Monday, September 26, 2016

Busy weekend

We had a busy but satisfying weekend.   Friday night we drove into Denver and met Jesse and Erin after work.   We had a quick but yummy and traditional Mexican dinner outside at El Tacos de Mexico.

The rest of the weekend Dave and Jesse worked on relocating some electrical fixtures in the ceiling and rewiring switches and things at his new house.

a coveralled Dave disappears into Jesse's attic

Jesse and Erin had drawn up a plan of what they wanted to accomplish so after a trip to Home Depot (and a quick "contractor" hot dog for Dave), the "boys" set to work.

caught with a mouthful of Home Depot hot dog with onions
(A guy's gotta keep up his strength)

Dave worked in the attic and Jesse worked downstairs.    Erin cleaned the house and did laundry while I sat and enjoyed my book.   Don't judge....I did walk to the nearby gas station to buy batteries for the walkie talkies you know.

Jesse measures, Kikan dozes

They worked later in the afternoon than originally planned so Erin broke out the candles.

working by candle and head light

She cheerfully prepared her white chicken chili by the light of those candles.

cooking by candle light

Dave and Jesse had the day's job done and the power back on by the time the food was ready so we enjoyed a delicious meal by the light of the new dining room fixture.    No further pictures were taken but a few bottles of Oregon Pinot Noir may have been consumed.

Work resumed on Sunday.   Dave continued his attic gig, finished his stool project, Jesse ran back and forth to the hardware store, pulled wires and handed tools up through the hole and I read.     Erin flew to Portland for a business conference in the afternoon, so I made a pork/sausage/sauerkraut dinner for the three of us.

Today, Monday, Dave and I took care of business at home before meeting Jesse for another wonderful dinner, this time at Duo.    This is a tough life.

Here is Dave's finished wood project.....a cool stool for me!

And for Pam, a picture of the stool with Lewis in the shot......

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!