Category Archives: Smallish adventures

Entertaining Angels – Part Two

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.  

Hebrew 13:2 KJV

After spending what I’m sure was a wonderful week or more in California, I hit the road back to Colorado, this time taking the southern route through Arizona.  Despite being late September, it was a brutally hot day as I drove towards Phoenix.  Along the 10 freeway in this part of Arizona, there are few exits, and even fewer places to stop for gas, food, or the bathroom.

As happened on the way to California in my previous post “Entertaining Angels – Part One”, I saw a figure walking in the distance along side the freeway.  And I knew.  I’d be picking this person up, too.  Only he wasn’t hitchhiking.  He was trodging, head down.  And he was in trouble.  Even though the temperature was pushing 110 degrees, as I pulled up next to him I could see that he wasn’t sweating.  He was beet red and he was panting and he had no belongings, no water.  He was wearing probably all the clothes he owned, including a heavy jacket.  The sign for the next place where there were “services” indicated it was 10 miles down the road.  I drove along side him with the window open telling him he needed to get in so I could get him cooled off.  He was muttering to himself.  I finally drove a little in front of him, got out and opened the car door telling him to get in.  He did but he told me it wasn’t a good idea.  I was busy wetting down a towel and some fast food napkins and putting them all over him, so I didn’t care if it wasn’t a good idea.  I made him drink water.  With all my years of experience as a nurse to help me, it wasn’t hard to determine two sobering things.  One, this man was less than an hour from death and would not make it to the next gas station.  And two, he was deep in the throes of paranoid schizophrenia.

I wasted no time in getting back on the road with the AC cranked to maximum and heading for that exit while the man sitting beside me had a conversation with someone unseen about how no, he wasn’t going to hurt me, because I was helping him.  I sped up.  He was rocking back and forth telling me to hurry because he didn’t want to hurt me.  I kept encouraging him to hang in there, that it would just be a few more minutes, and told him to keep drinking water.  Man, I was nervous.  I was just praying that if I had to die that it would be quick and painless, but asked if I was going to get a prayer answered, let it be that I could just get the guy out of my car and to safety in time.

That was probably the longest six minutes of my life.  But we made it.  He had started to sweat by then (as had I) and wasn’t nearly as red, and he jumped out of my car as soon as we hit the gas station.  I gave him some money.  And I got the heck out of there.

No deep spiritual lesson in this one.  Just that sometimes doing the things the Lord wants you to make you reeeeeally uncomfortable.  I don’t know if either of these men I stopped to help ever made it to their final destinations, but I do know that both of them helped me along my way to mine.


The Wonder Tower

Roadside kitsch.  LOVE IT!

Yesterday my dad, my nephew Mitchell, and I, headed out to Genoa, Colorado for a day trip to “The Wonder Tower”.  It was soooo much better than I even imagined it would be!  There is a maze of dusty rooms filled to the gills with all kinds of strange and wonderful collections.  The tower is a series of themed rooms (the red room, the yellow room, the big room, etc.) which houses a number of creaky worn out wind-y staircases and ladders that lead to a lookout platform way up at the top.  You can see the air above six states, supposedly.

From the minute I saw it from the freeway I knew I was in for a treat!

If you like weird collections and oddities, and especially if you like to take pictures….this place is the place for you!

Maybe I’ll see you there!

The List of Fifty – White Water Rafting

“Go white water rafting” has been on The List of Fifty since its inception.  And finally this past week, I was able to check it off!  Woo Hoooo!  And it was a Woo Hoo adventure!  My brother Phil is in town with his kids and we decided to take the two oldest up to Buena Vista for a little WW Rafting on the Arkansas.

We went with an outfit called “Noah’s Ark” and it was GREAT!  Having never gone before I really had no idea what to expect.  We chose to go on the kind of raft where the guide does the lion’s share of the rowing and steering and to do a half day trip on a class II and III stretch of the river.

Once an item on “The List” has been checked off, a new item needs to be added to keep the list at fifty.  After this little adventure, I’m putting “go white water rafting” BACK on the list, only this time it will be to go on a trip that includes class IV rapids.  AND next time I want to do more of the rowing and maybe make it an all day sort of trip.  Good times.  If you are keeping your own “list”, and it doesn’t have “go white water rafting” on it, may I recommend that you add it????

Here we are, going through the “Seven Steps” rapids!  (I’m in the far back where you can’t really see me!)

Trail Canyon Trail

A redunant name for a beautiful hiking trail in the foothills of Los Angeles.  “A place so beautiful, they named it twice”.  I went back “home” to the L.A. area for the Easter weekend.  Phil and the kids and I headed out on Monday morning to find the trailhead.  The trail we were seeking leads to a waterfall, as all of the hikes I go on with them do.  This waterfall was along the Gold Creek.

The book we were using as our guide was published in the 80’s, so sometimes the directions are hit or miss.  This one was a HIT!  The only “glitch” was that the sign we were looking for which would lead to the trailhead was missing on the way.  When we turned around to look from the other direction, there it was, and once we found it the directions were spot on.

We hiked in about 2 1/2 miles up (and 2 1/2 miles back, which is good, it’s always good to hike out as far as you’ve hiked in!) on a well maintained trail which completely lacked any evidence of human presence…no trash, no graffiti, no dog poop….barely even shoeprints in the softer areas.

We forded the stream a number of the times on the way there, but didn’t even get our feet wet.  I was a bit worried to be hiking since I jacked my right knee up back in December, but it held up nicely.  I was very careful about foot placement and avoiding any pivoting on it.  I tell you this just to show that the hike, though not totally easy, was doable even for the gimp in the group.  (So you could do it, too!)  The hike took us through lush green woods along paths liberally decorated with itty bitty wildflowers.  This purple beauty measured less than an inch across.  Didn’t even see the teensy weensy red bugs crawling around until I uploaded my pictures!

Purple Flower, Red Bugs by you.

And it took us through more poison oak than any of us had ever seen in our lives!  Phil and at least a couple of his kids are really prone to getting horrific rashes from it and warnings rang out frequently about avoiding touching it!  (And upon arriving home, all clothes were stripped and washed, and showers were taken, it was that bad!)  I haven’t heard if any of them broke out or not, but Richard was already sporting some nasty rashes from his LAST excursion into the wilderness.

