Sentimental Journey VI – Vallecito

the housethe riverIMG_2371I finnear the houseally got a photo of our backyard in Vallecito, high in the mountains above Bayfield and North East of Durango, Colorado. I said the word finally, because I wanted to wait for the peak of the fall tree colors to get a photo, but then it rained for two full days. The early morning hours are the best for photos, but these were in the afternoon, which still gives a story on where we lived.

Living here in the 90s were probably the best part of my life, excluding spending time with my three sons when they were growing up.

Did you all get your flu shots? I just got mine today, and now I’m

It sounded like WWIII

Just barely got in bed and was in the spell of sleep when all of a sudden, BOOM! It was lightning that I saw flash before my eyes and then the loudest thunder I have ever heard.

A couple more strikes and more thunder, then the rain fell like Niagara Falls by my window.

Marilyn said all three animals were close to her in bed. This morning she said the storm was about one half a mile from here. It was one and one half inches of rain by morning.

 

Sentimental Journey V – Middle Mountain

I’m not sure to the elevation, but Middle Mountain is way up there. Marilyn drove the 4 wheel drive up, up, up from Tucker Lane – where I used to live – to the top of the mountain and then to the old settlement, Tuckerville.IMG_2330“A beast, a beast, stop, go back”

IMG_2323IMG_2316IMG_2321IMG_2322marilyn:w:dog

IMG_2309

We stopped long enough for me to take photos of the aspens turning yellow and gold. It’s the beginning of the fall season and soon, I’ll take a photo of the house on the river where we lived. In about two days the colors will be at their peak.

Meanwhile, visiting Middle Mountain is a memory of the spring show of flowers – Indian paint brush, the Colorado state flower: columbine, the state tree: blue spruce, wild roses, buttercups, bachelor buttons, blue bells, lupin, black eyed susan and more to feast your eyes on.  I did feast my eyes, back in the 90s, when my neighbor and good friend, Charlotte and I hiked among the flowers, stumbling over logs and rocks, marveling at the beauty and feeling blessed to live in such awesome wonder. Champagne, Charlotte’s dog was always along with the admiration of spring in the rockies.

I also remember driving two Dutch ladies, who visited us from Holland, up to Middle Mountain, when one of them hollered, “a beast, a beast, go back, a beast.” They were previously told that wild animals lived in the mountains, such as bears, mountain lions, porcupine, raccoons, and more. So when one lady saw a large brown animal, it triggered her flight or fight response, and she wanted to get the heck off the mountain.

 

My curiosity was stirred, and I wanted to see the animal. So instead of turning around or backing up, I got closer and closer with the car, while she continued to scream,  and then I saw the animal: a cow enjoying the wild grass.

Yesterday, Marilyn’s two dogs, Buffy and Ginger were let out of the vehicle to run a few times and to get a drink in a fast moving creek. Buffy and Ginger were instructed to sit on a rock, and being the good dogs they are, assumed their stance on a rock in the rockies.

Other memories followed while in the middle of yellow, orange and green, and the thought of the white of winter, when the snowmobiles come out to play.

Will and I were sitting quietly late one evening when there was a knock on the door. It was a man who got stranded on Middle Mountain while snowmobiling with his friend. They couldn’t get down off the mountain, but one did persevere and went for help. He called the rescue folks from our house, and all turned out well.

I think often how nature can nurture your soul, but can take it in a minute when it overpowers you with  unpredictable forces. If you’re high in these hills, you must take heed of the weather.

Yesterday, we saw folks on horses, and a hunter getting his horse out ready with the bow and arrow season. Since we saw whole families of deer on our drive up middle mountain, I only hope they escape the arrow, and soon, the bullets.

Tuckerville was a gold miners settlement back in 1928. Nothing remains of the town, however, back when I lived in the area, I remember foundations that sat on the ground, the only signs of a miners hope of finding gold.

Durango and Vallecito and scenes in between

mntn:meadow The photos are: above: on the

way back from Durango. It’s in the back of Vallecito Lake.

The Strater Hotel is an old hotel from the horse and buggy days. There is a restaurant, a lobby, a bar and a stage, in the hotel. The bar waitresses dress up in the Victorian saloon costumes. There are antiques and lots of visuals from the old days.

The red leaf tree is on the side of the road in Vallecito.

On Saturday or Sunday, I’ll post a photo of where we used to live in Vallecito. It will be in beautiful fall colors.

 

 

wastrater red tree

A walk on the wild side

I took a walk today out in the wilderness area with Buffy, Ginger and Chessie.

Those are Marilyn’s two dogs and a cat. it’s cute how the cat wants to be involved. She walks right along with the dogs.

I have noticed the cat and Buffy are pretty good friends. The cat catches critters and brings them to Buffy. What Buffy does with them is anyones guess.

