After the Falls, the Fall

We were having a delightful time! We all had breakfast in our cabins. The “Minor” house is really the major house. It has the largest dining table, best equipped kitchen and easily room for all 8 of us to eat lunch and dinner together. Cooking was on a rotational basis and as mom used to say we had “food for an army.”

When we tried to hike to Piedra Falls we turned back because the trail was so muddy and downhill. We decided amongst ourselves that discretion was the better part of valor.

We returned and were doing really well until a patch of loose gravely stones caught Betty’s right foot. She went down and cried out. She thought it was a bad sprain, even though her foot had almost touched her shin when she landed. We let her rest for a minute on the trail. Dan and Bob got her upright to see if she thought she could walk/hobble. I took Jessie’s leash while they took Betty’s arms, guarding her side by side. I thanked goodness we were really close to the end of the trail. Would have been so much worse had we been further from transportation!

We drove her back to their cabin in the “Mule.” Dan got her situated on the sofa with ice and medication and elevation. He came to the Minor house to get lunch foods to take back. Dan went to the wood shed and found a stick to help her walk. We made certain they had dinner and stopped by afterwards to be sure she was okay. She looked as if she was in considerable pain.

Next morning the Cookseys decided to head back to Albuquerque and get her checked out at their usual medical clinic. The bad news was Betty actually broke her tibia at the ankle. Ouch!! Yes, she needed medical attention!

Here she is waiting on the porch and saying good-bye while we loaded their car.

Like I have said we were more like the “Honeymooners” TV show, even though we stayed in the “Honeymoon” cabin.” Do you remember the song from 1963 about a kid who went to camp? Our bodily welfare turned out to be like some of the kids at Camp Granada.

Since theirs was the nicest cabin with good wifi, I proceeded to wash the sheets. Bob and I packed our things, left the obvious mice behind, and moved to the “Dot,” which had less obvious mice. As my sister told us, those mice live there year round. We just visit occasionally and set traps when they get inside!

Oh the Stars!

 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.  They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.  Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.

Psalm 19:1-4a (NIV2011)

One thing I dearly wanted to see in Colorado was the night sky without all the light pollution of Greater Cincinnati area. Being older, and full of excitement, we went to bed at our usual early hour. The first night when I awoke, I glanced out the window from the Honeymoon cabin. Even without my glasses I could see stars. With my glasses, I was absolutely amazed.

The next evening we went outside before bed, but it was not quite as dark as after midnight and not as impressive. At 1 AM I tried a different window, but it was not as startling as the first one. Still too cold to go traipsing about in my nightie. And, alas, too tired to try a camera. Bob had assured me that I would need a good camera with a long (or was it slow?) exposure. My iPhone 8+ just would not get it.

Our friend, Dan Cooksey, captured it for me! Click on the link below to open his blog. He wrote about it On September 9th at https://danandbettysplace.blog/2020/09/20/stars-in-the-heavens/

And he has a gorgeous portrait of Jessie the traveling dog as his blog banner. Hope you enjoy the words and photo from one of our “besties.”

Hike to Piedra Falls, Almost

Here we are loaded onto the “Mule” for the short drive to Piedra Falls. Then we planned to hike. And Jessie is in the back with Betty and Dan. She seemed to think it was a pretty cool ride.

Bob, the Goof Man driver!

Just realized I may not have a face-on photo of Jessie. Hmm …

Aspens among the pines

This was one of those crystal clear days that made you take a deep breath and be thankful!

Now for someone afraid of heights and hiking ahead by herself this seemed very daring – and I did it!

The river below
River in the shadows

I kept climbing higher and looking back. Bob had stopped earlier due to breathing troubles. Then Betty and Dan stopped so she could catch her breath. I passed people with dogs and told them about the Golden Retriever behind me. And then uh-oh. Trail turned muddy and slippery.

Having fallen at the end of a trial in Smoky Mountain National Park I was reluctant to proceed.

Then Betty and Dan arrived and said no, not for them. Then to my surprise Bob arrived! and he agreed not a good idea. So we were close, but the trail told us not to go further. This must be the lower falls?

Using the telephoto we could glimpse the falls, or at least the first falls.

No idea how much further past the downhill mud trail. I was delighted Bob had made it this far. Learned later it was quite a struggle for him, lung-wise.

The actual falls according to http://pagosa.com/adventureguide/piedra-falls-hike/ “The falls are impressive, thundering off a cliff into a V-shaped canyon of huge boulders. The hike takes about 15 to 30 minutes each way.”

And then the trip began to take a turn towards Camp Grenada.

Autumn Unfolding

Thought you’d like to see some garden and tree shots before all the leaves fall. Below is a annual decorative plant called Persian Shield. I have had it in a planter in years past. The last couple years I went ahead and put it right in the garden. This one looks a little tired from the summer sun, but still flashes of purple! And the sweet volunteer sunflower next to it!

As I have chosen to garden less and less this is the only chrysanthemum that remains. My neighbor offered me some recently, but I just did not have it in me to be out there digging right now.

Our maples are blazing bright yellow! The morning light at my chair for prayer and meditation has changed dramatically. It will only last a couple weeks this way!