Back to the hike.  We came around one bend and found ourselves in a manzanita forest.  Manzanita is a bush that is found in the chaparrel biome.  Manzanita is spanish for “little apple”, I guess because the seeds look alot like little apples.  The trunk and branches are a deep rosey red, and they are smooooooooth and satiny.  Any way, these were huge TREES!  Never seen anything like it.  Phil shows how tall the bushes usually are.  The trunks were so thick you couldn’t get your arms around them.

Phil and the Manzanitas by you.

The trail led us to something I can only describe as a CLIFF.  Rocks jutting out high over a small canyon.  Richard loves to rock climb.  I am afraid of heights.  He decided to pick his way down to the canyon.  I wanted to take a picture of him doing it, but couldn’t get close enough to the edge to do that, so I took a picture of him disappearing through a crack in the CLIFF.  Bye Richard.  I hope I see you again!

Richard Gives Me the Heebies By Rock Climbing... by you.

He took the short way down, we took the long way down, and we met back up at the bottom.

The last bit of the hike was a little steep and the dirt a bit loose, but when when we rounded the last corner before the waterfall, we entered a little bitty paradise!  The cataract measured about 50 feet tall and tumbled into a small, clear pool.

The Gold Creek Falls (Real name?  Dunno!) by you.

There was a large sycamore tree at the edge of the pool which had a high green and lacy canopy.  The canopy provided shade and showed off a brilliant blue sky above it.  Off came shoes and socks!  The bottom of the pool was firm and sandy/pebbly.  But boy oh, the water was cold!  Of course I orchestrated one of my famous foot pictures, but I couldn’t stand being in the water for more than a minute or so.

Foot Picture in the Basin Pool by you.

My feet are wimpy because they have spent all winter in shoes (and I just got a pedicure further removing any protective toughened skin!).  But Jonathan’s feet suffered no such wimpiness.  This kid was swimming in that cold water!

Jonathan Braves the Cold Water and Gets Soaked Through! by you.

Head to toe wet.  Brrrrr.

Alaska and Avie Get Cold by you.

We played and laughed for a time and decided this would be a great place for a picnic.  Plenty of large flat rocks to serve as a picnic table. I don’t know if we got lucky that day having the place to ourselves, or if it is a little visited place.  I wonder if we went back in the summer for that picnic if there would be a horde of people vying for the best seats on the rocks!

Time to put our shoes back on and go.

Playing in the Basin by you.

A hidden place which seemed to have been created, at least for that day, just for us!

For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills…Deuteronomy 8:7 (NIV)

Some of the best times of my life are spent exploring God’s creation with my big brother and his kids.

Happy Birthday, Julie!

Today is my cousin Julie’s birthday.  A few days ago we decided, should the weather permit, that we’d drive up to the summit of Pikes Peak.  Until recently I didn’t even know that there was a road up to the summit, but there is!  It’s called the Pikes Peak Highway.  Parts of it are a little hairy, but we made it to the top without incident.  This was my second time up to the summit.  Last time it was winter and we took the cog railroad up.  Very cool!  Next time up, I hike!

Click HERE to read about my last trip up to the summit and see a wicked cute picture of my nephew!  And HERE to see another picture of my niece, Alaska, from the same trip.

Here Julie and I are.  Taking the requisite touristy picture in front of the summit sign.

At the Summit by you.

From “down there”, those little red rocks in the middle of the right side of this photo are massive monoliths at the Garden of the Gods!  On a clear day, you CAN see forever!

Garden of the Gods, From 14,110 Feet! by you.

Weird looking railroad tracks, huh?  These are for the cog railway that goes from Manitou Springs to the summit.

Cog Railroad Tracks by you.

And of course, a foot picture.  We are facing west.  More of the Rockies off in the distance, and two lakes!

Two Feet at 14,110 Feet! by you.

We had planned on stopping at one of the rest areas/picnic areas/scenic overlooks to have a picnic lunch, but time was not our friend and so we ate in the car while driving back down the mountain in the lowest gear my car had to offer.  It’s such a steep drive that there’s even a mandatory brake check on the way down, and if your brakes are hot, you are off the road until they cool off!  Never seen that before!  AND on the way back down we actually got snowed on!  It was a perfectly clear, bright, and beautiful day, and out of nowhere, snow!  That’s why they warn you that the weather is unpredictable up there.  Unpredictable, indeed!

Happy Birthday, Julie!  For sure we’ll do this one again!  On foot next time!

And under the category of “ask, they can only say no” goes this one!  I told the ranger at the tollroad that Julie was only 12 and that it was her birthday, and could we get her in for the child’s fare…

And he did it!  Ask.  They can only say no!  🙂


I took this picture last year when we went on a bird watching trip during Boot Camp.  It’s some sort of Heron.  I love this picture.  I’ll go on the bird watching tour again this summer, if they do it.  We saw evidence of eagles out in the preserve, but didn’t actually see any of the raptors.  I would like a second shot at that, and maybe I could capture on on film.  That’d be cool…

Happy ACTUAL 70th birthday, mom.  I’ll be thinking of you especially today…

(Posted in absentia)

Photo Friday – “Emotion”

I am very late posting my entry for this week’s Photo Friday, but I have a good reason.  I had company from California here for the past few days and I wanted to spend my time with her.  Thanks for visiting Shawn!  It was a gooooood time!  🙂  Safe travels, my friend!

And so, without any further ado…

Today’s Photo Friday is entitled: Emotion

chosen by: Julie

Follow the links below for other entries (I will add links as entries come in!):

Tall chick tales 

 Idea jump! 

 Just for fun

 A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words

A Curious State of Affairs

It’s always “fun” to conquer, even if just a little bit, one’s fears, don’t you think?  I am quite the acrophobe.  I fear heights.  Not ALL heights mind you.  My fear of heights is rather specific.  I’m fine with being at the top of very tall buildings, I LOVE roller coasters and other rides that include heights, and I have no problem with flying (planes of ANY size and helicopters are all just fine with me).  I don’t even mind hiking upwards.  What bothers me are things like being on bridges, hiking DOWN, driving next to drop offs, snow skiing, that sort of thing.  I don’t like being in high places where there is, at least to me, a perceived or actual lack of control in the situation.  I can’t stand having people anywhere near me if I am standing in a place where they could startle me, or end up close behind me without my having seen them come up on me.  My fear is more of a fear of falling from any sort of height, even if from a small height.