I have posted a photo of some of the last of the spring flowers and Buffy. Fall is here and I’m waiting a few more days to take a photo of the awesome place we lived for several years. Soon!IMG_2265

Bitters may help, but rainbows and deer work better

Marilyn and I started down the big hill from her house to the road and onward towards Durango. Destination was the annual gallery walk, which involved several art galleries.

I was anxious to see the art, as one of the galleries shows and sells Ben Nighthorse Campbell’s jewelry. He was a political powerhouse for Colorado for a few years, but his artistic jewelry has lasted longer than the career in politics.

Shortly after we started down the road, I became nauseated and had stomach pain. We stopped in the historical Strater Hotel, where I got ginger ale with bitters. Bitters is new to me, but I thought it was worth a try. We did go through some of the galleries, but I decided to sit the last two out at the Durango Art Council’s open house, while Marilyn went to the other galleries and then picked me up. Don’t know what the problem is, but it’s better today.

We had views of a huge rainbow on our way back, and the photo, while it’s pretty, doesn’t begin to capture, this, the biggest rainbow I have ever seen. In the foreground, we saw white sheets that usually means rain and even hail.

It did rain a bit, but not so much.

Today, I saw the deer outside of Marilyn’s yard and it stopped and seem to watch me looking at it from the window. The cat was out and it acted like it wantedIMG_2256 IMG_2252 IMG_2259 to get closer to check it out, but the sound of the door changed its mind. It didn’t dash away, but walked with purpose, down the hill and then on the road.

 

Fresh air

Yesterday, I had to leave my work on my future book about my yearlong journey to get outside for some fresh air.

It’s the beginning of the change into fall.  Where I’m staying, the air is fresh with smells of freshly rained on earth and pine trees. Aspens are quaking in the breeze.

I saw in the earth,  sparkling stones in shades of grey, mauve, brown, and various hues of granite and quartz.  And then there is  the bright red vine that twists and turns around a tree and theIMG_2225 large rocks that border the patio.

Below the house, I can see that aspens are changing into yellow. It won’t be long now for the splash of fall color everywhere.

While outside, I was discovered by the dogs as a stranger in their territory until they got closer and realized it was just the guest in their mansion.

IMG_2224

IMG_2244

 

Everyday at Vallecito

IMG_2223This is a photo of Marilyn all dressed up for a Kentucky Derby party of the Vallecito Service League. The party requirements were to dress in silver and hot pink. She decorated a hat and wore her silver top that was at one time part of a choir uniform at one time. I was in charge of Buffy and Ginger while she went off to the party.IMG_2224This is a photo of the view outside of Marilyn’s home. I took it through the window. The lake is way up there  below that hill.

I saw a cute little fawn today on the hill next to Marilyn’s house. If you see one, then you know there are more nearby. The humming birds are disappearing from the feeder. Just a few left, I call the lone rangers. They are heading to South America.

Marilyn is going on a hike today and she looked at the directions on the bear pepper spray. I hope she has it down in her memory bank, as I don’t think a bear would wait for her to read the instructions. She’s a smart woman, so I know she’s prepared. The house sits right next to a national forest.

 

No writer’s blog for me

I’m going over the entire one year blog of my world wide journey, 2012-13 and enjoying reliving the experience.

Soon, it will be ready to send off to a publisher. I’m going to try for a standard publisher, not independent as I did before. It will be a challenge.

Independent publishing is great, because you can make changes, which I have done with my first book, “Too Close to the Sun”. But, I think this book will be have a wider audience….I hope.

So, I have been sitting by the large window over looking the awesome view of pine, aspen trees and Vallecito Lake. I also have a birds eye view of the birds in the trees and bird feeders. They sure work hard for their meals.

 

Woodpeckers, dog, cat and a view

“That’s the Woody Wood Peckers Song”. Wish I could make that cartoon sound for you. The Wood Pecker drives little holes in the side of the house, while the other birds chase each other around the bird feeders vying for their portion.

It wouldn’t be so bad if the Woodpeckers made nice designs on the wood. Opening the door is the only thing that stops their constant pecking. The sound scares them away, for a bit.

Buffy, the fluffy dog, greets me every morning by peering into my door. The other morning, I woke up and saw two eyes watching me. She was told not to go into my room and she was trying her best to obey, but she really wanted me to get up. When I get up and walk slowly down the stairs, she joins me taking the slow steps, as if she’s helping me in some way.

Chessie, the cat, has bonded with me, to the extent that she sleeps on the bed with me. Last night she kept scooting closer and closer, and her purring was lulling me back to sleep.

I sit by the window at breakfast time and see the awesome view of Vallecito Lake and can’t even imagine how scary and awful the fires were here, over a decade ago.

The fire got dangerously close to Marilyn’s home, but missed it. Several folks’ homes burned to the ground; some have rebuilt and some have left the area.

Mornings are cool, which is the sign that fall is around the corner. I look forward to my favorite time of the year, which is why I chose to come here at this time