fear of heights like I do… ๐Ÿ™‚

At one stop, while we were at a very high point in our visit of the park, Pat pointed out a dirt road below us that goes around a mountain. He told me we were going to go on that road when we left the area we were at. I looked down at what looked like a one lane dirt road to me, looked back at Pat and said “we are?” But I was thinking to myself “not this girl, I’ll stay right here and you can pick me up on the way back.” Then Pat laughed and said no, that road was only for the off-road vehicles. Well better them than me!

One of the things that always amazes me when I visit areas like this, is how some trees seem to be growing right out of solid rocks. I captured a picture of a tree that was doing just that. There is a huge rock/cliff and a tree is growing right out of the rock. These particular trees don’t seem to need much soil to grow, and they are beautiful.

As we made our way around the scenic drive of Canyonlands National Park, each stop we made to take in the view was more spectacular than the last. It was truly hard to say what part of the park was my favorite. The next picture shows high spires that start wide at the bottom of the canyon we were looking down into, and they taper off into pillar shapes at the top.

We didn’t go all the way through the park, because Pat and Celina also wanted to show us as much of Arches National Park as we had time for. They needed to get back home at a reasonable time and get the kids from the sitter. So we left Canyonlands National Park, went to lunch at the brewery in Moab (thanks for the tip Mary) and made our way to Arches National Park.

One of the first things we saw as we entered Arches National Park was the courthouse towers, which are tall stone columns that in this case, look like what would be on the front entrance of a real courthouse.. Just amazing.

There are hundreds of unique rock formations throughout the park. Some of them form walls, while others look like balancing rocks,

and still others have windows, or arches, carved into them from years of wind carving holes into the rock.

As time was running short, we didn’t get to go through all of Arches National Park either. Pat said we went through about half of both Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park, but it was enough for us to get a good idea of what both parks offer. Both parks are amazingly beautiful while being very different.

We did get to see on of the larger arches or windows, and Celina and I did climb up and into the hole that makes the arch or window.

Then we made our way down from that arch, and on to the next one that had one large arch or window and another much smaller one carved out of the same rock.

The next arch formation had a rock sitting to the side of it at the entrance of the arch, and that rock had three other rocks on it that to me made it look like people who might be the gatekeepers of that arch.

As we made our way back to the parking lot, from a distance, you can see several more arches carved into a huge rock formation making it look the entrance to several caves.

And just to the side of that was one last rock formation with two small arches or windows, but to papa and I, the large rock formation looked like two big elephants. One laying down with its trunk up in the air, and one standing behind that one with its trunk pointed down towards the ground.

It was a beautiful fun-filled day, and we so appreciate Pat and Celina spending the day showing us around these two amazing National Parks.

Stay Tuned!

A Day of Hope

On Friday’s our ten-year old granddaughter, Hope, doesn’t have school. So yesterday morning, we picked her up around seven(ish), took her out to breakfast, then brought her back to our RV Park so she and I could take a nice long morning walk while we waited for the pool to open so she could go swimming.

 

After a nice long time in the pool showing us her gymnastic skills, and having us judge her efforts, she was ready to move on to the little playground behind the pool area.

 

This little play area really only had two swings and a small slide.

But while we were there, we got to see this beautiful butterfly that came to visit the area.

Then Hope told us about a much bigger park that was not too far away from where we are staying.ย  So off we went to get ready to go visit that park. Hope was really excited, and ran ahead of us with her butterfly pretend “super hero” cape flying in the breeze.

The John Leane Canyon View Park Playground was really everything Hope said it would be.

The playground has everything you can imagine to swing on.

It even has a little zipline for the kids to enjoy.

And Hope really seemed to love this little seat that spins around and makes you dizzy… She was really tickled that grandpa was so happy to push it for her to make it spin faster.

Then, after she played on everything that moves, and that she could climb on,

it was time to leave this nice park and take her to lunch. She wanted to go to McDonald’s, so McDonald’s it was!

After lunch, we came home and played dominoes, and several rounds of crazy eights. Hope got so tickled when she beat her grandpa. She laughed so hard, she had grandpa and I laughing to the point of tears.

And when it was time to take her home, I would say it’s clear to see, this little girl had a full day,

and we had a delightful, fun-filled day of Hope!

Stay Tuned!

Colorado National Monument

Yesterday, our daughter, Katie Roden, and her family, gave us a guided tour of the Colorado National Monument. They have lived here for a long time and have visited the Monument several times and know a lot of information about it. We had never been there, but it just happens to be right down the road from the RV Park where we are staying in Fruita, Colorado, so there was no way we were going to miss visiting it while we are here.

The information booklet we received when we went through the entrance says “Colorado National Monument preserves one of the grandest landscapes of the American West. Bold, big, and brilliantly colored, this plateau-and-canyon country with its towering masses of naturally sculpted rock embraces 32 square miles of rugged terrain. Here you can contemplate the glorious views that stretch to distant horizons, discover solitude deep in a remote canyon, and delight in wild country that has roaming desert bighorns and soaring golden eagles.” I can say that definitely describes what we saw and felt while we were there.

 

Right out of the gate we saw wildlife just grazing along side of the road.

 

The beautiful rock formations are breathtaking.

The weather was perfect for sightseeing.

Around every curve in the road is another spectacular view.

 

 

We learned that ” the many sheer-walled canyons were carved primarily by the erosive force of floodwaters flowing over the plateau for millions of years.”

Vertical cliff walls and great natural rock sculptures tower over deep canyons.

The domed rocks in this next picture are called “coke ovens” A series of colorful rock domes created by the natural sculpting forces of water, ice, and wind.

I thought this looked like someone carved a statue into the wall.

And then, you almost always come across someone that has to try to be a show-off, and take unnecessary risks. The rock that looks like it is balancing on the end of the bigger rock in this picture, had a grown man squatting down making the peace sign with his hands as he posed for a picture that was taken by others in his group. I didn’t even want to take his picture while he was out there because that, to me, would be like condoning his, in my opinion, bad behavior.

It was a fun-filled day on the Colorado National Monument with our daughter and her family. After the guided tour, we went to their house for a delicious lunch.

Thank you Katie, Josh, and Emma, for sharing your knowledge of the Colorado National Monument. We love you and enjoyed our time together.

Stay Tuned!

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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… ๐Ÿ™‚

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!

 

 

 

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… ๐Ÿ™‚

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,ย 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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