I used to be able to climb trees, climb up onto roofs, and climb ladders without any problem whatsoever.  I was rather fearless, in fact.  But I was startled twice, once when I was 16 and once when I was in my twenties, which resulted in my developing fear.  The first startling occured when I was laying concrete blocks on a less than sturdy scaffolding on the second story of a building.  When I was deep in  concentration and hard at work, a guy reached up from the ground and grabbed my ankles and shook me.  And that was the start of it.  I got so fearful of heights that I had a problem using the second step of a stepladder!  I worked on desensitizing myself and was almost over my fear.  But then, at the top of the Hancock center in Chicago I got my second startling.  While I was deeply in thought and looking down, my brother came up behind me and shook my shoulders and gave me one of those “Bahahahahha” shouts in my ear.  I again spiraled into my old fear pattern.  And I’ve been working on overcoming it, or at least occasionally temporarily conquering it, since. 

Yesterday my visiting friend, Shawn, and I took a hike up to some abandoned train tracks and tunnels.  The hike up to the location was really more like a loose gravel scramble!  Staying well ahead of Shawn (for my mental sanity) we climbed quite a distance at a very steep incline on a very slippery slope and it wasn’t until we reached the top that I thought “Gee, I just HOPE I’m going to be able to get down!”.  Putting that thought aside until I HAD to deal with it, I threw myself into enjoying the view from “up there”.  And I carefully picked my way around the washed out areas along the trail.  With the sound of the highway and river far below us, we worked our way through each of five tunnels and enjoyed the rock formations, the plant life, the insects, the sky and the feeling of relative solitude that being far away from civilization invokes. 

My emotion is “exhilaration”. 


Lou and Shawn, a self-portrait in front of the entrance to one of the tunnels

I didn’t do a Rocky sort of dance when I arrived at the top, nor did I shout with glee.  But inside I had this exhilarated “Whew!!!  I am DOING this!” sort of response.

Shawn also has her own heights issues, so we were quite the pair.  When our hike had to be over as we had a reservation for some horsebacking riding and HAD to get going, we found our way back to where we climbed up, and boy, did it look even more steep and slippery from up there.  We pretty much just slid down on our backsides holding onto anything at all that would give us a sense of security!  We were dusty, filthy, hot and sweaty, and our hearts were pounding when we got to the bottom, but get to the bottom we did!  Yay us!!!

(I will have to conquer my fear to get back up to this location again, as there is a geocache hidden in one of those tunnels that I failed to locate this time around!)

If you fear heights/falling, you might want to (or maybe not!  I could hardly watch it!) check out this link e-mailed to me by a friend, and also seen on “A Curious State of Affairs”.  This gave me the biggest case of the willies I’ve had in a loooooong time!  🙂

Please visit the links to the other participants work using the links at the beginning of this post and leave them a comment!

Friday 30th May : Title by CordieB: Phantasmagoria

Next Friday’s challenge will be my last for awhile.  I leave June First and won’t be home for two months!  Yikes!

Whatever Happened to My Great Uncle Kenny’s Recipes??

My great Uncle Kenny was a baker.  His bakery was called “Oliver’s Bakery” and was in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  It still IS in Kenosha, actually.  When I asked him, my dad didn’t know what happened to his uncle’s recipes.

I can’t seem to find out just how he ever got into the bakery business.  Just like I don’t know how another great aunt and uncle got into the beekeeping/honey business.  Those are pretty unusual career choices.  (But then I also have a screen writer, a sweater maker, bed and breakfast owners, a pastor, publishers, a wood-worker, and a freight-forwarding/lawyer in the ranks as well, to name a few!!)

My dad and I took a side visit to the famous bakery when we were in town last week. 

Even though Racine (ten miles up the road) is the kringle capital of America, Oliver’s is sort of famous for ITS “kringles”, and I wanted to pick one up to take down to the friends I’d be staying with the next night down in Illinois.  I had a brief glimpse into my future as a baker recreating all the fabulous yummies that my uncle had created if only I could locate those long lost recipes!  I asked the ladies who were working there “whatever happened to my Great Uncle Kenny’s recipes?”.  And whattayaknow!  They knew!  Most of those recipes were in the back of the bakery, still in his original handwriting, and they are in use to this day!  When he sold the bakery the recipes went with it.  And when that buyer sold it, the recipes changed hands again.  So much for my new career as a famous master-baker!  Those recipes are lost to my family forever!  🙂  Well, unless we are the next owners, that is!

I’d sure like the recipe for those kringles, because they are the BEST I’ve ever had.  For their kringles, and for all their yummies in general, I am bestowing “Unpaid Product Endorsement” status on Oliver’s Bakery!

And guess what?  You, too, can nibble on a Blue Cheese (blueberry and cream cheese) kringle!  Oliver’s will ship one to you! 

Click HERE to visit Oliver’s Bakery…order up a yummy.  And tell them that Kenny Oliver’s great niece sent you!  🙂

(You say you don’t know what a kringle is???  Read about the humble kringle HERE.)


“Juxtaposition” – Photo Friday

Today’s Photo Friday is entitled: “Juxtaposition″


1. an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, esp. for comparison or contrast.
2. the state of being close together or side by side.

This week was my choice for the topic!  I picked “juxtaposition” because 1) I absolutely LOVE the word, and 2) I thought it was a challenge that could be interpretation in a bajillion ways.  I had no preconcevieved idea of what I was going to do for it.  The word just came into my head when I read that the choice was to be mine this week. 

I took this picture this past weekend in Denver.  When I took the picture I was only taking it because it tickled my fancy.  I thought it would be way cute to have my little friends copy the big blue bear’s pose, all lined up.  Only after I got home and was going through and catalogueing the photos from the weekend did it strike me that this would make an excellent and FUN submission for this weeks “Photo Friday”.  So, here is “Big Blue Bear and Little Friends Peeking”!

From L to R that’s the Big Blue Bear, Abner, Stephanie, Colin, and Clare — in juxtaposition!  🙂

This Big Blue Bear is peeking in the windows of the Denver Convention Center.  His body is made up purely of planes.  Pretty cool.  Designed by a computer.

The sculpture was unveiled in June of 2005 and is called “I See What You Mean”.

They are all interested in what’s going on in there!  🙂

Please visit the other participants’ work!

 Sky Windows 

Idea jump!

