Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Morning

I AM NOT DOING ANYTHING! Ha, how's that?

Everyone else just left to do a few different things - they are going to bike through Glenwood Canyon, downhill/paved trail and then do an alpine slide. They were supposed to go caving - real caving, with a guide and crawling through small places, but it fell through because of scheduling. They might go into the main cave, which wouldn't be quite as exciting as getting dirty and crawling around, but still cool.

I, on the other hand, need some quiet time. A vacation from the vacation. I am going to do some yoga, get something to eat in the village, and perhaps take the gondola to the top to just spend a few hours reading and relaxing. You know, in the cool mountain air. As opposed to the humid swampy air I'll be returning to in 24 hours. Or the air conditioned air actually, since I won't spend anytime outside in such yucky weather!

Thursday, getting tired!

While most of the guys went biking again at Vail, Jen and I rented bikes and got a van ride to the top of Vail Pass, over 10,000 feet, and rode the bikes down to the valley. We rode on a variety of surfaces: paved bike path, old road closed to traffic, roads open to traffic, and I-70. Yes, I said Interstate 70. That was kind of weird, even though we were a pretty safe distance from the flying semis and there was an orange warning fence between us and them. But then I realized that I could do that hand motion to ask the trucks to blow their horns, and I got a huge kick out of that! Whizzing along a highway, on a bike, high in the mountains, with loud truck horns! I just can't tell you how much I enjoyed that!

It was a beautiful ride, 9 miles to the valley floor then another 6 miles to Vail. The 6 miles was a little hilly and I walked uphill a lot!

Oh, we saw two different bears yesterday. A cub just bounced out in front of us on a ride up a very long dirt road we remembered from another trip, and later as we were walking to dinner. That one was a pretty good sized bear, heading up from the village. We were a very safe distance from him but we learned later that he just appeared at the bus stop, walked up the main steps to the village, and sauntered back up the hill. We could see people down below us in the village watching him as we walked down.

And now I'm pretty tired!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Such a fun Wednesday!!!

Today we went back to the same drive I took with DD and Boyfriend over the weekend, a giant loop around Independence Pass, through Vail, Glenwood Canyon, and back to Beaver Creek. We had such a great time! We really wanted to hike the ridge at the pull-off where the Continental Divide is marked but the sky was darkening and we know enough not to hike a ridge when a mountain thunderstorm is approaching.

We stopped at Independence, the town that gave the pass its name. It is a ghost town now, obviously, with an interesting history. My favorite bit is that when there were about 100 families left, in the middle of winter when there had been too many storms and supplies were cut off, they dismantled their houses and made skis, using them to escape to Aspen.

Our next stop was the Grottos, where we had heard there were ice caves. How cool is this, no pun intended? There was indeed a cave that was not too hard to get down into, about a 10 foot drop into a hole, and there was still a giant slab or two of ice. We had to crawl under the slab of ice to go further into the cave - it was awesome! What fun.

After the ice caves we found a lovely cascade of water over huge boulders, very worth exploring, but again we heard thunder and got off the rocks. Plus we were getting kind of hungry! We went to Aspen to eat and we were really dirty, with mud smears from the cave, so it was kind of funny.

It was a great day, and tomorrow is supposed to be more biking! We need to plan longer vacations so we can rest more in between the good stuff!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Whitewater rafting and hiking!

DH and DS went whitewater rafting and had a great time. DD and Boyfriend went with me on a 7 mile hike (round trip) to a lake up high on the mountain - just a little under 10,000 feet. It was a beautiful hike and took about 4 hours. We were surrounded by wildflowers, just dozens of species, all over the place. Here are a few pics DD took of the lake; it was worth the trip.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday, in Colorado!

This is midway up the mountain at Beaver Creek. Yes, that's snow on those distant mountains.

We are here in Beaver Creek staying in a pretty nice condo except that the loft is really hot. The temperatures outside are EXCELLENT , it was in the low 60's when we got here last night, and I doubt today left the low-mid eighties. NO humidity, it's great, we should all live here.

The condo is just a few minutes from Beaver Creek Village, the main base ski village. We are just kind of hovering above it, up the hill.

This morning we took the ski lift to about mid mountain, a little over 10,000 feet. This is a picture of DD and boys before the hike. They look all energetic and well rested, no?

We hiked a short loop at the top of the lift, around a mile or 1.5, then had lunch at the lodge there. Here's a hiking picture - I think it will get bigger if you click on it.

DS and his friend took the lift back down, walked around the village, the went back home.

We hiked down the mountain, about 4.5 miles, took exactly two hours. That only sounds easy, hiking down a mountain, if you've never done it before, by the way. Above is a shot of the trail - lovely, lovely.

Below is a picture of a beautiful stand of Aspen we found ourselves in on the way down.

It was a beautiful hike, we made periodic noises in case any black bear were around, and we were happy to finish! It is a little over 8,000 feet here where we are staying.

Breathing was interesting at times today, particularly after DD and I ran up a small bank (all to identify what turned out to be a deer) and it took a while to recover our professional hiking demeanor. This, for the uninitiated, means we were gasping for air. Just a bit.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tomorrow we are leaving to go here for a vacation! Specifically we'll be in Beaver Creek, Colorado.

DD's boyfriend is coming with us, as is a friend of DS2's. We've rented a house and will be there for about 10 days - should be great!

DD is hoping for some of this:

DH and DS would like to do this:

I am looking forward to this:

Monday, July 14, 2008

Wild Turkey, anyone?

Final picture post for tonight - this is the wild turkey that DH encountered when he was in the backyard. She is actually just off the corner of the patio. She saw him there with his wheelbarrow, didn't care at all that he was there, and spent a few minutes picking up bugs and ignoring me and my camera. When DH got tired of waiting for her to go away he walked toward her and she moved off clucking and gobbling curse words at him until she disappeared into the woods.

What bean bag?

This is DD's beloved gigantic bean bag being unloaded from my car, having just been similarly removed from her dorm!

First you have to get it out of the car. You can't imagine how much work it is to get it IN the car, it is very heavy!

Struggle down the sidewalk. (Ooh hey, look at DH's sidewalk, isn't it nice??)

And Rusty, who thinks that the beanbag is just an ultra-luxurious dog bed!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

New Furniture?

Since DS inherited our big gold sofa and patterned chair we have started looking for a replacement. We went to a furniture store tonight, where we mostly tried to avoid being stalked by the salesman. We differentiated between a "check in" where he would actually talk to us and a "fly-by" where he quickly walked in our vicinity but pretended he didn't see us. Two fly-bys equalled a check in. We were getting kind of annoyed with him but then I suddenly had a question and he kindly tossed us three bottles of water to drink, so we figured we were even.

When we left without buying anything, though, he looked a little hurt. I mean, he gave us water and everything.

Monday, July 7, 2008


So here's the first post as I try to figure out how this whole thing works. (That's the Knitting Lady sculpture from Ursinus, by the way.)

First things first, I'm going to add my kids and get them to post some stuff so we can all see how it looks. Then I'll add other folks who might be interested in keeping in touch. The possibilities are endless- there are a lot of cousins/aunts/uncles/friends out there!

At any rate, I really hope everyone will contribute to this blog and it becomes a successful way for us to keep track of what we're all doing. Be patient and learn how to do it - or at least how to comment - and it should be fun!