Monday, September 30, 2013

2013 NewFO Challenge - September Update

Our traveling turned into an adventure. In mid-September, we left Estes Park, Colorado, due to the Colorado floods. At first we thought we were safe but then had to evacuate. It is really a good thing we left when we did - we were extremely fortunate. The only way we could go out of Estes Park was west over the Continental Divide. We spent the first two nights in Grand Lake, CO. Since we were headed to Jackson, WY where Ray had a photography workshop, we moved on to Steamboat Springs, CO for a few days. Then we arrived in Jackson right on time. We left Jackson a day early due to the first storm of the season - 16-18" of snow was expected!

We have just arrived home. Needless to say,  I haven't done a lot of sewing in the last month, but I did start a couple projects.

The NewFO Challenge with Barbara over at Cat Patches is easy to do - just start a new project each month! You may want to stop on over and see what everyone else has started this month. While you are there, check out Barbara's blog. She was also vacationing in Estes Park and left the same day we did because of the flooding!

I have this baby girl quilt started. What is it going to look like? Well, I'm not sure! I bought a kit when we were in Shipshewana in May, but the kit doesn't go with the pattern and the pattern is rather difficult to understand. So, I'm winging it! I do like the colors. I need a large cutting table and ruler so I was at a stand-still until we got home.

I also started this baby boy quilt. When it was time to sew the rows together, I was frantically packing to get away from the flooding. 

In another week I will be at Quilt Camp so there is no doubt that I will be starting some new things next month!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

More Photos!

And one last post of a few more of Ray's photos from Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park:


Our time in Jackson was great! Ray enjoyed his photography workshop. I enjoyed shopping and knitting never did set up my sewing machine. In the evenings, dinner with Ray, an ‘old’ friend, and a new friend was always interesting.

Ray and I had decided to spend an extra day in Jackson after his workshop. We wanted to shop a little and then spend time in the Tetons and Yellowstone. But once again, weather changed our plans. The workshop ended late Tuesday morning. The first storm of the season was to begin for the area Tuesday night, 12 – 18” of snow! We thought it was best to get out.

Tuesday afternoon we drove to Riverton, WY, on the Wind River Reservation. Many years ago we interviewed for jobs on this Reservation. It is interesting to go back and see the area again. We stayed in Wall, SD, one evening and yes, we did go to Wall Drug! The last night on the road was in Albert Lea, MN. I  really wanted to get to a quilt shop near there but we arrived too late in the day.

We arrived home midday on Friday - in time for our town's annual PumpkinFest. 

Here are some of Ray's photos from Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park:

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Those Wyoming bridges...aren't!

Those Wyoming bridges aren't bridges. You know - the ones I wrote about last night:

They are Wildlife Crossings! My blogger friend, Tami, clued me in! I didn't know there were actual crossings made for wildlife. I love learning new things!

Newly Updated Eye Spy List:
Bald Eagles
Pronghorn Antelope
Black Bears 
Big Horn Sheep
Many small creatures!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Jackson, Wyoming

We headed to Jackson, Wyoming on Tuesday, September 17. That whole day, the song Jackson by Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash was going through my head. It was rather a boring drive through Wyoming so I got a lot of knitting done. There were a couple of cool bridges like this one - I took pictures through the windshield while it was raining.
Neat bridge in Wyoming
I was delighted when we finally got far enough north that we could see mountains. The clouds were low.
When we got to Jackson, we met up with our friend PattiOn Tuesday, we all headed to Star Valley Ranch. Patti is thinking of retiring there and wanted us to see it. It would be a beautiful place to live. Guess I was having too much fun - I forgot to take pictures! On our way back to Jackson, we drove into Idaho to see the reservoir. After all of the flooding that we've been through, it is rather weird to be in a place that needs rain so badly. 

We visited the local camera store. Ray and Patti are both in a Photography Workshop that started this morning and this is their kind of 'candy store'.

On Wednesday, we all went to the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Most of the art is fantastic. There always seems to be that little bit that doesn't seem to appeal to me! The building is definitely one of a kind - very neat!
National Museum of Wildlife Art
While we were outside shooting photos, Patti began having trouble with one of her lens. Ray found that it worked pretty good on his camera. After checking things, we headed back to the camera shop. Patti ended up with the new camera body that she was contemplating and a new lens. It wasn't a cheap day for her but she has working equipment for the workshop.

In the afternoon, we went into Grand Teton National Park. Patti needed to get comfortable with her new camera and lens. It was a gorgeous day and we all enjoyed being outside.
Patti and Ray shooting the Tetons

My photo of the Tetons
This morning, first day of the workshop, we got up early. Ray, Patti, and the other five (including the instructor) left to get moon set and sunrise photos. They are leaving an hour earlier tomorrow! I spent part of the morning  at the local quilt shop, Stitch 'n Time. I didn't find much - I might have to go back! I also did a few errands. This afternoon I went shopping  downtown. There are LOTS of people around and LOTS of neat shops. 

I have my sewing machine but there isn't a lot of space in our motel room so I haven't set it up yet. Besides, it'll take at least a couple more days to check out all of the downtown!
One of the elk antler arches in downtown Jackson
Our motel isn't very exciting but we are close to the base of Snow King, Wyoming's oldest ski resort. It is right in town. As I sit in our room, I have a great view of the ski runs. 

The weather is turning cooler. There was some snow two nights ago and it was about 30 degrees again this morning. The afternoons get in the high 60s - with the sun, short sleeves are fine.