A Curious State of Affairs 

Just For Fun

Welcome to CordieB of the blog “Looking Through The Window

(Jan’s entry – A Curious State of Affairs – uses a cool online tool called a Hockneyator to create a collage.  You should check it out and snag that link to try this tool yourself!)

I’ll add anymore links should I find that there are any more new players out there!

Next week’s topic comes to us from Tina of SkyWindows and is “Religion”. 

A Day in LoDo

A couple of weeks ago I met my friend Abner up in Denver to spend the afternoon.  It was a lovely day.  We’d been threatened with snow, but there was barely a cloud in the sky and it was warm in the sun.  We decided to meet at the Breckenridge Brewery.  It’s one of the local microbreweries and I’ve heard they have some good offerings.  I tried the Agave Wheat.  It was a murky looking glass of darkish amber stuff.  But it tasted awesome! 

The area of town that is host to the Breckenridge Brewery is known as “LoDo”, or Lower Downtown.  It’s an historical district, also known as the ballpark district.  The brewery is right down the street from Coors Field where the Colorado Rockies play.  I love baseball (I believe I have mentioned this before).  I used to adore the Dodgers, but fell out of adoration with them in the 90’s.  I tried to fall in love with the Anaheim Angels, and things were going sort of okay, but then they became the Los Angeles Angels, which, even removing the absolute redundancy of the name from the equation, was just wrong.  End of that fledgling relationship!  And then I moved to Colorado.  I wondered if I could become a Rockies fan.  Well, after seeing the Rockies “house”, I think I could very well do so.  I drove past Coors Field the last time I was up in Denver and I wanted to explore it further by walking all the way around the stadium.  Of course that took us into a couple of restricted access areas, but despite passing a number of empty security vehicles, we were successful without even being approached.

What a great stadium and wonderful location for it.  On the 20th street side there was a pedestrian walkway which brought you through an archway of sorts.  The supports had a collection of “ball” tiles on the fronts and backs.  Here’s one of the panels:

One day I’ll go back and try to individually photograph each and every tile in these columns.  Some are mighty clever.  Here are a couple of my favorites:

Through the archway and a there’s a perfect “out in left field” gate upon which to take a foot picture, which of course, we did.

In the process of meandering around town, and laughing hysterically at this and that, we passed by a number of buildings which had either been, or were being converted into lofts and condos.  Of course, with my love of 1)  cities, 2)  buildings, and 3)  real estate, my heart was pretty much palpitating.  There was one small row of loft-type spaces in particular that caught both of our attentions.  The units were three stories tall, and on the backsides there were balconies off the second and third floor.  Rising from the third floor balcony was a spiral staircase leading to rooftop terraces.  From those rooftops I bet you could see the entire downtown skyline as well as Coor’s Field.  And I bet you could easily hear the roar of a baseball crowd from there, too.  I was imagining being up there on a hot and sticky summer day basking in the fierce high altitude sun and BBQ’ing with friends while hearing the crack of bat on ball.  Perfection.

I have longed to buy a property in a city center for decades now.  Chicago has always been my city of choice for this, and Dublin would be pretty amazing, too, as would London.  An apartment in Syracuse, Sicily or Kinsale, Ireland has been a dream floating around my head.  I even looked at lofts in Los Angeles which were pretty spectacular, but after being in this area of Denver, I think Denver could suit me nicely!  Pipe dreams!!  🙂

Near the end of our LoDo traipse, we crossed a street only to be faced with the biggest set of doors I’ve ever seen that weren’t at the front of an old European church!  Here’s Abner being dwarfed by the doors:

Thanks for another fun day just hanging around, Abner!  Let’s do it again soon.

“It’s All Downhill From Here…”

…”except for the uphill parts.”

This was something my brother said to all of us when we (Phil, his kids, and I) were hiking this past December.  I was reminded of that today while hiking with Vickie.

We had planned to hike yesterday, but the wind was absolutely ferocious so we decided to hike today instead.  Gooooood call.  Today was a gorgeous day for hiking.  Since this was our third outing, we decided to add in the “loop” portion of the Waldo Canyon trail.  As I previously wrote, this added an additional 3 1/2 miles to our currently 4 mile hike.

What I was unaware of was that it adds who knew just how much altitude to the hike as well!  About 1/2 mile into the loop I wasn’t so sure about it anymore!  I was huffing and puffing and really feeling the altitude.  I live at about 6,000 feet.  I was guessing we must have been hiking at 8,000 feet.  I got home and looked it up, and at the top it was 8,200 feet and my lungs felt every foot of that altitude gain, believe me!  Vickie kept telling me that just around the corner and we’d be going downhill.  She lied!  She told me that a number of times.  I finally had to ask if she knew what downhill meant.  We would have had a good laugh, but I couldn’t breathe.  😉

I would LOVE to show you pictures of what is to be seen from up there, but I haven’t felt that taking my camera is a priority yet.  I would have taken pictures of the red rock cobblestones, the ginormous boulder with the overhang you couldn’t pay me to sit under, the sandstone layers visible across a ravine which are reminiscent of Arizona and Utah, and the phenomenal views of Pikes Peak around every corner.  You’ll just have to imagine it for now.   Last week’s snow had turned to ice in many areas of the trail and some of the stretches of trail were pretty treacherous.  I am looking forward to doing the hike without the impedence of snow and ice.  I hear that there are wildflowers and blooming bushes that are to die for up there when things warm up. 

We crossed a stream a couple of times which I imagine ups the beauty ante in the spring as well.

I have posted before on the sensitive nature of my feet and how they blister very easily.  Well, today I got a couple of doozies.  Mind you, I was wearing hiking boots that I’ve been wearing, and wearing A LOT since I moved here 2 1/2 years ago!  Ouch.  I didn’t want to tell Vickie that my feet were dying since I was already having a hard time just breathing!  But I can whine to you folks, now, can’t I?  Just gotta remember to put band-aids in those spots next week.  Don’t want Vickie knowing just how much of a malingerer I am, afterall!

All in all, a very successful hike.  Each week shows marked improvement in stamina.  My goal for next week is to shave some time off the hike.  Oh, and to not die.  That’d be good, too. 🙂

Emerald Pool

I made an unexpected trip to So Cal this past week as I wanted to attend the funeral of a friend.  It was a sad reason for a visit.  But the service was a lovely tribute to a wonderful man.  Lots of tears.  Lots of laughter.  I’m so glad I was able to be there.

