Tuesday, July 28, 2015

successful tuesday

We stepped off the elevator into the men's shoe department.   Directly in front of us were the exact shoes Dave has been looking for.   The right size, the right color, and on sale......

After that purchase was made we continued another 100 feet or so into the men's suit department.    The perfect one practically jumped off the rack at us.   The right size, alterations free, and once again on sale.    Cross another thing of the wedding list.  

We could hardly believe our luck.   Shopping is often a chore, especially if one is looking for something very specific.   Not today!

We left Nordstrom and went out into the mall, Cherry Creek Mall.    I ducked into the shop directly next door and, lo and behold, came out with the last pieces needed to complete my outfit for the wedding!    Things were definitely going our way.

On the way home we stopped at Camping World, our favorite place (NOT) and found the replacement chair we had been looking for - yep, on sale!

So....altogether a very successful day.    It certainly wasn't an inexpensive day, but a very satisfying one.    No more shopping!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday's best laid plans

This morning we stowed our loose belongings, put the lid on the dog's water bowl, secured the cupboards, folded up the end table, put the computer away, unplugged and removed the lamps, put the antenna down and started old Beluga up in preparation for moving to our final site here at Dakota Ridge.  We were moving from a pull through to a more private and spacious back in,  but before we settled in to our new digs we planned on driving Beluga to the other side of Denver to have her front end aligned.

Last thing to do was pull in the slides.   In came the front slide.   click click click went the back slide.   click click click.  click click click.   Nothing.    Since we didn't have very far to move in the campground Dave just drove very slowly with the back slide still extended.    He backed into M-3 and re-hooked all our services.

whatcha doin dad?

Then he set to work trying to find the slide motor bypass and disengage the brake to be able to bring the errant slide in manually.   Piece of cake, at least it looked like it was a piece of cake.   Dave always takes these things in stride and makes them look easy.

By the time all was back in order it was after 11 a.m. and we'd missed our window to have the alignment work done.    Ah well, best laid plans.    We'll pack up and try again another day.

Sasha loves the deep grass at this site.  We have lots more room outside and no one behind us.    A nice couple, work campers, are on our patio side.   Sweet.    Mr. Lewis should feel more comfortable here.

Unless a trailer full of kiddies with wheels pulls in on our other side.......

Sunday, July 26, 2015

the Weekend

Only Sunday was exciting.   Friday we did a bit of reconnaissance for Beluga's front end alignment appointment on Monday (you know, can we tow the car or do I have to drive along behind, is there an easy place to unhook, do we really need to take the car, how long will the appointment be, and if it will take awhile, what is interesting to do/see in the area)  and had lunch out.   Saturday we ventured into the Golden Farmer's Market to pick up one of the yummy peach pies we bought last week.     We didn't get one, however, because the entire town was celebrating Buffalo Bill Days and the streets were closed off for the ensuing festivities.    Plan B included doing a bit of cleaning/straightening up around the "house" and giving Lewis a shave (face only this time).

Lewis gets mellow after his shave

Sunday was the final day of the Mile High Nationals (NHRA - drag races) at Bandemere Speedway, practically in our backyard.   Dave is an absolute nut about auto racing, drag racing in particular.     Jesse and Erin picked us up around 8:30 and we managed to snag a primo parking spot at the track before the rest of the 10,000 +/- folks arrived.

Bandemere Speedway
utilizes the hillside and has a number of different levels
this is a view down one set of seats

This was extra fun for us because it was Erin's first time at such an event.    Jesse has been with us at many different racing venues for most of his life so we all saw this through Erin's new eyes.    She was a good sport and was full of great questions as we walked through the pits (the garage area where the teams and drivers get their impossibly powerful entries tuned and ready to go) before the actual races.

tables of spare parts, just in case.
these are  cylinder heads with headers attached

dragsters staged and ready to pair off at the start line

It was really hot and sunny.   We (I) walked through the pits taking advantage of any bit of shade available.    There was a lovely breeze blowing up the bleachers and it felt really good when it found us.      The organizers of this event had open sided tents here and there that had misters working inside.    I chuckled as we walked by the first one, watching people crowd in and smile with relief at the gentle soaking.    We had a bit of very unhealthy (but tasty) food and as we walked back past the misting tent, we ducked in and got pleasantly damp before find our seats for the first round of racing.

I took no more pictures because I needed both hands to cover my ears as these screaming, thundering machines flew by us.   If you've never been to a big drag race you have no idea how the sound touches you.    It literally hits you in the chest and shakes you in your seat.    I wish I had my camera trained on Erin as the first pair roared past.    The shocked grin on her face was fantastic!

Dave, Jesse and Erin watched pair after pair race down the track until light rain and strong wind (the usual Denver area afternoon happening) chased them away about 2:30.     I cut my day short, however, I think the heat got me.     I'm told I don't drink enough water....    Jesse ran me home (I told you the track was close to Dakota Ridge) and I took a long nap in wonderful air conditioned Beluga.   Dave wasn't happy about me going home alone, but I assured him I'd be right as rain so he unhappily acquiesced.

