18 Jul: We are staying an extra night at the Blue Lake Ranch B and B. Dinner at Kennebecs tonight was a delightful experience due to a very lovely couple from Durango. Everyone should be so charming. Now we pack for our departure to Montrose, Colorado in the morning. And Ron should be packing instead of blogging.
|Thank goodness Cynthia didn't think to take the picture earlier|
16 Jul: It was a memorable birthday! We had quite the big adventure hiking the Petroglyph Trail, steep and rocky with too much exposure for Cynthia in several places. She was terrified - and exhausted herself with fear !! After 1.2 miles of this, we came to the petroglyphs, a single panel packed full of drawings. Soon after that the trail ascended onto the mesa top and became a simple waltz in the woods. Cynthia was greatly relieved until lighting began and one clap of thunder sounded very, very close, like a blast of dynamite. A family had caught up to us and their two little girls were in the lead, their little feet boogieing as fast as possible, sheer terror evident on their faces. The rain started as we descended the open rock towards the Mesa Museum, and then it poured. We read most of the panels in the museum and waited and waited and waited for three hours until the rain finally stopped. Unfortunately we ran into lots more rain as we drove down the mountain. Fortunately at this late hour (7:30 pm) on a rainy day, the road was empty of traffic. Surviving while living with Ron proves the existence of God. We continue to survive.
15 Jul, The ride to Mesa Verde to hike was pleasant and cool. The Balcony House overlook hike was surprisingly warm. It was fun to see how much we remembered our Mesa Verde hikes in the past. The Knife Edge Trail was fairly level with great views. Cynthis will post the photos tomorrow
|Rain over 416 Forest Fire?|
13 Jul: Blue Lake Ranch B&B on Southern Ute Reservation is 200 acres of beautiful views. Our Sunset Casita is semi isolated; we awoke Mountain Views on the north and the sunset on the east. It is a blessing to sleep with the windows open. Our breakfast table companions were from Belgium and a bicycling coach, who remembered us from one of our previous visits. We have lots of trails to hike and very little WiFi. It seems the WiFi goes out every five minutes. Updates will be sketchy!
|Cynthia likes the headboard|
12 Jul: We check out of our hotel at one PM followed by a one hour ride to Durango; Cynthia has a chest XRay at three. Good Results! Plans are weather dependent . The Blue Lake Ranch B&B is home for the next week. They serve marvelous breakfasts.
11 Jul: We are in Pagosa Springs for the final day of packing before riding to the Blue Lake Ranch outside Durango tomorrow the 12th, God willing. Our morning 4 mile hike was pleasant followed by brunch at Two Chicks. Ron, the recycling man, walked the cardboard and paper around the corner to recycle and packed bags all afternoon. By the time we go to sleep we will be ready to ride. Well, after the box gets shipped to Texas at UPS.
10 Jul: Another day of organizing document photos for Ron. We did go for a very short walk late this morning and saw our favorite nine bucks awaiting their bird food. Then we ate brunch, and Cynthia went to Sue's Sizzors for a hair cut. Ron rode the Beemer back to the motel from where it was parked yesterday afternoon. Early evening we walked our usual route and again saw the nine bucks, this time strolling through the neighborhood and browsing leisurely. Cynthia's breathing is a little easier today, and the skies are a crystal clear blue. It appears allergies and smoke may be responsible for breathing issues. Prayer works! Cynthia will have a chest X Ray tomorrow.
|The other side is a bench !! Pretty ornate - or ornate and pretty|
|Geese in the lake at the end of our neighborhood walk|
7 Jul: Every day we hike past 8-10 elegant buck deer ensconced in the same shady spot. The antlers are growing by the day; One has 10 points. The deer seem unafraid; they like this place because a bird feeder is directly across the road. The fellow who feeds the birds said, "I can't help it if the deer eat the seed. I am only feeding birds.“ We had a most interesting visit with a neighbor ( to the deer) who is in charge of managing manpower for the fire, search and rescue teams; he was one of the team hiking up mountain to rescue the young woman with a broken ankle as we were hiking down from Four Mile Falls. He said she had surgery and gave us a report on the Colorado fires. Cynthia's blister is greatly improved thanks to Ron's medial expertise. It rained briefly tonight as we walked to dinner. Ron has had opportunity to tell his bear stories several times today. The guy in the restaurant had a very good bear story in return.
|Lookie the velvet and all those tines on his antlers.|
6 Jul: Are we boring? After explaining our lifestyle to a 13 year old who was helping her mom clean our hotel room, we wondered if our routine was boring. For extreme exciting news: Ron fixed a mole skin cover for Cynthia's blister; the bad news is the blister is still to painful for hiking. BUT, we did get to Two Chicks for lunch and hobbled home. The extra good news is the room is clean! Cynthia created Rambo and Bankston spreadsheets for GEDmatch.com. Ron continues working on the SCS projects. It is pouring down rain in Pagosa Springs. For how long, we don’t know, but it is mighty welcome to the firemen fighting forest fires. Yes! We are not boring or bored.
