Friday, September 23, 2016

I forgot!

I forgot to include this picture in last night's blog!    I know it's composition isn't correct, the colors drab, the door dirty, the subject questionable, but.......

I realize that the National Parks and Forest Service facilities have had to deal with budget cuts and staff reductions, but is this really necessary?

Thursday, September 22, 2016


Its Thursday already, we only have about a week and a half left here.   I really don't know where the time goes.

After a nice long catch up phone call with Cindy P,  we drove into Littleton to get a few errands done and on our way home we found our usual route blocked.

ruh roh!

The lead tractor trailer driver made a grave miscalculation and his rig was stuck fast in the ditch with the load across both lanes of the road.   The second rig had a very flat tire so it was clear we needed to find a new way home.

We wondered where the first truck thought he was going because it appeared he was headed directly into a roadside pasture complete with extremely nosy horses.

Today's weather was beautiful, but odd.   Sun was warm on our faces, wind very cool on our backs and a deep layer of fog lay over the ridge of mountains to our west.   It came and went, heavier and lighter, as if it were a living, breathing thing.    Quite interesting to watch.

After lunch yesterday, Wednesday, we drove in to Jesse and Erin's house.   Jesse's back is improving but Dave was happy to cut his grass while he continues to take care of himself.    Its very tempting to get back to normal as quickly as possible and we all know that is when real problems can crop up so we were glad we were able to help out.    I took advantage of their huge new washer and dryer and did a couple loads while we were there.  

After Dave had the lawn in hand he used Jesse's little garage wood shop to work on his stool project.

Kikan kept him company, she doesn't have any real work shop experience but was happy to lend support when necessary.

Erin had a class in the evening so after Jesse got home from work the three of us went out for a delicious Greek dinner....sorry Erin!

We've been doing a bit of exploring while Jesse and Erin are working.    One day we discovered a really fun drive on forest service roads a bit south of here, along the Rampart Range.    We took route 85 out of Littleton to Sedalia and continued south on route 105 to route 67.    It was a beautiful ride through a long valley dotted with well kept horse properties and white fenced cattle pastures.

We turned off onto Dakan, a moderately wide dirt road heading directly up into the mountains.   It twisted and turned, back and forth, then turned into a forest service road.   I didn't keep track of all the road numbers as we drove the 25 or so miles up and through the mountains.    We met very few others along the way.

sunny lunch spot

 The road wound through deeply forested areas sprinkled with odd shaped rock formations.      It was wide, smooth and flat, dusty,  sometimes narrow and twisting with sharp switchbacks, "on your nose" descents and very steep and deeply rutted ascents and sometimes across broad areas of rock.    Fun!

rutted road ahead

Sometimes we stopped off the road and explored interesting areas.

up we go

We spent more time than we had planned in the forest so it was getting late and we were quite a long way from home.    We came down off the ridge and ended up in the small down of Deckers.   Along the way home we found ourselves following the South Platte River in an area full of huge boulders and made a note to return for a more leisurely exploration of the riverside.

A few days later, after spending a bit of time pouring over our Colorado Gazatteer, we thought we could find that road again.      We did.....and spent a lazy afternoon driving and walking along the beautiful South Platte.

lunch spot along the river

The river in this area is choked with huge boulders that shape and change the flow of the fast moving river.


We saw two men in kayaks heading for one particularly narrow spot so we found a rocky ledge and settled down to watch them shoot through.

nervous Victoria watching son, David

We met a woman standing nervously above the kayaks.   The boats contained her husband and her son and she was worried about her son's ability to handle his kayak in this water.    She told us she had been a whitewater kayaker for many years but recently took a "serious swim" that ended her river jaunts.    She and her husband has sold their California home last month, bought a truck and new Airstream trailer and set out to see what this country looks like.   They were in the area visiting the son below, who lives in Denver!    Small world....

I sent her the pictures I took of husband and son navigating the narrows in fine form.

The signs of fall were all around us as we moved along the river.    Aspens were turning golden, bushes and random leaves were beginning their transition.

The persistent fog layer in the mountains didn't allow for a pretty sunset tonight, but we weren't altogether disappointed....

