Monday, June 30, 2008

Hiking can be Exhausting!


Sherpa Sal at 9300 feet and too much uphill on this new trail. No sandwiches, no chips, just fruit!

But Columbine are an alpine treat.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Painting Big is Fun


After procrastinating four plus years I cracked open the latex paint cans today and started painting the propane tank. It was fun. Our weather for today is predicted isolated thunderstorms, so I'll see how this basic paint holds up before painting more. I realized I haven't painted anything large since the days of the O.J. Simpson trial, when I painted huge backdrops for a stage show in the garage while listening to the radio.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Another Spooky Tree


.

The Aspens are filled with them. Sometimes we practice old agility maneuvers.

video

Friday, June 27, 2008

This is a Marmot



They're cute and chubby and often sit by the side of the road watching cars, or running right in front of them. They sound a whistle alarm sometimes, and if you make the right "Chitchitchit" sound you can engage them for a while.

Some are quite dark and others very golden.

This is a hungry frog.




The first few weeks she hibernated and didn't eat any of her crickets. Then she woke up and ate a week's worth in a few days. I've been wandering around with jars, scoops and bait, trying to locate wild crickets. Turning over rocks and logs, with no luck. I've even set a cricket trap with bread and cheese under a log but I bet the neighbor's dog finds it first.

If I don't find a tasty bug tonight we'll have to drive to Montrose tomorrow, which is a long way to go to feed an old frog.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Storm is Coming! Run!



Jon thought it was running away. I thought it was coming to get me. eek!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Birthdays etc.


Not only did Linda Davick post the cutest birthday Flash cartoon for me yesterday, but she also sent me a little treasure load of goodies, which I attempted to scan this morning and post here.

I'm overwhelmed, Linda. THANKYOUTANKYOUTHANKYOU!

and did you know they were the only presents I got?

My mother forgot it was my birthday when I called her, but I could understand. Before she got moved to Assisted Living she made a point of remembering what day it was in case some mental specialist walked up to her and said, "Do you know what day it is?"

Now that she's graduated to Assisted Living she doesn't have to worry about that. Also she's told me that she tries to go to every activity they offer-- a way to fill the time between meals, is how she explains it, instead of staying home on your bed and feeling sad. Like a cruise ship.

So yesterday she'd hauled out to the activity room where they'd set up WII bowling, (and a cheer for me that I could figure out what she was talking about.) She loved it, and said they're going to do tennis and golf too. Her knee brace had fallen down around her ankle, but she played on, until she got a strike, which was so overwhelming she had to go back to her room and think about it.

In the process of posting the "scan" of goodies above, I fell into the underbelly of Windows Vista badness:
Last week we bought an HP All in One Printer, Scanner, Fax at Target, because our $38.00 Epson printer snapped off in several places when we tried to replace the ink cartridge. I'm in charge of technical stuff around here, (except remote controls.)

It copies fine, it prints fine, it even sent a fax off. But, but, it turns out that Windows Vista won't allow the scan button to work . I guess because it is not a Microsoft button you are pressing. It took me quite a few turns around the internet to learn, " The drivers in the Windows Vista operating system do not support button press functionality on the product."

You have to open Windows Paint, the accessory introduced and forgotten in Windows 95, to get the scanner to work. And then it works fine.

I don't usually get worked up about Microsoft stuff but this one was pretty crazy.

We had a nice hike in the morning, with lovely ominous clouds and distant thunder. Then in the afternoon I could not put down Ian Rankin's "Dead Souls," a detective thriller set in Edinburgh.

Late in the day we drove into Telluride to go to a restaurant reached only by gondola, Allred's, at 10,000 feet. We'd never been there before, and wanted to get there before it closes. (Economy is getting hit hard here too.) When you get off the gondola, you walk through a heavy door into a long reception room with no one in it and sales charts all over the walls, then into another similar room that promises free parking for life if you buy a condominium. Also the usual crap about how you'll know you've really arrived when....(Countrywide comes to your front door.)

Then into a smaller chamber with an elevator and arrows, then up a floor to a corridor that led to the restaurant. (All the previous rooms were empty.) It's not in a hotel.

