LIfe at High Altitude in Colorado

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.

-Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Celebrating 50 Years of Marriage!

I want to share some happiness.
Today - August 14th - Bob and I celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary.
Half a century of marriage to the same person seems incredible, doesn't it?

celebration party for us at the beach

We're back at our Breckenridge home after spending several weeks
at the beach in CA celebrating with family.

these were yummy cakes - even better than 50 years ago!

Today, we'll spend the day together,
sharing memories and having dinner in Vail. 

I took hundreds of photos at the beach - my camera was busy clicking.
Here are a few of them:

morning walks with Sam, our youngest grandchild
flying kites at sunset
paddling in the surf (Ben our oldest grandchild)
collecting more freckles (Jack)
getting sandy on the beach (Neve)
sharpshooter Pop Pop and Sam in the pool
Caden avoiding Pop Pop's spray
oh those fingernails! (Amanda)
even the snail is astounded
though it's accustomed to bright things

We've been very fortunate.
In good times and in bad,
friendship, compromise, forgiveness, communication, and caring
have bound us together.

sunset, Del Mar, CA

As we celebrate 50, our hope is that we can live out our lives together.
Romance and love are still important,
but the hard work of marriage continues daily.
We made promises 50 years ago.
So far, we've managed to keep them.

our son enlarged photos from our wedding album:
here we are in the getaway car!
Bob's looking pretty happy, isn't he?

Think of us today, will you?
Smile for us and be happy.
We wish you love.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Gifts of Summer at High Altitude

We're having a busy, satisfying summer.

our gardens are blooming

grandchildren provide whimsy (our youngest grandchild, Sam - 3)

trails beckon us to follow (Jack - 11)

wildflowers sway in cool mountain breezes (Amanda - 13) 

old man of the mountain sunflower, paintbrush, and pinnate daisies

Pop Pop and Sam having a talk

red paintbrush, columbine, buttercup

Sam's shirt says, "I Wake Up Awesome" (and he does...)

you can find me here most late afternoons - reading and relaxing

Bob and I will celebrate our 50th Anniversary shortly.
We were married on August 14, 1966.
We give thanks for our life together.

We're having a gathering with family at the beach in CA in early August.

This is my last post before leaving.

Blessings to you,


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Sunflowers on Black Powder Pass - Breckenridge, CO

Everywhere I look - wildflowers!
July is bloom time at high altitude.
Bob and I hiked Black Powder Pass last week. 
We were on the trail by 7:15 AM and had expansive views to ourselves.

It was a Sunflower kind of day!

early morning shadows - the trail is flat for a short distance before it starts climbing

sunflowers nodding in the morning breeze

way up high - snowfields and sunflowers at about 13,000' (3962 M)

Old Man of the Mountain Sunflowers

sunflowers facing east into the sun - dancing as the wind picks up

we're small in the grandeur of Nature

Sam (3) is visiting us for several days.  He keeps us busy with his antics.
He's looking sleepy here - I think it's time for a nap.
Maybe I'll take a little rest, too!

Thank you for visiting.
Wishing you good times and great views,

(comments closed)

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Song of Summer - Breckenridge

Traces of winter frost the peaks.

Trails glow in morning light.

Streams jitterbug over rocks.

Gardens dazzle with color and scent.

Warm days languish into cool nights.

Ordinary becomes amazing.

Each day offers gifts. I accept them gratefully:
A gentle rain falls to water wildflowers.
Four Junco babies snuggle in their nest.
Wild things begin their nocturnal hunt.
Lights are dimmed.
Our fireplace glows.
Books await.

I count my blessings.

Summer sings its song.

(Thank you for visiting. Comments are closed.)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Tiny Miracles

each day a new surprise awaits

tiny miracles

I took the first photo with the Olympus EM-1 (14-150 mm zoom), but the others with less clarity are with the iPhone 6s. The nest is tucked in a wreath at our back door. There is too little space for the large camera to fit and focus. I must be quick to take a peek when Mama leaves the nest. If I'm near the nest when she returns, she paces at my feet. Mama Junco remains patient and diligent. She only leaves the nest to find food for the babies and herself. There are actually 4 baby birds, but the last was hatched a day later than the other 3. Its body is still pink, so I'm hoping it's alive. Watching the parents build and guard the nest was an extraordinary experience for us. The incubating, hatching, and now feeding of such tiny creatures is a full-time job for the mother bird. The hatchlings are about the size of my thumb. Their response to anything near them (even the iPhone) is to open their mouths for food. 

