Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Secret Keeper

Laurel, an actress, returns to her childhood home to visit her mother who is approaching her 90th birthday. Doing so takes her back to an event that happened when she was 16 years old and daydreaming in her tree house while her family was celebrating her younger brother's birthday down by the stream.

Laurel begins to piece together what had been haunting her since that fateful day. She slowly uncovers her mother's secret past in this page-turning book full of twists and surprises.

I loved this story which took place alternately between London during WW II and 2011 at Laurel's childhood farm.

An excellent read.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

White Water Rafting

This will be my last post on the Colorado vacation. We are home now, safe and sound. Thankful our flight wasn't delayed or cancelled with all the rain we had to drive through to get home from the airport!

Peter - ready for anything!

Heidi -  hadn't rafted since she was a little girl.

Don - the supervisor.
Josh - first time on the river.
Katherine - always up for adventure.
Daniel - photographer.
They had to bundle up in wet suits, rain jackets and life jackets for the 45-minute ride to the put-in spot.
Rafting the Colorado River through the Shoshone rapids in spring time is a wild ride!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Snow on the Mountain

The kids went hiking on the mountain yesterday and today. Can you believe there is still 2-3 feet of snow in some spots? But the aspens are starting to bloom anyway.

A moose!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

No Cooking for Mom

One of the requirements for this vacation was that each of the couples had to make a meal for the whole group.

Peter and Kendall chose to make a yummy dinner of chili, cornbread and broccoli.

Daniel and Heidi made a breakfast of
sausage and egg casserole, fruit skewers, hash browns and...
mini blueberry muffins.

Katherine and Josh also made a wonderful breakfast of fruit and yogurt parfaits,
Eggs to order, sausage, bacon and biscuits!

Don and I took our meal to the campground. We served jumbo hot dogs, fruit, chips and S'mores.
Josh helped cook the hot dogs.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Hanging Lake

On Monday (Memorial Day), the kids did the Hanging Lake hike. This trail travels from the bottom of  Glenwood Canyon up through Deadhorse Creek Canyon. Hanging Lake is a 1.5 acre lake formed by a geologic fault which caused the lake bed to drop away from the valley floor above. Water flows into the lake over Bridal Veil Falls.

Kendall is still recovering from mono, and her doctor advised that she refrain from hiking uphill. I stayed with her while the others forged on. This hike was only a mile long, but in that mile you climb 1,000 feet. Not for the faint of heart!

You'll see from the photos that it was well worth the effort. These photos were taken by Daniel:

Panorama of Hanging Lake

They all made it!

Heidi and Daniel

Katherine and Josh

An adorable chipmunk just for Riley

Peter was the only one who did the additional hike to Spouting Rock, where for centuries water has dissolved a passage through the limestone to exit out of a sheer cliff wall as a spectacular waterfall. Peter took this photo.

After the hike we all went to Glenwood Hot Springs (the world's largest hot minerals springs pool). The air temperature was about 65 degrees, but the pool was 104 degrees. The Hot Springs pool is celebrating its 125th year.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival

This weekend marked the opening of the Beaver Creek summer season. To celebrate, the Beaver Creek Village hosted the 12th annual Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival. It rained off and on, but the sun came out long enough for us to enjoy walking around, sampling ribs, pulled pork sandwiches and corn dogs.

Here are some photos that Katherine took during the festival.

One of the many BBQ cooking stations.

Peter and Kendall enjoying Smoked Pork Jowl Potato Gratin

Daniel and Heidi toasting their corn dogs.

Josh - annoyed at Katherine for interrupting his lip smacking ribs.

Love this photo of a cowboy overlooking the festival in the village.

Live music by Dan Treanor's Afrosippi Band featuring Erica Brown.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Colorado Blue Jay

While waiting for everyone to finish their hikes in Estes Park, I sat at a picnic table and observed a beautiful bird. I didn't know what kind of bird it was. When I looked it up, it turned out to be a blue jay. But it didn't look anything like the blue jays I see at home. It was a Colorado blue jay.

I'm sure he was aware of me taking pictures, but he was not afraid of the camera.

 He may have been trying to attract a female bird, because at one point he fluffed himself up.

 He was on the lookout for something.

Such a beautiful bird!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Estes Park

Visiting Estes Park, in Rocky Mountain National Park, has been on my Bucket List for some time. I was so excited that we got to go there yesterday. It is about a 1.5 hour drive from the Denver airport, so we drove straight there.

It wasn't long before we saw some elk. It is the season where "elk are as prevalent as chipmunks" in the park. One man told us the only way we wouldn't see one is if we were sleeping. We saw many. The thing that surprised us most was the look of the elk's antlers. They are covered with fuzz. This is because elk lose their antlers every year and grow new ones. These new antlers grow rapidly (2 inches per day). Then in the late summer, the elk rub their fuzzy antlers against the trees and underneath, the antlers are solid bone.

Next we saw two female moose. What struck me the most about the moose was its long back legs. They sure are funny looking animals.

Peter and Kendall put up a hammock to rest for awhile.

This is a photo Daniel took on his hike through the park.

Instead of helping Josh get out from under the falling rock, Katherine just took his picture.

Kendall and Peter

Katherine and Josh

Daniel and Heidi