We had a nice seat by the window, and looked at the pricey menu. I'd seen help wanted ads in the paper for every position including chef a week ago, but the prices didn't reflect this. I looked around the room. Not too many people here, but it seemed like a special occasion restaurant, or would be if people who bought condos in Mountain Village weren't all from Richistan. Some people were dressed ala country club. We'd tried our best to look presentable but still were only in jeans and shirts with buttons, but some old timers had shown up in jogging shorts and t shirts without the bods to go with them. ick.

We ordered crispy crabcakes, in a nice sauce but canned crab inside, and buffalo oso bucco which came on a slush pile of mashed, no, slushed potatoes and a fancy little fork on the side. I'm hoping the crock pot short ribs tonight will taste better. I'd been promised dessert, but the food was so rich that I couldn't get that far.

The bus girl came by and asked us, "Still working on that?" which is a flash line for both of us at restaurants. I may have ranted about this before.

But we looked at each other, held our breath, and just said, "we're done." As she walked away, Jon said, "There but for fortune..." which gave me pause, because who wants that crappy job, and she looked to be about our age, like maybe she was a former ski instructor with bad knees.

When we got home I plunged back into the world of Edinburgh scariness, and could barely sleep all night. This morning I've been devouring the delicious chocolate coins Linda sent: sublime chocolate and it really looks like money.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Plaid Hair



I've been fooling with Whinsey ideas again, and also trying to get comfortable drawing on my laptop. I look enviously on namowal's gorgeous loose laptop sketches, done in Painter.

Anyway, imagine my surprise when I went to fill Whinsey's hair and it came in plaid. What's this? Then I kind of liked it, especially after I threw the woodcut filter on the whole thing, my big weakness at present with Painter X. She sure looks sophisticated!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Big White Gas Tank



This is our propane tank. For several years I've been urged to paint it to look like the old tank that was taken away. The old tank was painted around 1985, named the SS Marmotta, and was quite appealing. Here's a picture of it. It was a rental tank.



I took pictures of it in stages of completion.



We own the new white tank. It's slightly smaller. I think I'm going to paint it, maybe even this week. I bought paints for it last week. I'll put dogs past and present in the submarine windows. You did see that it was a submarine, didn't you?

ps those who use blogger.com-- did you know that all your blog's pictures are already stored in albums at Picasa? I was surprised when I figured it out.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Don't Worry about your Weight



We drove to Montrose today to get Pixie, our frog, more crickets. She's been hiding out in the moss of her terrarium for quite a while. We set her down in a tank with a little water while the bedding got changed, and she certainly looked round and moist. How do you like that waist line?

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Elk have Moved On

And here's why:



A large herd of cattle are now grazing up by Lightning Lounge. A good thing, though, because it shows the rancher who owns that land is still interested in working it, not subdividing it.

It was time for the elk to move to higher ground anyway. We think now that may be why the elk snuck up behind us the other day, trying to get away from the cattle.

We round a different fence crossing, and as we headed over the top of the mesa we came upon this:



BAMBI! Its mother ran away as we came near. Molly noticed it- we would have passed by. We took two pictures and quickly moved away. What was going on here is perfectly normal, though it does make you wonder how deer ever survive.

Here's a great link to info about fawns.

Here I am thinking about it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Nightmare


We stayed up late last night, (late for us is 11 pm) watching a B Western shot in Chatsworth, on trails I used to ride. It used to drive Dinah nuts when I'd say "I know that rock," but I saw a lot of rocks I knew last night. In this 16mm movie, (Jon's got a projector here), the vigilantes wear black hoods that look silly and scary and there's a degenerate veterinarian. Dinah starts her veterinary internship today.

Then I had one of those can't stop dreaming it nightmares. We were going on a cruise with long ago friends Frank and Rhonda.
(Back story:I recently learned that Frank had survived a shark attack while surfing in Mexico. I was told he did the three nonos of surfing in Baja: surfed early in the morning, surfed where it was deep, and surfed on a yellow board.)

Dream: The Rolling Stones were on the cruise too. The ship was gigantic-- I saw an overhead chart model of it.

But we couldn't take Molly. We had to take her to the vets. At the vets they made a mistake. They turned her into a miniature Schnauzer. "You've cloned her!" I screamed. "No, it was just an experiment", Becky explained.

So weird when you have dreams that have so many layers and details. Working overtime.

I thought recently a cafe called Ship of Fools might be nice, with everyone wearing nautical outfits and providing really poor service.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wild Ride



That's me back right, and Jon front left. But where's the boat?

