Sunday, July 31, 2011

Finally!!.....Final Chapter

On a rural road near Mancos in south-central Colorado, Amy, Kiah and I were looking for Joe and Beccas home. I had been to their place several years earlier but everything looked different from what I remembered.
The GPS told us "you have reached your destination" but all we saw in the immediate area was scrub brush,rocks,prickley pear cactus, yucca plants and power lines stetching across the rolling hills. We did come up on several houses but nothing looked familiar. After a couple of times of slowly driving up and down rural 'Road P', we saw Joe standing in a gravel drive waving. Next to the drive was a silver mailbox with their name in large black letters, plain as day. How we missed seeing their place is still a mystery to me. Probably the long hours at highway speed(everthing passing in sort of a blurr) just blinded us once we got to slow, country road reality.
Anyway we made it!
We were greeted first by a large red dog with intelligent eyes. He trotted up to my door as I opened it. His large body blocked me from getting out. I spoke, saying complimentary things to him, hoping to win him over. He's the kind of dog you definitley want on your side!
When he started wagging his tail, I took my eyes off of him and looked at Joe.
Joe greeted me with a handshake and a hug. As the girls got out of the car, they too were welcomed first by Cliff (the big red dog) then by Joe.
Becca and baby boy Isaac greeted us in the yard and welcomed us to their home.
In a spot Joe had cleared for our tent, the girls got into the 'set-up tent' mode and we were quickly unpacked and ready for the two day visit.
After setting up camp, a tour of the house was in order. A sleeping blond headed boy (Orin) was oblivious to the commotion of 'the tour'. Becca assured us that we needn't worry about waking him as he is a heavy sleeper. It wasn't long though, that he woke up.He sat up and quietly looked at the new faces for a short time, then his dad called him over for an introduction.
Orin warmed up very quickly to the company and soon he and I were playing cars and trucks,and reading books.
Dinner time had us sitting around the table eating spaghetti and the garlic toast Joe had prepared for us.
After eating we all went for a short walk around their place.
And what a unique place it is.
Joe, Becca ,Orin and Isaac live in a Yert sitting on the southern edge of a 35 acre tract of enchanted land.
To the east and down a 500-600 foot hill is a pond. I took a tour of the pond in a kayak with Cliff swimming right along side. After getting out of the Kayak and taking the life jacket off, I was a bit embarrassed to find that the pond is only a few feet deep.
The pond is home to hundreds of frogs. (they did a fine job of singing me to sleep the two nights we were there).
Apparently a few snakes reside at there as well. Kiah cooled off in the pond on our second day, saw a snake and seemed undetered. The relief offered from the afternoon heat offset any fear of snakes.
Up the hill from the pond is a garden spot Joe and Becca have cleared for growing a variety of vegetables. It's soft- tilled soil and tender green plants are a stark contrast to the jagged stones and leather-like leaves of the vegetation just outside the garden fence.
A short tromp on a trail just north and west of the yert got me in the mood for more. The rugged landscape seemed to be taunting me. A toughness is required to venture here. But there are treasures here,as well, for those that are equipped to see them.
An extended hike,however, would have to be put on hold. Evening was quickly sliding westward.Instead of venturing out, it was time to settle in.
to be continued............

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Trip up-date

Just a reminder (for those that are interested) that I have been up-dating our trip out west on the previous entry. It's a slow process but hopefully I will be done with it before I forget all the fun we had.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy 30

Weather you are on the equator, hanging 10 in california, camping with wolves in wyoming or napping in new york :), this is what is in my heart. xxoomo

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Colorado-Wyoming Trip summary

As we rolled into the neighborhood at a few minutes before midnight on Saturday the trip meter on the car read 5200 miles. 10 states in 10 days. average of 520 mile a day! i should be a trucker!

Day 1

Usually on a trip like that you encounter rain. We drove through rain on day one. After that, it was clear skies the rest of the way.

After checking in to a local RV park and setting up camp, we took off for a look around the area.

The dry cool air of Colorado had Amy, Kiah and I in the mood for some hiking and rock climbing. We got to do a bit of both in the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. The wonderfull smell of cedar trees welcomed us as we entered the park.The late evening sunlight provided an incredible contrast of light and shadow on the towering red cliffs. An inviting crevice lured the girls upward into a cave-like room with seating for two. They sat and chatted and laughed in their private little rock room. After a short while, I reluctantly informed the girls that there were more sights to see and darkness was looming, so they said their goodbyes to the crevice and we all went exploring until dark.

After a one night camp out at the RV park (that seemed to be in a direct flight path of the loudest jet planes known to man), we set off to visit Colorado University at Colorado Springs.

( Our trip was scheduled around visits to 4 colleges from Colorado to Washington and California to give the girls a better idea of what to look for as they are both graduating High School this coming spring.) I will not go into detail about these campus visits so as to keep this summary as short as possible. I will say though, this fact finding mission was a success. No decisions have been made but we all got a better perpective of what lies ahead in this important transition period to come.

Day 2

After loading up and gassing the car up (3.39 a gallon in Colorado Springs) we hit the road northward through The Mile High City, Cheyenne and Casper Wyoming, then up to a beautiful campsite west of Buffalo. There we took our system of setting up camp to a new level. As I un packed the tent and layed it out , the girls got the air mattresses inflated then came over and helped get the tent standing, stakes driven, sleeping bags in and the rain fly on.

With a sparkling mountain stream roaring behind us and a beautiful cliff in our front yard we were in a campers paradise. The cliff had to be scaled and the stream had to be explored so we got right to it. Kiah decided to do a barefoot climb (which made for tender feet and band-aid requests later). Both her and Amy scurried up ahead as I packed a small back pack before heading out. When I caught up I was pleased to find that they had bushwhacked through some prickley trees and brambles and managed to scale a steep field of boulders and outcroppings. I joined them for the rest of the climb and the reward was more than just reaching the top. Witnessing my daughter and my niece climbing this cliff gives me confidence in what they might achieve in the future.The skills it takes to take climb a cliff is not unlike many other important tasks in our lives. Mapping out a plan and executing the plan, adjusting to unexpected difficulties, and staying determined and focused (even in frightening moments) until you've completed the task. The cliff provided a test of sorts and the girls passed with flying colors!

After making our way back down, the cold stream beckoned and the girls plunged in! ( My excuse for not joining them was a search for fire-wood). I did manage to do some wading and it was invigorating to say the least. After playing for the best part of an hour in the stream, we decided to take a quick trip into Buffalo to buy some hot-dogs and buns to roast.
At a food market at the edge of town we were told there was not a bun to be found in town due all of the cook-outs the previous few days celebrating the 4th of July week-end. So we bought some sandwich rolls, some all beef franks and some marshmallows and headed out the door. The store had a promotion for a 10 percent discount for patrons of 50 years old and older. I also bought some flip flops for Amy for the ridiculous price of 88 cents. Oh the perks of getting older!
After eating our weiner roast goodies, and a few fire-side stories, we settled down for a cold night, with the constant roar of the mountain stream singing her lullaby.

to be continued.........

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Nowata Fouth

Fire works are fun,
Always waiting for the ONE,
Light them and you run.

Click the Title for all the photos.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


25 stories high! had to get psyched for this one!