Archive for September, 2012


Okay, so this is not my hiking foursome.  The truth is I am so excited about leaving later this week for another adventure … hiking in one of America’s incredible national parks, I simply had to inject a bit of levity.  Two years ago we did hike in Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks and I took this photo of a  photo hanging in the park’s lodge.  It certainly gives one the sense of the size of these monsters.

During the past ten years we have hiked, camped and backpacked in Yellowstone, Smokey Mountains, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Rocky Mountain and this year we are heading for the majestic Grand Tetons. In addition to two or three days in the Tetons, we will spend one day sightseeing and hiking in Yellowstone. I am blessed to have been here before so my anticipation is only surpassed by the memories of this special place in Wyoming.

More actual current day pictures and tales to share when we return.

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Taos to Ocate

Clearly, there’s something alien,mystical, maybe even spiritual about New Mexico.  Patti and I love to spend a day or two in Santa Fe or Taos either before or after our annual Summer pilgrimage to Colorado.  Taos though has become the favorite stop. It’s smaller, more manageable for a short trip, has the history (Kit Carson was born here), the culture, the Art galleries, great restaurants, the Southwest Native American Pueblo architecture, cool dry air surrounded by mountains and is a pleasant place to stroll the shops on the shaded square.

The architectural design standards are so carefully controlled, even a McDonalds complies by having no sign on the building … merely a small entry sign.

Okay, now on to the Mystical, Alien, Spiritual … and on to Ocate …

The picture below shows one of a community of Earth Houses.  There are probably 30 of these, some very elaborate but all built to be energy efficient, sustainable and from recycled materials.  To me they have an alien but fascinating story.

Upon leaving Taos we took one of those “roads less travelled”, this one a rough, narrow, steep, curvy dirt road to Ocate.  The first sign we saw when the dirt road began shouted in large letters that truckers and those pulling trailers should reconsider this route. However, we continued and it was rough. But we were rewarded with a beautiful drive, almost no traffic and a “make a memory  moment” at Ocate … our waypoint heading Southwest.

There wasn’t much there … the picture below was across the street from a weathered old general store, operated by a weathered 82 year old man (most likely the owner).  On the wall behind the counter was a black and white photo of his wife of some 60 plus years … a strikingly beautiful girl … possibly in her early twenties when the photo was made.

This was and still is life at its simplest … a striking contrast with the wealth of Taos, a place of history none the less and an example of the treasures to be discovered in the lingering spirit of people and memories of days and trails gone by.

A waypoint on Highway 120 … while heading home.

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Frisco, Colorado

Frisco, Colorado has such beauty, such history, such eclectic intrigue.  From the simple craftmanship of hand hammered hinges to its mountain setting at the base of Mount Royal/Mount Victoria, once the home of small mining community destroyed by avalanche in the 1800’s.

This small recreation oriented town is nestled at 9100 feet just 75 miles from Denver and less than 30 minutes from Breckenridge and Vail.  It’s a perfect stepping off point for skiing in the Winter, hiking, biking and boating in the Spring, Summer and Fall. Plus, there is no better choice to experience magnificent sightseeing year round.  It is home to the Blue River, one of the finest trout streams in Colorado, a virtual hotspot for festivals, shopping, dining and quite frankly just a mighty pleasant place to spend time especially when it’s hot in your home.

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