We met up with our friends, and then the guys showed up with the boats and the wetsuits. We had to wear wetsuits, life vests strapped so tight you felt dizzy, helmets and booties. We all had to paddle.

The emergency instructions were so scary, like reading symptoms on a prescription bottle only much worse. I was barely able to climb in.

Did he say we were supposed to float feet forward or backward when we fell out of the boat?

When the boat tips on top of us, how are we supposed to find that line he was talking about?

Why is he going to try to hit me in the head with that red bag when I fall over?

Fortunately I didn't have to remember any of these things, because no one fell out, although almost everyone except the guide tumbled into the boat once or twice. We were all paddling on command. In the other boat the guide fell into the boat for a little bit of trouble.

Our guide said it was probably the most perfect day of the summer. The huge snowfall this winter had made for big water now. The river was white water the entire way, moving very fast at 15 mph, with class 3 and class 4 rapids. It follows the road we take to go to Sawpit and Placerville, and a guy caught our picture from a bridge we went under. We saw some nice water birds, a common merganser, a plover, and a diving bird named ouelet? We saw the back sides of the houses we pass frequently on the main road. I noticed that people who live along rivers all seem to have deck chairs on the banks, facing the river, although only one person was in one, and he was sound asleep getting very sunburned. I wondered if they enjoy seeing people rafting by, or if it's an intrusion.

The whole wild ride lasted about 3 hours, and we were very tired when we got home. It was a ton of fun.

Monday, June 16, 2008

River Rafting Class 4


We're going river rafting this afternoon on the San Miguel River. There are class 3 and class 4 rapids. They provide the wet suits because the water is really cold.

There are four of us going plus the guide, and another boat behind us in case we tip over. A boat flipped last week. It was in the paper. gulp. I just didn't draw the other people because I was too lazy.

Here's a picture of us together after the races in Norwood, at the Blue Jay Cafe in Sawpit.



I won't be taking pictures on the raft because the camera could go overboard. The guy on the right makes sports videos of extreme sports like rafting in Patagonia.

Wish us a safe trip! eek.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

So Many Elk


(although we forgot to get the camera out of the backpack...)

We went for an early morning walk up to the Lightning Lounge and beyond. We had five separate sightings of elk. Pretty soon they'll be moving to higher elevation-- it's surprising they're still around. We saw spotted baby elk running with the group, we saw the big bull elk, which we haven't seen here before. They can sometimes have harems of 60 cows! We heard a weird mewing sound and then Jon spotted a baby elk crying for its mother.

We try to change direction as soon as we see them to take pressure off of them. Molly's been incredibly good, returning from a run when the elk take off.

The weirdest thing was we stopped for a minute to catch our breath and decide where to head next. When Jon turned around the elk had snuck up RIGHT BEHIND US! What were they thinking? About fifteen of them. It was like being surrounded by Indians in a Western. Deer make a lot of noise when they move but elk are very quiet when they want to be.

As we were coming down the hill we ran into some neighbors we don't know with four dogs. One said, "We saw you coming down the hill and thought your dog was a wolf so we all got close together and stuck our arms out." (???) "Then I thought she was a bear. Guess I should watch more nature shows."

We headed on. The only wolves you'd find around here are the two wolves a neighbor we call Angry Dick keeps as pets.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Attached to my hat



It's rare when I find a hat that fits me, and when I do I wear it for years and years. So this hat is the new featured item, bought at REI for our wild bear adventure. It has a full brim and nice deep top, with chin strap for wind, and it's waterproof, made of some new high tech material. Many of the new clothing items for hikers have so many features they need for dummies books written about them.

You can turn the sides up with velcro tabs and stick feathers in them, then watch the feathers blow away, as I did the other day.

Baseball caps sit on the top of my head like an inverted tea cup.

My last hat was olive green, then faded to pale green, then an ugly beige with stains. This one is ever so much better and required at altitude 9000 ft. Before the ugly green one I had a hat with long ear flaps that people made fun of.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Water when you need it


We had no water in the house last night and just a trickle this morning. I heated water in a saucepan to bathe. We took a three hour walk and then went to town. Tonight the water's back- hooray. No more saucepan showers for me!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Inelegant resort



Driving back from Ridgway today, we passed the turnoff for Elk Mountain Resort. They no longer have the big sign. It was a very fancy mountain resort with a gun club. We'd had lunch there twice, before it became a private club. One of those times I went for a trail ride while Jon had a go in the gun club, which he described as being very weird and exciting, with live ammo and an interior setting where you were supposed to shoot the bad guy, and an ex Navy SEAL advised you on what to do as you moved from room to room. Don't worry, we're not gun people. This was in 2006 when the place was first getting started.

