Spring in the Rockies

Columbines blooming in the yard – our landscaping work paying off.
We got a permit to relocate 2 Ponderosa Pines from a specific area in the San Juan National Forest as part of fire mitigation.
It was hard work but we are looking forward to giving them a new home.
Character Pine in the front yard – we love the curled trunk!
The one in the back is being appreciated by a forest friend.
Time to play! Time to explore Vallecito Resevoir
We found a nice campsite, wooded but a view of the Vallecito Resevoir.
Lots of wetland areas where river flows into the Vallecito Resevoir.
How many goslings? Will they all grow up to be Canada Geese?
We thought we would try Heron State Park in New Mexico. We were not expecting it to be this dry!
But looks like rain is in the forecast – tomorrow we will kayak Heron Lake.
Rain gives us Gorgeous Spring Flowers!

Muskegon, MI Area with Mom

Japanese Garden area in Beautiful Mejeir Gardens near Grand Rapids was our first stop taking Mom on a mini-vacation.

The Zen garden with wonderful raked patterns

There are a lot of sculptures that are a permanent collection.

Appreciating all the colors on a warm autumn day.

Mom with Deborah Butterfield’s Cabin Creek bronze horse looking very natural in the tall grasses.

Sunset from our suite at Shoreline Inn in Muskegon. Mom had lots of reward points that were expiring so we stayed in style. Thanks Mom!

Mother and Daughter at Holland State Park.

We had a great day-trip to Holland and enjoyed many of the waterfront areas.

Sunset on Lake Michigan before returning to the hotel.

A day-trip to Grand Haven to enjoy another light house along Lake Michigan.

Artistic angle as we walked under the catwalk to the end of the pier.

Picnic lunch along Grand Haven River before it empties into Lake Michigan.

The restaurant patio at the hotel looked very inviting so we went down for an early dinner.

Look at the whitefish dinner. WOW. Gorgeous and Yummy. Enough for leftovers the next night.

Another sunset at Pierre Marquette city park in Muskegon.

Our next day trip was heading a bit north to the White River Light Station.

Picnic lunch at the Muskegon River with the submarine museum floating in the back ground.

Forth beautiful sunset melting into Lake Michigan – such a treat for all of us.

Japanese Garden Project

Time to use those kayak arm muscles to move rocks.First of 3 loads of local rock we had delivered. We had some of the boulders moved as well per the architect’s directions.

Templates made of cardboard first to get the dimensions worked out.

Shapes were then cut out of particle board to make concrete form.

Looking good…This just might work!

Wrapped in plastic, concrete was hand mixed and pushed into crevices.

The unveiling a week later shows the close match of concrete colors/textures with the rocks.

Lakeside view showing how bridges starts thicker, goes thinner as it springs out of the rock.

Seven tons of pea gravel are delivered to create the pond.View from living room after we have added a few plants.

The bridge ends at an island which we hope to feature a character pine.

A rake creates the wave patterns that enhance all the island places.


Independence Day Thoughts around Twin Lakes

This used to be Hunter Pass before Gold was discovered in them there hills. Leadville was already a boom town and this was the toll road to Aspen.

4 July 1879, three years after Colorado became the Centennial State, gold was found here at the base of Independence Mountain.

One of the famous people to live in Aspen, the John Denver Memorial Garden along the Roaring Fork river is a pleasant place to visit.

Colorado’s second official state song, since 2007 – probably because it seems like the most iconic. It has some pretty nice lyrics.

A good hiking song – Sunshine on My Shoulders.

Did you know the Colorado Trail is No. 1776 – how All American is that? We were on a hike to the Lily Ponds and some surrounding beaver ponds.

Our first wild columbines for the season. “Where The Columbines Grow” is the first official state song of Colorado, but hardly anyone knows the words.

These are the beaver ponds – we did not see any lilies.

The Haute Route: Mavic Rockies, a European ride’s only US route, rode right by our camp site. How cool is that!!!

