Wordless Wednesday – monochrome

I usually prefer colorful color photos over Black & White photography, but I’ll admit it was fun turning these color shots into monochrome images.  I’m still using Picasa as my processing platform and thought it would be a good idea to master this easy software program before jumping into something like Lightroom.black and white photographyRedstone Colorado
Maroon Bells

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5

Pure Colorado

Colorado wildflowersAhhhh…… pure Colorado …… the grill was sizzling with a couple of steaks,  the azure blue sky was touched with tuffs of white fluffy clouds, the grassy meadow was covered in yellow wildflowers, the air was crisp, clean, with just a hint of a campfire wafting in the air.

Ah yes, perfect!  Well, not quite …. if only those darn little planes buzzing overhead would stop then life would have been perfect.  What happened to my quiet, remote solitude?Air show in ColoradoWe were camped at Lowry Campground in the White River National Forest near Keystone, Colorado at an elevation of about 9,400 feet and everything but that annoying aircraft noise was perfect.Dillon Air show

Hubby was relaxing in a chair outside and was more curious than annoyed by the little aircrafts dipping, climbing, and zooming back and forth. He was quick to determine these guys were practicing.  Practicing for what, he wasn’t sure until another observing neighbor informed him of an impending air show.Dillon air showThe Dillon Air Show was to be a small air show held near the Lake Dillon Marina.  There was no fee.  Basically it was pick a place on the grass in the park to sit and watch the planes.  Sounded like an event right up our alley especially once we knew biplanes would be involved. It’s been thirty years since hubby and I last attended an air show.  Thus, we were quick to add it to our next days agenda.Dillon Colorado Air showHubby has never regretted walking away from a career as a commercial Airline Pilot.  He found the job to be somewhat boring, especially after the type of flying he did in the Navy.  Now that…… his Navy days, he’ll talk about with a level of excitement.  The mere sight of a biplane brings about that same kind of exuberance and excitement.  His face will light up with delight.biplanes Dillon air showBiplanes Dillon air show

We attended the air show the following day.  As the biplanes started their maneuvers, Al was quick to explain the stunts and what a ‘scream’ this kind of flying is.  He could practically narrate what the pilots next move would be.  I heard repeated comments from hubby; “I’d love to get in one of those again”…. “Could I talk you into going up in a biplane?”  NO …..  “Gosh, if I ever bought a plane, it’d be a biplane”.  “Can we get one?  Huh, huh, pretty please?”  NO …..  “But why?”  Because we can’t pull it behind the RV!  Envision a dejected expression and frown …. however, that didn’t last long.  That big smile was quick to return as the pilots performed their next stunt.lake dillon air showThe whole time these biplanes were performing, hubby had a smile from ear to ear that didn’t end until long after the air show ended.  95% of the time if you ask Al if he misses aviation, he’ll answer “no”, but if you ask him if he misses this kind of flying ….. stunts?  He’ll respond with a resounding, “yes”!Dillon Colorado biplane air showThe air show was short and simple, but entertaining none the less.  It was held among some beautiful Colorado scenery over Lake Dillon.Lake Dillon Marina air show

FoxWe loved our stay in this area very much.  At camp, we felt like we were hundreds of miles away from civilization and yet everything we could possible need was within a 15-20 minute drive.

The towns of Dillon and Frisco offer plenty of grocery shopping possibilities including a Whole Foods and a Walmart.  The town of Silverthorn boasts an outlet mall and a Target.  The ever quaint Breckenridge is just a short drive down Highway 9 with plenty of small shops and restaurants.

There are plenty of hotels, Bed & Breakfasts, condos, vacation rentals, and even a high-end RV Park to call home during any stay.  Yep, I’d say Summit County Colorado is a great vacation destination year round.

I believe we’ve stumbled upon yet another favorite location loaded with the opportunity to explore or relax….. the perfect combination ….. ahhh, this is what Colorado living is all about.chipmonk

From one beautiful spot to another!

After our week-long stay at Ridgway State Park, we begrudgingly packed up and moved onto our next destination.  We were working our way toward Denver to attend a wedding.  If it weren’t for the wedding, I’m not sure hubby would have gotten me to cross the continental divide.  I have become quite smitten with Colorado’s western slope.

Ridgway State Park
Ridgway State Park….Do we really have to say goodbye to this beautiful spot?
White River National Forest
And we say Hello to our new home in the White River National Forest near Dillon, Colorado

Since we weren’t in a big hurry to get to Denver, we decided to stop near Dillon, Colorado for a few days.  Lake Dillon and much of the land surrounding the lake (reservoir) are part of the White River National Forest.  Although we’ve been to Dillon many a time in the past, it was usually to take the kids snow skiing in the winter.  Thus, we were unfamiliar with the campgrounds in the area.

Dillon Reservoir Lake
Lake Dillon aka Dillon Reservoir

I just love the blogosphere.  Thanks to all the fellow bloggers out there sharing their adventures, we’ve discovered some pretty sweet spots to explore.  It was in part due to Amanda‘s post on the Peak One Campground that brought us to the area in search of our own favorite spot to call home.