Since lunch there had been memorable, good food, empty room, slightly creepy but atmospheric, I decided to check on line to see the resort's status. No longer a private club, (which seemed like a losing proposition at $20,000 a membership), it was back to being open to the public, sort of.

I just happened to check the trip adviser reviews when the website the resort was so unrevealing.

You have to read this anonymous review. I've edited it a little so it's not the longest blog post ever. You could probably pitch this as a movie. Jon and I experienced a lot of the creepiness, just driving in for lunch. It costs $215++ a night. Room service pizza and beer is $80. If you want a bagel it's $10, or $15 with cream cheese! (I thought I'd written about this long ago but couldn't find it in the blog.) Here's the review:

We recently spent several nights at Elk Mountain and it is possibly one of the strangest experiences we’ve ever had.

The drive to Elk Mountain was beautiful. It takes about 40 minutes to get there from Montrose. We reached Elk Mountain and we were so excited. There was a sign that indicated if you didn’t have business on the property, you better leave! ( the wording on the sign was almost to the extent that you’d be shot if you proceeded). We came upon the entry gate and received a warm greeting. However, the “guard” asked if we were carrying firearms. We said no, and just thought it was weird.

We proceeded slowly to the main inn, to be greeted by a young man waving with strong movements to “come here”, like he was rushing us. We were enjoying the scenery and not in much of a hurry! He obviously was in a hurry. We pulled up to the front (actually, entrance is on side of inn) and were escorted into this fabulous room. Two men, one young and one older, greeted us. Service was exceedingly formal, with extremely little talking. I attempted to ask a few questions about the property, but each was answered with as little information as possible. You got the sense that staff had been told to interact as little as possible with guests, maybe in attempt to create a more formal atmosphere. However, I could have been talking to robots!

One man told us that they had prepared a “personalized” welcome package for us, that included personal letter from the owners. Package consisted of map of property and the letter – which was just a “glad you are here” letter, with my husband’s name spelled incorrectly and my name omitted (although I was the one with all the prior contact with the inn). They made such a big deal of this personalized welcome package, and it was a joke. We were escorted to our room by two men. On way to room, one young man told us that if there was an emergency, we should go to the parking lot, because the lobby gets crowded if everyone comes to lobby. I asked him if there had been “emergencies” and he said no, they just don’t want all the guests coming into the lobby. WHAT????

There was no other conversation on the way to the room. All rooms open to the outside. They unlocked the room and opened the door. Our two small bags were placed in the room, by just leaning into the room, and the two men disappeared. I mean they were gone in a flash! I was expecting at least one to enter the room with us to retrieve luggage rack and maybe give a brief overview of room’s features. It was odd…we stepped into the room, were sort of taking it in, and the door shut behind us. They were gone! We didn’t even have time to tip them.

We took some time to walk around the property. It’s fairly big and we didn’t see one person. I don’t know why, but I got the sense we were being watched. It was an odd feeling, and a little difficult to explain. A staff member told us that 15 rooms were occupied, but there were only 3 cars in parking lot. A bit odd. One other note – rooms are not air conditioned. Our room was a bit hot. We called front desk to ask how to open windows and young man told us how….however, there was a piece of furniture that had to be moved to get to windows! I guess we were expecting a way to open the windows without moving furniture.

We re-entered the main building, just to look around. Young man at front desk asked if we’d like to see restaurant. We said yes. He opened door to restaurant for us, while at the same time fumbling with his supposedly “hidden” earpiece and microphone. Again, just like entry in our room, we’re left standing in the restaurant by ourselves. I thought he was coming in with us! Instead, he shut the door behind us. In a few moments, a young lady comes running from the back, drying her hands, and said she’d been “summoned” to show us the restaurant. She seemed slightly peeved. Well, we didn’t ask to see the restaurant. This gesture was offered and we accepted.

