Saturday, May 31, 2008

Checking the Bloom

It's getting time for the wildflowers to start blooming around here. I missed the main bloom at Roxborough State Park last year and I kicked myself about it for months. I'm not about to let it slip by me again this year so yesterday I took a hike at this pretty park.

I didn't get down there until mid afternoon and thought that it might be a little warm for a long hike. Turned out that is was not too hot and a delightful breeze made things very comfortable.

This place is absolutely incredible when all the flowers are in bloom. The blue, white and yellow flowers contrast the red rock and Colorado cobalt blue skies. It's heaven for nature enthusiasts and photographers as well...and I happen to be both. It's also a great place for birding, something I am just beginning to appreciate.

The good new is that it will probably be about a week and a half to two weeks to the peak of the bloom. The very first blooms are just beginning to appear now. The bad news is that between CaJenn's wedding and my trip to see my Dad, The Colonel, I may miss the high point again this year. If I do however, it won't be for lack of trying. I'll go by there once more before we leave for the wedding on Thursday and will be able to get in at l
east one more look see the week following the wedding.

CaJenn left a comment on my last post "Do You Know The Way To San Jose", saying that the picture of her and her husband to be is possibly the worst picture in existence of the both of them? Looked pretty good to me but that is probably the "Daddy Eyes" filter on my part. I promise I p
ost a really good picture in about 10 days!

I spoke with The Colonel today and am glad to report that he seems to be doing pretty well under the circumstances. He was in enough pain yesterday that he was taken back to the hospital to see if perhaps there was a broken bone somewhere that had been overlooked. Fortunately not, and he's back
at the continuing care facility. This morning he was in good spirits and fairly sharp of mind. I've got my fingers and toes crossed for him.

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Do You Know The Way to San Jose? W Day Minus 10

It's starting to get awfully close. #1 daughter, CaJenn, will be getting married a week from Saturday. That's her in the picture above and her husband to be. I have not chosen a moniker for him just yet....Hmm, any suggestions CaJenn??

Both sides of the family are excited and are looking forward to the event. These are two fine young people and we know they will be very happy together.

The Bride and I and The Emmer and The Brides mother "S" will be flying from Denver to San Jose next Thursday. The wedding itself will be in Monterey, CA but San Jose was as close as we could get with a direct flight. From there we will meet up with The Bride's brother and family and drive to Monterey.

I've been pretty successful in putting everything related to the wedding out of my mind and letting the ladies of both families do all the heavy lifting. I can't put it out of my mind any longer and I'm now counting days and having good wishes along with everyone else.

I'm sure there will be many stories to relate about the event in....eleven days!

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Three Days, Two Nights Part Deux

What is this? Am I stuck on three days and two nights? I came up short one night again, but the good thing is...So What? Conditions turned less than ideal so I headed home on a Thursday. On the way back into the Denver metro area I saw lots of folks headed up....into the snow. Bound and determined to use all of their Memorial Day weekend come hell or high water, or whatever. A smile spread over my face as I headed down into more reasonable weather.

The picture at the top of the post was taken about 5 miles from my campsite at about 9 am this morning. Three days and two nights provided plenty of "decompression", mountain fix, and just plain good times to last for a while. The picture to the right shows what my campsite looked like on Tuesday afternoon...What a great place.

I was about 200' from the lake. One other camper in the small campground. Camping was FREE. Temperature was in the upper 70's. Can it get any better than that?

Well, I was there to find out, because a big activity on my list was fishing. Could I have all of this good stuff and catch fish too? I guess the "his self" mojo was working because I didn't have any problem catching fish. There is a four fish limit on trout at this reservoir and I had that filled within the first hour and a half. Nothing spectacular but plenty of fun with 10-12" rainbow and Snake River cutthroat trout. After I had my limit I continued to fish and release everything I caught. I probably caught 10 or 11 fish that afternoon.

Because it was proving to be so easy, I even bent the barbs down on my hooks to make it more difficult. That solved my problem big time. Once I did that, I still had numerous "fish on" but failed to land a one. Wednesday was not as easy but I still caught my limit and then some when I went back to standard barbed hooks.

All these fish were caught on #2 Mepps spinners. This is a venerable lure, invented in 1938. I have fished with this lure sinc
e the late 1950's and it is always the "go to" lure. It will catch fish when everything else fails.

While fishing occupied a lot of time, there was still time for some hiking, reading and plain old "communing with nature".

