September 19, 2017
On the road again…got that tune stuck in my head! We travelled last week from the Western Slope of Colorado back to the Longmont area, camping at St. Vrain State Park and Boyd Lake State Park. We spent a few days seeing family and friends, digging through the storage shed and getting the trailer ready for the fix-it shop. Whoa you say. OK, let me explain but first here are two pictures from the drive showing the color change is starting in Vail and Frisco.
Our trailer has a few problems, bigger ones than what Cliff wants to deal with. The plumbing system needs some attention with a leak in both the gray and black water tanks. TMI, yeah me too! Anyway, the repair could take a couple of weeks so we are leaving our house behind, going on a vacation to the DC area to see Lisa, Lee and Clara. Lisa has a few boxes of stuff in our storage unit and we are going to find them and drive them out to her.
When we return to Colorado we will start a new volunteer job at Boyd Lake State Park. We plan to stay for the winter, returning to Ridgway in early April. Cliff will be a campground host at Boyd and work some with the maintenance crew. I will work in the office/headquarters building doing much of what I was doing at Ridgway (passes, permits, licenses and registrations). We wanted a period of time to be closer to our kids, our friends, our doctors, and our church.
I am happy to report on the status of the corn fields in Kansas. They are tall. We are “on the road again” heading east on I70. We will travel a mere 1400 miles to arrive in Sterling, VA where Lisa, Lee and Clara Doggett make their home. For those of you that have travelled I70 through Kansas, you will understand when I say I am hoping a tornado comes along and swoops us up, depositing us further down the road. We would probably need to borrow Dorothy’s ruby slippers to make that happen.
We find ourselves in Salina KS this evening where the temperature was approaching 100 when we pulled in and the humidity about the same. Why do people live here? They grow corn and stuff but they put up with such weather extremes! I am grateful for people who grow food but living here in this heat is crazy, and I did not even mention the flies and mosquitos!
The Colorado weather wimps, Cliff and Cyndy
We are retired, we love to volunteer, we love to be part of a bigger picture and sometimes we find ourselves doing the craziest of jobs…..and laughing at ourselves and enjoying the ride. Cliff has painted gates, signs, and posts at just about all of the locations we have volunteered. Take a look at the gates Cliff has been painting:
And me, I have been painting quarters. You read that right, painting quarters a bright bluish, purple color. I could probably be arrested for something here but I will just claim innocence or possibly ignorance. All of the volunteers staying in the park get free showers and to keep the quarters heading back to the volunteers we paint ’em making it easy to spot when we start running shower quarters through the quarter counter. Some volunteers, like us have their own shower in their trailer but some don’t and it is a perk. So, if you come visit us and sleep in your tent, we will treat you to a free shower every day. What a deal…..we will also feed you so the deal is even better.
And, here is the beauty shot! Cliff took this picture on April 29, just past the gate to the Park and on the way to Ouray.
Cliff and Cyndy
I believe it is true love when your husband will drive 12 hours for you to spend 3 hours with your daughter and granddaughter. No grumbling, no complaining, actually enjoying the scenery and the drive. OK we stopped numerous times and even had ice cream in the afternoon but all in all, it was a fast 2 day trip on our days off. Lisa and Clara were in Colorado to visit friends in the Denver area and in Colorado Springs. While they were in the Springs we arranged to connect with them.
Here are a few pictures from the trip – we drove through South Park for much of the trip and it did not disappoint. The weather was perfect!
We came into Colorado Springs from the south and the view of Pikes Peak was one we don’t normally see.
And just because it is March and still winter, we found snow on Monarch Pass!
We had breakfast with Lisa and Clara!
We then spent an hour in the park. Clara really liked my scooter and beeping the horn!
While we would not want to make a habit of driving for 2 days every week on our days off, this was a nice get away and so fun to see Lisa and Clara! Nothing quite like being a grandmother!
Cyndy and Cliff
We’re back at Ridgway State Park! That’s right, about two weeks ago we got a call from our summer boss asking if we could return before mid-April. One of the winter campground hosts developed medical problems and had to return home so the park was looking for someone to fill-in. Let’s see, we were enjoying temperatures in the 70s while living in Mesa, AZ and now we have a choice to return to the mountains of SW Colorado during the winter. What’s wrong with this picture? We said yes and a week later parked our trailer at an elevation of 7,000’ near the foot of the San Juan Mountains.
