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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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!

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!

 

 

 

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!

Always Have A Plan B

Over the Memorial Day weekend the whole Taos, and Questa, New Mexico area was overrun with motorcycle riders to the tune of 20,000 bikers descending upon this area. Good for the economy, but that did add to the already busy holiday weekend traffic for the area. So of course, the last thing we wanted to do was get out and add to the traffic congestion. We decided to stay put, and just hang out at the RV Park. But, whatever was I going to do to keep myself busy and entertained? Well, I did what I love to do best… I cooked.

On Friday I made a batch of paleo friendly sweet potato salad,

and a batch of sautéed cabbage and beet greens (a new favorite of ours),

and fried up a batch of crisp bacon to sprinkle on top of those dishes just before serving.

On Saturday evening Bill/papa grilled pork chops, and I served them with mashed cauliflower, with homemade mushroom gravy, and the sautéed cabbage and beet greens. YUM!

On Sunday, we tried to make paleo catfish nuggets, and served them on paleo tortilla’s with carrot slaw. I had to make carrot slaw because I used all the cabbage in the cabbage and beet greens dish.  Carrot slaw was my plan (B) that would have saved the day,

except that paleo catfish was the nastiest thing we ever made, and I could not even begin to gag it down. Bill, on the other hand, didn’t like it either, but managed to eat most of his. That boy has to have a stomach that will tolerate anything, even if he doesn’t like it.

Not me, I not only dumped the catfish out of my tortilla, and replaced it with some bacon I already had fried up, I dumped the rest of the package of frozen catfish as I wasn’t about to try making anything “paleo friendly” with it again anytime soon. Again, it’s good to have a plan (B).

As much as I LOVE to cook, I’m really not a big fan of cooking to this paleo food plan. I find it very difficult to make things taste good when you can’t use the “normal ingredients” that make things stick together…

On Monday, Bill/papa grilled brats, and I served it with grilled onions and red peppers, and the sweet potato salad I already had made. Winner, winner, fabulous dinner.

In the end, over the weekend we made three meals. Two of those meals were delicious, and one that I considered a complete disaster. Some might say two good out of three is not bad.  I say one bad out of three, is still BAD!

Tomorrow we will go grocery shopping in Taos. Thursday we will spend the day packing up, and Friday we will move on down the road to Antonito, Colorado.

Stay tuned!

 

Enchanted Circle, Again

We loved driving through the Enchanted Circle, in New Mexico, so much so, we decided to do it again. But this time, we started from Taos instead of Questa. The scenery is so beautiful, I could never get tired of looking at it.

Well, not far into our trip, we had an “adventure” in the form of a flat tire. However, as Bill/papa was changing the flat tire, a very nice, older gentleman, stopped just to see if he could be of any help. Then, he gave us a great suggestion of where to go in Taos to buy some new tires. So off we went to get new tires, and while we waited, we walked next door and had lunch. Then, within 45 minutes, we were on our way again, to finish our Enchanted Circle drive.

The first time we came through here (going the other way), I hadn’t noticed this house that is set up to look like a big covered wagon. I thought that was very cool looking.

I love little country stores, so of course we had to stop in and check out this country store, located just outside of Angle Fire.

And, oh look, they happen to need camphosts! If we were looking for a hosting position for the summer, this could have been our home. The little store had all kinds of Native American sculptures and jewelry, and they even have a small restaurant adjacent to the store. I’m glad they are looking for help, because the lack of service we saw when we were there left a lot to be desired. No one greeted us when we entered the small store, but there was a woman on the phone (on a personal call) in the back of the store and she just kept talking even while ringing up our purchase. Another woman came from the opening to the adjacent restaurant, and asked if we needed help just as we were leaving, but no one said good-bye, thank-you, or come back again… I would for sure give better customer service than that. Ha!  I would even be happy to cook up, and sell, all kinds of homemade goodness in that little restaurant for the folks. Jambalaya, anyone?

The little RV Park, located right next to the country store, was nice and clean, and didn’t look like it would take too much to keep it up. We didn’t inquire about the positions, but it looked like a nice little gig to me, depending on the hours, and days, they would want you to work…

As we continued on our way, we saw two deer on the side of the road. We slowed down, and one of them turned and dashed across the road right in front of us, allowing me to snap two quick pictures.

 

The last time we came through this area, we saw the Big Horn Sheep right here. I just love the landscape in this particular area. I find it just so, so, beautiful.

Another fun-filled day on our summer celebration tour.

Stay Tuned!

 

Santa Fe N.M.

Bill/Papa and I took a day trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico yesterday. We have been there before, many years ago, and loved everything about the whole area. So, since Santa Fe is only about 90 miles from where we are staying in Questa, New Mexico, we knew another visit was a must.

Everything pretty much looked the same as the last time we visited. I did a little research, and learned that “The long shady portal boarding the north side of the city’s historic plaza, the Palace, now part of the State Historic Museum, is a visual icon of modern-day Santa Fe. This portal serves the Native American Vendors Program which has been operating for over six decades. A daily lottery ensures a rotating selection of artisans from various pueblos throughout New Mexico.” Here artisans show their goods on blankets spread out on the sidewalk. One has to be careful taking pictures there because you really should ask permission if you are going to take a close-up photo of one of the locals selling their goods. I totally agree with that rule.

All of the “old town” Santa Fe area is beautiful,

and colorful, and I so love lots of color in my life.

After spending some time getting re-aquainted with the area, Bill/Papa and I went to the local Public Library and asked for a good recommendation for lunch. Hey, if the Library doesn’t know, who else do you ask? We were directed to a “hot spot” called “The Shed”. We had lunch out on their lovely patio.

I had the blue corn tortilla green chili beef tacos, that came with pinto beans and posole (hominy and meat, traditionally pork, and spices). I loved the posole, but I love hominy. Bill/Papa, not so much. But we both overall loved our lunch.

After lunch, we continued our walk around the town square,

going in and out of all the little shops,

and we visited The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi,

a beautiful Cathedral, both inside and out, but unfortunately, I was having a “senior moment” and at the time, could not remember how to turn off the flash on the camera, and no flash photo’s were allowed inside the Cathedral.

While we were shopping, we came across lots, and lots of colorful, full-sized, Mexican Sombrero’s . When we had our home, I looked high and low for a full-sized, colorful Mexican Sombrero to hang on the wall, but never found one I really liked, or I wasn’t willing to pay the asking price. But, score, today Bill/Papa and I found the perfect, colorful, mini-sombrero, that I think works perfectly in our motorhome. Even better score at just $3.00.

And ever since we became full-time RVer’s, we never leave any place we stay, for any length of time, without a magnet for our fridge. So of course, we had to find the perfect magnet to represent our return visit to Santa Fe, and our stay here in New Mexico.

So enjoying our time in New Mexico. Love that we planned a whole month to take our time, and really get to know what this beautiful state is all about. The people are so kind and welcoming, and we are taking every opportunity to get to know the locals, and get a better understanding of the whole culture of New Mexico.

Stay Tuned!

 

 

 

 

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