Sunday, August 25, 2019

Bike Ride

This Saturday, Tom and I volunteered to help out with a bike race. Sixty riders took off around 7am to ride a grueling 50 miles race around the Alpine Loop which would take them over not one but two 12,000 square ft. passes on rugged shelf roads.
Above is the poster advertising the event.
They had absolutely perfect weather . A low of 47 degrees and a high of 74 degrees. This is the banner at the finish line.
John was one of the two organizers of the ride. Pictured here with his wife Kerry. They both are very involved volunteers at many of our events.
This is not the winner, but a rider passing the finish line. I amazed that no one ran over the photographer. Tom and I worked in that tent selling raffle tickets and t-shirts.
The first place winner Brad Bingham center, second place far left Cameron Benneman, and third (rt) Chris Shannon.
A handful of local men were in the race but Amanda who is the mother of four was the only local woman.
Not only were there refreshments awaiting the riders but a free massage....which I feel sure was sorely needed.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Tea Time!

I know, I have been missing in action...and I have no excuse. Sorry.

Mid August around here means that it is time for the Back In Thyme Tea. The Victorian Tea (complete with costumes) is in it's eleventh year. For ten of those years I have been one of the hostesses. It was an huge undertaking to bake, decorate and serve at this tea every year which supported our garden at the museum. This year, for the first time our crew were guests. I must admit, the new hostesses did a wonderful job.
The first surprise was the old vintage automobile parked in front where you could pose for a photo.
Inside they had another vignette set up for photos. 
These women are my fellow retired hostesses.

Prior to going inside we were escorted to an outdoor shaded patio where we enjoyed punch and a time to visit and photograph each other.
Over the years the ladies have had fun finding their costumes. Donna on the left is the great-granddaughter of early settlers in this town. Betty on the right has been spending summers here she she a toddler.
Next stop was the beautifully decorated art gallery where the tea tables were set up. I thought the fans on the back of the chairs were a nice touch.
Another clever costume.
We have some interesting folks in town. Marsha on the left is a nurse at our medical center. In late Spring she walked The Camino in Spain. Bear on the right operates one of the beauty salons in town. She and her husband spend their winters in either Thailand or Vietnam.
Oh maybe you would like to see the food.
First course was a pimento and cheese star, chilled peach soup and a deviled egg,
Second course a mosaic prosciutto bar, a ribbon loaf egg and chicken salad sandwich,
and two skewers,  one caprese and another of fruit.
and the grand finale was a scone with Devonshire cream, a cherry tart and a fudge heart.

As a parting gift, there were little paper teapots as part of your place setting, each  filled with homemade butter mints.

What a wonderful time we all had!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

What is a Pika

We have a lot of wildlife here in the San Juan Mountains. One little animal that some of the locals around here have never even seen is a Pika.
That is because they are up at a higher elevation. You might  for example come come across one while hiking. Native to Asia and North America, this little critter (or mammal) is a cousin to the rabbit (but smaller) has rounded ears and no tail.
A friend took this picture last week at about 10,000 feet  in the mountains east of here. I was amazed that she was able to get a shot. The few times I have come across one, they quickly scurry back into the safety of the rocks.Have you ever come across a Pika?

Friday, August 16, 2019


I have mentioned before that the area where we spend the summer had record snow fall over the winter piling up right through March. The higher elevations couldn't handle it and nineteen avalanches occurred high above us in the mountains .Local, state and federal government workers rolled up their sleeves and cleared the slides which had blocked water ways which were putting our town under threat of flooding.Many folks drove up when the roads cleared to see the damage, but we waited for the weather and the tourists to clear out. Afternoon rains were causing mudslides in the slide areas, and sixty folks were tramped up on the mountain for over eight hours when the shelf road washed out.
Whole forests were piled up like logs in a bonfire.
What surprised me, is that the area where I drew the arrow is still frozen ice and snow...and it is now August!
I feel sure that over time Nature will heal it's self and traces of this devastation will hopefully disappear..

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Alley Walks

This little Colorado town has some interesting alleys.

Seeing a garden planted along the tiny strip of land reminded me of being in Europe.
I was happy to see a sign identifying this crop for this city gal who had no idea.Yukon Gold (potatoes)
The owner of this crop happened to pass by and told me he could probably feed the whole town planting gardens between the dumpsters in the alleys. Not a bad idea.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

One Moose Too Many

Our recent guests have been our next door neighbors from Texas. They only stayed three nights but we packed a lot into those few days. Tom loves to take our guests hiking and this time I even went along.
A fairly easy hike is Brush Creek. Don't worry, we didnt' have to scale that cliff. We meandered along Brush Creek below it. It sure made for some pretty views though.
You have to understand, it is not easy keeping up with my Tom. ...but he is kind enough to stop and wait on us now and then.
Most of the trip you are high above the creek, but on occasion the trail takes you down by the water.
It is two miles in to the stopping point (which means it is two miles back out). This is where we get to sit down and eat the lunches we packed.
We ate stream side. I threw this one in to prove that I was indeed along.
The return trip is faster and that is good since the skies opened up on us 50 yards from the trail head .The road we take home is a place to spot moose. Although, I didn't want to get my friends hopes up since it was mid day which usually isn't a good time to find them out.
To our surprise there was a female and her calf just off the road. Our guests were thrilled. So we decided to turn up to an area called Deer Lakes to see if any others were out feeding.
and yes, there was another female and a calf in the first lake we came to. We had walked up a trail to a point overlooking the lake,

and we we turned..OH NO!!. There was another female right by the path...the path we needed to go down! Moose are fairly docile, but are known to charge when frightened. Now what do we do? I suggested we all climb on top of a picnic table which was behind us. Luckily the moose was more interested in eating foliage than us and finally strolled away.
What a wonderful fun and exciting day it turned out to be!

Friday, August 9, 2019

The Bear Visit

I have been very busy with guests and have neglecting blogging...sorry.
I am thinking that I forgot to tell you about our visit from the bear. When my sister was here, she had just joined us at the breakfast table when she yelled out "There is a Bear"! He was actually walking up the front steps right toward the door.! Her yelling frightened him and he started off down the road. By the way looks like he is walking on snow, but that is a white gravel road.We thought no more about the bear until we found the door of my sister's car standing open.
I had told her and her husband not to leave any food in the car...which they didn't, but they left a six pack of strawberry flavored water in there. The Bear open the unlocked car door and decided he needed a drink. Here are the five cans that he punctured with either a claw or his tooth.I guess next time I also need her to lock the car door.....

Saturday, August 3, 2019

I'm Back!

I have been absent because I joined my two daughters, and three granddaughters on the beach in Florida for a few days in the sun. I was questioning their choice of time since in the summer the beach can be too hot. The sand can even burn your feet. ...but not so! It never got over 90 degrees and the pure white sand wasn't even warm!
We were on Seacrest Beach which is in the Florida panhandle between Pensacola, and Tallahassee. The is a small road below Hwy 98 called 30A and it is pristine. No high rise condos, just two and three story new cottages and most of the for rent.
We had a beautiful view from our deck.
Our four year old and seven year old were so thrilled to see bunk beds built into the front hallway.
We staked out our spot on the beach early every morning for a day

 of splashing in the waves and digging in the sand.
During the middle part of the day the kids enjoyed the shaded porch and a few had naps.

 We had several nice dinners out, attended a kids disco dance with a DJ, a fun splash pad and ended the night playing games,
that is after hitting the beach again for sunset.

It all it was absolutely perfect!....and I had long but nice trip back to the mountains.