Cow Creek Ranch, Pecos New Mexico. Monday September 21, 2015

Good Morning to you! This is a fish caught on the ranch by a prior guest. That is some fish! And it looks like it was caught a long time ago.

While I waited for our cook to rustle up some breakfast for me I thought I would show you some of the main lodge.

The main dining area.

In the next room there were many animal heads.

Some animal skins.

There were plenty of spaces to sit and chat. However, we were the only guests for the week. Cow Creek has since ceased to exist as a public fishing lodge. Which we thought would happen. There was so much fire damage to the hills, that it was an unattractive place to fish or ride.

My scrambled eggs and bacon came out quickly.

Which were soon followed by berry pancakes.

Steve had already gone out to meet with with his guide for his day of fishing.

While Steve was fishing I hung out at the lodge. A bird watching group from Santa Fe came to search for birds. I was invited but had no energy at this elevation.

They were off for four hours, so I think it was a good decision not to go out with them.

The lodge must have been really something back in the day. It was too bad that there had been so many fires in the area.

A beautfiul fish that Steve caught.

Oopsy!

Nice recovery!

No he did not keep him. Steve realeses his fish that he catches back to the stream. Once in awhile he does keep a few trout when he fishes back home and we eat them, but that is rare.

Here is a closer view of the pond that Steve fished.

Fish in the net.

Sometimes the ending is not so happy!

Then it was time for dinner. More of the salad from a bag with tomatoes and shredded cheese.

Chicken. It’s whats for dinner! Very dry chicken.

For dessert we had pistachio pudding and that same chocolate cake!

After dinner I followed Steve to the pond.

For more fishing.

No, it is not the same fish!

I wanted him to catch me one of the palomino trout, but they were persnickety.

Steve caught 50 fish today. It would be his last day fishing on this trip. Tomorrow we leave for Santa Fe, New Mexico!

Then it was off to bed.

What animal heads are in your living room?

What is your favorite type of dry meat?

Have you ever seen a palomino trout?

Did you that LDR means Long Distance Release?

Are you happy about not seeing anymore fish pictures? Be honest!

Off to Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado. Monday September 14, 2015

No breakfast pictures today! Not when there is interesting scenery to see!

We hit the road for our five hour drive to out next Excellent Adventure. Seeing wild mustangs and dinosaur bones didn’t really count as an adventure. Just a side trip!

You can just bet that Steve was itching to fish here! However, there was no time to stop today, as we were on our way to Dunton Hot Springs. Steve was going to be able to get his Colorado fish at Dunton. At least we hoped he would!

\We drove through the San Juan Mountains. The highest elevation was 10,100 feet. The Aspens had just started to turn golden.

You can see evidence of a rock slide here.

This is part of Telluride ski area.

This business in Rico, Colorado had seen better days. After 30 minutes of driving on a dirt road we saw a car with flashing lights. What was ahead?

A cowboy and his cattle.

After an hour on a dirt road we came to the gate that would separate Dunton Hot Springs Resort from the rest of the world! Steve is talking to staff asking them to open the gate for us. This was a former mining town from 1885 that turned into a ghost town. In 1994 it was bought and then restored by the Christopher Henkel, a German born London based investor. If you use Persil laundry detergent you keep his family and this place going! The place looks like a dump on the outside, but it is decorated in a five star way! Our cabin is the little one to the right of the main building. The main building is also where the dining area is located.

This building is where the main hot spring is located.There are several springs here. One of the springs is located in a cabin that you can stay at. That would not be our cabin.You can see the spa in the bath house being refilled. There had been a wedding the previous weekend and all the spas were drained, cleaned and then refilled. The spring looks yucky , that is because of all the minerals in the water. This is one of the outside springs behind one of the cabins.

This was another hot spring, you had to climb down stairs to get in.

Here is more of our tour of the town. The library with the bear skin rug that I tripped on. At least I didn’t go boom!

The library’s bottle of whisky. What proper library doesn’t have a bottle of whisky in it? Here is the waterfall. What proper lodge doesn’t have a waterfall?

Our African themed room. The shower was in a little closet on the right of the door.

The toilet and sink were to the left of the door. The Cabin was tiny!Lunch was great.

Lentil soup.

Then fish.

Dessert was brownies and a peppery blond brownie.

We got to meet the bride and groom from the past weekend’s wedding. (Not the couple in the picture above.) She was in a television series that was being filmed in Atlanta (Not the Housewives!) The groom was in the band of a very famous singer. No names for you!

Of course it was time for Steve to gear up and test the waters!