As usual, I stayed at my big brother’s house.  We did some fun things while I was there.  One of those things was this!

Phil, his kids and I, went on a hike.  We went to the Santa Paula Creek area of Ojai in search of a waterfall.  My brother has this book of California waterfalls.  It’s most cool.  It lists the waterfalls and gives directions on how to get to them.  This was one his family had not yet gone to.  The book promised a 3 miles in/3 miles out hike with the holy grail being a series of “punch bowl” pools connected by small waterfalls leading to a 30 foot waterfall at the end.  The hiking instructions would have lead us to a campsite overlooking the pool which fed the larger cataract.

Somewhere along the way we got off the trail and ended up hiking the river’s path.  I came across this lovely little creature in a dry part of the river bed.  It measured about a half an inch across!


While this diversion provided what promised to be a “direct hit” on our target, it also entailed multiple rock crossings of the river, some ankle twistings and one occasion where we had to work our way along a rock wall using toe and foot holds which nearly had me at my tolerance for the heights and falling “thing” I have!  But with the patient help of my brother, and the occasional hand holding by my nephew, Richard, I persevered.

I like this picture soooo much.  I call it “Album Cover – No Band”.

We hiked and hiked and hiked.  It was getting late.  We found what we believed to be the punch bowls, but no big fall.  We thought we’d probably passed it when we ended up off the trail.  We took a moment to rest and drink water before starting back out of the canyon.  But Richard (who LOVES to rock climb) ventured farther up and in and came back with the news that he’d found the fall.  “Is it too scary, or can Aunt Lou make it?”  The answer was “Yes, she can.”.  So, me included, we decided to continue to climb our way in.  Very worth it!  The directions would have had us over looking the fall, but since we came up by way of the river, we were instead at the bottom where it filled a large deep pool.  We were so glad that we’d ended up off the path.  The algae on the rocks at the bottom of this crystal clear twenty foot deep pool lent the most gorgeous emerald color to the water.

The pool was surrounded by rock walls and a small rocky “beach”.  Evidence abounded that many had gone before us.  There was the sad bit of trash, a towel that looked like it hadn’t been there long, a few charcoally spots where fires had been built, and of course, graffiti.  And you know what?  I wasn’t much bothered by the graffiti.

Today’s graffiti are tomorrow’s “prehistoric” cave drawings…

A good time and place for one of my “foot pictures”!

It took us about a third of the time to hike back out.  Why is that?  Just wondering.

All in all, a wonderful smallish adventure.  We were all tired and sore at the end (and for the whole next day!).  Especially Avie.  We’d barely started the hike and she was complaining that “it’s a terrible time to be a kid”.  She’s growing, and her legs are sore.  But she stuck it out.  Barely.  Had that hike been a tenth of a mile longer, one of us would have been carrying her!

Two days later we got to see Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh.  But that’s another post!

Five Hundred!


I posted the first entry to Blah Blah Blog on January 15, 2006.  This is my 500th post! 

Starting Blah Blah Blog was a fairly intimidating endeavor for me.  Just three years ago all I knew how to do with a computer was send basic e-mail, IM  (even Instant Messaging was a fairly new phenomenon to me!), and make a simple Word document (I had also put together a PowerPoint presentation to use for one of my jobs, but that required SUPREME effort!).  I was still on dial-up.  I didn’t know how to create files and folders (all my documents were in one big file, including all my internet downloads!  Finding documents was a needle in a haystack proposition.  I didn’t even know how simple it was to rename a document.  I didn’t know how to drag documents from file to file or how to copy files.)  I had a digital camera that I had only taken a dozen pictures with, even though I’d had the camera for two years.  And the pictures were still on the SD card in the camera.  Only at the time, I didn’t know what an SD card was, or what you did with it!

I love technology and computers, and the internet, it’s not that I didn’t.  I was, in fact, the first person I knew to have a car phone.  Those were the phones you could get before there were cell phones!  I was the second person I knew to get a cell phone.  I was one of the first people I knew to get an e-mail address.  And I bought my first laptop computer when they were still a novelty.  Even so, I was petrified by my computer.

So, just about two years ago, and just shortly after moving from LA to Colorado, I was coming back to life after being a little bit dead for a long time and a lot shell shocked for some months.  The pieces of my heart were being put back together.  I had things I wanted to say.  I had ideas I wanted to share.  I had pictures I wanted to take.  The computer I had at the time just wasn’t going to get the job done.  So I went shopping.  I bought myself an awesome new laptop and an AIO (all-in-one) printer, and I got cable internet and I went wireless.  And I put my mind to learning how to use it all. 

And after a few months, I started to blog.

Back then I didn’t know how to put in fancy schmancy links.  I didn’t know how to upload pictures and put them in my blog.  Heck, I still hadn’t been brave enough to figure out my digital camera!  I didn’t know how to make, let alone upload and import videos, or ANYTHING!  But I started to write.

I learned how to take pictures and put them in e-mails.  I learned how to make videos on my camera.  I learned how to get both pictures and videos back OUT of my camera and onto my computer.  I learned how to resize pictures, how to crop pictures, how to make files and folders and how to name and rename documents.  I learned how to move documents around from here to there.  I bought myself an external hard drive and learned how to back things up.  I learned how to scan documents.  I learned how to cut and paste and how to “right click”.  I learned about Google Earth and IrfanView and Photo Impact.  I learned about Skype and Flickr and YouTube.  I got a webcam.  I learned how to burn CDs.  I learned how to upload a thousand pictures onto Shutterfly. My Teen Missions kids even got me doing MySpace and Facebook!  ETC!  🙂

Five hundred posts and two years later, and people actually say things to me like “you’re a computer person, how do I…..”.  Inside I’m cracking up!  I’m so NOT a computer person.  But the craziest thing is…way more often than not, I can help teach them what they are wanting to learn.  I can’t believe all the skills I’ve added to my repertoire in less than two years.  Thanks to those of you I drew upon for your expertise and for being so patient in teaching me!

What’s next?  Who knows!  I was thinking of taking a crack at doing a website for my friend Donna’s jewelry business.  I’m not even exactly sure where to start on that one!  (But I bet I can figure it out!)

I guess I’ll just have to see what trips my trigger!

