Telluride

Bill and I took a lovely drive to Telluride Colorado this week. For those who don’t know, Telluride is a former Victorian mining town in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. “It is set in a box canyon amid forested peaks at the base of a popular ski-and-golf resort. The town’s historic district houses landmarks like the Sheridan Opera House, a performing-arts venue originally built in 1913, and the Telluride Historical Museum, which showcases local history in a converted hospital built in 1896”.

 

The town and the surrounding area of Telluride is amazing.

If you drive all the way through the town of Telluride, you will see Bridal Veil Falls. “Bridal Veil Falls is a 365-foot waterfall at the end of the box canyon overlooking Telluride Colorado. Hiking and off-road trails pass by the falls and it has a hydroelectric power plant at the top. In the winter the frozen shape of the falls forms an imposing challenge to intrepid ice climbers”. Yeah, no thanks, not this girl!

As we were driving through town I couldn’t help but notice these adorable, colorful, little houses. How cute are these? I could definitely live in one of them.

After driving from one end of town to the other, we found a lovely park, just across this stream,

with lots of shade and perfect views,

where we could sit, relax, and enjoy our picnic lunch I packed. Bill had a grilled salmon sandwich with homemade tartar sauce. I turned my grilled salmon into salmon salad with some of the tartar sauce used in the dressing. YUM!

After lunch we decided to take a walk through town to see if the Gondola was running, and if so, how long the lines would be.

Much to our surprise and delight, the Gondola was running, and they were using safe practices by using a machine that disinfects each cabin each time it is emptied out. Plus, you only ride with the peeps in your group, there were not very many people in line, and it’s all free…

So we hopped on board,

and off we went.

The views were amazing. This is a picture of the Telluride airport strip.

The ride took us all the way to Mountain Village. Mountain Village Colorado is “situated 9,545 feet in the heart of the San Juan Mountains, and connected by a gondola to picturesque Telluride. Mountain Village is comparably a world apart from other towns: beautifully orchestrated, planned and overflowing with charm, and sophistication”. It was charming, and very high-end. We didn’t spend much time there, but we had to get off the gondola there and get back in line to get on the gondola again to take us back to Telluride.

On the way back down the mountain we continued to see spectacular views like snow drifts still clinging to some of the mountains.

And this view of Telluride as we continued to make our way down, down, down the mountain…

As we entered the exit point, I had to capture this picture hanging on the wall of these adorable dogs. The happy expression on their faces says how I felt riding the gondola with Bill.

It was a lovely day in a beautiful area of Colorado. If you’ve never been there you should go. You won’t be disappointed.

Stay safe, and stay tuned!

 

Getting Closer

This week Bill and I continued our quest of catching enough fish for the fish BBQ we want to host for our co-hosts, and the owners of the park where we are work camping this summer. We tried a new reservoir we heard about called Joe Moore. We were a little surprised when we arrived to find we were the only people there.

After all, if this was to be a good fishing hole, why wasn’t there any other people out there fishing…?

After about two and a half hours of not even getting one bite, we packed up our gear and headed down country back roads to another place we heard about where we might catch some fish…

This is Summit Lake. Only problem here was that it was Memorial Day Weekend, and it appeared that all the people were at Summit Lake fishing. So we called it a day and went home . We decided to wait until after the holiday weekend to set out again to our favorite fishing spot.

Tuesday morning we hit the back roads again on our way to

Groundhog Reservoir, where we caught our first two fish a couple weeks ago.

The water was cold and choppy, and the wind blowing over the water was VERY, VERY, cold as well.

But within a half hour of casting my line into that cold water, I caught a 13 inch rainbow trout!

Then I baited my hook again, took a seat on my fishing bucket stool, and tried my best to not think about how cold I was with the cold wind blowing hard across the water, straight at me. And just about the time I was thinking to myself “this is crazy to sit out here and freeze like this”, I felt a strong hit on my line, and I pulled out a 15 inch rainbow trout!!! Well that made all the cold worth while…

So now Bill and I have one 9 inch, one 13 inch, one 14 inch, and one 15 inch rainbow trouts in our freezer. We just need four more to have enough to have our fish BBQ, served up with a side of Armadillo Eggs…

Stay safe and stay tuned!

