Monday, August 16, 2010

August Adventures

Part III

So, to recap:  

From a week and a half ago, Wednesday --
1st: I got to spend the day with Dominic, jeeping up a jeep trail with  Dan's little town car;
Then :Thursday through Friday afternoon -- I got to spend with Dan in Ouray and Silverton;
Then: Friday afternoon -- I drove to Denver, arriving at my Mom's house around 10 or 11 pm...

Which is where I left off.  I'd gone over to Denver with a two-fold purpose of visiting with Kevvy before he moved to Minnesota this past Friday and to lend support and sympathy to Jon who had four wisdom teeth pulled last Friday, the day I arrived.

Here's what we did:  Saturday morning, after I'd gone to the grocery story to get yogurt and protein drinks for Jon, I met up with Kevvy and headed for the Rampart Range, an area south of Salida, Colorado.  If you've been around a while, and have a good memory, you might recall that I took Michelle and the Littles here last year to Devil's Head WatchTower.  It's such a cool hike,  that I wanted to share it with Kevvy before he left.  (Have to fill his mind with the wonders of Colorado, so he won't stay too long in Minnesota, ya know...)  So, here's the beginning of the trail up to the fire tower:

It's so beautifully wooded and cool here and a fairly easy hike, though
it does get steep as it goes around the mountain and the air gets pretty thin.
I admit it.  I was puffing like a steam engine and had to sit down a lot.
Man, am I outta shape!  More on how I'm going to fix that problem in
a post sometime soon I hope.  If I don't wimp out. 

Here's the "shades" man, about half way up to the tower. 
Check out that scenery behind him! 

And here we go, up the ladder to the tower. Hang On! 
(If you have vertigo, you'd better stay at the bottom of the rocks!)

See the folks down there at the bottom of the rock outcropping below the watch tower?
They look like ants~!

After we climbed down from Devil's Head  (and I should mention that it took us maybe only 1/3 the time to climb down as it did to climb up....), we headed over to the "Troll Cave" hike nearby...
...where Kevvy peformed an amazing feat of strength  (not).

These woods are full of amazing boulders and rock formations.  It's fascinating to try to figure out where these rocks came from exactly and how they came to be arranged as they are.  (We didn't have a clue how.) It's hard to capture with the camera, but in this area pictured below, is arranged a circle of boulders as tall as I am.  We call these...
"Bilbo's Troll Boulders"

And this is the biggest of the troll caves.

And this fellow, we call the "Muppet Easter Island Guy."  Can you see him?

There are whole mountainsides made of boulder.  This one faces a beautiful view
of a craggier outcropping across the valley -- a little east of where we had just
climbed up to Devil's Head Watchtower.

Now:  Arachanaphobics, close your eyes and pass over this next picture...

Isn't this cool?  It's a naturally made bit of driftwood -- probably a knothole --
 with a Daddy Long Leg hanging out in the middle. 

So, anyway....  By the time we'd climbed up and down the fire tower and had hiked clear out to troll caves and back, we were pretty pooped.  And Kevvy understood why I told him to bring a clean t-shirt to change into.  We were pretty dirty and sweaty.  But, we stopped and cleaned up, then went to our favorite Denver area pizza and brewpub, BJ's, where it was a pleasure to share a pitcher of porter with an of-age son.  (One of the real perks of being old enough to have grown up children, I tell ya!)  Then we did a little shopping to get Kevvy a fresh set of church clothes to take with him to Minnesota.  It was a great day!  Kevvy is a wonderful companion and we talked through all the stuff we needed to talk through before he left.  You know:  silly things, heart strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff...  And I am content that I send him far away, ready to consciously do God's Will -- and have fun in the process.  He's a good kid, that Kevin.

So, then, after I dropped Kev (son number 2, by the way), I went back to my Mom and Dad's to check on son number 3, Jon.... who was very happy to have not climbed any mountains with us.  He was hanging in there -- Looked a little like a cuter version of Jay Lenno with his swollen jaw...  He was very tickled with the little gift his brother, Kevvy, sent over to him.  Check it out. (What are the odds he'd have found this at a thrift store and the name was even spelled right?)

Bless his poor little mouth.  Jon is  feeling much better now.
But he says, comparing the pain, he'd rather relive the
time he fell playing roller hockey and wound up with a
compound fracture of the wrist in which he twisted his hand
all a-skelter and wound up with a protruding bone...

Oh...  oops. I should  have warned the squeamish, there, shouldn't I?  Sorry...
But, he is glad to have that all over with  and doesn't recommend going in
for this procedure  unless it's absolutely necessary.

So. I spent the night at my parents' Saturday and got to visit a little with them, then went to Mass in Denver on Sunday.  Had the pleasure of meeting up with good old friends, then packed the car and headed back over the mountains, back home to the Western Slope.

Deep Breath.

It's been a week since I returned -- and I think I've just about recovered.  I spent a long day of shopping with Michelle last Wednesday, though, and we took a short hike up on top of Grand Mesa.  I'll post some of those pictures later -- not to beat a dead horse about how beautiful this part of the country is, but I do thank God for it -- and I gotta share some of our photos, as they really are amazing!  Hopefully later this week.  And I have some scheduled hikes coming with the rest of the Littles as we move into early fall.  So, stay tuned...  (or be warned...  &;0)


(Hopefully my computer will cooperate and I'll get a chance to catch up with all my blogging friends out there, too, by the way.  My internet has been very spotty lately and I've found out one of the reasons is that using my Blogger Reader drains my Hewsnet allotted time.  (erck.)  So, I have to re-work how I transport myself around the internet.  My apologies for being so scarce!  I hope to see everyone soon, though!)


Natalie said...

I've been keeping up with you! I hope our family gets to see some of your country in the future. Looks absolutely beautiful!

GrandmaK said...

I love your journey here every year. It was an annual event in my family when I was growing up!!! Thanks!!! Cathy

MightyMom said...

wow, so there's actually BOULDERS in Colorado??

I'd love to take a hike with you one day.....