Five hundred posts ago I wasn’t sure how long my enjoyment of blogging would last.  Little did I know that it would become such a permanent and important aspect of me.  The frustrated writer is no longer frustrated (even though the books I am working on once again lie fallow).  The photographer in me is able to take and share pictures.  I have met people through blogging that I would never have met otherwise.  I am able to store my thoughts and track my adventures.  My dad can keep track of what I’m up to!  Maybe I’ve even shared something that has touched someone else.  It’s allllll goooood….

(The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins?  Nope.  Really has nothing to do with this post, except for the “500”, and for the fact that I have loved the book since I was a little girl!)

1,000 Places…

Five or six years ago a friend of mine gave me the book “1,000 Places To See Before You Die”.

Up until about two years ago, I’d been highlighting all the places that I’d been to.  Then I moved.  Today I finally unpacked the box that the book was in.  I sat down to get it all caught up.

I added some interesting ones!  Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, Colorado.  St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.  The Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota.  Mt. Etna in Sicily (I’m counting this even though it was a drive-by!).  Moab and the Red Rock Country in Utah.  Zion National Park, also in Utah.  To name a few!  🙂  While going through the book I found that I had never highlighted Independence National Historic Park in Philadelphia, which I’ve been to twice, actually, or The Freedom Trail, in Boston!  So I took care of yellowing them out!

I have picked a few more places that I’d like to go to in the very near future.  There are seven places listed as must visits in Colorado.  There’s a national park called Mesa Verde in Cortez.  It looks FASCINATING.  And I bought a national park’s annual pass last month, so I can get in “free”.  Bonus!

Maybe next weekend!

The Dragonfly

It was quite possibly the largest dragonfly I’ve ever seen. 

My niece Avalon and I were back to a location I’d been to twice already in search of a geocache that had me completely stumped.  I brought Avie there while we were out looking for a handful of other caches because I needed a fresh pair of eyes.  Fresh eyes didn’t help.  The search did bring me to a wonderful location that I’d wanted to explore but never had despite having lived just two miles from it for fifteen years.  An old railroad bridge.

We took the opportunity to take a foot picture by an old railroad spike.  Avalon is wearing her pink plastic lawn flamingo slip-on Vans (a tribute to her mother).

We failed in our search for the cache.  On our way back to the car I spotted this dragonfly about six feet up the trunk of some kind of eucalyptus tree.  In vain I attempted to capture him on my digital camera.  I sure wished I’d had my trusty 35 mm Canon EOS Elan with me.  I tried regular settings, macro settings, standing back and zooming in.  I tried it from all kinds of angles and approaches, but I could not get a good picture.  The best one, this one, was taken from about eight feet back, zoomed in, and with a flash.  Avalon was convinced that this big guy (probably five inch wing span) was dead.  She poked at him a few times with a long stick, and declared “Yup.  He’s dead.”  Just then he took off!  He’d had enough of her.  It scared us both a bit.  A bug that big flying around makes a heck of a lot of noise.  (And I instinctively opened my mouth to keep him from sewing it shut!

Look at those gorgeous colors and patterns on him.  I’m so disappointed that I couldn’t get a better shot, but I am pleased that you can see the veining in the gossamer of his wings.

We found four other caches in short order that day.  One of them posing as a reflector on a phone pole was a work of geocache art! 

Scenic Byway

Some days ago I posted “Understatement“.  I thought it was time to share more on that as promised.  The pictures don’t do justice to what I was actually seeing and experiencing.  And pictures lack the ability to share the warm wind you feel on your face and in your hair.  Pictures lack the the ability to share the faint scent of desert sand, scrub grass, and river water.  These pictures captured are a single tile of the huge mosaic of beauty which surrounded me on all sides, came up to meet my feet, and covered me from above. 

I was driving along, enjoying the river whose path the highway mirrored, when this

came into view.  These spires were MILES in the distance and yet they were monstrously huge.  Every time I turned a corner I was treated to some new and awesome expanse of beauty.  Like this

for example!  This also was incredibly far off in the distance.  My breath was literally taken away.  I stopped my car at frequent intervals just to step out to smell and listen to the wind while doing 360 degree turns and taking in the magnificance of God’s creation.

Near the end of the highway, the canyon walls moved closer together, the river lazed between them.  I stopped.  And stopped.  And stopped again.  It took me hours to drive the 25 mile or so highway.  I saw very few other vehicles as I drove.  Mostly I was alone with my thoughts and the savage beauty of this place.

Mr. Cuddles Goes To Denver

It pretty much started Tuesday morning with a phone call from Joanne.  Scott had his first appointment with his new oncologist in Denver and I planned on attending with them.  I’d been watching a morning show and there was a news crawler at the bottom warning against severe thunderstorms in the eastern plains.  “Cool”, I thought.  Diane should be getting a great show out where she lives today.  Joanne was calling to find out if I still wanted to go with them even though the weather was bad.  I peeked out the window and it was overcast but that was about it.  Thinking, “I can handle a severe thunderstorm or two” I said “sure, of COURSE I still want to go!”. 

I got in my car and started to drive to Scott and Joanne’s.  Not far from my house it started to graupel.  About halfway there (hmmm, less than five miles from my house) the snow started to come down.  It was coming down heavy as I neared their house and there was already many inches of accumulation of very soggy snow.  It was wet and sticky and clung to everything – signs, poles, whatever it came up against.  What a mess.  But now I knew what Joanne was talking about!  Less than ten miles away and they were in the middle of a very wintery storm.  But this was a very important “time is of the essence” sort of appointment, and we couldn’t be deterred by a little weather, now could we?

We started the climb up I-25 into Monument Pass.  It was really dumping snow by then.  I feared that many of these trees would lose branches, or come down completely under the sheer weight of all this soggy snow!


At times almost zero-visibility.  On the other side of the freeway traffic had stopped.  Miles and miles of south-bound traffic going absolutely nowhere.  Hope nobody needs a restroom.

We were able to proceed with caution.  We made it through the pass, albeit slowly, speeding up when the visibility occasionally improved.  Once we got through the pass, the snow abated and turned mostly into rain and sleet.  And we arrived at the appointment with time to spare.  Such adventure!  It tends to find you when you least expect it!