Exploring

Yesterday Bill and I spent the day exploring fishing options around our area. Two reservoirs are just across the highway form The Views Rv Park where we are hosting for the summer. We drove down lovely back country roads,

until we came upon the McPhee Reservoir. “McPhee Reservoir is located in Montezuma County, Colorado.It was constructed and is operated by the Untied States Bureau of Reclamation as part of the Dolores Project, and dams the Dolores River to furnish irrigation water for Montezuma and Dolores counties and the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Reservation”. It’s a large reservoir, but the shoreline is pretty bare, and not much to look at.

However, we found evidence that someone had a good time there…

You have to be careful where you sit because there are lots of spiders (lower right), running around all over the shoreline.

And we realized there must also be some big critters running around the area seeing how something big had to take down whatever the remains of this critter was…

I was pondering how I was going to be able to fish in this area when you apparently have to watch your back in case one of those big critters decides to sneak up on you to steal your fish, or even worse, steal you…

As we were leaving the shoreline I noticed lots of rocks with faces in them like the reddish on with the white face, and the longer blueish colored one just below that. Do you see any faces in the rocks?

It was lunchtime, and since we couldn’t find any suitable shoreline area where we could sit, and the lack of shade, we returned to our car and had a picnic there, looking out over the water.

After lunch we drove down the road to the Narranguinnep Reservoir. Now this reservoir was much more to our liking.

Beautiful clear water and lovely views all around the area.

I loved finding this rope swing hanging from this tree. Almost made me want to swing on it and jump off into the water. I say almost because that water is way too cold for this desert rat to get into…

I thought this dead tree sitting in all that water brought home the fact that some plants really can be over watered!

Bill spent some time pondering on just how we will get down to the shoreline when we do come fishing here. Lots of the area has steep cliffs we would have to climb down. But we have the will, so we will find a way.

So much to see and do around Dolores Colorado and surrounding areas. Tomorrow we’re going to drive about 60 miles to Trout Lake, and if it’s not catch and release, we will make that our first day of fishing. We need to have catch and take home so we can have grilled fish for our friends here at The Views RV Park and Campground!

Stay safe, and stay tuned!

 

New Beginnings

You might remember from a previous post I did about six months ago, where I showed pictures of when Bill and I visited my brother Danny’s new home in Cottonwood Arizona. We helped him hang pictures and get his kitchen in order and his new little home was just adorable, and perfect for him and his two dogs. The next two pictures are of that home in Cottonwood

While living there, Danny worked part-time at the local gym, where he met a lovely lady, Flo. Flo is a fabric artist, known in the community for her women’s apparel line featuring garments created from her own patterns. Flo’s website says “Flo chooses to work predominantly with lots of color and print, in light flowing fabrics to suit her imagination. For her fashion design and creating garments are an art form; the female form is the canvas and the medium is fabric. Flo also designs and creates Joyful Expression Flags, colorful flags used for dance performances and worship. One other of her artistic expressions By International Design, fabric sculptures on canvas.She also offers her seamstress skills for alterations to local residents”. Flo has a studio in her home and one in Sedona Arizona.

Fast forward to this past Saturday 4/25/2020. That’s the day Danny and Flo got married and started their “new beginnings”. The blending of lives of two very special people, who found each other, fell in love, and wanted to get married. They were going to get married in July, but since Bill and I were here taking a break for the month of April before we head to Colorado for the summer, Danny and Flo said they wanted to move their wedding date up so we could be there to share in their joy. Danny even asked Bill to be his best man.

We arrived at the new home Danny and Flo bought together (They both have their other homes up for sale), and found Danny relaxing in the living room. The wedding was very casual, and small, ten people total including the preachers, but it was absolutely beautiful.

Bill and Danny spent a few minutes bonding as we waited for other guests, and the preachers to arrive.

