Monday, September 28, 2009

Over to Ouray - Rewind

This year was our 7th year in a row to head to Ouray.  In between we have also been in other great Colorado locales, like Estes Park, Leadville, Keystone, Buena Vista, and all the little places in between.

But I doubt we will find a spot we like as well.  There is amazing scenery all over this wonderful state.  But if you haven't seen the San Juans, you haven't seen the best of the Colorado.

Ouray somehow, remains little changed since the first time I visited in the late 80's.  There's a certain comfort in that.

So a few more pictures from our trip.

Firetruck in Ridgeway

Red Mountain from the summit of Imogene Pass


Dallas Divide


Summit of Imogene Pass



Good to go, good to come home.

Oh, and I haven't forgotten about that post about Hutch.........................

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Over From Ouray - Day Five

Yesterday afternoon was spent thawing out from our trip up Imogene.  We sat on the patio at our lovely B&B and did a little reading. 

Here's something you don't see everyday..........................unless you're in Ouray.



Then a tradition last night.  Dinner at the Bon Ton.................a great restaurant we frequent every year.

So all packed up and ready to head back over the slope to Casa Rancho.  Another lovely trip to Paradise.

Have another post to come about Hutch................our Brew master.

See you on the other side.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Over to Ouray - Day Four

Today was an amazing day.  Really a great day.  If I had to give today a title, it would be "You Can't See That From the Interstate."

A disclaimer..............we own a jeep.  It's great and capable of lots of 4 wheeling.  But for The Husband and I, 4 wheeling is about the scenery.  And if you're driving, you don't see the scenery, because it's a good idea to concentrate on not falling off the side of a mountain. 

So for the second time, we took a guided 4 wheel tour.  It's pricey...........but both of us get to see the sights.  So at 8:30 am we bundled up and got picked up by Colorado West jeep tours.  Our driver today was David and we were the only 2 crazy enough to face the cold.

Off we headed to see the summit of Imogene Pass.

The pictures will say more than I can.........................

First stop....................




Yes, gang, there is a drop off................

Let's take another look...........


Really deep drop off.

A preview of things to come.....................




Camp Bird Mine which you can read all about all over the internet...................here are the mansion and other buildings.....







So up we head...............past what the guides call Harrison Ford Rock..............




Past Yellow Rose Mine





As we rose in elevation..................was it getting colder???




Yes, mam.  Time to bundle up..............as we go up.............and up............and up.

Till finally................




Yes, boys and girls, wind, blowing snow, no oxygen and AMAZING views.







I think you can see Russia from here!  (Sorry Sarah).  But you can see Telluride.

Trip back down is like riding  a horse downhill, standing up in the stirrups.   But we had a great driver who instilled lots of confidence and no fear.  We were semi-frozen.............but what an amazing trip.

The view, the smell, the quiet, the sense of peace that flows over you is worth the money, the time, and the vertigo.

And that was just the first half of the day!!!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Over to Ouray - Day Three

After a too-filling meal at Buen Tempo, we went to bed early and woke up in our little Home Away From Home.



The China Clipper is a wonderful B&B.  We have a two room suite that feels cozy and home like.  We were treated to a lovely "to order" breakfast by new owners, Hans and Ingrid.

We wandered around town, sadly to find out that one of our favorite haunts closed early this year.  So no Billy Goat's Gruff Beirgartin this year.

Decided to take the big circle around through the Dallas Divide over to Telluride.  The drive there was full of the scenery we came looking for.























Telluride itself, though amazingly picturesque, is just so.................well ............Telluride.

So speaking of picturesque...................here you go...............Telluride at it's best.






It's like some strange hibrid of Aspen and Nederland.  Guess you really have to been both of those places to understand, but it's Uber-Rich meets BurnOut Hippie.  Apologies if you're reading this and love Telluride...........but we'll take Ouray any day.

Tonight we spent the evening hanging out with our favorite Brewmaster, Hutch............but Hutch gets a post all his own...................to follow.

BIG adventures tomorrow and we head up Imogene Pass............one of the highest roads in Colorado, a knuckle biter to be sure.................

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Over To Ouray - Day Two

Salida to Ouray.  Great drive and the colors were amazing.

Clear roads again, all the way.  Guess the big snow storm fizzled.

The only pass of any significance you have to go over on this route is Monarch.  The view from the Summit was the very reason we take that route.





Wandered around in Gunnison...............home of the famed "Wasted State College" as we called it.  (Actually Western State).  Then on to Montrose for lunch................where we stopped at the restaurant we always laugh at when we pass it.   Just HAD to know.

















The verdict...........decent wholesome diner like food.

From there just a short, INCREDIBLE drive to our destination................

The San Juans and the little town we love.



