Beaver Creek, Colorado. Saturday September 10, 2016

Steve and I grabbed a cappuccino and a chocolate croissant at the hotel before we headed out for today’s adventure.

Steve had wanted to see the famous Frying Pan River. Here it is. South of Beaver Creek and North of Aspen. Not easy to get to but this devoted fisherman’s wife does much to keep her man happy. With an occasional bauble thrown my way, I am kept happy also.

There is a dam on the Frying Pan River creating Reudi Reservoir. Steve doesn’t do reservoir fishing, so we didn’t stop here! (Except for a picture to show us that we actually did stop, but not for long!)

Now that you see the sign do you believe that it is Gold Medal Water?

This is a very famous spot called “The Toilet Bowl”. Very famous and very crowded. You need to get there early if you want a spot to fish.

Fishing can be very good in turbulent water, but if you lose your balance and fall in…well, that’s no good. Especially if your friends have Verizon cell phone service as there is no service here!

Steve looking for fish, he didn’t see any.

Such a pretty valley.

In this section we saw six anglers. We didn’t see a single fisherman catch a fish, nor even a strike.

This was the name of the area. We were looking for signs that said “The Toilet Bowl”!

Next stop was Aspen, we have never been there before and wanted to check it out. If there were movie stars and famous people, I wanted to see them also!

The famous Hotel Jerome. Jack Nicholson and Arnold Schwarzenegger hang out in the bar. The hotel was much smaller than I expected. The AAA rate for mid December was $1100 per night plus taxes. If Arnold or Jack were there, I will never know as we didn’t go in.

Saturday and the Farmer’s Market was going strong.

They don’t do tear downs here, but gut rehabs.

Like Vail and Beaver Creek, the ski trails go right into town.

Dior, but not today for me!

Here you can see the destruction and then regrowth from an Avalanche. Snow and rocks clear the path and then Aspens fills in over time. I bet you thought that this was a picture of a ski run!

Aspens are turning in the higher elevations.

A good view of the tree line. Trees need a certain number of months of the year at warmer temperatures. I’d ask Steve the correct number but my allocation of questions is all over for the day! (Steve says they need at least one month with a mean temperature above 50 degrees)

We didn’t stop to listen to him, but I am sure that Rocky Mountain High by John Denver was in his repertoire.

Lots of hikers out today, and many bikers also. Bikes and motor bikes.

Now we are above the tree line.

The bathroom at Independence Pass.

Continental Divide. Rain drop on one side goes to the Pacific Ocean. Rain drop on the other goes to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.

At the summit of Independence Pass.

60 degrees at the Summit and windy.

There were little ponds called tarns. That’s a crossword puzzle answer for you!

Hardly any soil. Mostly rock.

They don’t want you tramping on the ground. The soil and plants are very fragile!

Beautiful view! This was a panoramic picture.

Heading down!

Here is the Arkansas River. This river flows into the Gulf of Mexico. After this we drove over the Tennessee Pass and back over the Continental Divide and back to the Hyatt.

No time for lunch today. We have to hurry back and change for the Wedding! Thank heavens for M&M’s and Peanuts!

No pictures of the wedding except these flowers.

Breakfast at the Hyatt and then we were off to Denver and the airport and home.

I hope you enjoyed another one of my Excellent Adventures!

Do you prefer regular, chocolate or almond croissants best?

Have you ever skied at Aspen?

Have you ever had a picture taken of you straddling the Continental Divide?

The High Lonseome Ranch to Beaver Creek, Colorado. Friday September 9, 2016

Good morning to you! Here is the breakfast menu.

Some of the delicious fruit from Fruita near by. This is the famous fruit growing area in Colorado. I got sick of taking pictures of the food and just wanted to focus on the wonderful fruit.

We said goodby to our hosts at High Lonesome Ranch and were off to Beaver Creek.

We decided to drive up and through The Grand Mesa and take the long way to Beaver Creek instead of just driving straight on I-70. Did you know that it is the largest flat top mountain in the world? It is around 500 square miles! The mesa rises 6000 feet above the valley. There are about 300 lakes up here! The top layer of the mesa was volcanic basalt which prevented it from eroding like the area around it. This is a view of the surrounding valley from part way up. That is a smaller mesa below in the center of the picture.

It is 50 degrees up here. Below in DeBeque (where High Lonsome is) it was likely 82!

One of the many lakes up on The Grand Mesa.

The Aspens in full color change! Did you know that each aspen grove contains one or more clones? As they are genetically linked they all change color at the same time!