Our Eye Spy list changed today. Ray saw bison.

Eye Spy:
Pronghorn Antelope
Black Bear - 1
Big Horn Sheep
Many small creatures!

Catch up time!

Guess it's been a while - sorry! We've been busy! We've seen a lot more rain but no more flooding, thank goodness! We don't have confirmation but we believe that the bridges we were concerned about in Estes Park are gone. We've seen pictures near the area - if the bridges are still intact, they have to be submerged. 

The photos I'm sharing today are mine - the real photographer in this family isn't here right now to give me any of his!

While in Steamboat Springs, we went to the Yampa Valley Botanic Park. We though that most of the flowers would be gone but we were pleasantly surprised to see so much color! 
Loved these flowers
Neat reflections
There were many little statues. This one was large enough to sit on.
We also enjoyed Fish Creek Falls in Steamboat Springs. In fact we hiked there twice it is a short hike - Ray was trying to get better sun for a photo. Of course there wasn't much sun at all when we were in Steamboat Springs.
Fish Creek Falls
On our last afternoon, we went in search of The Barn. It is an icon in Steamboat - it is on their ski posters:
A borrowed photo of The Barn ski poster
The Barn was actually very close to where we were staying and the directions we had were great. It has been refurbished in recent years. There is a lot more chinking - guess there has been much discussion about that.
The Barn in Steamboat Springs, CO
That last day we had lunch at Johnny B Good's Diner in Steamboat Springs. It was good and fun. What is Ray looking at?
Pretty interested in ???

The milkshake list!
Ray loves root beer milkshakes. He had one and said it was great. Actually our time in Steamboat Springs was great. Hope we get the chance to return one day!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

We were able to rent a condo on very short notice using The owner worked with us and had the unit ready by noon on Saturday. We have a good wifi connection so I'm getting caught up with things.

Here is our building. Yes we have a garage and we are on the first floor.
Our building
Entering from the garage, one comes into the dining area and the kitchen. Excuse the mess - we totally unpacked the van. In Estes Park, we packed in a hurry and couldn't find anything!

Dining area and kitchen
From the kitchen you can see into the living room.

Living room
A little closer look - the gas fireplace and the curtains are covering sliding doors.
Living room with couch and loveseat
This is the patio outside our sliding doors
We wanted a one bedroom with a washer and dryer if we could find something cheaper than a motel. This two bedroom, two bathroom was cheaper than a motel and most one bedrooms!

The guest bedroom won't be used except for storage of suitcases, etc.
Guest room
 The master bedroom has a patio outside the sliding glass doors. It is a different direction than the living room sliders. This place is quite large!
Master bedroom
The master bath is down a hallway of closets. Ray thought I should include a photo. Can you see me in the mirror?

We are in and settled. The laundry is caught up - we had dirty clothes and some wet clothes from all of the rain. We've had dinner and Ray's been out photographing the sunset. We've met one of the neighbors. Yes we are settled in once again!

Please continue to keep the victims of the Colorado flood in your prayers. Some places have had 4" of hail and up to 6" of rain today. The weather for tomorrow doesn't look better.

Grand Lake, Colorado

After leaving Estes Park, we landed at the Grand Lake Lodge in Grand Lake Colorado . 

This lodge is right next to Rocky Mountain National Park on the west side.
The lodge is straight ahead.
On our way to the steps, we had to stop and see this car and firetruck.
We were warned to watch our step going up the stairs.
It is a beautiful place - we were there once before in 2005 right before it closed. The new owner took over in 2010 and has made many improvements - mostly updating things. 
I couldn't get the entire lodge in  one photo.
I loved sitting on the porch of the lodge overlooking Grand Lake.
It might be my favorite front porch!
In the evening, about sunset, these swings were a hot commodity!
The porch overlooked Grand Lake and the town of Grand Lake.  
The pool was heated - it was tempting to go swimming.
Inside was always warm and cozy. The staff was fantastic.
Always a welcoming fire - the wood fire smelled so good.
We had cabin 62 which is the left side of this building. It was a short walk from the lodge.

Our cabin with a big boulder on the left.
The inside was clean and updated. It was small but beggars can't be choosers! We were delighted to have a dry spot with a bed. The Lodge has larger cabins - they were full.
Our room
I felt adrift. I found that I wasn't alone - many people we talked to felt the same. We often travel in a general direction without a specific plan but this was different probably because we did have a plan and it was abruptly cut short. When we finally put a new plan in place, I found myself relaxing. We were in control of our lives again. 

By noon on Friday, we were both ready to start enjoying our new surroundings. The problem was that Rocky Mountain National Park closed at noon due to mudslides, rock/boulder slides, and flooding. They are only allowing essential/emergency travel because it is the only way into/out of Estes Park. 

The ranger said looking for moose was not considered essential! She told us to head to Monarch Lake in the National Forest. It was south of Granby Lake and a beautiful drive. Next time we are in the area, we'll probably do the 4.5 mile hike around it - the weather looked too iffy on Friday.

Monarch Lake

Monarch Lake
After dinner we were talking to some new friends from Minnesota. They did the hike on Friday - it took 2.5 hours with some rain -and they saw moose!

Now we are in Steamboat Springs, Colorado (our new plan). More on that in a future post. For now, please remember the people of Estes Park and all along the Front Range in your prayers. The situation is not getting better - it is still raining.


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