Friday, August 30, 2013

A September to Remember in the Rockies

30 Sep: This month ran out without further fun episodes in the life of the Smooches.

24 Sep: I miss my Smooch Smooch, but we are  delighted that the scopys (colono and endo) showed nothing worse than a tiny touch of acid reflux, due to inability to tolerate Arimidex last Spring.   "Dictation" is supposed to work on this Mountain Lion OS, but doesn't; the forums indicate a need to reboot, so now I need to finish this and reboot.  More later.  smooch!!!

21 Sept, Sat:   Salt Lake City, UT: Working at hardly working: addressing postcards,  Cynthia's manuscript, recording receipts, playing GO with Roy and beating him soundly, reading Scientific American article about gravity waves occupies this day. We will be in Salt Lake City  until ca. 5th of October, ride towards Zion National Park either by way of Escalante or else Taos and Santa Fe before we are due to be in Sedona, AZ -- 15th of Oct to 15th of November.  If the weather is good, it is possible we could stay until Christmas.  Cynthia will be preaching in Sedona one of the Sundays.

20 Sept, Fri:  Zzzz. Slept late: So nice to have the great breakfast at our favorite  Hilton Garden Inn chain that includes an omelet chef.   Gorgeous day.  Today's hike took us back to the Canyon Trail, but we parked  in a different  area hoping to be closer to the Trail to hike the 2.5 miles beyond the City Creek Water Treatment Plant.  Total for the day's hike was 6 miles RT and we called it good, returning home to work on Cynthia's new book, "James Lea, James Lea, James Lea, Caswell County, 1790."   We dined with cousin Roy W and lovely wife at the Market Street Grill in Cottonwood.

19 Sept, Thursday: Packing done early, we were able to check in right away to our two Rewards nights at the Hilton Garden Inn Airport in SLC and take off to the City Canyon Trail that begins at Memorial Heritage Park for a very pleasant 8 mile RT hike that did not appear to cause pain for the miniscus tear.  The fall foliage is changing daily.  We dined on yet another fresh fish dinner at the downtown Market Street Grill.   Cynthia's bio is edited and turned in for her big  24 April event.  She is being honored as the seminary's distinguished alumnae 2014.

18 Sept, Wednesday:  Beautiful view driving to the ski basin, although chilly.  The trail we discovered was quite rocky and steep, obviously not good for the torn meniscus.  Dinner again at the Market Street Grill was super.  We can eat the bread.  Zero fat.    Cynthia needed a four page bio edited for the seminary.

17 Sept, Tuesday: Sandy, UT arrival at the Comfort Inn in Sandy mid-day because all of the Hilton, and Holiday Inn properties in SLC are sold out giving us the opportunity to have extremely the reasonable rate of $67.00 a night.  Getting the room cool enough is a challenge with older hotels.  The Market Street Grill in South Jordan is part of the one we enjoy so much downtown.  SLC is so very clean, flourishing economy, with hard working people.

16 Sept, Heber City, UT. Mon:  Breakfast at the Hub close to the hotel was not so great.  We tried hiking along the Provo, River but it is not a trail,  just waist high weeds.  Hiked part of the Deer Creek North Trail at Soldier Hollow where the 2002 Olympics Winter Games were held.  Being mid-day with no shade on the trail and us without water, we only continued to the high point where we could look down over the basin to see the sad effects of the drought.  Water is so low, the grass is high where the water has receded, farmers were making hay!   Saw two blue heron in a mating dance, two Ospreys with two Osprey nests, hawks, deer.  Dinner at Simon's in the Homestead Inn was excellent.

15 Sept, Sun:  Beautiful day!  Lovely weather.  The Homestead Country Inn was recommended for Sunday brunch for  a good reason.  It was delightful dining by the pond with large goldfish, ducks and geese in abundance.  It was a pleasant day which helped us feel rested.   We walked the grounds, enjoyed the lovely landscape, worked on a tough Sudoku on a bench by a waterfall, climbed the steps to see the hot springs crater.   Dinner, once again, at the Snake Creek Grill was excellent.  Cute sign: "There's nothing wrong with me that a little ice cream won't cure." Cynthia took that to heart and she ate Triple Caramel Chunk.  Woe is I.