Flo, in the black dress, shared special moments with her best friend, Cindy. Cindy provided the cake and beautiful flowers to grace the table. Then Flo and Cindy went to one room to get ready while Danny went to another room to get himself ready.

When Danny returned in his wedding outfit, he and I shared a special moment as I pined his boutonniere on his shirt, and wished him all the happiness in the world.

Then Bill and Danny tried to get serious as we all made our way to the back deck of Danny and Flo’s home where the wedding ceremony would take place.

When all the guests were seated on the back deck, Flo made her way there. She was glowing and beautiful. As I mentioned, Flo is an artist, and fashion designer, and she is wearing one of her creations.

The music started playing, and Flo made her way to where Danny was waiting for her. The look of pure love on both of their faces.

They shared an emotional moment as they stood and just looked into each other’s eyes as the music continued to play.

They held tight to each other as the preacher read bible verses and led them through the ceremony.

Then Danny read his vows to Flo,

and we all cried.

Then Flo recited her vows to Danny,

and with the beautiful views from their deck as a backdrop,

Danny placed the ring on Flo’s finger, the preacher pronounced them man and wife,

and they sealed the deal with a kiss.

And with that, the preacher presented to us, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel G Vezie…

The wedding ring Danny gave to Flo is very special as it was once our Father’s, Mother’s wedding ring. Our grandparents were married over 60 years, our parents were married 57 years, and now this ring is a symbol of a long and happy marriage for Danny and Flo.

Lunch was served family style,

the cake was cut,

Danny and Flo fed each other some cake,

and we all toasted Danny and Flo wishing them health, happiness, and beautiful “new beginnings”. Love you both!

Stay Tuned!

Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, South Dakota

Today Bill and I took a beautiful back-road drive through the black hills of South Dakota, on our way

to the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, South Dakota. This is yet another free admission perk we get with our VIP card we received for our volunteer service here at Custer State Park.

“The discovery of this active dig came about in June 1974, when heavy equipment operator George Hanson was leveling ground for a Hot Springs housing development planned by land owner Phil Anderson. Hanson was grading a small hill when his blade struck something that shone white in the sunlight. Hanson got out for a closer look. What he saw was a tusk, about seven feet long, sliced in half length wise, along with other bones. Mr Hanson contacted the land owner, Mr. Anderson, who contacted three universities and colleges in South Dakota, and one university in Nebraska. None of the 4 colleges were interested in the project nor did they have any desire to come and see what was discovered in Hot Springs”. Eventually, they did get the attention of the right people who came and saw the discovery, and took the right actions to save this site, which is an active dig site to this day. All to the credit of Mr. Hanson who discovered the bones, and land owner, Mr. Anderson, who sold the land at cost. He did not make a profit off the land at all…

The information sheet we received when we arrived at the Mammoth Site say’s “Travel back in time to the late Ice Age by taking a 30 minute guided tour indoors”. What a great learning experience this tour was. We learned that there was a very large sinkhole in the area, and the edges of a sinkhole was very slippery. This is “where Columbian and wooly mammoths, camels, wolves, and giant short-faced bears became trapped leaving an ancient treasure trove of fossil remains”.

How did they become trapped, you might ask…? Well the edges of the sinkhole was spearfish shale, which is very slippery when wet. So when the animals would go to the edge of the sinkhole, where they were enticed by the tender grasses, and the warm waters that surrounded the sinkhole, many of them, like the mammoths, that carried massive weight, and didn’t have claws to help them dig their way out,  would slip in and die of exhaustion from trying to get out, or they would drown. The picture below is an example of spearfish shale.

We found it interesting that this is an active working excavation site featuring the fossils of over 60 mammoths,

and of those 60 mammoth remains, most of them are male. Our guide told us that they believe that is because the mammoths had a female matriarch that would teach the majority of the herd to stay away from the sinkhole. However. boys will be boys… and the young male mammoths that didn’t want to behave, would be kicked of the herd, and without the female matriarch to guide them away from the sinkhole… they fell in and died… Pay attention boys!! The next three pictures are of male remains found in the sinkhole.