Here is a picture of Steve catching a fish on the West Branch of the Dolores River. Unfortunately I can’t figure out how to post a copy of an old video for you. This was just behind our cabin!

Did you not believe me? Of course he caught a fish!

Lucky, lucky you! I figured out how to insert videos again!

Here are some pictures of the prep work for dinner. Gorgeous potatoes for roasting.

Also many different colored carrots.

We started with a beautiful grilled escarole salad with fruit to start our dinner.

Followed by grilled lamb chops. Our wine was from Sutcliffe Vineyards. Sutcliffe is located in Cortez, Colorado; the nearest large town .I think there was some kind of relationship between Sutcliffe and Dunton.

Our delicious dessert. Sweet Potato Pie with chocolate chile sauce and maple whipped cream.

Would you come here on your honeymoon?

Where did you go on your honeymoon?

Bonus question: Have you ever had sex in a hot spring? Scratch that, I don’t want to know!

Off to Grand Junction Colorado. Sunday September 13, 2015

We had breakfast at Brush Creek and then we were off onto the next leg of our adventure. We saw some Sand Hill Cranes, at least Steve did, my eyes for bird watching are not as good as his are.

Then to add to our excitement we had a moose cross the highway in front of us! I was in such shock that I didn’t have a chance to take a picture of the moose! While we were discussing our near accident, we decided to check our luggage and make sure that the mule deer shed (antler) was secure. Nothing like having a pointy flying projectile ruin a wonderful road trip!

Lo and behold, it turns out that two of our large suitcases were missing. The fool wrangler at Bruch Creek who was assigned to put our luggage in the van didn’t bring everything down. So we had to turn around and go back to the ranch.

We then drove to Rock City to try to find wild mustangs. One of the staff at Brush Creek told us that it was a very interesting park. Seeing a gopher hole and Pilot Mesa was easier to find. We did find 4 out of the 1500 wild mustangs. The wildlife preserve was over 250,000 acres. So we were really lucky to see any.

To get this close to the horses you need to have a four wheel drive vehicle with plenty of road clearance and lots of free time. This we didn’t have so it was back in the van again.

Once on our way again we stopped at Flaming Gorge. Steve had vacationed here once with one of his brothers for a fishing trip. The dam impounds the Green River.

There were lots of boats that are launched here every day. The fish are constantly pounded by anglers of all kinds. Steve did not enjoy fishing on the Green River at all.

The dam rises 500 feet above bed rock impounding the Green River. It was created in 1964 to supply hydro electricity and supply water to the Colorado River Storage Project. An added bonus is the recreational aspect of boating and fishing.

Then we passed through the little town of Dutch John. Summer residents total about 250, and 150 in the winter.

Next stop was our trip to Dinosaur National Monument.

It was hot again and we were tired and cranky and had a long way to go so we only saw the movie. We did achieve a magnificent find of an Alaska license plate! We likely won’t get all 50 as Hawaii is really hard to get.

Our final stop of the day was Grand Junction Colorado. We had dinner at a great restaurant. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name so it will remain our secret.

I started with greens with feta cheese.

I had scallops with a vegetable spring roll while Steve had beef with french fries.

Dessert was called “The Bomb”. Chocolate mousse with a layer of something and then some chocolate stout beer foam. We finished it all!

When was the last time you saw a moose cross the highway?

Have you ever seen an Alaskan license plate?

Has anyone ever described you as “The Bomb”?

Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga Wyoming. Saturday September 12, 2015

I’m back! Did you miss me? I am continuing our road trip west.

Today would be our last day at Brush Creek Ranch. As usual I had breakfast by myself. Steve would be off fishing. I would do some riding. Buffets always yield unattractive plating!

Here is Steve’s guide checking out the water. You can tell that he is the guide as he has the net. Also if the guide were taking the picture he would either have the sport centered in the picture or on the left of the frame looking toward the river. I should stop complaining, and just be thankful that I have a picture of the beautiful stream!

While Steve fished I rode. I bought two shirts and one pair of jeans to wear while I rode. This shirt is a white buffalo plaid. Buffalo plaids are usually red and black. A new fun fact for you!

Below us you see the Artist Colony and some of the creek side cabins. We stayed in one of the Creekside cabins on one of our stays. Brush Creek invites artists (musicians, composers, photographers, painters) to stay for the season and create.

Now would be a great time to talk about the couple from last night, S and R. They live in the Denver area. She had an absolutely magic voice. Very cultured, with a very interesting accent. While we were waiting to start our ride I told her to keep her eyes out for one of the other guests as she had a three carat diamond. I was very impressed with the ring. I love diamonds. Even larger diamonds on someone else’s hand. There is a joke that a diamond can only be too big if it is on some else’s hand!

