Thursday, June 27, 2019

Crookes Falls

A friend in town posted a picture of Crookes Falls this morning on social media. He said he had hiked  there. 
This Falls is only about a mile from our house. It is privately owned now and a small dam has been built to harness the energy. Gee if he hiked there maybe we could  too, and get close enough to at least take a picture.. So Tom and I set out. Our intention was to simply hike there and retrace out steps.
We under estimated the number of hills between here and there.
there also wasn't a clear path, and when there was it seemed to be covered in chunks of coal. .
Keeping up with Tom wasn't easy,

but we finally did arrive. Look closely and you can see the falls. We didn't go closer as there were no trespassing signs.
We did pose for a selfie with the falls between us.
We decided that instead of retracing our steps (due to the number of hills), we would cross the river and go back into town along the highway. This way was longer, but flatter.
There was a cool looking old cabin down on the river.
We finally did make it back into town. ...but we were parched and thirsty. Wasn't like us to head off hiking without water and we didnt even take any money along to purchase some. Luckily we ran into a friend who loaned us enough cash for bottles of water. I so wanted to ask her to drive us home...but didn't. We did make it back home but frankly.... I am exhausted!

Monday, June 24, 2019

That's Rebecca!

I have a friend here in Colorado who also lives near me in Texas. Linda grew up loving horses and when I met her she had a horse (Rebecca) that she even transported from Texas to Colorado many summers.

About six years ago when she realized that with so many grandchildren and a part time job that she never had time to ride anymore. So, she donated Rebecca to a Christian Camp (Sky Ranch) with locations in Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma. Last she heard Rebecca was at one of their Texas Camps.

I have mentioned before that I drive to Gunnison, CO usually once a week to the supermarket...well so does Linda. Along the way there is a Christian Camp that is one of the Sky Ranch locations. They offer all sorts of outdoor activities including horse back riding.

Well, you guessed it. Linda and her husband were headed to Gunnison  this week, when all of a sudden Linda spotted Rebecca in a field full of horses at the ranch. She said she yelled "Bruce stop...that's Rebecca". She said that even after six years she could spot her Rebecca anywhere.

To make a long story short. She called the camp to ask it they had a horse named Rebecca thinking maybe that they hadn't changed her name. They told her indeed they did and set up a time for her to visit.
 Linda and Rebecca

Saturday, June 22, 2019

The Side Streets

We love living in the mountains in the summer, with one exception. The nearest supermarket is approximately 110 miles round trip. If it were just the two of us I would probably shop at our local  country store more often, but as most of you know we have a lot of guests.
Gunnison, CO is where the supermarket is. It is  a small university town of approximately 8,000.
I enjoy getting off  the main drag and traveling through the neighborhoods. There are so many sweet little houses,
and when I say little...I mean little!

No two seem to be alike,
and many are quite colorful,
this one having an unusual shape.
I wish I knew the history of these places, as some seem to have been around a long time.
Have a wonderful for me I have more guests arriving!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

They've Grown

When I say they have grown, I am not talking about the baby birds. I am talking about our guests.
I remember taking this same shot when we first finished building our cabin, but the shoes were a lot smaller then. Tom's middle daughter and husband have been here all week from Georgia. They have four kids that somehow have grown up before my eyes, and are now college students. One grandson also brought a friend.
Three of the boys wanted to sleep down in the basement where we have a large comfortable blue sofa. This is the way it normally looks,
and this is how it looks now. I had already removed all of the water bottles and coke cans.  It has been a mess down there, but I am enjoying every minute of it. It is so wonderful to have  a house full of young people!I am sad to say they depart today which is Thursday, but on Saturday I have my youngest daughter, her sister in law and three little ones arriving. Time to do laundry and restock the pantry!

Monday, June 17, 2019

A Guest

I have a bird that has built a nest in the eaves of  the roof outside  of our bedroom.
I keep listening for the chirping of little noises so far.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019


If you read my last post I discussed the
possible flooding of our little mountain town, which is supposedly going to happen sometime in the next week. In preparation for that it was decided that the Hidden Treasure Dam up stream from Lake City, CO needed to come down.

The historic dam dates back to when electricity was needed to operate the Hidden Treasure Mine approx.1890. Seen above are crews removing the tops section of the dam, funded by state and national government funds. They then decided due to time constraints they would switch to making the bottom opening larger. The bottom section had opened up in a previous flood.

I found this old picture of a miner walking on top of the dam sometime in the early '20's
Most people visiting the area had never noticed this particular dam because it was down in a deep canyon craved out by the creek. The good news is that after enlarging to opening in the bottom of the was decided not to take the rest of it down. What a delight to save a part of our  local history!
 The impending flood in our area is big news and unfortunately journalist have been confused and have been publishing  photos of this dam a half mile up the creek saying this was the Hidden Treasure Dam. Indeed it is not. It is the Ute Ulay Dam which is part of the famous remains of the Ute Ulay Mine a favorite ghost town along the Alpine Loop and a place I routinely take my guests.
Stay tuned and I will let you know what is happening here! Wish us luck!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Preparing for the Worst!