The chopped up stones in the foreground is called scree. Thanks to Steve! He knows lots of stuff that I don’t know. But I know lots of stuff that he doesn’t! That makes us great guests at candlelit dinner parties!

Our highest elevation for the day.

A lake. The lakes were probably caused by weak spots in the rock layer. They were gouged out by glaciers and then filled in with the melting ice.

Selfie time!

Beautiful wild flowers.

A little history of the Grand Mesa National Forest.

A mesa is a large expanse of land with a flat top. If it eroded it would become mountains.

Steve was hungry and inpatient. Enough with all these photos! We were in Paonia. I would describe it as a left wing hipster town.

My cup of cappuccino. I needed it to stay awake for the sunny afternoon ride to Beaver Creek. Sun and a car ride puts me to sleep if I am not driving.

The inside of the cafe. It was very small with lots of art work.

I had the spinach and ham quiche for lunch.

Lots of arty stuff on the walls. Your guess is as good as mine as to what this represents!

A cheery sign in the restroom!

The outside of the restaurant.

There was not much going on in this town!

The Paonia Reservoir in Gunnison County.

We passed near Somerset. There are lots of coal mines here, but you can’t see them in this picture!

We passed Glenwood Springs. Always pretty with the red rocks along I-70.

On our way to the hotel in Beaver Creek we stopped at a Tru-Value. I wanted a sparkly cow girl belt to wear to the pre wedding party.

We found our hotel easily.

My hat looked great with the flowers!

Here is the Hi/Low look that I rocked. Lucchese boots and a Tru-Value belt. Its’ called Hi/Low as you mix hi cost items with low cost items!

Tasty passed hors d’oeuvres.

There was a great buffet.

The food was great and the speakers were wonderful! Such a great start ahead for this wonderful couple and their families!

After the Pre Wedding party there was a private concert! Way cool!

The desserts were yummy.

Off to bed! We have a road trip to Aspen tomorrow, and then the wedding!

Where is the nearest mesa to your house?

Do you contribute beauty to the world?

What is your favorite Hi/Low look?

High Lonesome Ranch, De Beque Colorado. Thursday September 8, 2016


As Steve was off fishing the KBarT again on the White River, I decided to visit a park.

There are many beautiful parks in the Western United States. How many have you seen? I have been to all of the listed ones except for Grand Canyon.

The entrance to the park. Come along with me to see the park.

Map so you can see where I traveled.

You can see clearly here the levels of rock. Would you believe that 90 million years ago this area was covered by water? Now instead of a parking lot it is a lunch lot! Doesn’t that sound like a song?

Independence Monument and how it was made.

Yes, there were people climbing this today!

Not for me!

Some of the wildlife in the park.

Information on the Redlands Fault.

Redlands Fault view.


The view of the valley below.

It was cool to drive through a tunnel.

I was so excited to see a group of Bighorn Sheep!

Look at the guy on the rock wall in the second picture!

Another handsome guy!

Look at the wind erosion!

Below is Ute Canyon, a water carved landscape.

The views were amazing.

This area was shaped by earthquakes and erosion.

The summer wild flowers were in bloom.

You need to be tough to try to grow here.

The famous balanced rock.

I did another good deed today. These two tired hikers were walking along the road looking for a ride to the next parking area. They were hiking since 8 a.m. and it was 2 p.m. when I stopped to give them a ride. I am glad that they were not axe murderers. They were from Switzerland and were visiting our National Parks. I think I saved them another two hour hike. It was 82 degrees and very hot out!

On the way back I stopped at the Marijuana dispensary in De Beque to check it out. I didn’t buy anything, nor did I ask any questions. That’s for someone else to do!

Then it was back to High Lonsome to get ready for dinner.

Steve caught many fish during the day.

These are all different fish too!

Thursday evening dinner. The guys were all here again. They were from an architectural firm and a mechanical engineering firm. They design about 70% of all the sports arenas and stadiums. Can you imagine doing this if you were a sports nut? Remember how sad I was yesterday about my new friends leaving? Well being surrounded by 15 guys, sure did put a smile on my face!

Another picture of my new male friends, just because!

We had assorted smoked meats as an hors d’oeuvres.

Fresh biscuits.


Dinner was fried chicken.

With lots of golden mashed potatoes.

Big bowls of broccoli.

Dessert was chocolate lava cake that was not dry! I can’t stand it when the cake is over cooked and the inside is not oozing out like lava! Tomorrow is our next adventure. Grand Mesa and then a wedding in Beaver Creek.

