Sunday, September 21, 2014
After a wonderful hike along the Colorado Trail - Kenosha East, we got in our car and headed toward Bailey, CO for lunch. We noticed right after we pulled out of the parking lot that the windows wouldn't roll down ... strange. I asked hubby to look at the odometer so we could see how far cars were lined along the highway -- but the dash was dark. Hmm. We turned on the AC and found it didn't cool, even though the fan was working. Yes, something was amiss. Driving carefully (without knowing for sure how fast he was going), hubby drove on toward our late lunch destination: Rustic Station in Bailey. Arrived and got out -- only to find the doors wouldn't respond to the key-fob lock signal. Very strange! We manually locked the car and went in for a nice lunch. Good food (the service was quite slow, but we weren't in a hurry) -- we chose to split a 1/2 lb. guacamole burger and a salad. After lunch, we went back out to the car, opened it with the key, and got in. Turn the key ... NOTHING! The car was dead as a doornail! (wonder where that phrase comes from???) Hubby tried all kinds of things -- including checking fuses. After 30 min. or so, he decided we needed to call our insurance company and ask for a tow. They said it would be an hour ... so we thought we'd wander around a bit. Nearby was a sign for McGraw Memorial Park and we might as well check it out. It was right behind the little cluster of shops, with the North Fork of the South Platte River running behind the park. Quite fun! This park is run by the Park County Historical Society and includes a 1-room school house, one of the first camp cottages in the area, a cabin from the town's beginning, an old railroad car, and a neat bridge over the river. We walked around then it was about time for the tow truck to come. Roadside assistance guy worked with hubby trying to get the car started, so I got my camera and walked back around to the park. Unfortunately, someone had locked the buildings --- but I'll include pics. My family had 2 cabins over the years, one just before Bailey, and the other 20 min. past, but we never did more than drive through the town. Now we know we had missed something fun!
We see that there is a hiking trail across the bridge, so "We'll Be Back!!"
The Roadside Assistance guy --
--wasn't able to get the car started, and he had another "assistance" call to make (quite a ways away), so he drove off and we called the insurance company again. We learned it would be 2.5 hours before a tow truck driver could come tow the car back to Denver, so we sat for a rest & I pulled out a little crossword puzzle book I keep in the car. Before I finished the first (very easy) puzzle, hubby decided (WHY???) to try again ... and much to our amazement, the car started! WooHoo! Without a minute's hesitation, we drove away, praying the car would keep going all the way home. And It Did! PTL!!! It started in the garage this morning, and in the church parking lot ... so hubby is trying to figure out what is going on. Something is wrong, but what?? Intermittent things are so hard to diagnose, even for my problem-solving hubby!! We'll see what the week brings -- will I get to work? home from work?? The adventure continues. But one of these days you'll find us heading back to Bailey, CO to see where the McGraw Memorial Park hike goes ...
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Hubby & I headed out Saturday morning to see fall color in the high country. Decided to go back to Kenosha Pass (where we had wonderful views 2 years ago). The Colorado Trail goes almost across Colorado, but we accessed it about 90 min. SW of our home. Arrived at the Trail Head before it was full, and headed out at 8:50 AM on a slightly cool late September morning. Here is the picture from the car
You can see, the views are quite pretty without ever getting away from the highway. MANY folks are content to look from the highway ... but I'll bet by time you read to the bottom here, you'll see why I say, "Oh, NO -- don't stop here!!" (of course, I really don't want the trail to be packed, either). I got SO many wonderful pictures, it's going to be hard to choose which ones to share ...
This trail is not hard (some up, some down, but never steep). The key thing to remember is that you START at 10,000' elevation, so folks from the plains or the coast would REALLY notice the thinner air!
The path starts through big stands of aspen trees -- some still green, some changing.
The Bible tells us "A cord of 3 strands is not easily broken" -- this tree reminded me of that truth!
This leaf reminded me of a 4-leaf clover, or perhaps a flower -- love the RED!!
The sun was still rising over the mountain top, so the trees were just wonderful with the light coming through them instead of shining down on them ...
After a ways, we had a good view of South Park -- the highway curves west from where we were, and goes into this broad valley. Pretty views of higher peaks in the distance.
Later on the trail is through an evergreen forest, with a few aspen scattered among them. Don't you like this shot??
