November 1, 2017
We had a great trip last month to the east coast but we may not do that driving trip again. 4000 miles in 2 weeks is a lot of driving for Cliff and a lot of sitting for me. I managed to navigate my way through 10 different bathrooms at night and a lot of bathrooms at rest stops along I70. I mention bathrooms because that is the trickiest room to manage when you have limited mobility (you don’t need the details!). We were so tired of driving that on the way home we would just drive in the mornings and then find a motel and spend the afternoon at the movies. Ok, that part was fun!
Lisa, Lee and Clara are doing well and we enjoyed staying with them and just getting a look into their lives. The east coast is a busy place with lots of people and traffic but great restaurants and stores are needed to keep all of those people happy. Yes, we did find a good quilt store and I can breathe easier now that we have a place to look for good quilt fabric.
Our trailer was not quite finished when we returned but we are staying in it until the rest of the parts are in. It has been a warm fall and we are enjoying our new digs. After a bit of training we are settling into our new jobs and liking what we do.
That is Longs Peak in the distance followed by a couple of pictures of our campsite. We did have a dusting of snow one morning, not too serious!
We miss Ridgway, the people and the beauty of the place. There is something about seeing those mountains every day that makes our souls happy. We have been able to worship at our church instead of viewing the service online in our living room. Big difference, and we get to hang out with friends for dinner after church! The other bonus to our living on the front range is that we get to see the kids – David and Christine, Amanda, and Austin and Michelle. We love being able to say, how about meeting us for dinner later in the week? Or getting a surprise visit, thanks Austin, and come back any time! We don’t like the traffic and the high prices and think we may just end up on the western slope when we decide to settle down again.
We added a deck and stairs to our trailer. Trailer stairs are a bit treacherous for me and even regular people. Our friend Connie fell getting into their trailer and ended up having surgery and now has bolts holding her ankle together! We wanted a landing to turn around on and set packages and grocery bags. Cliff added the white fencing to help with cat control!
The Front Range travellers, Cliff and Cyndy
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