Would you have picked up the hitch hikers?

What questions would you have asked at the dispensary?

Have you met me in real life?

The High Lonesome Ranch, De Beque Colorado. Wednesday September 7, 2016

Fresh berries and Aunt Linda’s Granola. Linda was the loquacious breakfast cook. She made all the homemade jams, cooked breakfast and also made Granola. Her husband was one of the drivers to meet the guides. Aunt Linda’s husband was quite the talker, but next to Linda he was very quiet!

Home made English Muffins.

Roasted potatoes.

Fresh cherry coffee cake.

This is one of the guests that we met, Sharon. She was so kind to me. She lent me her black Patagonia vest to wear at dinner several nights as I always got cold in my thin tops. At first I thought that she was snooty, but then found out that it was merely her Connecticut accent! Sharon and her husband Bill, were here fishing. Unfortunately it was to be his last fishing trip as he died six months after returning home. Steve and I hope to keep traveling, Steve will fish, while I befriend strangers for as long as we can!

This was Sharon’s last morning at the Ranch, and it was Gennifer with a G, who loved orange and her husband Larry’s, also. I always get sad at the end of my stay or when guests leave. I meet some truly interesting and wonderful people. The good part is that sometimes I am able to stay connected with some of them and see them another time. What a wonderful thing to be able to meet people and make a connection to them! Strangers to friends in just hours!

While Steve fished I went riding again.

One of the guests C, and Marion the manager of the riding program.

Before we hit the trail we worked on some equestrian skills. Here I am walking over logs.

We also worked on barrel racing, although in my case it was barrel walking around!

We saw an air squadron flying in formation!

A view from my ride.

The view towards the road to our cabin.

You have already seen the outside of the cabin and the pond across the way.

This was my sack lunch that I brought back to the cabin to eat.

Outside the kitchen area herbs were grown in a hydroponic system.

The dinner menu. (In case you refuse to read the commentary!)

What the chef called a Caesar salad. I’ve never had one with cabbage before!

Here are the rolls. Covered in butter. Highly caloric, but yummy!

Prime Rib with onion rings.

Roasted potatoes, unfortunately they never got passed to me!

Fresh De Beque green beans and tomatoes.

There is a lemon tart below the lemon custard.

We had a new group of guests come today. Here is a picture of all my new friends. They were a large group of guys. Of course I asked Steve to take a picture of me and all the guys. Me and 15 good looking guys, not including my husband, who refused to join me in the picture! This would be a reverse harem story in my romance novels!

Would I find out why the guys were at High Lonesome?

You will have to read tomorrow’s post to find out!

That is such a a good tease that I won’t add any more questions!

The High Lonesome Ranch, De Beque Colorado. Tuesday September 6, 2016

Steve and I headed down the road to the main lodge for breakfast. Steve would be going off with a guide and I was planning on riding.

Fresh yogurt at breakfast.

Granola and fresh fruit.

More berries.

Quiche with a avocado.

I went on a ride with my wrangler.

She took a picture of me facing both directions!

I spied some deer outside our cabin after my ride.

I went back to the lodge to look around. If you wanted to you could hang out at night around a fire pit. We never did!

My sandwich. Brisket sandwich with match stick french fries.

Lunch included some great cookies! Many chocolate chips in these cookies.

Before Dinner Steve got to sign the book at High Lonseome for getting a grand slam. He became a member of The Grand Slam Club. There had been only 8 people so far this year to have reached this highly coveted accomplishment! He caught a brook, cutthroat, cut-bow and a brown trout. He got a special pin and bragging rights. All the fish have to be caught in one day. There was much festivities involved with the announcement, the chart signing and then the pin presentation. Well done Steve! Not for nothing, but Steve is generally one of the best anglers anywhere he goes!

Steve caught 23 fish this day including this four pound Rainbow!

Dinner started with a Frisée Salad and a fried egg on top.

Fresh rolls in butter.

Cassoulet with rabbit, elk and venison.

Apple Crisp ala mode for dessert.

One of the guests was Gennifer with a G. She loved Orange!

She had her orange hat!

And her orange boots! Gennifer with a G’s boots and hat were all custom made.

What is your favorite color?

Did you know that there used to be a car dealership in Albany called Orange Ford?

Their billboards had on them “What color is your Orange Ford?”. I thought that was the greatest. Unfortunately they were acquired by another dealership.