Up some more, around a few bends, and we came to THE PRIZE -- though we strive to just enjoy the journey, we are always looking for the spot that makes us say, "WOW!" On this hike, the trail comes to a point where we look over a different valley -- Lost Park. 180 degrees or more, with glorious sights in all directions!!
My Honey -- and Me
Here is the rock pile we decided to make our "snack break" spot. We always take an apple for each of us, and little bags of trail mix (almonds, dried blueberries, and dark chocolate chips).
And looking back up the hill - the trail was going along that ridge.
Loved this little clump of aspen with big downed tree ... and we got some cool shots of it and from within it!
More of/from our rock ...
After a nice (30 min or so) break, we headed back, and one of my goals was to get pretty pics with RED
And one last look at the view across the highway--
We met LOTS more people on the way back to the car; even met a family with Daddy pushing a stroller! (they couldn't have gotten as far as we did, but I still love to see families getting their little ones out to see this beautiful world God has made!!)
We got back to the car just under 4 hrs after we left it -- with the parking lot, the road in, and the highway shoulders FULL of cars! Most of those people have NO IDEA how much they missed by staying near the highway ...
Though we didn't know it yet, our adventure wasn't over at this point ... Read my next blog for the REST of the story ...
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Last Saturday hubby and I headed out US 285 from Denver to the Guanella Pass Rd, heading back to the site of one of last year's favorite hikes. I really wanted to hike this trail in the summer, knowing it would be quite different sights than last fall. I wasn't wrong!
3 Mile Creek Trail is an Out-and-Back trail, so you can go as far as you like. We did 3 miles each way, almost entirely along the creek. If you go all the way (6 miles each way) you can see some amazing views (or so I read ... that's a longer day than we want to do). The trail starts about 9,000 ft, and climbs gently -- at our furthest/highest point, we were about 10,000 ft. Although the altitude might be an issue if you're not used to it, this is not a serious "climb"and I think almost anyone could do it. Just go out as far as you want, and then go back.
The trail goes through the forest and canyon
I love that this trail is along the creek -- during the short times you can't see the creek, you still hear the rushing water.
In the 3 miles we hiked, we crossed the creek 18 times -- I won't show you every log crossing, but this is typical:
Aren't these rock formations cool?
This trail is said to have 100+ varieties of wildflowers ... being late August, we didn't see that variety, but I took quite a few pics!
Other vegetation caught my eye
-- including some mushrooms I found especially interesting:
(can't you just imagine a little gnome making his home under this one? A friend told it's poisonous -- but I sure think it's pretty!)
It will be a while before the autumn colors replace the green, but here is a little sign that autumn is not TOO far away (if you want to see the golden aspen, see the link at the bottom!)
On the road up to the trail head, we saw signs "LOOK UP" - warning construction crews about overhead power lines. But we took the advice to heart -- I'm so glad I "Looked Up"!!
Here is the meadow where we turned around
I'd be happy to do this hike again and again -- I suspect each time will be a little different and very pretty. We hiked 4 hrs 45 min total, and were definitely tired when we got back to the car. We stopped in Bailey, CO for a late lunch, and then came home to watch the Bronco's preseason game.
We did this same hike last fall ("Aspens and Icicles") -- just 5 weeks later in the season, and we encountered a gorgeous icy stream as well as full autumn gold! -- Here is a link. Frankly, I think it was even prettier then (but crossing the stream on icy logs put a challenge in it, for sure!!)
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Trying to give my Spark friends a teeny-tiny taste of the wonderful, amazing, awesome, remarkable trip I was blessed to take -- Scotland: Highlands, Islands, Castles & Gardens. Our host, Bible-study teacher/author Liz Curtis Higgs, our travel agent, Bev, and our American-born Scottish tour guide, Karen welcomed us at the Glasgow airport. We arrived about 8 AM and all 42 women & luggage were loaded onto a luxury motor coach, heading SW.
First stop: the banks of Loch Lomond
Our first castle: Inverary (still a residence, and used for the filming of Downton Abbey's final show of the 3rd season)
My grandsons would have loved the weaponry rooms!
In the castle garden:
Next stop: Kilmartin Glen, one of Scotland's richest prehistoric landscapes (and a current sheep pasture)
There were several other stops, all beautiful, but I'll try to keep these blogs short. We ended the day in Oban, our seaside home for the next 2 nights. Oh, how good it was to sleep after 32 hours awake (well, maybe I dosed for an hour on the overnight flight)!!
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