She smiled and told me that the ring was nice, but that the ring from her first husband was a 6 carat flawless stone. At that, I shut up but of course the wheels in my head started to spin. How would I be able so get the background story out of her? What was the backstory? Why would she dump him? Did he cheat on her? Did she find out he liked to play with the members of the other team? Was he dead?

I pondered this all afternoon on my next ride. I did lots of pondering as you can imagine!

Here is a beautiful fish from Steve’s fishing.

This is a rainbow trout. I think that it is a close up of the same fish, but who knows? Only Steve and his guide know! Steve caught 46 fish that day!

On my afternoon ride I found this beautiful deer shed. I am happy that we were going to drive back home as I don’t think that I would have been able to fit it in my suitcase!

Steve and I met back for dinner. This was my entree. It looks like it was polenta with elk tenderloin. It could be something else entirely also!

Dessert was a berry crumble.

So we met my new friends from my ride at the saloon before dinner. I asked them to join us for dinner. I have scrambled their faces to preserve their privacy. We met a new couple also. The couple at the far end of the table run a travel agency that specializes in hunting trips. Brush Creek has much to offer for those that like to shoot and hunt. The ranch used to have bison that were available to hunt , but the bison kept escaping and got in the neighbor’s fields. The neighbors were not very happy at that as the fences were ruined and the cattle were bothered. Bothered cattle do not bring happy cattle prices. So that very pricey hunting option had to be scrapped. The couple on the right, S are the couple that we met last night and I went on the ride with today. S is the owner of the six carat diamond.

Now for the tale of S and R. (Which I found out about during cocktail hour at the saloon, this was not something that was discussed at dinner. Who discusses their ex-husband during dinner?) R, the husband, was a senior Vice President for a very large mining, gas and oil development company. They live in the Denver area. He has traveled all around the world managing projects. S was studying to get her degree in social work. She was not in her twenties so this must have been a second career for her.

Now for the story. You will notice that I kind of jump right into my questions. That’s me! Some might think I am brusque, but I prefer to call it an efficient strategy.

“So how did you get a 6 carat flawless engagement ring? Was it a family heirloom?”

“My first husband was a Saudi Prince.”

“Oh.”

Yes, even I can be rendered speechless.

No, I did not ask if she was wife number 1, 2, or 3. Remember I do not ask every question I might want to know the answer to! Nor did I ask which Saudi Prince she had been married to. There happen to be 15,000!

Somehow the answers to some of my divorce questions came out (I did not ask what caused the divorce! It appears that not all of the Arab sheikh style of Harlequin romances have a happy ending in real life!) S lived in Switzerland for two years while the divorce was finalized. That is where her accent came from. It was a combination of upper crust English and a European component. I don’t know why it took two years, but the divorce did. As someone who has been happily married for over 40 years I don’t know nothing about divorces!

S kept all of the jewelry, and keeps it in the vault. She takes it out when she goes to black tie events. As the jewels are not from her current husband she is uncomfortable wearing them on her normal activities. I remarked that S might have been married to a prince, but now she is married to the Real Prince in her life! Isn’t that a romantic phrase? Perhaps I should write romance novels afterall!

Thus endeth our stay at Brush Creek Ranch. Remember how I mentioned previously that I stay in touch with some of the people we meet on our trips? On a trip years later, Steve and I did meet up with R and S!

Do you have any buffalo plaid shirts in your house?

Are you married to a Saudi Prince?

Instead of a third question I thought I would show you what a six carat diamond looks like! This was not her ring, I found it on the internet. You might be wondering what the price point for a 6 carat, D colored internally flawless diamond is…about $550,000. Now I don’t know if her diamond was internally flawless or not. That is still some hunk of change for a ring.

Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga Wyoming. Tuesday September 8, 2015

Steve went down to breakfast and it seemed that my email was received after all! Everything was “How are you Steve? I have your fishing all set up!”

Steve had originally arranged all his fishing before we had arrived at Brush Creek. When we were at the activities barn yesterday all his requests were missing, and we were not sure that he was going to be able to fish the water that he had wanted to fish. I had mentioned this in the email yesterday to the VP also, complaining that Steve was having problems with scheduling the week’s fishing. Well, today it was all a different story! The fishing schedule was all rearranged, and Steve was going to be able to fish when and where he wanted to.