The rangers had plowed our camping site and it was dry when we arrived. That next day we got a couple of inches of snow, but it was gone by that evening. The good news is that Colorado is experiencing unseasonably warm weather so the highs have been in the 50s and the snow at our elevation has mostly melted.
Cliff is back to being a campground host but there are only a few campers right now so he spends most of the time doing maintenance projects. Cyndy is working at the Visitor Center and will work with the revenue staff in the summer months. We are both helping with a research project as the park looks at changing up some of the informational materials at the Visitor Center.
It is great to be back on the western slope of Colorado. Life is quieter and a bit simpler, well at least for now but when the park is in full swing, say in July, it will be a different story! The mountains are so beautiful and we see wildlife every day.
How about you come and visit us? And you can wait until this summer if you would like!
Cyndy and Cliff
December 15, 2016
Christmas will be here soon! That statement has brought me to my knees in the past, reminding me that my time was short to finish the shopping, wrapping, cooking, baking, and just getting ready for Christmas. But now, living in our trailer full time, I can decorate for Christmas in about half an hour! I don’t bake anymore and we don’t have overnight guests staying with us. We have a ‘”creative” approach to gift giving and often don’t have much to wrap. All this to say, I miss not having a house where family and friends gather to celebrate the holidays. But as the family grows and changes with marriages and grandchildren, new plans evolve for gathering and celebrating. Bring it on, we are adaptable people!
We spent the month of November in Longmont visiting with family and friends and taking care of normal doctor appointments. It snowed once while we were there and that next morning we were greeted with this amazing scene, complete with a bald eagle in the tree.
We are now in Mesa, AZ where we plan to live until the end of March. We are settled and ready for company!
And just to prove we are in Arizona here is a picture of the Arizona icon, a saguaro cactus.
We will continue to blog about our travel adventures here in AZ. Right now, we are feeling pretty good about the weather, 60’s and 70’s and we feel even better when we watch the news and see that most of the country is in the deep freeze. Cliff is very happy about not having to shovel snow!
Merry Christmas! Cliff and Cyndy
October 7, 2016
Yes indeed, staying in the Colorado mountains is a bit risky if you don’t like snow. We do like snow and yesterday morning we had some on the ground. The park and the surrounding mountains became magical. Cliff captured a few of the sights:
We have loved being here in the fall and now we see what it might look like in the winter. Our plan is to head to St. Vrain State Park the end of October, spend the month of November taking care of doctor appointments, visiting family and friends and then head to Mesa for the winter.
We hope you enjoy the winter pictures!
Cliff and Cyndy
Here we are looking back over the month and all that we have done. Our time here is flying by with changes daily. The weather is getting cooler, the fall colors are beautiful and the park is in full swing! Here are the highlights:
We had a visit from Cliff’s daughter Amanda and her friend Michelle. Cliff took them to Silverton via Red Mountain Pass. We like our visitor’s to have at least one white knuckle experience while they are here.
We made it back up Owl Creek Pass, this time with friends Don and Jan. We had lunch in one of the picnic areas at Silver Jack Reservoir, many miles from anywhere. It was a beautiful fall day with a shower just at lunch time but it cleared off to blue skies for the afternoon. More proof that this place has it all in terms of mountain scenery!
There was a barbershop chorus singing at the Visitor Center on a beautiful summer night over Labor Day weekend.
Cliff took this picture and we thought it should be on a calendar or something:
First snowfall in the far mountains! Yes indeed, we are reminded that living in the mountains at 7500 feet is different.
We picked out what looked like a good weather day to head up into the mountains to see the fall colors but unfortunately, the weather changed and we had a cloudy day. You can still see some of the color change in Ouray.
And just because Cliff needs to keep us on our toes, he had another surgery. When we were dating we discussed our various health concerns and decided it would probably be me that had the more precarious situation. Let me remind you about Cliff’s heart surgery and then his shoulder surgery and now surgery to remove his gall bladder. I told him I would not have married him if I had known he was going to need 3 surgeries! Just kidding……
We headed up Dallas Divide yesterday to see the color changes and were not disappointed.
We finish up here at the end of October after having been here 6 months. It has been wonderful to live in the mountains in the summer but as the cold weather approaches, we need to make our way south. Yup, call us snowbirds….
Cliff and Cyndy