Mountain roadtrip on a hot day

May 23, 2010 at 6:14 am (Random Thoughts, The Serious Stuff, Uncategorized) (, )

Today was unusually hot for up here, so spouse and I got subs from the local shop and headed up higher.

We headed up the road for Mount Evans – Here’s a view of the Continental Divide on the way up- Mount Evans itself is closed, but Echo Lake is there to see.  We stopped at the Echo Lake Lodge for a quick break, and then went to the end of the lake to eat our lunch.  Tons of people doing the same thing we were – heading up out of the sudden heat.

There were a lot of cyclists too – one guy decided that the double yellow line didn’t mean him – he almost hit us coming around a blind curve on the way up – luckily, *I* was paying attention and slowed, and he stopped messing with his pocket and got himself into the right lane.

Though you can’t really see it in this picture, the lake still has quite a layer of ice on it.

Echo Lake comes right up to the road – in this picture, you can clearly see the ice.

We continued on, ended up on Fall River Road, and found the towns of Alice and Silver Lake.  This is what is left of the original town site of Alice:

The Alice School house, which appears to be still in use.  that is a mine car out in front.

Other buildings that appear to be left from the original town of Alice.

Yet another cabin from the town of Alice.

We continued on up, and came to Silver Lake. You can see Saint Mary’s Glacier from the townsite, over the top of Silver Lake.

Yet another lake still full of ice!  Yet the creek running out of the lake is currently so deep, that unless you have a truck, you aren’t getting to the other side of towm. Thus dead ended, we headed back out, only to see this at the side of the road:

There it was, just hiding in the trees of this part of national forest.  I was baffled.  We actually turned around to get a picture of it.

Proof that there are still working mines:

Check out the tailings around and over this house – pretty typical for the area, actually.  You wanted to live on the property you were mining if you were unable to afford employees.

So off to Georgetown- here’s the bottle house. It also has a small one room store, filled with – you guessed it, bottles and other glass.

I found it so interesting, I got closeups of all the road side windows. I wonder if she has bottles and glass in every window.

We wandered about town a little – found a really great store. I was clearly the general store in the past – and so the plaque outside says – and the store is still being run as mostly a general store even now! The sign outside says “specialty foods”  but I was thrilled to find standard grocery items as well. When I spoke with the woman, she said it helps people out, keeps them from having to drive to Idaho Springs. (there’s no other grocery in Georgetown.)  It was very cool to see this display:

Sadly, the picture is kind of blurry, but it is a display of the old spices that haven’t sold – it was neat to see the old packaging.  And right next door is the second half of the store, filled with all kinds of products from the past, even back to the founding of the first store.  sadly, you can’t go in, but we peeked through the windows and took some pictures. there is even a unique ladder system on a roller attached to the ceiling.  I’m going to go back and see if I can interview the woman for an article, and get a real look inside the other half of the store!

 To end the day, we came back to town, had Baskin Robbins while watching the ducks and the mating dance of young teens across the creek, and then came home, tired out and slightly sunburned.

All in all, a wonderful day and a great escape from the sudden heat.


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Using EL Wire in costumes

May 23, 2010 at 5:33 am (Other Artsy Fun) (, , )

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Picture of the day – total win

May 20, 2010 at 6:19 pm (Best of the Best - My Favorites, Humor too funny to NOT share)

 Need I say more?

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Signs of spring under the snow

May 14, 2010 at 5:12 pm (The Serious Stuff, Uncategorized) (, , , )

Even though it snowed here again, and for days now (and feet in some areas), earlier in the week, I saw some lovely signs of spring.

I drive my son to his school early in the morning – we have to be there by 5:45am so he can get the bus to the tech school he attends half day.  Under the eaves of the school, right near the library, swallows nest.  I sat and watched at least 30 swallows dive in and out, chasing the bugs Monday and Tuesday mornings.

On Monday afternoon, husband found a patch of pasque flowers in my side yard, in clumps rather than single like normal.

Upon arriving home at 6 am on Tuesday morning, I was surrounded by foxes!  The mountain area where I live used to be home to fox ranches for fur at the turn of the century; during the Depression, they shut down and most just released their remaining foxes into the wild, so this area has more than it’s normal share of foxes.

Now my yard is a bit odd – I have two driveways, since we have a corner lot. The first driveway goes to the garage.  The second is a semi-circle drive – comes in on the side road, and out on the main road.  The roads are dirt, so is the driveway, with large pines to either side of the drive and out at the road.

I pull into the second driveway, and see in front of me a fox standing in the driveway. To his right, there is another fox that popped up out of the culvert, and another even further to the right is yet another in the main part of the yard.

So I quickly turn off the car, and just sit. They stare at me for a moment,and then go back to their business.  The one to the left is hunting in the side yard.  After a few minutes, he gets bored and heads on down the road toward my back yard.  The one at the culvert is determined – keeps digging it out, first one end and then the other (on less summer chore for me!)  The third is happily standing on the stone circle in my yard, surveying the yard.  Suddenly he pounces, and comes up with a nice sized vole in his mouth!  He jumps back on the stone circle, ready to eat, but then sees more movement in the yard and tucks is first kill inside the stone circle, and chasing through the yard some more.

Circle fox(I’ll call him that because he spent most of his time perched on that circle) comes back, retrieves his vole, and eats it. Then he goes to help his culvert digging mate, standing at the other side of the culvert.  Something suddenly darts out of the culvert, and the  Culvert fox is after it, but misses it as it darts through the fence in the neighbor’s yard.  Circle fox returns to the rocks, and then eventually heads out across the yard, going around the far side.  The Culvert fox gives up and follows his friend.

20 minutes after arriving home, I get out of the car, happy to have seen these signs of spring.

Now, after snow starting on Tuesday afternoon, and continuing through this morning, the sun is finally out and snow is rapidly melting, even though we are supposed to get more snow this evening, spring is finally here.

The dogs barking at the ground squirrels through the window tell me so.

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Keep your kids reading this summer

May 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm (Best of the Best - My Favorites) (, , )

Barnes and Noble has launched a new program starting May 25th – if your kids read eight books, document them through the Barnes and Noble website form, and take these forms to a local B&N store, they get a free book (from a list of preselected titles).  You can do this as many times as you like throughout the summer – the program will end September 7th.

Here’s the link to the Barnes and Noble page that gives the full details – get to reading!

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