Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga Wyoming. Friday September 11, 2015

Today would be a special day for me as Steve was going to spend the whole day with me! After breakfast we were going to the gun range and then we were going to go to Robber’s Roost on a trail ride.

This was the set up for the rifle shooting. The rifle was placed on the little bean bag for stability.

Here is Steve getting instructions on how to shoot at the fake prairie dogs.

Next it was my turn.

Steve is getting instructions on the shot gun.

Here is Steve shooting at the targets with the shot gun. As my shoulders couldn’t lift the shot gun, only Steve did this.

My turn with the long guns. We didn’t shoot at the closer targets with these long guns. The closer targets were used with the pistols.

Next is was Steve’s turn to shoot the long range rifle.

Here is a better view of the targets. I think they got painted every night.

These are the types of guns that were available, and the corresponding ammunition.

I enjoyed using the pistol. It is much lighter than the other weapons! Our first year the instructor let my use his personal pistol. It had a laser which made it a lot easier for me to aim at the target. I still did very well with the pistol.

Here we are all done with our shooting lessons.

It was nice having lunch with Steve. Usually I am on my own.

Cookies for dessert!

Here I am all saddled up and ready to ride with Steve. Of course you wouldn’t know if this picture was taken after our ride and I was using the fence to hold my self up!

Here is our guide retelling the story of how this lookout got it’s name. I think any high point gets the name of Robber’s Roost out in the west!

The view from the top of Robber’s Roost is tremendous!

Trying to get the horses to poses for a picture can be difficult!

Here are some nice pictures of Steve and I coming down the mountain.

Dinner tonight was Creekside. There was a big barbecue. It was much different than previous nights as the weekend crowd included a lot of families. We had been spoiled with the ranch being mostly adults only the previous days.

Nevertheless we had a fun time. We met a couple from Denver. They had very exotic accents. Hopefully I will find out tomorrow where they are from!

Do you think Steve should grow his beard back?

Do you think I will find out more about the couple we had dinner with?

Do you have a normal accent or an exotic accent?

What do you think makes an accent exotic?

Brush Creek Ranch, Wyoming. Thursday September 10, 2015

No breakfast pictures today. Instead it’s straight to archery. I think this is where I really realized how bad my shoulders are. I couldn’t draw the bow back at all to shoot. I had fun watching though!

Then it was back to the lodge for lunch. Salad, salmon and wagyu sliders.

Dessert was Apple Brown Betty and lemon bars.

Then it was off for a ride with a male wrangler. All comments are kept to myself! Although I might add that he had a nice seat. Ha Ha!

We forded some streams.

Then on the way back we saw the yurts where you can have a massage in the middle of the meadow.

Then it was back to meet Steve for dinner. Steve had a bit of a slow day and only caught 4 fish. None were picture worthy, so no pictures for you!

Caesar salad for a starter.

Then chicken for our entree.

No dessert pictures for you!

Was this blog post too short?

Are some posts too long?

Do you have arthritis in your neck shoulders and hips like I do?

Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga Wyoming. Wednesday September 9, 2015

More from our 6500 cross country road trip in 2015. Enjoy!

Breakfast with a view. The main lodge at the ranch has music going through their sound system every morning. This is my favorite set!

Breakfast. A little of this, and a little of that.

Breakfast is served on the patio outside. The heat lamps are nice in case it gets cold.

I went for fishing lessons with Trey. Steve had fished several times with Trey before and found him to be a great guide. Steve and I agreed that it would be good that instead of his trying to teach me someone else should try to help me with my casting. After I got the hang of it Trey went to another part of the pond to try and catch some fish himself. After noticing that he was getting no action whatsoever I told him that we should go back to the lodge. I figured that if he was not catching anything, then surely I would not also! Nil for the morning. I am hoping that shooting will be easier. Just aim at the target and fire!

Back at the lodge I had lunch by myself.

Meanwhile Steve was out with his guide. He caught one beautiful fish.

He had lunch here.

There are tee-pees for kids to play in when there are group dinners.

It is a pretty spot to visit.

Here is another large fish that he caught after lunch. Steve ended up catching 18 fish for the day. The two largest fish were 17 inches.

After lunch I went riding.

Later we had cocktails at Falcon Peak. This duo plays at many Brush Creek evenings. They are married and have great voices. Singing together a long time they harmonize well.

Don’t we make a cute couple? The answer is “Yes!”

There were lots of shrimp and crab legs to eat.

A sundown picture.

This one is a little better.

Back at the lodge we had a lovely dinner. Dinner included fried polenta and smoked prime rib. It was served buffet style.

The good-watermelon, the bad-fried bananas, with caramel sauce and whipped cream which looked a little bit ugly.