At the end of the day Dave and Jesse grilled sausages and we ate them with Farmer's Market pierogis (from last week) blueberry crisp and a bottle of cold Sancerre.

  Great day!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Wednesday and Thursday

You might expect this blog to be a long one, since it is titled "Wednesday and Thursday".....two days worth of things to tell you and show you.

You would be wrong.    I should have titled it "BCA".

We had an appointment for the Jeep on Wednesday morning, assuming it would be a few hour fix and we'd be ready to head up to Estes Park on Thursday, as planned.    We were wrong.

The air bag warning light and its alarm have been pestering us for a couple weeks. The power door locks have been behaving oddly and occasionally the radio would change stations against our orders.   Once we came back to the jeep after lunch in Boulder to find its rear hatch back open, exposing all our good "junk" to passersby.     Gremlins, poltergeists, computer glitches - we made an appointment to find out what was going on and yesterday was the day.  

Dave dropped it off at the jeep dealer and walked the mile or so back to Dakota Ridge.   We spent that day doing domestic chores, taking care of bills, reading and spending time with the dogs.

The weather cooperated and we had a sunny warm day with no rain!   We spent a fair bit of time outside, making hay while the sun shone...

he often pretends he doesn't know where
the ball is.....
Sasha snoozed and Lewis enjoyed a few enthusiastic games of ball.  

The jeep wasn't fixed by the end of the day yesterday so we found ourselves stuck here without wheels for another day.   We had planned on going up to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park, but it would have been a really long walk so we did the same things today that we did yesterday.    Read, play with the dogs, paper work, phone calls (we're dealing with an extremely annoying and long running insurance/trust issue) and a bit of cooking (which yielded a disappointing dinner).

A family with two adolescent girls moved in a few sites away.  Lewis didn't enjoy his outside time after they came.   He couldn't let them out of his sight, even his beloved ball held no interest when they were around.    Both girls had unicycles and rode them endlessly up and down our row.    Kids on bikes are scary enough, kids on unicycles evidently present even more danger to a black poodle.

Lew carries his worry in his tail.....
(I know - he needs grooming)

he carries his happiness in his tail also

I didn't take pictures of Sasha in her usual happy hour/cocktail hour pose because you've all seen her flat on her side, snoring.     I do, however, have one of her dozing by the table as we ate our ham and cheese sandwiches this afternoon.


We always share a bit of our meals with the dogs, after we've finished eating.
They don't beg at the table, they wait quietly until we're completely done and don't complain very much if we forget to share once in awhile.    Sometimes Sasha works so hard at being a good girl and not begging that she nods off and doesn't even notice the odd bit of cheese or slice of juicy ham offered.   Sometimes she doesn't notice for a long time......


Lewis, good boy that he is, never steals the tidbit intended for Sasha.   He waits til she wakes up and scarfs up the goodie before he comes near - just to make sure she hasn't left any crumbs on the carpet.  He is nothing if not neat.

See?   You should have heeded the Boring Couple Alert before reading tonight's blog.

p.s. we got the jeep back this afternoon around 6, all fixed (we hope....).     We've missed our Estes Park "window" for this week.   We learned our lesson not to attempt a drive into the mountains on a weekend.  

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


We try to dance around the weather, do outdoor things while the sky is blue.   We've sort of decided that it will rain somewhere, sometime every day.   The forecasters don't really predict where or when very well so we just assume that it will be nice for part of the day and not nice for part.    The trick is finding the sweet spot.

Yesterday was our day to drive up into the mountains to the little town of Breckenridge.  Traffic was light on I-70 this time.

Sky was clear and blue in Golden.   The further we drove, the more clouds we saw.     Tough, we just pushed on.   We don't like rain, but we don't melt.   If we waited for a day with no precipitation predicted we'd not move from site D-6.

pretty serious run away truck ramps along this route!

Dillon Reservoir

We got to Breckenridge a little after one and found a restaurant with an outdoor patio for lunch.   What a cute little place.   We thought we'd eat then stroll around the streets and along the river side.    We got a table in the sun and enjoyed our lunch of yummy shrimp.    I sat facing the mountains.   As we began our meal there wasn't a cloud in the sky.   Gradually, very slowly, clouds began to peek over the peak and by the end of our meal we had to run for cover.     No walking or strolling for us now.

my lunch view

The waiter told us to wait 20 minutes and it would be all over and the sun would come out, but we didn't believe him.   We got back in the car and decided to continue south on route 9 and make a long loop back through the mountains to connect with route 285 in Fairplay and eventually back into Golden.

We ran through heavy clouds, mist and in and out of high sunlit, flower filled meadows.   I was glad we decided to forgo the walk through Breckenridge, these vistas were just too spectacular.    We'll try again another day.

the mountains seem to make their own weather, create
their own clouds

Fairplay is located in South Park, one of Colorado's most beautiful designated heritage areas and is the Park County seat.    Another small, quirky, artsy mountain town.

County Courthouse

Monday, July 20, 2015


 The city of Golden holds its weekly Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings.  We seem to remember that fact on Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning.    This week we got our act together and arrived at the Library parking lot by 11.     This is a fairly small but relatively complete market with a number of produce vendors, and the usual soaps, honey, breads and assorted food stands.    Dave tried several samples of horseradish, but pronounced none of them strong enough, his eyes weren't even watering!