In fact, although we were not going to be moved into a cabin, a king size bed was going to be moved across the hall and we would be moved there and have quiet Mountain views. I don’t often complain, Steve and I have a tendency to vote with our feet. However in this case, I was pretty riled up and did complain. I thought that if we were moved across the hall I would be happier.

If I don’t see that an accommodation can be made, I decide to vote with my feet and also warn others about the type of service that they might get. I don’t feel that I owe any business my review. I only let businesses that I like hear about how they might make changes. I think the perfect job for me would be a paid luxury hotel consultant who is a secret stayer. Instead I am a luxury hotel consultant who pays to stay at hotels and gives the hotels my free advice!

This is one of the reasons we keep coming back. A 20 inch brown on the Encampment.

This is Cheyenne the horse that I rode today. There is so much to remember! Shoulders back, chest open, seat firm, hold reins like an ice cream cone, let the horse know who is boss, don’t let him eat grass, lean forward going up hills, lean back going down hills, when you post go up and down faster. If you are hitting the saddle hard it is because you are too slow for the beat, look ahead, not down, sit up like a girl, not slumping like a guy-they are protecting their equipment! Too much too remember but having fun anyway.

This was where I hung out before lunch. Can you believe I got a little sun burn? It’s the high elevation and poorly applied sunscreen!

Dessert from lunch today. I forgot to take pictures of the buffet. Oh well.

Steve came back from fishing on the Encampment to spend lunch with me. He caught three rainbow trout and a 20 inch brown trout. A good morning for him.

After lunch he spent the rest of the afternoon on Brush Creek fishing. He caught 16 brown trout ranging from seven to sixteen inches. All in all a good day.

Once again, I forgot to take dinner pictures.

Dessert. Bread pudding with coffee ice cream and some other stuff. I showed restraint.

Was today’s post too short?

Do you like to ride?

Do you ride Western or English? Are there more differences than shinier boots when you ride English?

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!

I was a little nervous about the Pork Chops as they were served medium rare. One of the guests at dinner was in the nutrition industry and told me that the new guidelines state that pork does not have to be served at the higher temperatures anymore. It still unnerves me to eat pork that is not cooked thoroughly. The dry meat doesn’t bother me too much as I like my pork chops with lots of apple sauce anyway!

Rolls baked with butter inside. Does that mean I can’t put more butter on them?

Creamy barley with minced carrots. Unfortunately I have. been unable to find a recipe for this tasty dish.

Salad with avocado. I hate avocado. Too slimy.

Zucchini. My portion controlled plate. I did not eat all the meat, I was saving room for dessert!

Local peach pie for dessert served family style. By the time the pie got to me it was half gone. Did I care? Not one bit. Did you know that Colorado has a number of fruit orchards? I didn’t! You have to have vanilla ice cream to go with your fresh pie!

I did not eat all of this ice cream. It was for the table.

What is your favorite type of candy?

Do you think Avocados are slimy?

What flavor pie is your favorite?

Coyhaique, Chile Sunday January 8, 2017

Good Morning!

A beautiful breakfast spread.

I need to photoshop out the little bit of scrambled egg that escaped!

Here is a beautiful mural on leather in the dining room. The artist projected the design unto the hide and then scraped off the hair.

We are to go on a hike with K and Juan. Off we go through the gates.

A beautiful view. I am told that an even better view is only thirty minutes more of a walk. Will I make it?

Five minutes past the last picture and I change my mind. The part of me that says an eight mile hike is not my idea of a vacation says “yes!”, that is my throne, and it awaits me! K and our guide Juan will hike for another twenty five minutes to see the view.

My view. 4965 steps is enough for me. I will have 4965 steps on my return.

Lo and behold a hearty group of mountain bikers chug up the hill. Hola! They are past me before I realized what a great shot I could have had. This is them farther up the hill.

C and I returned back to the lodge for lunch.

Potatoes and chicken.

Salad.

Dessert.

I settled down with a book while C went hiking again.

What was under my book? In the coffee table was a display of flies.

Around 5pm a beautiful rainbow appeared.

It’s time for a Pisco sour!

Here is Julio offering me some empanadas!

The mushrooms were not pickled, but warm and sautéed in spices.

The bar in the dining room was very interesting.

Soup with conger, which is a fish, not an eel, although it looks like an eel.

Hearts of palm, corn, asparagus and some tough beef.

Currant mousse, with crumbly pieces of meringue. It was way too sweet for me, but several guests finished it!

What’s your step goal for the day?

Do you wear a helmet when you ride a bike?

Shouldn’t all watermelon be seedless?