5 Jul: Cynthia hiked just fine yesterday morning. Attempting a second hike last night was her undoing because the blister worsened. Ron hiked alone this morning, having a great time visiting with the deer feeder guy who said 10 bucks were ensconced across from his home last night. Ron was introduced to his Texas neighbors who happen to winter on the north side of Lake Conroe, Texas. We lived on the south side.
4 Jul: Wishing our family and friends a Happy Independence Day - the Fourth of July! To reflect on the meaning of Independence Day is to grasp the suffering paid by the signers of the Declaration of Independence and those who fought so valiantly for the freedoms we have today. Our country is unique in providing more opportunity for more people than any other country ever has. We salute our veterans and soldiers. Thank you. God Bless America!
3 Jul: Blistered Cynthia sat out the walk today, so Ron used the opportunity to talk to a friend who enjoys long, long conversations and walked the entire circuit around the lake to Pagosa Road. After brunch, he examined several of those files converted to Word and discovered a few more letters that need to be considered for Volume 7 of the Records of the Colonial Swedish Churches in Pennsylvania. (Sorry Ken.) At 8 PM punctually, he was out the door to walk to WallyWorld, gawk at the sunset, and converse with another friend via the miracle of telecommunication - remarkable even with an old flip phone. We assisted Brett with his blog posts: https://bsismanturkey.blogspot.com
|That bright red dot above the trees is the sun !!|
2 Jul: Da hubsand failed in hubsandly duties by asking if (instead of insisting that) we turn around when my beloved SmoochSmooch confessed that she had started walking in her "comfortable" shoes instead of changing into her hiking Hokas. Now she has a blister and is doctoring before we go to Two Chicks for brunch at 1pm. (Brunch because we always order egg white omelets there.) It was a hot walk with little shade this morning because we started late instead of early. Fortunately, the smoke has been blown away by the strong north winds today. Unfortuately the 416 fire is heading northward. We need a southeasterly wind to blow it back into areas already burned. Today the guy who feeds the birds was out, and we talked with him for a bit. He cannot prevent the deer from eating that bird food. One large buck has survived three hunting seasons so far. Here is Ron's description copied from an email to a Little cousin, "We are safely ensconced in Pagosa Springs, Colorado breathing that lovely, fresh, high altitude smoke from the 416 fire 60 miles away and moving incredibly slowly on land, but not so slowly in air quality. Cynthia tells me that I keep the room too cold and the air conditioned air is giving her sundry problems, so she has contrived to move us much, much closer to the fire on July 12th to the Blue Lake Ranch near Hesperus, Colorado. I liked the idea so well that I bought her another bouquet of flowers yesterday and almost had them trimmed and en-vased before she noticed. This is Cynthia's birthday month, so I wished her happy birthday, and the Blue Lake Ranch is one of her favorite accommodations hereabouts. The beauty of Pagosa Springs (besides the brilliant smokey sunsets) is that the highs have been running in the mid-80s. When we leave Durango around July 19th, we will probably tour through Colorado to get the most smoke possible en route to Montana for cooler temperatures (although that didn't work last time we tried it). Route to be determined by the seat of my pants, recently mended. We do genealogy 80% of our time, but most of it has to do with DNA or the Swedish Colonial Society. (Tell Shelley that we are on her side.) We hike for an hour or two every day and just today talked with the guy who feeds the deer via his bird feeder. We've seen 9 bucks waiting their turn to his feeder." Sunset tonight was blood red, smack on the horizon! Awesome !!
1 Jul, Sunday in Pagosa Springs, Colorado: Thank God. Today is the first day of the birthday month. SmoochSmooch. I love you on your birthday month. God was willing, we did wake up, and there was much less smoke in the air. The temperature was 72 degrees when we began our morning hike. It felt like 85 degrees when we finished. The smoke increased considerably during the day. About 8:00 PM Ron walked to Wally World for groceries and phoned Cynthia twice to encourage her to look out the hallway window to see the marvelous coral sunset that preceded a sky full of brown wisps. And he sneaked a gorgeous bouquet of pink roses into the room !! Ron has finished for now changing Word Perfect files to Word. Good job. We are so very thankful, so richly blessed, and we Thank God big time. Thank God for Cynthia.