The location is pretty.    It runs alongside Clear Creek with its people friendly park and the views of the foothills make sure you remember where you are.    The "M" on the hillside in the picture above indicates the School of Mines is here in Golden and it has been illuminated at night since the 1930's   These mountain monograms are common here in the west, most often indicating the first letter of the town below, but sometimes they are the symbol of school pride.

not very appetizing is it

To be fair, the picture above was a booth that offered a "bag full for $10" and people took that offer seriously, cramming as much as humanly possible in the offered plastic bag.    It wasn't to pretty.    This wasn't the Eugene Farmer's Market, to be sure.

pepper display at Eugene, Oregon's  market

another beautiful offering in Eugene

At another booth.....we bought a few things to take to Jesse's for Sunday dinner.  I'd go back another Saturday, but I would definitely would avoid the $10 a bag booth.

When we got back home we saw that our very good, most excellent and quiet long term neighbor had moved on and someone new had taken his place.    The site we're in right now isn't my favorite but with the good neighbor next door it has been very livable.    The configuration of the pull thru's at this campground cause two sites share the large green space between them.     We have claimed the picnic table nearest our door and it is home to our basil and cactus plants.   Its where we sit for second cup and, if it isn't raining, for happy hour.   Sasha snoozes in the grass nearby and Lewis shoves and kicks his ball around while we chat and enjoy our beverages.

Guess where the new people have moved their picnic table and chairs?    I just don't get it...

cozy ain't it?

Ah well, we're moving to a back in site next Monday so until then we'll just have to deal.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Another Plan B day

The weather forecasters told us that Friday would be relatively rain free so we seized the opportunity and set off on I-70 west.    We've been wanting to get to Breckenridge, about an hour and a half away from us here in Golden so we got a relatively early start.    I knew traffic on I-70 had the potential to be heavy as people start heading to the mountains for the weekend, but I thought that we'd be safe in the morning.    Wrong.

We sat in slowly creeping traffic for about 3/4 of an hour before finally reading the writing on the wall.   Plan B.    We exited the parking lot - oh, I meant to say the highway - onto route 6 (the same route 6 that continues right on east into Provincetown, Massachusets!) intending to head back and try again another day.

   At the last minute I (being the navigator) changed plans and asked Dave to turn north on 6.  We've not been to the mountain/casino towns of Black Hawk and Central City so it seemed the time was right to do so.

We quickly drove through Black Hawk, it seemed to be choked with high rise casinos shoehorned into the narrow canyon.   On into Central City where the scenery seemed quite different at first.   No high rises, no valet parking, no pedestrian bridges from one casino to the other.

The narrow streets were lined with beautifully restored buildings dating from the late 1800's.  Flags were flying in the light breeze, beautiful flowers in pots and hanging from light poles.

We parked on the brick street and decided to walk around and perhaps find a quaint little restaurant to have lunch.

We both had a really creepy feeling as we walked down the streets.   It was a beautiful, sunny day.   The streets were lined with parked cars.    Except, we saw no people out.   No one out strolling and enjoying the day.   No one sitting on the benches,  no one eating ice cream cones, no kids.    Was there a world event we missed?   Was everyone vaporized?   Where was everyone?    Then we "got" it....

This only seemed like a beautiful little town's main street.   Every building housed a casino.  No one was out because everyone was gambling.

Dave went in to one of them, looking for a restaurant and a puff of stale cigarette smoke wafted out as he opened the door.     Everything is not as it appears.   We left Central City post haste.

We backtracked a bit and then followed route 119 into the small mountain town of Nederland (about 17 miles west of Boulder) where we finally found a cafe and lunch.   After a decent lunch (note to self: waffles made at high altitude leave something to be desired) we got back on 119 and continued on into Boulder.

Baker Reservoir in Nederland

The route followed the path of  Boulder Creek and we took a few dirt road detours to get a bit closer to the water in various places along the way.    What a beautiful place, at the bottom of a valley, rushing, tumbling water on one side and fabulous rock formations rising up all around us.

climbers along the way
see the tiny blue spot?

We also encountered the funky little hippy town of Eldorado Springs.   The road in was dirt, dust really.   Some of the homes were pretty nice, others ramshackle.   One had a large courtyard filled with wonderfully whimsical statues.    We passed a packed swimming pool, a pretty large public swimming pool stuck on the side of the canyon between the sheer cliffs and the creek.    Evidently it is filled with the water from an artesian spring - Eldorado Spring -  a cold water spring by the way. (the word "artesian" was highlighted in yellow by the google gods and I cannot persuade them to remove the highlight, so please ignore it...)  I was tired by this time and didn't take any pictures.   Tired and not completely comfortable taking pictures in this narrow little town where I may unintentionally take a shot of someone in their living room or kitchen.  The houses and pool were that close to the road.   I also wasn't sure if the "sculpture garden" was private or open to curiosity seekers like me.  

this cat was on the garden wall, watching,

Another fun and very unplanned day!