Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Telluride and on to Aspen

Friday morning we awoke to an incredibly beautiful sunrise outside our window in the campground in Black Canyon!  Just some fantastic cloud patterns with the first rays of the sun painting a gorgeous tableau!  What a wonderful way to start the day!  We headed on out on the drive to Telluride, even though we knew it meant a little backtracking later on, as we had heard so many nice things about this little town.  It was a lovely drive, though marred by the smoke from the fires that abound here due to the drought.  As we were driving into Telluride, we could hardly even see some of the mountains the smoke was so heavy, and you could smell it everywhere.  The downtown area is really quaint, and there are so many lovely flowers, just everywhere, in hanging baskets, in window boxes, even in old mining carts converted into planters that are in a lane in the middle of the main drag.  There were several artists with their easels set up in this lane in the middle of the street, very interesting.  We saw a number of artists in the countryside around the town as well, very cool!

We had read in a brochure that Telluride has a farmer's market on Fridays, so we were happy to discover that.  Lots of wonderful fresh produce, along with arts and crafts, children's face painting, and just a wonderful celebratory mood everywhere!  Telluride also has a free gondola up to the top of the mountain, continuing down to Mountain Village, a ski center on the other side.  The gondola is actually a part of the public transportation system so that's why it's free--a really neat benefit!  A local couple rode up in our car so they gave us some running commentary on what we were seeing, which was very nice.  We came back down and went through the farmer's market again and stopped at a booth that had some wonderful veggie wraps to get lunch.  Then we found a wonderful yarn shop, so Trisha had a ball exploring some new yarns and patterns, and exchanging ideas with the shopkeeper.

Left Telluride after lunch and headed back up through Montrose and ended up stopping for the night at a small RV park near Paonia.  It was a pretty hot afternoon, and it took until early evening before it cooled off enough for us to turn off the AC and open the windows--the whole southwest is suffering from such a heat wave and drought, they need relief so badly.  Such a tragedy about the firefighters in Arizona.  It broke our hearts to read about that, and it made us think of the group of young women and men from the firefighter contingent from Montana.  Hope they are safe.

The next morning we had a leisurely morning, Trisha was glad to sit in the RV and finish her most recent knitting project:  a beautiful little shawl she made for sweet little Sophie, the daughter of a couple she had married several years ago.  Sophie and mom Kate have just moved to Grand Junction, Colorado, to join dad Mike, where he's been working, so we'll get to see them in a few days when we go through there.  Trisha had just finished another project the day or so before, a beautiful little pink sweater she did for the daughter of another couple she married a while back.  I have pictures of that one, but will need to get pics of the shawl before we see Sophie.  Anyway, while she was knitting that gave me the chance to get all the laundry done, since this was a small RV park, I had the laundry room all to myself.

From there we drove on to Glenwood Springs, where we spent Sunday night.  Had thought we might do some biking on one of the wonderful trails they have, but it started clouding up and even produced a few drops of rain!  Not too much, but a little.  The cottonwood trees are in the height of producing their cottony droppings, and this is giving Trisha fits.  It really gets to her and she ends up sneezing and with a runny nose.  Hope that quits soon, but I think we have a ways to go here.   We came on to Aspen Monday morning to spend the next several days with Shelley and Ken at Ken's folks' home.  Their house is nestled in the midst of a gorgeous aspen grove, with views of the mountains across the road, including the top of the Ute Trail.  We have spent the last two July 4 times with them and it's a great tradition now, so we're very happy to be here.  There is a parade on the 4th and Ken's dad and I march with the veterans section, which they have divided into vets from WWII, Korea, Vietnam era, etc.  This is the first year that he will be riding on one of the vehicles for the WWII vets as opposed to walking, since he fell and broke his hip this past winter, but we're both looking forward to the parade again. Yesterday afternoon, Shelley, Trisha and I did the Ute Trail, which we were so happy to be able to do. This is a hike that's just a mile from bottom to top, but there's an elevation gain of something over 1000 ft. so it's very steep, listed as a strenuous hike.  This has been a goal for us as we've been losing weight and getting into better shape, so we were very happy to reach the top!  Then Ken and Carleen had some friends over for dinner last evening, folks we had meet on our previous visits here, so we were glad to have the chance to visit with them.  Great start to our Aspen time here!

Some pics:

Sunrise at Black Canyon

Deer having breakfast alongside the road as we left Black Canyon

 Some of the beautiful flowers in Telluride

Beautiful courthouse
 Looking up to some of the ski runs
Farmer's market
 Gorgeous varieties of carrots and beets!
 Riding up the gondola

Smoky haze from the fires
 Two different types of lightning protectors on the towers of the gondola lift

 Looking down onto Telluride on the way back down

 A combination truck/train car once used on the railroad tracks
This was a hoot!  As we were walking around downtown Telluride, we met a group of kids from Telluride Preschool, and the teacher wanted to take a picture with Santa!  This is from their website.

Additional Fun!!
We saw Santa!!
He is on vacation in Telluride.

As the day wore on the smoke cleared somewhat to show off these beautiful mountains

 The cute sweater that Trisha knitted!