During our explorations, we discovered the Frisco / Keystone area around Lake Dillon offers 5 different campgrounds;  Peak One CG, Heaton Bay CG (most popular), Prospectors CG, Pine Cove CG (basically a paved parking lot), and Lowry CG.  Lowry CG is the least popular, most remote, furthest from the lake, but offers electric hook-ups.  Heaton Bay offers one loop with electric but since it’s located close to Interstate 70, we felt the traffic noise was unacceptable.  All the rest of the campgrounds are strictly dry camping.

Breckenridge Dillon Colorado
Awesome bike trail from Dillon to Breckenridge

We found a nice large pull-thru site at Lowry Campground and were quickly reminded of the night-time temps that drop at 9,600 feet in elevation……burrrr.  I was grateful for the furnace in the RV and the electric hook-up as those overnight temps dropped down into the 30’s (Fahrenheit) and it’s June…..June in the Rockies.

Lowry Campground Keystone
Lowry Campground, Keystone, Colorado

Al and I did drive around all five of the campgrounds and made notes on our favorite sites for a return visit.  As is quite common with National Forest Campgrounds, most of these campgrounds were developed many, many years ago……long before today’s modern RV’s were even a glimmer in granddad’s eyes.  Thus, the majority of sites are designed for tents, pop-up trailers, and smallish travel trailers.sailing in Colorado

Since we didn’t have a reservation (yes, they do take reservations over at recreation.gov), we did have a little difficulty finding an available site that would accommodate our 31 foot 5th wheel WITH room to park the trucks.  Next time we’ll make a reservation.  Most of the sites were too short for us, but since it was early in the season we did manage to score a nice pull-thru site.  Once the weekend rolled around, our campground was full.

White River National Forest
Lowry Campground – White River National Forest, Colorado

Next up…..we stumble upon a fun event!

Colorado’s Rushing Waters

Ouray Colorado
Ouray, Colorado…..America’s Switzerland

As we hiked further into the canyon, the roar of rushing water became more deafening.  The dirt trail quickly turned into a slatted iron bridge complete with rails.  The temperature dropped, the humidity rose, and the sun was hidden.

Al and I smiled as we continued into the canyon.  We both agreed this is quite the dramatic find and experience.  We’d heard about Box Canyon Falls from other bloggers but experiencing it first hand was a fun treat.

Box Canyon Falls
Box Canyon….the bottom of the falls can be seen in the lower part of the photo

At the end of the trail is a staircase that leads down to the bottom of the falls.  Al and I continued down the stairs and the spray of water misted our bodies as well as the iron stairs making for some slippery walking.  The roar of the water forced us to speak loudly.  In an attempt not to become drenched or damaged by slipping we quickly climbed the stairs back up to the main trail and continued to take in this unique sight.

Ouray Colorado
Watch your head !

Box Canyon Falls is know as Ouray’s own wonder of the world.  The waterfall is created from the combination of Canyon Creek narrowing into a rock canyon and then plummeting 285 feet, spilling thousands of gallons of water per minute.  The word ‘dramatic’ sums it up nicely.Box Canyon Falls

Exiting the canyon, we were once again greeted by bright sunshine and warm, dry air…..what a contrast.

Box Canyon can be enjoyed from below the falls as well as from high above the canyon floor.  Of course, hubby and I are compelled to see it all.  Thus, our hike takes us up, up, up.

Box Canyon Falls
Our destination is that bridge up there.

The trail up starts off with a bunch of stairs then turns into a dirt hiking trail.  It’s a rugged trail and hubby and I were glad we wore our hiking boots instead of tennies.

Once at the top, we have a bird’s eye view of the town of Ouray (pronounced; your ray).  There’s so much to see, do, and explore around this part of Colorado which is also known as America’s Jeeping Capital.  I think we could spend the entire summer here and still not see or do it all.Ouray Colorado Box Canyon FallsWhen we arrived at the top, we realized this is where the ‘perimeter trail’ connects.  The perimeter trail is a five mile well marked trail that circles the town of Ouray.  Al and I knew we wanted to hike part of this trail…. so off we went.Ouray ColoradoAlong the way we encountered more rushing water.  May and June is serious snow melting season and all creeks and streams are running dangerously fast and furious.  We spent a little over 2 hours hiking a portion of the perimeter trail with plans to return to hike another portion on another day.  As ‘Arnold’ would say, “We’ll be back”!Ouray Colorado perimeter trail

CeraVe SPF 50 Sunscreen Face Lotion, 2 Ounce

Wordless Wednesday

I’m way behind on my blog posts, but when you see the scenery I’ve been living amongst, I think you’ll understand why the computer has spent more time off than on.Dillon Colorado photographyBiplane air show Colorado
Lake Dillon ColoradoThese photos were taken last weekend near Dillon, Colorado. We’ve since moved on and are comfortably parked for the next month in Westminster, Colorado, spending time with our daughter.  That said, we always have time to meet fellow bloggers for coffee or a margarita 🙂Dillon Frisco Colorado

Columbia Men’s Tamiami II Long Sleeve Shirt, Key West, Large

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge – Silly

Last week we met up with some folks in the beautiful town of Telluride, Colorado.  This famous ski town located in southwest Colorado is full of charm and character…. graced with stunning scenery, fun eateries, plenty of festivals, and frequented by Hollywood stars.