We had heard good things about the food and restaurant – BUT there were also disappointments. The young lady we’d seen earlier was the only staff member working in the restaurant. She was the bartender, the wait staff, the runner, she added wood to the beautiful fireplace, she did EVERYTHING! There were 9 guests dining. . In the meantime, I could see the two young men sitting out in the lobby area. Just sitting behind their desks. Breakfast was not much better, because the chef was the waiter!

As to top off our experience, our check out experience was less-than-optimal. I was presented the bill and asked to sign and the young lady on duty just “tossed” the pen across the desk at me. This sounds picky, but there’s nothing wrong with passing a pen or sliding it across a desk.

I couldn’t recommend Elk Mountain to anyone. I hear they do a lot of weddings and special events. We did ask, quite casually, how they manage to do that with such limited staff. A staff member told us they hire out to temp agencies. It’s obvious. Elk Mountain doesn’t provide anything close to a luxury or even decent experience.


This is a mushroom we saw in the road, with my Timex watch next to it. It's a giant puffball, supposedly edible but no thanks. The effort it took to break through the ground, though... amazing-- and out of season!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Have Card Will Blog



Yay hooray the obscure Sony card I ordered from amazon works on the laptop, and I can post good quality photos now. The one above is in the mesa top field near the Lightning Lounge, where we've seen so many elk.


This one was a failed Rin Tin Tin experiment. I got her up and sitting on the log easily, but I wanted a wave with me not in the picture.

On today's hike we saw (Molly sniffed out) seven turkeys. They were big and in a hurry.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


We didn't see a bear today, but took another of these l o n g hikes which make us mighty sleepy hours before the sun goes down. good thing I got out last summer's crockpot and put a pot roast in it this morning. Molly came upon an elk calf in the aspen but we were able to call her off the chase.

I've been reading Elia Kazan's autobiography off and on the last few days. It seems pretty nervy to write a 900+ page autobiography, but he seems like a pretty nervy guy. When I first started it I thought it was going to be the best autobiography I'd ever read.

In between I'm reading from an incredibly tall stack of British mystery novels which Jayne Pilling left for me. She's got great taste in books, but I forgot one thing about Jayne-- she can read a novel in two hours. So I haven't put much of a dent in the books yet.

Tomorrow we're going to pick up that computer card so I can post photos. I found out it's inside a secret Fed Ex location across from the fire station, with a magnetic key underneath the tan box.

It's hard working with color on this laptop because there's so much light in the house. I really should be drawing in the closet!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Lightning Lounge


This is the Lightning Lounge last summer. Since then the sign has been removed. We've been stopping there every day for snacks and water on our new two hour usual route hike. Every day we see the elk herd and Molly has been exceptional. She'll start to run towards them but we can always call her back.

I was supposed to get my new card to enable me to post pictures from my camera to the blog. Fed ex called this morning at 7:30 to say it would be placed in the shed with the hidden key down by the Placerville post office and that it would be there by 11. We went down at 1:30 and it wasn't there.

So here's a picture I took in City Market today, on the phone, of candy I didn't buy. We have a cat in the Christmas Garden that looks just like this. I think this is the kind of candy where you eat the paper.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Travelin Frog


We made the decision to bring our 15 year old Pixie frog to Colorado. On advice of the pet store we moved her to a tank filled with wet coconut bark and wet moss. Previously she'd always lived in a plastic tank with a small amount of water and a rock.

We couldn't have her sloshing around in the tank on the car trip. since arriving we've kept her in the wet mossy terrarium. Whenever we add a little water she moves around, but otherwise seems to be preferring her life undercover. It's a big life style change for Pixie.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Web Cams: what I've learned



You may have seen the robodog webcam I posted a picture of when we got here. Over the week I've been looking here and there for software to get it going and trying to understand how web cams work. Here's what I've learned. Their main uses are for:
  1. IM Chat (though many laptops come with built in cameras now.)
  2. Nanny spying (thus the large number of teddy bear web cams available)
  3. old standby- porn
The software for web cams doesn't seem to have been improved upon much in the last few years. Correct me if I'm wrong. Tucows has become an impossible site to wander through.

There are silly Photoshop style filters you can throw on your webcam if you really want to look like you're broadcasting through a shower door or made out of etched metal.

You can draw on your own image but then you better stand awfully still or it is just annoying.

You can put rubber stamp lips and exclamation marks and emoticons all over your image.