I scraped my plate clean.

Then it was to the campfire for some s’mores.

If I worked outside the house I could have this picture on my desk!

Perhaps Steve would want this picture on his desk.

Did you recognize the song in the video?

How do you like shrimp, boiled or fried?

Do you think my breasts look deformed?

Copal Tree Lodge, Punta Gorda. Thursday January 9, 2020

Today’s excellent adventure will take us to Nim Li Punit. Or big hat. But first big breakfast.

Look who will be joining me for today’s excellent adventure?

Yes, Big Steve had enough fishing and decided to spend the day with me! Good thing I wasn’t planning on having an affair with the pool boy, I would have been caught!

I had fried eggs for breakfast.

Steve had scrambled eggs.

My plate of fruit.

Some decorative Mayan mask artwork at the Lodge.

Sugar cane.

We had about a 45 minute drive to Nim Li Punit. Most of the commentary will be of Nim Li and afterward. The drive there was very uneventful.

Somewhere near here is where the zip line adventure that the other couple went on yesterday happens. I won’t be participating in that type of adventure at all. I did it once in Wyoming at Brush Creek Ranch, and that was enough for me. The couple that zip lined yesterday were going horseback riding today, as it was her turn to pick the adventure. I hope they have fun and it doesn’t rain much! I also don’t think they will need liquid courage for the horse back ride.

This was the turn off to Nim Li.

I think this was the only big hat that we would see for the morning!

A little bit of the history of Nim Li Punit.

Even more information from the museum.

Some arrowheads and other tools.

A clay pot.

More artifacts.

Here is Steve standing next to one of the Stela or pillars. You can see how tall it was. As the description states it was well preserved as it was lying in mud.

We never really did see anything that looked like the big hat.

This structure was all rebuilt. The archeologists believe that the rulers lived in this area. The area supported a farming community of about 5-7 thousand people.

Tree of very shiny bark.

Many of the stones were lying in piles like this. The restoration of the site was from piles such as these.

Desmond told us that several churches and municipal buildings in the area were built from materials from archeological sites, before they realized that such historical areas should not be mined for building materials.

More yapping.

This is the ball court. It has been restored. It did not look this good when the area was discovered in 1976.

As I got really hot I told Steve I wanted to go back to the visitor center and I would meet Steve and Desmond there. I left Steve and Desmond discussing the lives of the ancient people.

On my way back the ladies under the canopy called to me, asking me to look at their wares for sale. I didn’t need anything and I hate to bargain, so I just ignored them.

I made it back to the visitor center and was eagerly looking forward to sitting on the bench. Hmm, looks like I need to take a rain check on some bench sitting!

The bathrooms were surprisingly nice.

The lady on the bench finally got off and I could share it with her. She had a big blister on her foot from walking for three hours the previous day. Or was it 3 miles? No matter, she was in bad shape.

We are done now so off we go, downhill to the Land Rover.

Can you find the hornet’s nest in the tree?

I forgot what this tree was, but it had no leaves. The leaves come out after the dry season is over in May.

Now this is an especially bad picture, but I took it to show you that on a clear day you could see the ocean from here.

We were shocked to see a turkey in this yard!

Coconuts waiting in a tree, ready to drop and konk someone on the head. Lucky for me I was safe in the Land Rover.

This is a traditional style house with a door on each side and no windows. Houses with windows did not occur until Europeans arrived. Which reminded me of a funny story from when we were in Africa. James our Masai Guide wore red plaid blankets. He wore them in a toga and skirt style. I asked him why the Masai men did not wear pants. I jokingly asked if they did not get the memo about men wearing pants! I told this story to Desmond. We agreed that the Mayans did not get the memo about windows until the Europeans came to Belize!

I never did see any Mennonites, but there are many who live here. They came in the 1980’s. They are the old style who shun everything modern, and then there is the progressive branch that use electricity, etc.

Follow the signs for lunch!

Lunch was at Coleman’s. Duh!

Mrs. Coleman was the owner. Her husband died last year. They were both from India. I wasn’t sure how the name Coleman came about.

The lunch was a buffet.

The $20 was Belizean dollars. That worked out to $10 US.

My plate, a little of everything.

I finished my plate. There was a sign that said extra charge if you didn’t clean your plate!

All that was left were the bones! I had no desire to be in a Belizian jail!

Many flavors of ice cream to choose from.

I was curious what sweet corn tasted like!

We each chose coffee. It was really good. One of us probably should have gotten chocolate and then we should have mixed it together!

Do you remember Baskin and Robbins? My favorite flavor was Jamocha Almond Fudge!

Good bye Coleman’s! We are off to the waterfall.

There were many half finished houses. When people get enough money they continue construction.