14 Sept, Sat: Arrived Heber, UT - departing from Vernal we headed to the
Flaming Gorge but turned back due to rain.  We took a smaller road, wandered back roads avoiding black skies.  We could not believe our good fortune to have arrived in Heber City, UT with only a five minute downpour just prior to arrival at Deer Creek Lake.   Surprise!!!  There is no DEER LAKE LODGE.   Boat rentals and a restaurant and that's all folks.  Rain being imminent, we hastened to Midway with the promise of many  Resorts, hotels, and motels.  Nada.  Two large resorts were priced out of the ball game. Then we saw that green thingie:  the Holiday Inn Express.  Upon arrival,  Cynthia whipped out her computer and logged in drawing on our rewards program for three free nights.  Yahoodee!   We dined at the Snake Creek Grill in Old Town Heber after making reservations the Lord only knows where thinking we had phoned THIS restaurant.  Actually, this WAS the one she intended to dial; we looked at the menu and stayed to feast  on one of the best meals we have eaten in the past few years: Scottish salmon prepared on a cedar plank, quinoa, baked vegetables with walnuts and strawberries,  baked caramel carrots.  See .jpg menu below. OH MY.

13 Sept. Fri, Vernal, UT  We have avoided rain and are fine, arriving in Utah  about 8PM;  Four delightful Canadian cyclists were outside the 7-11 Ranch Restaurant, convincing us to dine there.  Good choice.  Good food.  The two mile or more walk to the Jubilee Market for bread was also good.  Best Western was not good.  The room would not cool down.

Today's ride from Grand Junction was through Dinosaur Natural Forest, a  side trip to Harper's Corner and a short hike was magnificent.  Saw 16 deer in three groups frolicked along the road side.  Likely a moose or elk with humongous antlers was in the back (dead) of a pickup truck.  Mailed a bunch more great post cards with a more to be written.   Happy Birthday to  Erica, from Uncle Ron and Aunt Cynthia.  

Pictures below will be updated with captions once Cynthia gets time.

Jim S. Soaring Over Black Canyon

Black Canyon

Summit of Perimeter Trail - Ouray, CO

Ouray, CO Summit

Horned Lizard

Deer in Buena Vista, CO

View from Cottonwood Pass

Silver Dollar Saloon, Leadville, CO

Delay, Delay, Delay

Aspen Fall Foliage Appearing

Harpers Corner

Stunning Views from Harpers Corner

Harpers Corner

Harper's Corner

Harper's Corner

Green River - Harper's Corner

View Hiking Harper's Corner

Smooch Smooch

Fascinating Tree at Harper's Corner

Breakfast at Homestead Country Inn

History of Homestead Crater

Ron Returning from View of Crater - Midway, UT

Sudoku and Waterfall at Homestead Inn, Midway, UT

Scottish Loch Duart Salmon at Snake Creek Grill

Scrub Oaks Turning Red Wasatch Mountain Range

View of Drought Damaage to Lake Outside Heber City

Winter Olympics Held Soldier Hollow - 2002, Midway, UT

12 Sept, Thurs: Arrived in Grand Junction shortly before 5 PM after going over the most indescribable views of Grand Mesa,  super!!!! lunch!!!!! at Raylesville Blue Mountain Grill.  Stayed at a nice La Quinta right next to the BMW-Harley shop where the two are in operation together.  Boogied right over to the BMW/Harley shop for a new tire, left with an appointment for nine AM tomorrow.  Dined at the Italian restaurant they recommended in the Clarion Inn.  Cynthia enjoyed her baked cod; Ron was stuck with grilled chicken on salad greens.

11 Sept,  Wed.  Stayed in Carbondale a second evening.  Enjoyed the Village Smithy for breakfast and the Goat Restaurant for dinner two evenings.  Mailed post cards.

10 Sept, Tues.  Arrived Carbondale after the drive from Buena Vista west to Cottonwood Pass/ Continental Divide and returned to Buena Vista.  Turned north to Leadville for lunch at the Silver Dollar Saloon, but they could not feed us; found another restaurant, but they had no salad mixings, ate pasta without sauce and chicken breast.  Drove to Aspen and then to Carbondale where we were mighty hungry.

9 Sept., Mon.  Arrived Buena Vista, CO - avoided rain.  Deer on the sidewalks at the Lake Property Inn.

8 Sept, Sun: Pagosa Springs, Park Avenue trail 3 hours.  Saw Horned Lizard - tiny creature.

7 Sept, Sat: The sous chef heard of our arrival and prepared egg white veggie omelets and baked sweet potato FF for breakfast.  During breakfast Cynthia was greatly surprised with the news that the sprinkler alarm kept chirping at 11:45 making sleep impossible.  After a phone call to maintenance from the front desk... Because they shut down at midnight, he came to the room, changed out the battery, all during the time the beloved slept peacefully.

