Monday, May 25, 2009

Still alive

It's been ten days since I posted to this blog....oh, my, too long. But we are fine and up to our campsite in Big Meadows, ten miles from the top of Wolf Creek Pass, if you know the area. We don't have Verizon cell phone or aircard reception up there so I have to come down to the coffee shop in South Fork to get online.

We are doing fine...had a lot of work to do to get ready for the opening of our campgrounds, but we had 32 of our 53 sites filled for opening day, last Friday, so that was good. We've been busy sorting through old paperwork, boxes and boxes of old uniforms and torn signs, but it's all cleaned up and organized now. That definitely makes me feel better.

It has been raining for 5 straight days and it is getting pretty depressing. I want to get out and walk and visit campers. I completely adorn sitting outside under the awning and knitting, reading and chatting with folks.

I'll try to upload some photos next time....promise.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Doing Fine

Sorry, I haven't posted in a while, but we have been up to our armpits (oh, that's not a pretty picture) in organizing stuff here at the campgrounds. We've had to treat and pull samples for all the wells and take them down to be tested prior to opening. There were a mountain of uniforms to sort through and then paperwork and forms to find and organize. Oh, then there are all the totes and bags of various signs to go through and decide what needs to be put up.

Well, we're almost ready. Our camphosts will arrive this weekend and Monday we start cleaning the seven campgrounds together. That should build a team spirit for the summer.



We've had three camphost back out for one reason or the other, so we'll do with what we have and double up on the campgrounds. It will all work!

We only have snow still in one campground at Tucker Ponds so that one will have to wait to be opened for a couple of weeks.



This is the view out our dining area window early in the morning. Isn't that pretty? Yes, Jim and I are still waking up at 4-6 am. We've done it all our lives and can't seem to change things.

I'm trying to get use to being in high altitude again. It's 8200 feet here in South Fork and will be 9200 when we move up to Big Meadows, so the heart is pumping a bit harder here than in Florida. It's pretty hard to beat waking up to the birds singing in the Ponderosa pine trees. Then you go outside and hear the Beaver Creek roaring nearby full from the spring runoff. It is nice to be home in the mountains!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Santa Fe and Sand Dunes

Monday we drove down to Santa Fe to visit our kids and grands. We went to Soup and Salad, which is a nice alternative to a regular buffet. A salad buffet doesn't put on the weight if you watch the amount of salad dressing you use.

We had a fun time looking at photo albumns and laughing alot. It was a very nice time being together. Oh, did I mention our youngest grandson informed us we are going to be GREAT grandparents in November. Talk about feeling old....Maxx and April will be good parents and it will all work out fine. We are excited for them.

We stopped at Trader Joe's while in Santa Fe so I could get a supply of Greek style yogurt and Jim got his cashews. Look at the culinary basil plant I bought for $3. It is huge and in a 4 inch pot. I can't wait to use the leaves in cooking...oh, tonight I'll add it to my scallops and linguine.

Tuesday we drove to the Great Sand Dunes National Park which is outside of Alamosa, to visit SKP friends, Dave and Marie Dengate.
We met the Dengates last year at the Colorado Boomerang and traveled with them for about a month. They are volunteer camphosting at the Great Sand Dunes for May and June-----what a great gig. I mean, take a look at the scenery they have.

That sand you see are the sand dune. They are 750 feet high at the highest point and are the tallest sand dunes in the United States. It is wonderful to see the changes the dunes make one day to the next with the shifting sands. The Great Sand Dunes is the nation's newest national park, enacted in 2004, and it is right here in our backyard. It's a great place to visit and we get visitors from all over the world, especially from German and Japan.

We all went out to the Oasis Restaurant just outside the park for lunch and of course, had to finish off our lunch with some of Diane Vittoria's fabulous pies. Jim had apple, Marie had mixed berry and Dave and I had the brownie chocolate pie. Oh, my goodness, such wonderfulness. Yea, yea, tomorrow starts the diet!

Last year a bunch of us Escapee Boomers camped together at the Sand Dunes and the we had a Ladies Day Out and we went for pie at the Oasis while the guys went four-wheeling up Medano Pass. The pie was as good this year as it was last year.

Well, folks, that is it for today. We are off to the mountains this afternoon to start our summer job. Our camphosts will arrive May 18 and the campgrounds open May 22 for Memorial Day weekend.

If any of you are in the southern Colorado area give us a jingle and come up and see us. We'll be in the South Fork area till Sept 10th.