Telluride Colorado
The town of Telluride. Photo taken from the Gondola

Telluride has a low-key vibe and lack of pretentiousness that has Al and me coming back at every opportunity; not that we’ve had that many opportunities mind you.  As a matter of fact, last week will only make our third visit to this awesome mountain town.  The reason for the visit, even though we don’t really need a reason, was to meet up with fellow bloggers Barb and Maynard.

Elk in Colorado
As we approach the town of Telluride, we see a herd of Elk in the distance.
Elk in Colorado
I zoom in on this female Elk
Smuggler's Brew Pub
The main street in Telluride. Photo taken last summer.

Al and I always get a kick out of meeting folks from the blogosphere.  Sometimes we have a vague idea of what they look like, but many times we don’t….. especially if they don’t write a blog themselves.  Then we not only don’t know what they look like but also don’t know anything about them.   However, they sure have plenty of info on us from this blog.

That said, Maynard and I started communicating via email when he realized our travels would be taking us in similar directions at similar times.  He and I set up a date, time, and place to meet – Smuggler’s Brew Pub in Telluride.

Al and I entered the Pub and I was immediately greeted with a “INGRID” followed by a huge hug.  Ok….. I assumed this must be Maynard LOL. The four of us continued introductions and when we realized the Smuggler’s Brew Pub wouldn’t be ready for the lunch service for a while (can’t always believe what you read on the internet), I stepped up to the plate as tour guide.  This was Maynard and Barb’s first visit to Telluride.

I whisked hubby and my 2 blog followers toward the gondola for a bird’s-eye view of Telluride.  The gondola is viewed as public transportation and is free to the public.  (“Hey, Aspen – you might want to take note”.)  Little did I realize, Barb was none too fond of heights or gondolas.  Oops, perhaps I should’ve asked!  The three of us did manage to poke a little fun at her, and she was a good sport, but when I went to open the window…..she was quick to exuberantly exclaim “NO!”, thinking I was going to open the door.  It’s locked, silly 😉

Telluride Colorado
Me behind Barb….she had no idea what Maynard had gotten her into!

After that little sightseeing tour, it was back to the Smuggler’s Brew Pub where the guys imbibed in a brew called “Debauchery”.  Need I say more?  Drinks and lunch were delicious and we would definitely recommend the place.

Telluride Colorado
Maynard being silly

Following lunch, the tour guide reappeared for a side trip to Bridal Veil Falls.  Since this visit was still early in the season, the one lane gravel road up to the base of the falls was closed.  So a long distance view would need to suffice.  Maynard and I had our cameras out and there were lots of joking and silliness going on.  Turns out, hubby and I were Maynard and Barb’s FIRST blogger meet up.  Ta, da….. virgins no longer!

Bridal Veil Falls Telluride
Maynard and Barb on the left – Al and me on the right – Bridal Veil Falls in the background

Obviously, Al and I are working on our social skills; overcoming our shy, quiet, conservative, and introverted ways…….        I know – SILLY!

Two cents Tuesday Challenge – Silly
Of course – I know it’s Friday and I’m posting a “Tuesday” Challenge.  I’m still within rule #4. Perhaps I’ll post a Friday challenge on a Tuesday.  I do live on ‘RV’ time after all  🙂

Tony Northrup’s DSLR Book: How to Create Stunning Digital Photography

Over too fast!

Our time near Glenwood Springs, Colorado, was over before we knew it and unfortunately obligations had us moving on.  We could have easily stayed another week or two….. or even three and been quite content.  My view every evening……ahhhh!sunset in Colorado

Alas, we needed to return to Grand Junction for some appointments.  Let’s check out our new antenna flying proud as we mosey on down the road.  Although we don’t need to raise and lower this new antenna, it is a good idea to have the pointy end of the boomerang design pointed forward for aerodynamic reasons.RV travel in Colorado

With all the fixes on the RV complete, we scheduled some normal maintenance in Grand Junction for the F-250, the Tacoma, and hubby.  In early April when Al initially contacted the VA for his yearly physical, he was told they couldn’t get him in until September and then low and behold an end of May opening became available.  I’m sure this whole VA investigation stuff had something to do with the timely opening.

Regardless, Al is in tip top shape.  The trucks are in tip top shape.  The RV is hopefully in tip top shape and we’re antsy to embrace our summer travels.  Fingers crossed all the mishaps are behind us because I’d like to go back to feeling excited on moving day instead of feeling fear or dread….. “Will Murphy get us today?”RV cartoonThat said and appointments behind us, we find ourselves back in one of our favorite spots; Ridgway State Park.  The San Juan Mountains are still covered in a deep layer of snow making for a beautiful sight.Ridgway State ParkWe have some hiking planned and social get togethers scheduled.  Should be a fun week….Ridgway State Park