A Slow Hike

We drove to a trailhead and hiked a while with Emily and her girls. It was slow going as it is hard for people with compromised lungs to hike at 8,000 Feet.

Some of the aspens were just beginning to turn their bright yellow. “Quaking Aspens” fascinate me. They remind me of the Bible verse Isaiah 55:12

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

So here are the old folks hiking with the young’uns, who were actually far ahead of us. Our daughter though did decide to stay at our side at all times.

The trail is basically between our shoulders!

Since the trail did not go where the girls wanted, we went separate ways back at the parking lot. As Bob drove the other side he pulled over for these photos of the canyon the stream had carved.

We could never see where the trail we had been hiking went! Oh well. It was a lovely day and we enjoyed the walk.

Bob Liked Stars, too!

See this lovely cabin?

This is the “Dot” where we moved after the Cookseys went home. See the lovely landscaping? the reflection on the storm door? the huge poles around the porch with one right at the stairs?

Bob was also getting excited about the stars. One night I was already in bed reading. He went outside to look at the stars and decided there were too many lights on in the cabin. So he went in and turned them off. He thought he knew just where the pole and the stairs were. I had left a flashlight right at the door, but he never noticed it. He never even thought to grab one.

He fell off the porch and thanks be to God he did NOT crack his head on those large stones!! I thought I heard him cry out. I called to him. No answer. I called louder; no answer. So I went running to the front door just in time to see him coming through the door dripping blood from his leg and arms.

I am so thankful my sister keeps a first aid kit in each cabin! I cleaned him up, got him bandaged and put to bed with some Tylenol. His right knee was already bruising. And sadly, that is the same knee upon which he has had meniscus repair – TWICE!

Next day he was stiff and sporting many bruises. We were so thankful he had NOT hit his head. We were too far away from civilization for emergency medical care. I decided I should increase my prayers for safety for the family for the remainder of this trip! Yikes. “Here I am at, Camp Grenada!”

Now his gashes and bruises have healed up. He has a new scar on his leg to remember Colorado! Those stars were lovely, though.

 He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.  Our Lord is great, vast in power; His understanding is infinite.

Psalm 147:4-5 HCSB

 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD rescues them from them all.

Psalm 34:19 NRSV

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!