Desmond told us that the reason there was no jungle here was due to the swamp land.

We did see some cows.

This house was interesting. Half was in the style of the local Indian People. Half was a more European style. Notice the Satellite dish!

I spy a gaucho!

Rio Blanco. River white. When the rains come it has a lot of white water! Not now.

The Orvis group was already here!

Some people follow the yellow brick road, we followed the brown dirt path.

I liked this plant.

This little red berry is from the Copal Tree.

The path was under construction. No one better run, trip, and then stab themselves!

I looked hot and bedraggled. I was!

First Desmond jumped off of this rock.

“Right there! That is where I am going to jump from!”, Desmond said!

Then he wanted to go off of the waterfall. He scared me by taking way too long to come up!

This is where Desmond jumped off.

I wanted Steve to be careful! The clinic was over 30 minutes away.

Steve kept telling me to be careful. He did not want me slipping on the rocks either. There was a greater chance of me slipping than him!

In case you don’t want to click on the video, here is a still.

The Orvis team was working on their final shots for the catalog of the models on the bridge just hanging out as models do. They even had a drone to take pictures.

On the Orvis crew there was a stylist, photographer, assistant photographer, plus three other people who had various jobs.

Steve makes his way across the bridge. Watch your step Steve!

Steve and Desmond are discussing which one of them will jump off the bridge. Just kidding, it is Desmond who will jump! Actually, Steve was tempted, but then he remembered he is too old for that sort of thing.

Here is a video of Desmond jumping off the bridge!

On my way over the bridge. No, I will not jump off of it!

Here I am standing halfway across the bridge. I was so nervous. I hate heights.

Those are all the Orvis models on the right. You will see them in next summer’s catalog. The models had lots of tattoos. I asked one of the crew if they were going to airbrush the tattoos when the catalog was published. He did not know as they were still working on that decision. I will have to wait until this summer to find out about the status of the tattoos!

I made it back!

No one was too sure how many people the bridge would support. Oh well, at least no one from our group caused the bridge to collapse.

The parties break apart, the Orvis photo shoot group is off for the waterfall, while we head back.

Look how the ants have eaten away on the long leaves in the middle of the picture.

Good thing Desmond was wearing quick dry clothes!

We make our way back to the Land Rover, then it will be back to the Lodge and libations!

But first, more pictures!

Look how big the leaves grow in the jungle!

This growth is only about nine months old!

The photo shoot crew got the air conditioned van.

Steve is heading back to the Land Rover. Flaps were down because of the rain.

We leave the photo shoot and head back to the lodge.

See that white spot in the mountains? That is where the caving adventure occurs. A hike up the mountain. Then a break for lunch. Then head lamps are put on, and the swimming part of the trip occurs. People must swim in the mountain! The stream flows from the top of the mountain, into the mountain where the stream continues and then out the other side. The adventurers go on another hike to the van and back to the lodge for a stiff drink and many happy and tired faces. Desmond, our guide for the day enjoys it thoroughly. It’s not for me! I don’t even want to hear about it!

The mountains are made of limestone. When the rock erodes they form sharp peaks.

Back home most of the mountains are granite which erodes to rounder mountain tops.

We were told that the corn was grown, and then left in the fields to be harvested later. There was a lot of slash and burn agriculture.

I asked Desmond what the extra gear shift was for. He decided to show me by taking us on a short cut.

These flowers were lovely.

Desmond did not hit any chickens but it was close!

Remember when I mentioned earlier about the extra gear shift box? It was needed for this hill!

Desmond told us that these are sheds that cocoa pods are dried in.

There didn’t appear to be anything in them today.

Finally we made it back to the turn off for the Lodge. The lodge was about a mile up the road.

When we came back from our outing I told Ducky I needed a drink to go with my cake. He made me some kind of punch drink. I did not like it and asked for more juice in it. The cake didn’t need anything. It was like a banana bread.

Here is a map of the resort. We as you all know were in room 9. Last year we were up in the Signature Canopy Suites in room 15. They have since fixed the air conditioning so they are much cooler. Someday I hope to check out the family villa. Steve and I can then play hide and seek. LOL!

Bunny and Jack were in room 12. I told them that it was the honeymoon suite because it was all the way on the end and nice and private. Jack is 80 and Bunny is 76. They had a good laugh at that!

Steve and I like to have our dinner early. There are two seatings at Copal, one at 6 and one at 7:30. We convinced Bunny and Jack to have dinner with us at 6. I was not prompt as Jack wanted dinner later, so I thought they would be late. When we came to dinner we were in the downstairs bar looking for them at 6:10. I told Steve that we should check upstairs in case they were there already. Yes! They were waiting for us! They were wondering where we were! Bunny and Jack were on time and we were the late ones! They did not hold a grudge and had dinner with us!