The next picture is an example of a full-size mammoth.

This mammoth exhibit hall also features replicas of Lyuba,

and Dima; baby mammoth mummies discovered in Siberia.

For budding scientists, there is a hands-on learning activity for children. Downstairs, the laboratory windows provide a behind- the-scenes glimpse of the scientific work being conducted on site.

Bill and I ended our outing with lunch at the Blue Bell Lodge, here in Custer State Park,

where we enjoyed a delicious lunch of buffalo stew, served in a cast iron skillet, with mashed potatoes on top,

and delicious cornbread with honey butter…OMG!!!

Just another fun-filled day here in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Stay Tuned!

Hill City, South Dakota

In my last post, we rode the 1880 Train from Hill City to Keystone and back. Hill City is the oldest existing city in Pennington County, South Dakota. The population was 1,008 in 2017. Hill City is located 26 miles southwest of Rapid City on State Highway 16 and on U.S. Route 385 that connects Deadwood to Hot Springs.

After we completed our train ride, Bill and I decided to have lunch in one of the local Hill City restaurants. I heard about the Alpine Inn, and the recommendation was confirmed by one of the workers on the 1880 Train. The Alpine Inn is advertised as “Dining with a European charm”, so we decided to give it a try.

We could clearly see that it did have a lot of charm,

and OMG, the food, YUMMY!!! I had the German Plate. Fresh and smoked bratwurst served with German potato salad, sauerkraut, red cabbage, and German bread.

Bill had Schnitzel. Breaded pork served with German potato salad, sauerkraut, red cabbage, and German bread. We both tasted each other’s food, and couldn’t decide which we liked best. It was all absolutely DELICIOUS!! All the German foods are available from 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. but in the evening, they only serve either a 6 oz or 9 oz Filet Mignon with baked potato, Texas toast, and salad. No other options are served in the evening.

After lunch, we strolled around the City, and drifted in and out of various fun shops. Like this one that had all different kinds of “rear ends” for bar stools. Too cute!

We also happened upon a quirky little shop called Beef Jerky Outlet. They sell all kinds of jerky, over 100 varieties, from beef to kangaroo jerky, and everything in between. And, they offer samples of everything they sell. Who wouldn’t want to try some bacon and cheese flavored crickets? Me, that’s who!

Or, if crickets don’t suit your fancy, how about some yummy Larvets, “the original worm snax”, they come in both cheddar cheese and BBQ flavors! 🙂

It was such a beautiful, fun-filled day, and we are feeling so very blessed that we are here in South Dakota, experiencing all there is to see and do. We work the next three days, but are already making plans for our next four day’s off, so we can get out and play some more.

Stay Tuned!

Easter 2019

Today we took our daughter, Shantel, out to Easter lunch, and had to say good-bye to Shantel until we return from our summer hosting positions in South Dakota. She looked so pretty in her new spring Easter dress.

We took Shantel to her favorite place for Easter lunch, Joe’s Crab Shack, in Tempe, Az.

Even though she almost always orders king crab legs, she still wants me to read the full menu to her, just in case they changed, or added, anything.

When the server brings her the bib, she knows some good food is about to come her way.

We started out with her favorite appetizer, great balls of fire, made with crab, seafood, cream cheese, jalapeños, and served with fries and ranch dipping sauce,

and of course, you can’t have seafood, without hushpuppies, which is another of her favorites…

But she got really excited, when the server placed that big bucket of king crab legs in front of her. Served with boiled potatoes and corn on the cob.

I had fish and chips, served with coleslaw. It was more than I could eat, but not to worry, Shantel said she would be happy to take home any leftovers for her dinner.

Bill/Papa had a shrimp sampler platter, and of course, Shantel asked if she could try one, or perhaps two, of his bacon wrapped shrimp.

When we were all served, Shantel wasted no time getting down to the business of cracking open her king crab legs. And she devoured every morsel.