The former manager of Orange Ford was accused of embezzling over $750,000! So my next question is…Have you been caught embezzling over $750,000? I have no interest in any amounts under that number.

The High Lonesome Ranch, De Beque Colorado. Monday, September 5, 2016

Steve was out fishing for the day (surprise, surprise!)and I decided to drive to Fruita to see where all the fruit is grown that this area is know for. Fruita has an average of 300 days of sunshine a year. The weather is mild and there is plenty of water from the nearby Colorado River to irrigate the fruit trees.

While I was out and about Steve caught this monster fish. He caught it on the K Bar T on the White River. It was four pounds and 22 inches. As Steve does catch and release fishing he released it unharmed for someone else to catch on another day. He had a slow day as he only caught 4 fish. However if you catch a fish like this monster, you don’t really care how many fish you caught!

Here are some bowls of the local fruit from breakfast.

I could see this mesa along I-70.

Here is a closeup.

Fruita was very small. Population of around 13,000.

The Colorado River runs through town.

There was grape growing.

Interesting story alert!!!!!

Something that happened way before my time, but especially notable was the tale of Mike the Headless Chicken. In 1947 Mike’s owner tried to decapitate him for a chicken dinner. The axe was able to remove most of his head, except for the jugular vein, his ear and most of the brain stem.

When the chicken did not die, the owner decided to feed Mike with an eye dropper. Mike’s owner took the chicken on the side show circuit. Unfortunately Mike the Headless Chicken choked on a kernel of corn and died 18 months later.

My lunch.

In the afternoon I went for a ride.

This is where we turned around!

Before dinner we had an assortment of cheeses.

The menu for dinner.

Green salad.

As always at dinner there were plenty of fresh rolls.

Pot Roast as advertised!

Mashed potatoes.

Here is my plate of pot roast and mashed potatoes.

Dessert was Creme brûlée.

Are you surprised that there are some days that Steve does not go fishing?

Did you know that sometimes Steve does not catch a fish when he goes fishing?

Have you ever lost your head over anything?

On our way to The High Lonesome Ranch, De Beque Colorado. Saturday, September 3, 2016.

We are now on our way towards Eisenhower Pass and the Big Mountains. I shouldn’t have had a drink last night. I have eyeball auras, but hopefully three ibuprofen should help clear that up. That and lots of water. The family joke that we have is that I always suggest that family members drink more water whenever they don’t feel well. Constipation, diarrhea, common cold, a virus, the flu? Drink water!

Too high an elevation for me!

We pass the sign post for Vail.

Vail you are such a pretty town. However no time to stop, shop, and visit!

We drive past some red rocks.

Through Glenwood Canyon.

The landscape is so dramatic here!

We have arrived at The High Lonesome Ranch!

Looks like great weather ahead for our stay at The High Lonesome.

That’s all for tomorrow. As we heard that there is a pond just outside our house and Steve already has his fishing license….

We ate lunch before we were shown our cabin. Lunch was ham, bacon, cheese and tomato. Plus bean salad on the side.

Oatmeal raisin cookies for dessert. Chocolate chip would be better. Perhaps tomorrow!

The place where we will be staying is a three mile drive from the main ranch. We are very secluded here.

Our place is called “The Homested”.

We are actually staying in our very own house! The house is even bigger once you get inside!

Kitchen should you wish to self cater. We will not, all my meals will be in the main lodge. Steve will have sack lunches for his fishing trips.

Dining room.

The Living room.

The opposite view.

Master bedroom. With gifts! I love gifts!

The master bathroom. Double sinks so we can keep our messes separate!

Here we have the second bedroom. Definitely for kids or the height challenged. Who wants to hit their head going to the bathroom in the middle of the night?

This was the third bedroom. I think it would get hot up here in the summer.

We had a great deck off of the second floor. This was where I was going to run to if I saw a bear on the grounds! I figured he wouldn’t be able to reach me on the second floor! I never really sat and read here that much as the chairs had no cushions.

There was a stocked refrigerator with lots of cold beverages.

It didn’t take long before we broke into the m & m’s!

There was a beautiful pond across just down the hill from our house. I am sure that Steve will try it out!

In fact Steve left me to unpack my stuff and then Steve caught 3 fish that first day!

Look who came for a walk before we drove down to the lodge for dinner? Just like all the wild turkeys we see in Poughkeepsie!

One of our appetizers was toast, with warm cheesy spinach dip. Yummy!

We sat at one big table for dinner. I love it when we sit family style at lodges.

I was wondering how Steve knew what we were having for dinner until I saw this sign!