This morning broke cloudy with numerous rain/snow showers and temps in the 50's. I decided to try a little more fishing in between showers but it proved too uncomfortable...even though I caught two fish inside of 30 minutes. When it started snowing I said enough is enough, packed up and headed down to the Denver area.

Round trip for this excursion was 175 miles. 175 miles and free camping may just get a lot of workout this summer. This is a place I will definitely return to.

I was totally out of contact while I was gone. No cell coverage and absolutely no internet. When I returned I discovered that my father, The Colonel, has had some medical issues that are concerning. He fell an broke his hip on Tuesday and while at the hospital it was discovered that he had pneumonia and some heart issues as well.

Brother #1 will go to Georgia next week to be with him. If need be I will follow in June after my daughter's (Cajenn) wedding. After a good trip, this is a sobering return. It's hard to keep an old Horse Soldier down but the years are making it difficult for him. My thoughts and prayers are with him.

Thanks for visiting.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Powwow 2 and Gone Fishin'

I enjoyed the Tesoro Foundation Indian Market and Powwow so much on Saturday morning that I took The Bride and The Emmer back to it on Sunday.Another perfect Colorado spring day.....almost bordering on summer because the temperature got into the 80's. The picture at the top of the post is the view from behind the performance area. A perfect setting for this type of event.

One of the organizations participating in this event was Hawk Quest. This organization provides education to the general public and especially children about hawks, eagles, owls and falcons. The bald eagle in my last post was there courtesy of Hawk Quest.

The Emmer especially enjoyed seeing the owls and the eagle that Hawk Quest had in their booth. She also had fun petting some of the local law enforcement horses.

Spring has certainly sprung. It will be very warm this week with one day edging into the low 90's. That had prompted me to decide to slip away into the mountains for a couple days of fishing. The plan is to leave tomorrow and come back on Friday. Hopefully that way I'll avoid all the Memorial Day crowds.

My target destination this time is a small reservoir about 50 miles from here. Tarryall Reservoir is at about 8800 feet elevation so it should be nice and cool. The reservoir was drained a couple of years ago but the Department of Wildlife has been aggressively stocking the lake with rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout.

The Tarryall was named by miners. After discovering placer gold the creek in 1859, they named it "Tarryall" as a place to stay awhile. After all, they were finding lots of nuggets, many the size of peas. Their less fortunate comrades, arriving later, were angered by the possessiveness of the original group and nicknamed the area "Graball". These less-fortunate miners moved on to settle in Fairplay, named to suggest a more reasonable place than Tarryall.

Anyway, that's the plan. Color me "gone fishin".

Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Magic Carpet Ride and Powwow

Two intense days of moving everything I own from room to room, breaking down furniture and putting it back together again, sweating and straining, but it's done. We now have new carpeting in the entire house. You'll have to take my word for it because there are no pictures.

In a way this was more work than moving. We did just about everything you do when you
move....except end up in a new city or a new home. All the work but not the payoff of having a new house.

The only real problem was that I had a weight machine in one room that I thought could slide through a doorway into another room while they re-carpeted the exercise room. Wrong. Panic time. I've got to get it out of the room so they can work there and in a hurry. This is one of those weight machines that has a jillion pulleys and cables. There was no easy way to take any major piece off so I just had to start removing bolts and nuts and collapse the thing in one big pile of metal, cables and pulleys. It's gonna take me a month to get the thing back together (if I'm lucky).

The Bride was a trooperette but paid the price. This morning she was pretty sore and stiff.

This morning was my morning to volunteer at the Indian Powwow sponsored by the Tesoro Foundation. It was held on the grounds of The Fort Restaurant. I've posted about The Fort before but it's a replica of an old fur trading post that is located in eastern Colorado. A great venue for this type of event because they have a large outdoor area that overlooks the plains to the east and has views of the red rock formations of the foothills.

My duties this year was to be a "gopher" in the
participant area. That meant I was along the side where most of the Indian dancers were set up and right behind (and I mean only 2 feet behind) one group of Indian "singers". A ring side seat!

I had been to one other Powwow at The Fort, last fall. That one was piggy backed on to the Spanish Market, also held there. It was not nearly as well attended as this one was. Today the crowds were thick and there were
many, many more Indian Dancers present. Dancers included both men and women.

The costumes were fantastic with lots of color, beads and feathers. Sometimes when two or three participants were dancing close together it was difficult to separate the individuals. All the colors and texture just blended everything together into one colorful mass. Both the picture to the right and the picture at the top of the post illustrate this pretty well.