 Preparing for the Worst but Hoping for the Best!

Our little town high up in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado has been in full swing preparing for a disaster. What started out as a mild winter suddenly turned very strange.The snowfall totaled up in early Spring to be 38 ft., that's 200% above normal snowfall. Little Lake City ( pop. 378) is down in a deep valley with only one road running through it. It is surrounded by high mountains, five of those peaks reaching over 5,000 ft.
 Sorry for the crude map, but wanted to give you a visual. We have two bodies of water coming through town (wavy lines). They  converge in almost the center of town. The Lake Fork of the Gunnison River flows north from Lake San Cristobal, and Henson Creek flows down from the mountains, coming into town from the west. There isn't a lot of concern about the river since the dam is controlling the water flow. The anticipated problem is Henson Creek. You see there were numerous avalanches that have blocked  the creek higher up.. The downed trees, boulders and frozen ice have caused dams all along the creek. With rising temperatures these ice blocks are melting. We are hoping that with the work of several state and national crews who are feverishly trying to clear the blockage  it will save our little town...but just in case,
 thousands of sandbags have been filled and
historic homes have been wrapped with plastic like bouquets of flowers.
We depend on tourism here, and even if the flood doesn't happen, the vacationers have been scared away. Photo taken at 10am this morning. All of this is supposed to come to a head in the next two weeks, hopefully in time to salvage what will be left of the summer season.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

We Made It!

I hope that I didn't confuse people. The map I published on the previous post was a map of the whole Route 66. We were only on it for a short distance in the Texas panhandle. Panhandle being the rectangular top of the shape of Texas.
Even though the entire trip from our home in Ft. Worth, TX to our summer place in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado is roughly 14 hrs., we do stop for and overnight rest. So, it was the second day before we start to see scenes like this.

As we got closer the mountaintops were still snow covered.

The little town (population 378) where we send the summer has had a historical amount of snow this past winter.
This photo of our main business district was taken a couple of summers ago and by my talented sister Polly.
Spring has arrived here witnessed by the blooming dandelions around town.

I have already purchased some hanging baskets
and it is even warm enough for them to stay outside overnight,
but what are these? I will explain on my next post....

Friday, June 7, 2019

Hello from Colorado

As many of you know Tom and I have been on the road to our summer place in the Colorado mountains.
My driver Tom, who never seems to tire behind the wheel

but you do need to stop every once in awhile if not to just walk around. We are not known in Texas for having nice rest stops, but things are improving. A word to the wise. When you are driving and you see a sign on the highway that reads: Picnic Area. It is just that...a place with a picnic table. If you are looking for a restroom (toilet) you will need the highway sign to read: Rest Stop. This is one of our nicer new ones.
There was even a small pond
with a walking trail around it.
We of course were not traveling with kids, but they had a wonderful playground.
This sign had me getting back into the car though.
There is not a lot to see driving up through the Texas Panhandle
So you have to look for the beauty. This is a field of Dandelion flowers that have gone to seed. We use to pick these as a kid and try and blow the white silky fibers off with one breath. If we did, you got your wish. I saw a sign once with a picture similar to this. It read: Some see a weed others see a wish.

We arrived in Amarillo, Texas and decided to pick another route going west for a ways before we headed north. We get bored with the same roads...despite the abundance of wishes .
Going west out of Amarillo on U.S. 40 you find you are sharing the road with the historic old Route 66. Route 66 was an early highway (1926) that ran from Chicago to Los Angeles.
Some people enjoy taking this road trip today. Parts of the route have been eaten up by super expressways...but it can be done, and you see some unusual sights.
On another trip we actually stayed here on Route 66 in the small New Mexico town of Tucumcari.
It is still open for business and hasn't changed much. Don't expect a 5 star resort, it's just the type of authentic tourist court you would find back in the day.
Come back and we will continue on up into the Colorado Mountains.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Time To Go!

Well, it is that time of year. The temperatures are rising here in north Texas, so we are packing for our move to the mountains .. We have a log cabin in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, where it is cool all summer, and beautiful too I might add.
I have tried my best to pack lighter this year. My husband just does not understand all of the things I "need"....or may need. See, that is not much for the three months we will be there. These of course are just my things. Then there are Tom's....and the golf clubs
Oh and the things piling up in the laundry room...Yes, we like peanut butter,
and just a few more things in the garage. Each year he says "we won't have to take much this year". Poor Tom...that is  just never going to happen.
There is a threat of flooding in our little mountain town. We will go, but be ready to evacuate...More on that when I get there. See ya soon! Janey