We are settled in our Bed & Breakfast....................The China Clipper.

Check out the web cam and we'll wave.

Ouray Web Cam

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Over to Ouray - Day One

It's that time.  For The Husband and I to head up and over to our home on the other side.

We decided to head out a day early to cut the drive in half.  So we left Casa Rancho around eleven today, destination Salida, Colorado.  I guess we are ahead of the snow.  Forecasts are calling for Winter Storm Warning tonight back at Cash Rancho.  But we had dry road 90% of the time on the way here.  There was a dusting of snow on the pines.




The Aspen are changing, more photos to follow.

We stopped in Fairplay for lunch.  And found a cute little place where they had that Colorado Mountain Town C A S U A L customer service (translation - 25 minutes to make  sandwich).

But we were able to replace a soup mug we bought at a pottery store and had a chance to take this photo for cultural literacy purposes.



Quick, beautiful drive into Salida followed.

After a great dinner at a quirky restaurant called The Windmill, we are holed up in the Holiday Inn, watching Dancing with the Stars.

Much shorter drive for tomorrow into the Promised Land.

On a side NOTE.............................surprise of the night on Dancing With the Stars.................Kelly Osbourne.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

View From Yankee Boy Basin




In just three days, we'll be in the best place I know.  Weather reports are calling for a chance of light snow.......and I hear the color is great.

Photos to follow.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Of Fall and Trees and Jethro Tull

I have no windows in my office. A minor tragedy really, because there are days when I cannot bear the grey walls for one more minute.

Today was one of those days.

When I woke this morning it was cloudy and dark, but by the time I left home it was the quintessential early fall day. The sun was trying to break through, a light mist in the air that makes everything feel soft and, well.................like fall.

So at lunchtime I had to make a break for it.  Rolled down all the windows, and took a fall drive.

There's some great neighborhoods nearby, full of wise old trees that sooth my soul.  Still green in town, you have to look closely to find any leaves changing.  But it's there.

The early signs of fall.  Satellite radio was cooperating today for the lunch drive.  The Classic Vinyl Channel 14 served up Van Morrison, The Doors, Rolling Stones, The Who, and as I pulled back into our parking lot.................Jethro Tull...............Locomotive Breath.
You know you haven't heard it in a long time.............right?  Go ahead ..............listen

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Twenty Years Later

How poetically fitting.

September 9, 1989 I was sitting with a friend at Red Rocks Ampitheater.



We were about halfway up, stage left. It was a cold and windy night.

The performer was Neil Young. It was a solo accoustic concert. How many people are there who can stand on that giant stage at Red Rocks all alone with an accoustic guitar and keep a sold out crowd happy? It was an amazing night.

Because you can find just about ANYTHING on the internet, I found the set list. I feel an Ipod list coming on.

"My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue) / Rockin' In The Free World / Sugar Mountain / Someday / Helpless / Pocahontas / Crime In The City / This Old House / Too Far Gone / Roll Another Number / This Note's For You / The Needle And The Damage / No More / After The Gold Rush / Heart Of Gold / Ohio / Rockin' In The Free World / Powderfinger"

It was the day before my 30th birthday.

Now, 20 years later, I'm sitting in my comfy chair in the loft. It's my 50th birthday and boy this chair is lot more comfortable than those old bench seats they have at Red Rocks. But seriously, a concert at Red Rocks is one of the best things there is in life.

So I pop on the TV and find in glorious HiDef...........Neil Young in concert on Palladia channel. Recorded at the Ryman in Nashville.

What a co-inky-dink.

Thanks Neil. A great birthday present.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

And They Said It Wouldn't Last



Maksim and Karina Call Off Wedding

Well at least Maksim and Karina called it quits BEFORE they went to the altar.

I had a hard time figuring out where they would live as a married couple. How could they find a house with enough mirrors and large enough for both their egos to fit in??

Monday, September 07, 2009

Raise a Glass of Cheer


Friends and family gathered on Saturday.

To help me celebrate the Big Five Oh.

Though we are still a few days from by 50th birthday, we celebrated on Saturday night.

I was joined by my family and friends and co-workers. Mom and Dad, Little Bro and wife. My literal circle of friends (neighbors who live on our circle). And dear friends (and their wonderful children) who have long been a blessed part of my life.

All that were missing were the ScooterGirl and The Marine............far away in Texas............I miss you!

It was a perfect and beautiful Colorado evening.
We laughed mostly, and cried a little.

The most amazing part of the evening was my Husband's toast.

I am Blessed with an amazing "The Husband".

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Red Sun in Colorado



Better today, but the California fires send their effects ALLLL the way here. Makes for pretty light in the morning, but clearly causing lives to be overturned elsewhere.

Everything was glowing pink in my house yesterday.

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