The old jpeg out the window web cam seems pretty passe. It's all video now baby.

I have a friend who works as a nanny, and she's always telling me how bad working conditions are getting. Now they have spy bears in every room, and when the people come home from work, they actually watch these videos! Gee if you're going to spend that much time watching a video of your child being taken care of by somebody else, maybe you should consider just taking care of your child. She said the father at her last job complained that she spoke Spanish to the housekeeper, and he can't understand Spanish. He told her she had to speak English only.

I've pretty much ruled out using robodog out the window, or on Pixie's frog tank, but he is cute.

Friday, June 06, 2008

You've Got a Friend



Yesterday it rained and snowed and Molly's friend we call "Oldtimer" came by to beg dog biscuits and play for awhile. He's been by twice today. He has very soulful eyes.

Watching the Belmont pre race nuttiness, don't know if any of you are. Tomorrow we're going to watch local horse racing in Norwood, then to the Blue Jay cafe to watch the Belmont race. Big Brown's biggest competitor, Casino Drive, may be pulled from the race due to hind end troubles. That leaves no apparent challenger.

Meanwhile, up the hill to Lightning Lounge for lunch and elk spotting.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Wild White Iris



Title sounds like the name of a burlesque queen of long ago.

We took a hike up the hill before our endurance shopping competition. Today we heard the elks but didn't see them. As we sat in the Lightning Lounge and enjoyed peaches, I noticed some flowers across the field that looked unusual. I wandered over. They were wild white irises. I didn't know they existed. I was so thrilled.

Sorry the photo is so nowhere, (cel phone) but I took nice ones with the real camera, and ordered some card reading device which will allow me to post decent photos again.

As for the endurance shopping competition, after lunch at True Grit in Ridgway, (a John Wayne theme restaurant which was looking much grittier than ever before) we drove to Montrose and went to:
J.C. Penneys
Target
Walmart
Beasleys (going out of business)
Office Depot
Miz Kitty's Emporium
Fish and Reptiles (name may be off)
City Market

I never did get the camera cable, but we got the printer ink. Couldn't get the sunscreen we wanted, got the sticky transparent fly strips, got a hamper, got dog food, got crickets and advice on Pixie, got a frozen turkey and all that goes with it.

The best part of the trip was this-- in the Target parking lot Jon spotted a really weird looking pair of birds.


I jumped out of the car to take their picture-- this one's from google, as mine is still in the camera.



They were a pair of chukars, wandering around a Target parking lot. The store is less than a year old, and my guess is that it was built on their breeding ground, and nothing's going to stop them. They're a non-native species introduced quite a long time ago. I'd never seen one before. My picture is better than this one.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Mountain Technology



Anyone set up a web cam? I bought this robodog web cam last Christmas as a generic gift for a party I didn't go to. I've always been curious about how webcams work.

I got it to capture my mug but it's an avi and I can't figure out how you get a jpg from that. Since robodog only cost $10.00 there's no tech support. I may figure it yet though.

We took a 2 1/2 hour walk today and saw a herd of elk split up across the mesa top. They were honking and hollering: mesa monkeys. Molly had pretty good self control, and it was a gorgeous dandelion day.

That's an old cast iron stove from my mother's mammy doll collection.

Monday, June 02, 2008

In Colorado again


We left the house at 4:30 am and arrived here at 8 pm. We ate fried chicken and peanut butter sandwiches along the way. Gas cost about $160. We stopped at City Market and got two bison steaks. The house was in reasonable shape, and we felt like zombies as we stumbled up the stairs. We brought the Pixie frog with us, as well as Molly and two basil plants.

I brought all the cables so my laptop would work, and even the remote, but damn if I didn't forget the cables I need to download the pictures from my camera to my laptop, because the camer uses a Sony memory card and the laptop's not Sony. I took some nice pictures of our Joad like packed vehicle but you'll just have to imagine them.

The aspen trees and scrub oaks are just starting to leaf in, and the wild irises mostly haven't bloomed yet. On our walk today Molly chased a fox for half a minute. We'd never seen foxes up here before. She might have been pregnant. Her belly looked really round.

Later we went to check if the pond still had water in it, and found the path to the pond is now a bear path, with 3 scat piles along the way. so that was exciting.

The picture I took just now with the cel phone-- later this week I'll get replacement cables in Montrose. Still exhausted but here we are.