Monday, September 19, 2016

Poodle in the Platte

We were gone a lot this past weekend.   We had a wonderful time but we felt guilty that sweet Lewis spent his weekend on the bed, snoozing and, well.....snoozing.    He's very patient and happy to wait for us to come back but we wanted to spend the afternoon letting him do what he loves most.  Play ball.
Playing ball in the water is better still, especially on such a warm day.

We had a few chores to attend to before lunch.   We found a really interesting slab of wood in Eugene, so Dave is building me a small footstool with it.    Lew supervised today's sanding.

Dave sands quickly in the rapidly disappearing shade

A couple pieces of molding were coming loose inside so while Dave was still wearing his woodworker hat he took care of them.     He doesn't carry all his tools, so he has to make due with what he does have.    Sometimes things have to do double duty!

a hiking pole can double as a wood clamp with a little creativity

After lunch we loaded Lewis into the Jeep and drove over to the trail leading down to the Platte River.   He was quite beside himself when he realized where we were going and he whined, and chortled and even screamed all the way.


  It was a beautiful sunny day and fall is beginning to touch the cottonwoods trees lining the river.

doesn't he move beautifully?  Westminster here he comes!

"looking" for the ball

The river is quite low, but still has a pretty strong current.    It was hard to walk across it without my feet feeling like they were being taken out from under me.  It took Lew a few minutes to realize that if he didn't catch the ball right away it would be carried away.     It shot past him a few times while he spent time looking under the water for it.  

 Eventually he figured it out and would scan the surface down stream for the red ball, he didn't lose any more throws.

Perfect way to spent a hot Monday afternoon.    We all had a great time getting wet!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Busy and Happy Weekend

This weekend, one year ago, our wonderful son married his love.  

 We enjoyed being part of the festivities then and we are lucky enough to be here to share their anniversary joy this weekend.     I didn't take many pictures, we just savored the moments.

Friday night Dave and I took the light rail from Littleton (near Chatfield State Park) into Union Station, downtown,  to meet Jesse and Erin for dinner at Bistro Vendome and the opening concert of the Denver Symphony's season.

The evening was warm enough to sit outside and we were treated to a delightful French bistro meal (including a life changing lentil salad) before walking to the Boettcher Concert Hall a few blocks away.     The entire evening was a gift from Jesse and Erin for the mother's days and birthdays we are rarely able to spend together.   So sweet.....and so appreciated.      We had wonderful seats to hear and see Jon Kimura Parker play Brahms and Strauss.  

 After the concert ended Jesse and Erin walked us to the Theatre District rail station for our ride home.   The evening ended with a bang...quite literally, a bang!    A terrific thunder and lightning cell moved over downtown as we walked, the thunder claps rolling through the canyons of high rise buildings.  It was the most incredible sound, you could almost feel it!   Erin did not share our enthusiasm, however......    The accompanying rain held off until we were safely seated on the train, but poor Jesse and Erin were left to walk back to their car in a torrential downpour (I think they actually called Uber to save them).

The next afternoon, Saturday, the happy couple came down to Chatfield for a cookout and some more of our good Oregon wine finds (and a couple Oregon sweatshirts!)   By the time the steaks were cooked it was quite chilly but we toughed it out and ate until it was dark.

Lewis hangs on Jesse's every word.....

she really did like those potatoes, honest!

Today, Sunday, we had a special champagne brunch together on the porch at the Boulder Chautauqua.   Jesse and Erin stayed at one of the cottages at Chautauqua
last year on their wedding weekend,  Dave and I hosted the wedding eve's Welcome Party there, and many of their friends and family members rented accommodations for the weekend so it is a place near and dear to all our hearts.
The setting is bucolic, the people friendly and the food delicious - it didn't disappoint again this morning.


Our tummies full, we walked into Boulder and along the Pearl Street Mall.   We stopped by one of the design projects Erin recently completed.    We've heard about it, but it was wonderful actually seeing how all the little details fit together and how well the space works.    Erin and Dave talked business.

Erin explains

yes, that does look like a runny egg on Dave's shirt....

We picked up a bottle of our favorite Olive Oil and made a few other purchases along the way, including a Christmas purchase and a small amount of ice cream was consumed.

It was a long and lovely day.    We left Jesse and Erin at their house and drove home to spend the evening with our patient poodle.    We sat outside with a glass of wine, discussed our full weekend and watched the stars come out (Lewis watched 4 deer grazing very nearby, he's not really interested in stargazing).