When it was all said and done…, we asked for a take out box. Shantel ended up with one piece of my fish and most of my fries, two of Papa’s bacon wrapped shrimp, and four hushpuppies to take home for her dinner.

As we were leaving, Shantel asked if we would take her to the grocery store to get some things she was not able to purchase yesterday, because she would not have been able to carry all the bags home by herself. We were more than happy to do that. Then, we delivered our baby girl home, with a full tummy, and a full heart, because she knows how very much we love her.

Happy Easter Shantel, we love you, we are so proud of you, and we are always only a phone call away! See you in October.

Stay tuned as we begin our summer travels, I will post along our way.

Love,

Mom and Papa

Looking For Customer Service

What ever happened to the days when people went to work, and did the job they were paid to do regardless if it is your dream job, or a job you are doing until you find your dream job? What happened to showing up to work everyday and providing the best customer service you can provide, because you signed on to give your best when you took the job you have now?

If you follow my blog, you know my husband, Bill, and I, have a daughter, Shantel, that is totally blind, but she has never let that get in the way of her living her life to the best of her ability each and everyday. She has a job in a call center, that just so happens to be in the customer service field, and she shows up everyday anxious to do her best to provide the best service she can for each and every call she takes.

The past two weeks Shantel has been working a lot of overtime, because the main call center for the company she works for is located back east, and they have been hit with extreme cold weather, that caused a lot of folks to not be able to make it into their jobs. So, all the east coast calls were rerouted to the Phoenix based call center where Shantel works. This caused Shantel to have to work ten-hour days, then deal with the two-hour Dial-a-Ride ride service two and from work. Dial-a-Ride is another whole nightmare story, in regards to customer service, but that will have to wait for another blog posting.

When I talked to Shantel today, she told me that last night she decided to treat herself when she finally got home from work, and use Uber Eats, to order her food and have it delivered to her.  I Googled Uber Eats and found the following information. “Uber Eats is a food delivery platform that makes getting great food from your favorite local restaurants as easy as requesting a ride. Uber Eats is the easy way to get the food you love delivered” Shantel has used Uber Eats several times in the past with no problems. So, because she was tired, and just wanted to order her food, eat, take a shower, and go to bed so she could get up and do her job well again the next day, she called Uber Eats and placed her order. She told me she always tells them she is visually impaired, and needs to have her order delivered to her door. In the past, this has never been a problem. However, last night, the driver called her when she was in the parking lot of Shantel’s apartment complex, and told her she didn’t want to walk to Shantel’s door with the food because it was too dark… She told Shantel she would leave her food order in the parking lot and left!! There is no way Shantel could have ever found her food order in the parking lot, and there is no way she should ever have to do that. Shantel called and made a complaint to the Uber Eats customer service line but they just told her “they will look into it”. I am beyond appalled at the lack of not only customer service by Uber Eats, but also the lack of common decency, for our fellow human beings ,by the Uber Eats delivery driver that told Shantel she would leave her food order in the parking lot and left, even though she knew Shantel is blind. If that woman was afraid to deliver the food order to Shantel’s door in the dark, perhaps she shouldn’t be working for a delivery service at night!

Shantel has also used Grubhub, which is another food deliver service, and found them to have excellent door delivery service. However, Grubhub doesn’t deliver from some of Shantel’s favorite restaurants.

Of course as her mother, I’m always upset when I hear about some of the obstacles Shantel has to deal with in her daily life. I know we all face obstacles in our lives, but sometimes I just think Shantel gets her share, and then some… However, being the beautiful, old soul ,that she is, Shantel never lets any of it get her down. She just keeps on going ,and makes the very best of what she has to work with… I asked her what she did for dinner last night since it was late, and her food order (that was already paid for) was left somewhere in the parking lot, and it was too late to start cooking dinner…? She laughed, and said “lucky for me, I found a can of soup in the cupboard”.

That’s our girl! We love you Shantel.

Stay Tuned!

 

 

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!

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.  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!

Previous Older Entries

Wheeling It: Tales From a Nomadic Life

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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