The oncologist’s office shares a waiting room with the surgeon’s office.  We walked in and immediately headed for the same spot we’d sat in before.  Why is that?  Is there some measure of comfort in having a “usual seat”?  Dunno!  As we sat, Joanne started the daunting process of filling out the 217 pages of required forms and releases.  Way across the room one of the staff called “John….John…John…” and looked about the room.  For some reason she then headed all the way across the room towards us.  “I’m not John”, Scott said.  And then he said his name.  “Mr. Cuddles?” the staff member queried?  We all laughed.  While it’s similar in part to his name, and while I’m sure he IS cuddly, it just sounded so funny!  Mr. Cuddles.  And Mrs. Cuddles, apparently(!), filling out forms!

Rewind.  In his last appointment with his surgeon Scott was given some options in regards to follow-up treatment.  The option which seemed to offer Scott the best chances was also the one which is very rigorous and difficult to complete.  And it was a clinical trial.  A clinical trial in Houston.  And it was months (6-8) long.  The thought of temporarily relocating to Houston wasn’t a good one, but if that was where the best treatment was, that seemed to be the way to go.  Houston.

But then the oncologist started to delinate options.  The first option, do nothing, wasn’t where Scott and Joanne felt that God was leading.  On to the second.  As she started talking, we all started to look at each other.  This option sounded EXACTLY like the Houston clinical trial!  Scott pulled out the paper on the trial and showed it to the doctor to confirm that we were hearing correctly.  Yes.  It’s the same thing.  Only it’s not a clinical trial where she practices.  And not very many people are offered this option.  Dr. Kane wants anyone who goes on this regimen to be young, and other than having pancreatic cancer, to be healthy!  She was offering him the identical treatment that he would have gotten in Houston, only he could stay at home.  What a blessing.  He will be able to stay in his own house, in the middle of his support system, and near his beloved trees and front-range.  “Why,” Scott wondered out loud to the oncologist “did the surgeon not know you have the same regimen available here?”.  Her answer was that it was probably because she offered it to so few people.

And so, there is a plan now.  Scott will hopefully start his chemo and radiation regimen in two weeks.  He has to have a PET scan and have a long-term vascular access device (port) placed through which he will received his chemo, and he has to see the radiation oncologist so that she can create a treatment plan.  And then he can start.  Selfish note:  I am glad that I will be able to be here for the first few weeks of his treatment. 

Appointment completed and spirits much lifted we head out to the car.  It’s raining fairly heavily so we dash into the car hoping to get back home before the I-25 is closed due to icing in the colder temperatures later in the day.  Turn the key.  Click click click.  Yup.  Dead battery.  I run back into the medical center to see if there’s anyone who can jump us.  As it turns out, it happens often enough that it is a service that security offers!  I dash back to the car to let S&J know that security will be coming shortly and I find that Joanne has been on the phone listening to road closures.  And every possible route back home is closed.  Snowed in!  Or I guess it would be “snowed out”! 

Time to find a hotel room before every other stranded passenger snap them all up!  The first hotel we stopped at was full already.  The staff at that hotel graciously called three other hotels before finding an available room for us.  Excellent.  We at least didn’t have to sleep in the car.  Time for a coffee or a latte.  Barnes and Noble has Starbucks inside.  Hot Chai Latte in hand, I decided to buy a book to read that night.  Abner had recommended two books by the same author to me.  “Velvet Elvis” and “Sex God” by Rob Bell.  I picked up a copy of “Sex God”.  Abner says “I don’t read Mama Lou, and I read these books almost without stopping!”.  We had both greatly enjoyed “Blue Like Jazz” and Abner said if I like that, I surely like these.  Rob Bell is a Christian, an author, a speaker, a film-maker, and the founding pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan.  This book is a frank look at sexuality and Christianity and how we are sexual creatures and how that sexuality plays into all aspects of our lives.  I am sure I will posting on this book in the near future.

With the acquisition of comfort beverages taken care of, it was off to shop at CostCo.  Do you shop at CostCo?  Does it give you palpitations?  It sure does give them to me.  I go in there and feel a sudden need to purchase a 500 pound bag of rice and a case of 8 gallon bottles of extra virgin olive oil.  And it’s sort of hard to just walk past the bag of a hundred shiny red Baby Bel cheese wheels in a net bag.  Well, it is for me.  Pallet of Splenda anyone???

Poor Mew Ling.  I had fed her breakfast.  And she wasn’t going to eat again until I got home, whenever that would be.  A quick call to my sister and I find that she is in the middle of a blizzard!  White out.  (I didn’t even ask if going to my house to feed my precious was EVEN a possibility…I knew it was not.)  She wouldn’t starve.  But she would be lonely (or I would be, for her, anyway).

We slogged back to the car with our CostCo purchases.  Among other items, Scott and Joanne bought a twin-pack of memory foam pillows.  Scott had tried a couple of styles of the pillow while in CostCo by laying down on pallets first and then on a cushioned deck chair.  He wasn’t sure if he liked them or not.  Heck!  We have to spend the night nearby.  Why not buy them, try them at the hotel, and return them if they didn’t like them!  Such a plan!   So, we slogged through the increasing slushy precipitation back to the car  with the pillows and our other purchases and headed off for a nice dinner.

Which we had at J. Alexanders.  Yum.  It continued to snow.  An hour from home and we are stuck.  Go figure!  We checked into the hotel, got toothbrushes and toothpaste from the front desk, and fell into bed, in our clothes.  Haven’t slept in my clothes since Africa!  We got a free movie.  “Rocky Balboa”.  Sly looked weird in it, but I enjoyed all the harkenings back to the original “Rocky”.  I watched some, fell asleep, woke up, watched some, fell asleep woke up, watched some, and fell asleep.  I guess I missed more than half the movie.  But I don’t think I’ll rent it.  I hear it ends in a tie. 

When we woke up yesterday morning, the sun was shining and the roads were clear.  I-25 was open.  Other than some accumulated snow, it was as though yesterday never even happened!  We were good to go.  When I woke up Scott had already brought breakfast up from downstairs.  Thanks Mr. Cuddles!  🙂  So we ate.  And rested some more.  And then headed out.  Back to CostCo!  The pillows didn’t end up exciting them!  So those were returned and a few more items were purchased.  One more stop at Starbuck’s for comfort beverages and we were on the road.  The pass was still very snowy, but the road was clear.  And most of snow which had burdened the trees to what looked like their breaking point had already melted. 


Almost the same trees, not quite a day later.  What a difference a day makes!

There was quite a bit of snow at Scott and Joanne’s still, but as I neared my own home, it appeared that it hadn’t even snowed!  So odd.  So very odd.  I spoke with my sister last night, and she still had 3-4 foot drifts up against her house.  I talked with a neighbor today who told me “we had a few flakes of snow here, but that’s it”.