So, I worked from 10 am till 1 pm. Had a ring side seat for the festivities. Got a free t-shirt. Got a free lunch. It was a beautiful Colorado spring day. Cobalt blue skies with a light breeze and temps in the 70's. Life is very good!!!

Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

To The Mothers of My Life

This is the way I'll always see My Bride....Happy Mother's Day!

These are the other Mothers in my life.

My mother and The Brides mother.

My grandmother and The Bride's grandmother.

Civilization was created by mothers! Thank you all.

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Recent Read

Travels with Charley: In Search of America - John RV book and a Nobel Prize for literature all at once? How can you go wrong? Where did I go wrong in not reading this 1961 masterpiece long before now? Maybe it was a good thing because at this stage in my life I can really enjoy and appreciate the content.

The content gives you the hilarious and the soul searching cultural introspection all in a relatively short 210 pages. Steinbeck was in his late fifties when he began a cross country trip with his dog Charley and a three quarter ton truck and camper. The camper was named "Rocinante" which was the name of Don Quitoxe's steadfast horse. After many years of international travel and the high life of an important author, Steinbeck felt he may have lost touch with his countrymen. This trip was an effort to reconnect. Early on in the trip Steinbeck states that "We do not take a trip: the trip takes us.", and so it is he travels across the country recording his travels and observations. Most are not planned by him, they are controlled by the trip.

The two constants are his steed Rocinante and his standard poodle, Charley. Steinbeck waxes eloquent and hilarious when describing the character and foibles of his very French poodle. I was in literal stitches as he described showing his companion a redwood forest for the first time.

"Now there is not any question that Charley was rapidly becoming a tree expert of enormous background. He could probably get a job as a consultant with the Davies people. But from the first I had withheld from him any information about the giant redwoods."

"After this experience he might be translated mystically to another plane of existence, to anther dimension, just as the redwoods seem to be out of time and out of our ordinary thinking. The experience might even drive him mad."

In the true French manner however, Charley barely acknowledged these giants at all and Steinbeck mused that if he thought Charley did it to make a joke he would kill him.

About his own ability to navigate he was also eloquent in his lack of ability...

"I was born lost and take no pleasure in being found..."

It's not all lighthearted travel commentary however. Steinbeck visits New Orleans in the midst of a particularly nasty episode in the desegregation of the public schools in that area. In this arena his writing becomes darker. It is equally as eloquent, but darker. He states his opinions and beliefs but steers clear of offering solutions to society's problems.

This was a delightful read, totally deserving of the praise of the many people and institutions that have done so.

Thanks for visiting.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Out Damn You Winter!

It's hanging on by it's fingernails. A couple of nice days and then this yesterday morning. We got about 2 1/2 inches before it was all over and it was all over by noon. By 4 pm there was no sign that it had snowed at all. It will be a few days before the temperature recovers to spring too. It will only be in the 50's today compared to the 70's earlier this week. By this morning this is what my yard looked like.

Earlier this week it was so pretty that I decided to take a hike in Roxborough State Park just to enjoy the day and check to see if any wildflowers were starting to bloom.

It's probably going to be another couple of weeks before the wildflowers start their show at this elevation but there were plenty of deer to watch.

I guess tomorrow marks the honest to goodness start of the wedding process for my oldest daughter CaJenn. She is flying in from the left coast to attend a bridal shower a friend is giving her here in town. I'm not sure if I'm even going to see her on this trip. She's getting in late and will be staying at the friends house in downtown Denver. After the bridal shower they are doing the bachlorette party and she's flying out on Sunday.

We will be hosting the groom's mother at our house tomorrow night so The Bride is in full panic mode over cleaning, preparing, opining, arranging and a zillion other "" things. I have been helping by doing some old fashioned white glove inspection cleaning around the house.

The wedding will be on the left coast in just a little over a month. Last weekend I made arrangements for my tux so I'm set. As father of the bride about all I do is sign checks. That's good news/bad news.

Yesterday, I volunteered again to help at the Tesoro Foundation's Indian Market. This is a combination of a Pow Wow and an art show. This will be the second time I have volunteered for this foundation. It's a fun time and it also gives me the opportunity to learn about southwestern arts. Because I'm volunteering I get a ticket to preview the art before the market itself so if I was in a mind to acquire something I could do it before the general public.

Next week will be pretty busy for us as we are having the carpet replaced in the entire house. The Bride an I will be up to our noses in moving furniture, dishes and the like. After 12 years of kids and teenagers it really needs it....

Thanks for visiting.


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