Hand, Knee and Pee Repair Accomplished. Cynthia had a girl day at the mani-pedi salon in the Am with plans to hike with her beloved Smooch in the PM; she insisted the salon owner meet this incredible man she is married to, soooo, the toenails needed to dry more and could she get picked up on the motorcycle??? OF COURSE!!! But, still the nails needed to dry for an additional hour before wearing hiking boots, so we lunched at Nello's when she suggested we should check out another symptom she had by going to ER... "They are so fast",  she said.   She insists that the 800-900 people reading this blog are not interested in details.  She is not fond of using words like Pee in public.  Unfortunately they had a trauma case before we arrived and five hours later we left with a RX.   A two year old boy, not being managed by his mother was all over the  waiting room creating an unpleasant wait.   Nello's served a great swordfish dinner but burned the last batch of baked sweet potato FF.   Rarely drinking any beer, two can cause intoxication, sooo much time passed, three beers was Ok to celebrate the healing of hand, knee and pee.   Despite not feeling the effects of the beer, we walked back to the hotel.

Cynthia's granddaughter Rachel is running in the breast cancer awareness race in Houston,   We are her fan club presidents.  Rachel is a unique individual who majored in sorority life at Ole Miss, beating her two cousins (Phi Beta Kappa) in getting a job after graduation, and three years later she is a bank lending officer.   Personality Pays (so does blonde gorgeous).

6 Sept. Fri:  Ouray to Durango - gorgeous ride in an hour and one half to arrive before. 1:45 appointment with  hand specialist for Cynthia's finger.  We had time for a fish dinner at Francisco's in Durango with time to spare.  Dr. Kane Anderson is a highly recommended hand surgeon with an equally highly recommended personality.  While he likes to have surgical opportinites to feed his hungry three kids he recommended waiting an additional three weeks to see if the sagittal band rupture will heal naturally.  He lined up an immediate appointment at three-thirty, working her in with the hand specialists to create a different splint.     Cynthia then asked the doctor about her inner knee pain.  He suggested it may be a miniscus tear that a cortisone shot could alleviate.  Boldly, she asked him to give her the shot.  He scrunched up his eyes, winking to indicate this was not the usual procedure when coming in to see about a hand injury, and said, "yes, but first the X-rays."   The knee X-rays indicate a probable miniscus tear on the inner knee, but the cartilage in the knees is good.  She got her shot.   We arrived in Pagosa Springs to check into the Quality Inn for the next three nights.

5 Sept, Thurs:  Hiked the remainder (almost) of Perimeter Trail - Marvelous 360 degree views.  Three
hour hike; lunch followed by hike to the upper canyon falls.

4 Sept, Wed: Very pleasant hike on the Perimeter Trail for three hours.  A doe and two fawns were thirty feet from us while we rested.  One fawn still had its spots.  Wonderful views of the waterways in the Box Canyon.  After lunch at the Hotel Beaumont with a delightful waitress named Chastity, whose husband is the chef, thunder roared above us with a glorious display of lighting.  Heavy rain caused the waterfall across the mountain to widen significantly.   Good afternoon to enjoy a nap.

Photos from Ron's Camera, some are dark... can you see the deer???

Sunset on Mountains in Ouray while Dining


Canyon Falls after Fierce Rain Storm - see Brown MUD

3 Sept, Tues:  Mesa Verde to Cortez, to Dolores, to Rico, to Telluride for a late lunch; arrived in Ouray once again to surprise the chef, Pam, with egg beaters!  Great dinner at the Hotel Beaumont.  Photos below.

2 Sept, Mon: San Juan National Park at Lake Haviland off Hwy 550, hiked for three hours,  tried to dine at the Cuckoo Restaurant but they could not feed us.  Lovely, placid lake with a pleasant shady trail.
lake Haviland

Waterfall on Trail at Lake Haviland

Copper, Silver and Gold Mine

Elbert Mine

Elbert Mine

View from Road En Route to Telluride

Blue Boy

View into Telluride rom Bike

Beaumont Hotel Dining in Ouray

Box Canyon Ouray

Box Canyon Ouray

Ron the Ballerina

Smooch Smooch on Perimeter Trail

Box Canyon in

Box Canyon in Ouray

 Ice Climbers Winter Sports

1 Sept, Sun:   Mesa Verde - up to the cave dwellings - saw a fox or coyote, magnificent elk (2) with grand antler racks, old Fort Lewis and lovely sunset.  Dined each evening at Kennebec Restaurant in Hesperus - good food.

View from our Casita