We had our bikes on the MINI ready to do a shorter ride of our own. This group rode 102 miles from Avon to Snowmass, of which we were about the half way point.

Leadville is where many made their money on silver and it was the second largest city after Denver, in the day.

This Mineral Belt Trail is a great paved trail looping around the city. We stopped in to tour the Matchless Mine, where “Baby Doe” Tabor held on until her last breath – even tho the mine had not been producing $1,000 a day for quit a while.

Horace Tabor spent his earnings and built the Tabor Opera House (and also one in Denver) where we enjoyed the 101st Army Concert Band on their 80th Anniversary Tour. Very patriotic music. Our friends are very involved in the preservation of the Tabor Opera House.

On the 4th, we walked around Mt Elbert Forebay Reservoir. Wow – what a beautiful day! The 14er’s are La Plata to the left, Mt Elbert in the center and Mt Massive in the back on the right .

We created our own Fire Works and had a pleasant evening after our hamburgers and ice cream bars.

There was a lot of smoke in the air, not just from our fire but it gave a very eerie calmness to the night. We thought of rockets red glare giving proof that we are still here! We are sorry tho to hear that there are many wildfires in Colorado this season.

Michigan Visits


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Visitng family and friends – and a class reunion. It is very hot!

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The architects

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The new Frederick Meyer Japanese gardens with fun sculptures

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Beautiful reflections…

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Not a selfie!

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How far did we walk to see this Caulder sculpture? How many times has Mom done the walk? Ha! At least we got to relax for a nice water front lunch. Also we toured the recently renovated Gerald Ford Museum…did not see any mention of Vail.

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Some 1950 Fords – what fun colors!

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More fun reflections…

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Cherries and blueberries and sweet corn. Yum! We are eating well 😉

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High School friend took us around Crystal lake – fun to relax there and hang out!

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A wonderful 101 year old friend of the family and his daughter – how fun it was to visit and give a hug.

On the road again

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Colorado National Monument. We brought the MINI here and didn’t want any sibling rivalry. It is truly a favorite

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To have views like this! So glad it was preserved.

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The family car wash…the van also got oil change, tires rotated and balanced as well as the starter switch recall. In Grand Junction, it had a new Auto Transfer Switch installed so we can now use shore power. Nice to make sure the warranty work gets taken care of in a timely manner.

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An evening with friends. It is difficult to make time for everything but we have tried to organize a few quality visits as all of our friends are important to us!

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After a night with my other nephew’s family in Kansas, we came across the geographical center of the contiguous states near Lebanon.

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This is the actual spot but a ranger told us it is really about 200′ from here in the corn field. Close enough for me.

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We homesteaded in Beatrice and then headed to the state capitol of Nebraska – gorgeous building

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Sterling J Morton was the author of Arbor Day and there is the beautiful Steinhart park next to his historic home in Nebraska City.

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We thought we would lunch along the Missouri River and found this replica of the Louis and Clark keel boat (the one made for the IMAX movie)

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Look Meriwether! So interesting to contemplate their journey.

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This makes our Travato look spacious – and definitely not as much work.

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Really nice to visit family along the way. Such gracious hospitality!

Remember when you were Six

Why not go in the water? I am sure there is something interesting in there – especially with my brother to assist me.

And there were chickens to feed – I am sure they like grass!


Don’t you wish you were climbing around with me?



I had to run through the sprinklers so my second set of clothes are now wet. But don’t you love me anyways?

This was our day at Chatfield.


Tohono Chul Botanic Park

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Beautiful Sunday afternoon stroll. It is wonderful this acreage has been preserved with all the development closing in on it’s boundaries.

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The cloud trail adds to the beauty of this scene.

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Foreshadowing of things to come at the Denver Botanic Gardens: “The nature of Horses”. The white cups are to protect the cactus tips from frost damage.

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Unbelievable!!!!!!!!!! Taken from the parking lot of our condo a culmination of 20 minutes of photographing.