It's summertime at high altitude. Wildflowers are starting to bloom. My gardens are green and buds are showing on the perennials. I follow alpine trails with a smile on my face.

Globeflowers along Lehman Creek off Peak 10

Wishing you all everyday miracles!


(I'm keeping comments closed for awhile. Thank you for visiting.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wandering, Not Lost

Still unsettled this morning when I wake, I feel a sense of dread that should have dissipated. Last evening a woman crossing our property frantically screams a name. I call to her, "Your dog?" 

"No - my 10 year old daughter! We can't find her anywhere. Her dad thinks she may have gone into the woods."

Immediately, adrenalin surges through me. I call for Bob. We join the mother and the grandfather, fanning into the forest to search. The mother goes straight up the trail. Bob and Grandfather turn right toward the creek. I turn left onto a lesser-used trail leading into what my Grands call Scary Woods because the trees block light and moan as they rub together in the wind. 

Once enveloped by the forest, I'm less worried about evil people and more concerned about large foraging animals. Every time I've encountered a bear on the trails, it's been early evening when shadows start to gather. I clap and singsong, "Hey bear! Hey bear!" as I scan between the evergreens. 

Just where the trail emerges into a clearing, I see movement. Blue jeans, Tshirt, ponytail - a small girl! I call her name quietly, and she startles, wondering how this stranger knows her.  Trying not to frighten her, I quickly explain - I'm a neighbor, her family is worried, they think maybe she's lost. 

She looks me right in the eye, no longer wary. "I'm not lost! I put pebbles on top of bigger rocks so I can find my way back."

I laugh with relief. "Good girl! You did the right thing. I'll just walk with you back to your family." She smiles and chats amiably as we follow the trail (and her pebbles) toward home. 

When we reach their rental house, her aunt rushes toward us. The others are still searching. "Try the mother's cell," I say. "I'll go look for her."

As I head up the trail again, I see the mother approaching. She's calling the police. "She's safe," I yell. "Back at the house." We rush toward each other and both start crying. Relief! We hug so tightly that I can't distinguish her pounding heart from my own. Cheeks pressing together, our tears mingle. 

I look into the mother's eyes. "Please don't be angry with your daughter. She wasn't lost. She knew how to get back. She was just taking a walk in the woods. She's a smart and confident girl." We smile at each other through our tears.

Sometimes bad things happen. Thank goodness not in the case of the little girl who wasn't lost. I picture her now in my mind and get tears in my eyes - she's chatting happily about her walk, sure of herself, having a grand adventure, following an unknown path, but making sure she doesn't get lost.

A good ending - fear but no tragedy.

It's over 24 hours later now, and I feel calmer. Life is full of both bad and good. There is no controlling which we'll encounter. Some children are safe tonight, others are not. We can't keep ourselves or others from traveling unknown paths just to try and avoid the unknown.

Don't stop having adventures.
Just because you wander doesn't mean you're lost. 
"The dangers of life are infinite, & safety is among them." Goethe

(comments closed) 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Days of Hope and Promise

our son, Jim, fly fishing near our house

The air is fresh and crisp. 
Scents of pine, cedar, and spruce mix with wet earth.
Streams and rivers rage and overflow with snowmelt.
The high peaks glisten white.

Mama Junco is incubating eggs in the wreath just outside our back door.
We watch her through the window, wondering how many eggs are in the nest.
We're careful to stay clear of her domain and not frighten her.
(Luckily, we have 2 back doors!)

Perennials in the gardens are green and growing.
The Basket of Gold is blooming.
A few Daffodils sway in the breeze
Soon Poppies will burst forth with a riot of color.
Our water feature ("the stream") sprays and dances over tiny falls.
We like listening to its calming shushes and whispers.

Globeflowers growing in high alpine meadow

I hike above snow line to about 11, 400' (3,474 M).
Alone, I look out upon meadows of white.
Hardy wildflowers are just starting to bloom.
Little streams flow from melting snowbanks.


Fairy Slippers (Calypso Orchids) growing in the forest

Spring means new beginnings, a chance to grow and thrive.
I feel my spirit expand in the vastness surrounding me.
I give thanks for the chance to celebrate another spring -
each day is filled with hope and promise. 

Though I'll continue to post occasionally to have a record of my days,
I'll keep comments closed for awhile.
I thank you for your visit.
Stay well.