And Mew?  Let’s just say she told me all about it when I got home…

All this snow on Tuesday.  More maybe tomorrow.  And come Sunday?  It’s supposed to be in the 80’s.  Weird place for weather this Colorado place.  Weird weird weird.  It’ll probably snow in May, too!

Doncha just love how adventure finds you when you least expect it?


Straight-Razor Shave

My Dad is out visiting my sister and me in Colorado.  Well, he was.  I took him to the airport this morning.  He stopped here for a few days after going to Atlanta to watch Richard and the Beach Bots compete in the FIRST competition this past week.  Anyhow, yesterday he decided he wanted to get a professional shave, and preferred a straight-razor shave.  We Yahoo-yellow-paged to find a place and found a barber shop in very south Colorado Springs.  We both assumed that since it was a barbershop they’d do the shave thing.  Well, Art (at Rico’s) said, “Nope.  Most barbers stopped shaving a long time ago.”  “BUT,” he said, “there’s a shop not too far north and just up the street that might still do it.”  He gave us directions….”just west of Nevada, before I-25, across from “The Red Top” restaurant”…he said there’s a barber who works out of his house.  We headed back north, and found the restaurant, and down the street a ways I saw the sign! 

Don’t have to go in to know that we’ve found exactly the place we’re looking for!  And what a curious place it was.  We were met at the door by a handful of small, barky, scruffy, cream and beige and tan dogs; all different breeds and mixes.  The walls were covered with license plates, buttons, bottles of hot sauce, and all manner of memorabilia!  What a curious and interesting place!  There were only two seats inside.  The barber, Paul Hansen, had just finished a haircut and he showed my dad to a wonderful old barber chair and reclined him back.  There was a lady there cutting a man’s hair in the other chair.  The patron, as it turns out, was getting his first short haircut in years.  While there another man came who had very long hair and informed Paul that he was ready to get his hair cut short.  Only not that day.  He was just coming to visit for a bit!  It was THAT kind of place.

You can’t see how cute my dad is in this picture, but he is…really cute!

There are hundreds and hundreds (maybe thousands?) of license plates all over the walls. 


There are four states missing:

Do you have a license plate from any of these states?  If you do, and you want to donate it to a very cool old barbershop, drop me a note (see the ‘contact me’ tab up at the top of my blog).  I’d sure love to help him complete his collection!

Here’s Paul, the barber, standing by this great 100 year-old barber chair in which my father was reclined for his shave.  Paul and his shop have been written about in the newspapers.  They’re sort of local legends.  Behind him you can see some of the memorabilia he’s put on display. 

Of course, Paul, my dad, and I HAD to do a foot picture (okay, yes, I made them do it).  This was taken on the foot support of the very cool 100 year-old barber chair.

And finally, while out driving with my pops, Pikes Peak looked amazing, so I shot a picture through my windshield while driving.  Breathtaking, really.

And that was my short afternoon out with my pops!  His computer has been down for some time and he hasn’t read my blog for awhile.  I put in a lot of pictures in this post for him.  For when he finally gets all caught up…

Thanks for visiting, Dad.  Sure enjoyed having you here.  Come again very soon.  You’ll probably needing another really great shave soon!  😉

Micro(ad) Trip

This past Sunday my cousin and I went on a very short road trip.  The day was GORGEOUS, and we wanted to be in it.  She had her two sons with her, so we decided to do some geocaching up in Woodland Park.  Since I do this without a GPS, I am reliant on maps (street maps and satellite maps) and whatever clues I can glean from the cache information provided on  The satellite maps couldn’t be zoomed in and were useless for all the caches I was looking at.  So I decided we’d try anyway with just a street map (there’s a teardrop pointer which puts you in the general vicinity) and the cache info.  We found the first one we looked for.  A micro cache which was about 1″ x 1 1/2″ by 1/4″ thick.  It was very clever.  But that was the only one we found.  The next two were a complete bust so we decided to come back to Woodland Park when I get a GPS! 

What makes up for a mostly failed afternoon of geocaching???  Ice cream, of course.  So we went back down the mountain and headed for a specialty ice cream store in Colorado Springs called “Michelle’s“.  We got our treats and headed across the street to a nice little park called Acacia Park.  Acacia Park is the place where the mentally ill, homeless, and out of control teenage populations like to hang out.  Even so, it’s still a nice little park And young families, and other people eating ice cream like to go there as well even though it’s still pretty chilly.  There is a pretty little fountain made of ceramic mosaic there.  It’s called the Uncle Wilbur, but I don’t know why.  I decided to take some pictures.  I was sitting on a low wall about 30 feet from the fountain and took these with super close up zoom.

Imbedded into the low wall which surrounded this fountain (and upon which I sat) were these gorgeous ceramic tiles.  I only took close-ups.  The tiles were a little less than a foot square.  I think I’ll probably go back and take more pictures one of these days.  I need to get a full tile shot.

While we were enjoying our ice cream, there was a young man who kept walking around the fountain.  He caught my attention for a number of reasons.  The most intriguing one was the presence of what appeared to be an ankle bracelet that someone under house arrest might wear.  The other was the heels that had been cut out of the dress shoes he was wearing.  As a deeply avocational people watcher, I know what I think his story might be, but what would YOU think if you saw this man?

And, of course, on our way back to the car, we had to take one last foot picture, one of my usual variety! 

So, that was our day!   

I Love Black and White

One of my favorite artist-photographers is Ansel Adams.  I don’t even aspire to his greatness as I know it is something that is not even remotely achievable.  I fell in love with black and white photography long before I ever heard of AA.  I was in the sixth grade.  My teacher decided we should learn a bit about photography.  We did so in black and white and we even got to go to the high school photography department and develop our own pictures!  Very cool.  (My sixth grade year was by far the best year of schooling that I ever got.)

This picture was taken with a good old fashioned 35 mm Canon EOS Elan.  It was fall in the Rocky Mountain National Park and I and some friends were there for the elk rut.  I threw in a roll of B&W film to take pictures of the fall colors.  It was my “fall colorless” homage to fall colors.  There was a mist descending over the mountains and within hours it had started to snow, the first snow of the year.  Beautiful.

Click HERE to view the snowfall later that day and an elk in rut. 

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