Here are the Birds of Paradise near the upstairs bar. The Christmas trees were taken down on January 6.

These might have been something else as they don’t really look like the other Birds of Paradise arrangements!

We sat down to dinner and I noticed a young couple at the table next to us. They were holding hands. I asked them if they were on their honeymoon and they said “Yes!” So of course I thought that a picture of them holding hands would be great for the blog!

I wasn’t crazy how my picture turned out as they moved their hands and they weren’t holding hands any more so I got them to get up and move into the other room where I didn’t need flash on my camera!

I posed their hands in a much more romantic fashion. What good sports they were! They probably thought I was nuts! Her diamond is set in a halo style. That is a very popular setting now a-days. I would not get my ring set in that style because I think it will look very dated in a few years. That or it will stay popular. I think the jewelers like it because it uses many diamonds and the jeweler therefore makes more money. But what do I know?

Turns out that they had gotten married in November but had just gotten to go on their honeymoon this week. I’m like “huh?” She mentioned something about children and busy lives, I zipped it right up, not asking them how old the children were and why had they just gotten around to getting married, were they kids from other marriages? You know the drill by now. Lots of personal questions of people. Sometimes I am very good and don’t ask questions. This was one of those times. He did have a very short haircut and I asked him if he was in the military. He said “Yes” and was based in Southern California. I asked if her was a Navy Seal (primarily because I had just read a sexy romance about a Navy Seal). He was not a Navy Seal, but a helicopter pilot. As he was not a sexy Seal, but a Sexy helicopter pilot I didn’t have much more to say. Not when I have sexy Steve to look at! Do you think SS will buy me something nice for saying that? Let’s hope so! I must admit that sexy Steve just gives me a coupon that states I can buy a nice piece of jewelry. He knows that whatever he buys me will get returned for something that I want. He will admit that anytime I buy him something he returns it also for something that he wants.

My drink tonight was a Dark and Stormy. In Bermuda they are quite popular.

Our amuse bouche was some kind of roll up of turkey and lettuce and what looked like Russian dressing. I was the only one who really didn’t care for it.

I asked for a garden salad, as I didn’t care for any of the other starters.

Steve and Jack had the sweet potato soup. Does that look like a game of tic tac toe?

Bunny had the conch fritters. They were tasty.

We all had the pan seared snook for dinner. It came with steamed garlic veggies, garlic butter cream sauce and baked potato. I didn’t dip my potato in the garlic butter cream sauce but I am sure that it would really have tasted good.

I think Bunny had the coconut ice cream with caramel sauce.

Or it was Jack. One of them had the chocolate ice cream with caramel sauce.

Steve had the cake with caramel sauce.

I had the Mayan Chocolate Budino again.

After dinner we hung out at the bar again. Now this is somehting that Steve and I rarely do, but I wanted to keep up with Bunny and Jack. We will miss them when we go home tomorrow. I hope to visit them again soon, but Oklahoma is a long way from home!

That is Ducky in the back. I told him to make sure that he photobombed our picture!

Would you have jumped off the waterfall?

Would you have jumped off the bridge?

Have you ever been to Oklahoma?

Steve told me last night that he wished he would have jumped off the waterfall. I told him if you jump off the rocks in Lake George, then you can jump off the waterfall in Belize. I sure hope he decides not to do it. I would like to continue my conjugal relations with him!

Copal Tree Lodge, Punta Gorda Belize. Wednesday January 8, 2020

Good morning! Today you and I will learn all about making chocolate!

Let’s have some watermelon juice first!

Pancakes with chocolate, banana and toasted coconut! That is butter and not scrambled eggs on top of the pancakes!

This couple was going to go on a zip line. She was having an alcoholic drink while we waited for the Land Rover to arrive! Like me, she does not like heights. She was very much afraid to go on the zip line, but she told her partner that she would do it!

I was dropped off at the chocolate building where I met my guide for the cocoa growing steps. I needed no alcohol to learn about making chocolate!

First we see the flowers and the beginning of the cocoa pod on the cocoa tree.

The pod continues to grow.

Eventually the pod reaches a stage where it is ready to be picked.

The full grown pod is quite large.

What’s the inside of a cocoa pod like? The cocoa pod is split open to show us.

The cocoa beans have a very slimy coating. The beans and the slimy coating will ferment during the cocoa making process and then the beans are put on racks to dry in a shed.

I put one of the seeds in my mouth, the bean was quite sweet. I am not dead yet, so you can tell that it is safe to eat! It was gooey though!

These big leaves cover the cocoa pods in the drying sheds.