One of our favorite shrubs, discovered on a drive down the Natchez Trace, then seen again at our favorite doughnut shop, is “American Beauty Berry.”

I think next year I will feed it and see if we get more berries!

Home with Lucky

She had such luxury accommodations while we traveled that I was uncertain she would want to live with us again! Lucky has the red collar.

She has settled in again and still loves Bob the best. She has gotten ornery about being in her kennel. Learned how to open it with just the slide latch on it. Bob put a carabiner clip on it. One day she got aggravated and broke that off before we got home. Stronger one on there now. We want her to continue to use it when we need her confined, like when the satellite TV guy comes.

My friend Betty introduced me to this dogie treat.

Doggie “Ice Cream” Cups

1 ripe banana
2 tsp creamy peanut butter
2 tsp honey
Large (32 oz) container of plain yogurt (Greek or reg.)

Mash banana; add honey & peanut butter; mix well then add yogurt.  I put into small plastic cups – usually 6 or 7 cups.  Freeze. 

I finally found some plastic cups like Betty uses. I got about 10 portions out of the recipe today. If you really love your pup like a kid, well, of course, you have to let her lick the beaters!

“This is What It’s All About”

Please listen while you look at the photos! Psalm 136:1-6 (NIV2011)  Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever. to him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever. who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever. who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever.

Oh the voices of those children! Don’t they bless your heart?

Do you see the Notch? Thus, the name ….
Bob especially liked the heart shape on the hill.

Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV2011)  I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?  My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

We Arrived on Sunday

That is Bob undoing the combination lock on the Ranch gate. After this it was my job, or whoever was not the driver.

My sister made several houses available to us for our anniversary celebration. The houses are named after the previous owner. Our son as unable to go with us as he would have had to pull kids out of school. Our daughter arrived with her family later in the afternoon. They flew in and drove from Durango. They stayed in the “Minor” house. Cookseys stayed in the “Dot.” We were in the “Honeymoon” house. We decided Bob and I were more like the Honeymooners (think Jackie Gleason) than any newlyweds. At 50 years we felt lucky to get up the couple of steps. But this was the only house with a king sized bed and that is what we are accustomed to, so Bob chose this one.

Here is Bob on the steps of the Minor house talking with Emily and daughter, Lizzie.

Porch of the Dot house where Cookseys stayed. and Below is the Honeymoon house where we stayed.

Look at the size of this tree next to the house! Gorgeous!

A wonderful place to celebrate. We saw one person come through the week we were there. He was the water man. Our son-in-law spoke with him. Turns out this is one of the largest stands of Ponderosa Yellow Pine in the state of Colorado. Mountains, stream, ponds, blue sky, great company, shared evening meal preparation, such quiet, private quarters. We were so blessed!

Bob and I had headaches the first couple days due to the altitude. Bob had some difficulty breathing especially on exertion. We did not let that stop us from having fun though!

Driving To Pagosa Springs

Correction: Pagosa Springs is in Southwest Colorado. It takes about 3-1/2 hours, about 306 miles too travel from Corrales to Pagosa Springs. We planned a stop at Abiquiui Lake at Abiquiui, New Mexico near Ghost Ranch where Georgia O’Keeffe used to paint.

Dan and Bob walking Jessie the Golden!

We had packed a lunch, but decided to drive on to Pagosa Springs as none of us were very hungry yet. And we were all anxious to arrive at the Notch Ranch.

Yes, that glorious clear blue sky was our companion for a few days before the smoke from the California fires traveled our direction. So sad, that vast destruction that is still going on today.

We are always amazed at the colors revealed when erosion peels back the layers of earth and shows such variety of colors in the Southwest states. Here is part of our drive north on Route 84.

We found the fruit market my sister had told us about. Stocked up on fresh tomatoes, Paradise peaches!! (yum and last of the season), corn on the cob and other goodies. Ate our picnic lunch in the cars in the parking lot as the sun was blazing. Took a tour of town. Found the grocery for a few more items and off to the Ranch!

Why Albuquerque?

When going to southeastern Colorado, Pagosa Springs area, you can fly to Durango, Denver or Albuquerque and rent a car. When your best friends live in Albuquerque and plan to travel to Colorado with you, then ABQ is the obvious choice. The Governor of New Mexico had a rule that if you live in New Mexico and travel outside the state, when you return you must quarantine for 14 days. We were uncertain until the very last minute if the Cookseys would be able to go with us or not. If they had to quarantine that would knock out their volunteer activities for a total of 3 weeks. We prayed the Governor would change her mind and she did!

We had planned to spend a couple days with them to get accustomed to the 5,000 foot elevation, then travel on to the San Juan mountains where we would be at about 8,000 feet. In Ohio we live at about 600 feet of elevation.

From El Dorado Drive looking towards the Sandia Crest

Not only is their terrain radically different than our green lawns and maple trees, but the wild life is too. Walking in the neighborhood I noticed the house below with weird fencing.

The landscaping is called zeroscaping.

When I asked the Cookseys what the deal is with the curved fencing at the top of the extra-tall fence they said it is to deter the coyotes from getting into the yard. We have coyotes in Ohio, but nothing like Corrales or Albuquerque.

Below is sunset on Sandia Crest, also known as Watermelon mountain because of the sunsets!