Remember, you are loved.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Catch-up

Friday night we spent a delightful evening going to the local library to watch a movie. The library shows movies twice a month; and they are usually pretty current. They have a large pull down screen and a dvd player mounted on the ceiling. Young mom and dads bring their kids and the kids usually sit on bean bags on the floor or in child-size chairs. Friday we watched Beverly Hills Chihuahua. It was very cute.

I had a wonderful time Saturday with my friend, Salai, as we spent the day in Walsenburg at Etla's Yarn Shop. I think I finally mastered using one 40" long cable knitting needle to knit two socks at a time. It's just learning how to do something completely different than you have ever done before, that's all! That's a cinch at my old age, right? Well, it is good for the brain to change things up a bit, like stirring things in the opposite direction or combing your hair with the opposite hand than usual. Makes the brain work to figure out how to do it (saw that in a Readers' Digest somewhere).

The drive to Walsenburg over the mountain was pleasant with most of the snow gone from a couple of weeks ago. The area should be greening up a lot in the next couple of weeks.

Yesterday Lesle and Bill came over from Colorado City on their day off. We familiarize them with Alamosa, then drove to Monte Vista and had lunch at Baldo's. It was fantastic as usual. Lesle even tasted some of my menudo (a stew made with cow stomach).

Then we drove up to South Fork and showed them the area we will be spending our summer. On the way we were able to double-check on each of the campgrounds. Since we picked up the keys last week from the Forest Service, we were able to unlock the gate and enter Big Meadows. We were able to drive as far as the campsite we will be using, but there were still a foot or so of snow pack on the road further up, so we stopped there.


Lesle got a kick out seeing marmots - or whistle pigs as we call them because their squeak sounds like a high-pitched whistle. They live in above 6,500 feet and burrow under rocks. We have a lot of marmots around Big Meadows.
The falls were bursting with spring run-off water and tumbling down in a roar. It was very pretty.....as life would have it, of course I didn't have my camera with me. Next time.
Oops, off we go to Santa Fe to see our daughters and grands.
Remember, you are loved.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Gentleman Farmer

We have some wonderful friends, Laurie and Fred, who were our next door neighbors when we had a "stick and brick". Both are retired teachers, who moved out into the country a year before we went fulltiming. Fred is now a "gentlemen farmer". They have 20+ acres of land south of Alamosa and are building up a miniature animal farm.

Fred had some miniature animals when he lived next door to us and before he retired. He also raised very different chickens each year. There were a few turkeys and geese throughout the years also.

Fred was also in a band made up of several teachers, a doctor, and businessmen. The band's name was Luck LaRue and they made several CDs. The band practiced a lot of times at Fred and Laurie's and we'd take our chairs across the lawn and sit in their driveway and listen to them practice in the garage.

It was always very entertaining to live next door to Fred and Laurie!!!

So Wednesday night Fred invited us over for dinner and we got a chance to drive around their property on 4-wheelers and see all the improvements Fred has made during the last year. He has mowed down a lot of weeds and with the winter snow melt, there is an expanse of pasture land now available. There are several new pens and corrals for his ever increasing menagerie of animals. I have never seen miniature cows or sheep before, but Fred has them. Take a look at the photos I took. Click on the button on the lower left-hand corner to start the slideshow.
video

The steak dinner was great but better still the time together with old friends. Hopefully Fred and Laurie will come camp with us at Big Meadows this summer. Make sure you bring your guitar, Fred, and we'll have ourselves a good, ole sing-a-long!

Remember, you are loved.

Knitted Sweater

I finished putting together the first sweater I've ever knitted. I think it came out pretty good for a first try. It is acrylic and very warm. It will serve me well up in the mountains.

Tomorrow my friend Salai and I are going to Walsenburg - an hours drive east and will spend the day at Etla's Yarn Shoppe just knitting around the table. Etla's husband runs the coffee shop next door, so we are set. Give me soft yarn and a latte and I'm good to go. Really looking forward to be knitting with other people!

I put in our paperwork to return to amazon.com to work Oct - Dec. There is a new rv park that was just built, right across the street from the amazon.com fulfillment center. So we made tentative reservations to park there for our stay. The best park about that is there will be laundry facilities on premises and also a commons area for folks to use. That will be nice for get togethers and maybe potlucks, coffee, etc. It will sure bring all of us closer together.

Weather here has been wonderful the last couple of days - in the high 70s with clear blue skies. And being at 7,500 feet elevation the night skies are blazing with stars at night; really gorgeous. We grilled salmon last night and tonight it will be barbeque chicken. Love the good weather when we can grill every night.

Remember, you are loved!