Sunday, October 27, 2013

The one where I lost my ring...again

i have this ring i love.
i got it for myself after my divorce.
its not expensive or especially fancy.
but i like it a lot.
i lost it about two years ago.
sort of.

i thought i lost it in the bathroom at work,
went so far as to empty the trash can in there.

no ring.
i sent out a panicked email,
and the went out on a date.
when i got home that night i happily discovered it had somehow
fallen off my finger into my work bag.
wahoo!! i had my ring back!

fast forward to last weekend.
where i discovered i was missing my ring again.
only problem was i was in colorado springs.

i remember putting it on saturday morning while getting ready to go hiking.
i thought i remembered playing with it at breakfast.

but while photographing this
my hand felt kinda funny.
kinda empty funny.
my ring was gone.

so i spent a frantic 30 minutes retracing my steps to try and find my ring.
i figured it came off when i pulled off my glove to take photos,
but that meant it could be in several spots in Garden of the Gods.
i looked everywhere i stopped.
but, i finally had to give up.
it was gone.
most likely somewhere in the park,
and there was a good chance one of the magpies
saw it sparkle in the morning light and
took off with it.

i spent the remainder of the trip
with a phantom itch on my finger.

fast forward to monday night, about 11pm
when i finally got home.
i was super tired but too wired to fall in bed yet
so i unpacked.

and the gods of lost rings continue to favor me.
inside my suitcase, buried among my dirty socks and hiking pants
was my ring!!!
it makes no sense
but i'm ok with that.
i have my ring back.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My first Fourteener!

After that great hike with local guide Bryan
I decided to really test myself
and do Pike's peak.
All 14,110 feet of it.
Way up there.
That's it. The one with all the snow on it.
Way up there.

And I just hiked 8 miles in the "foothills"
at 7,000-8,000 feet.

Common sense prevailed
 and I took the Cog Railway.

Traveled in style up the side of the mountain.

Saw some big horn sheep in the scree (rocky area above the timber line)
but passed them before I could take a photo.

The temperature difference between
Colorado Springs and the top of Pikes Peak
was 60 degrees.
A bit chilly.
Before our train car could go up, they had to
send the plow to clear the tracks of snow.

Here I am, shivering at the peak.
Take the picture, quick, before my hands freeze!
(Where were my gloves???)
I am wearing my Cardinals hat in celebration of their win Friday night.
And because it was cold!
I think the temperature was 4 degrees, with wind chills in the negatives.
But so beautiful!

I completely understand why this view inspired Katherine Lee Bates
to pen the poem-to-become song
America the Beautiful.

As much as I enjoyed Colorado Springs and the mountains there,
it was time to move on to my other target:
Rocky Mountain National Park.

But first, a quick look at the kitschy motels lining the road in
Maniteau Springs at the base of the mountain:

I think there were about 20 of these throw-back-to-the 50's motels.
So cool.

I got to stay in a similar bit of nostalgia a few nights later.
It had a REAL key!
I'll share more later, gotta go cheer on my Cardinals now.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sweet Escape

I couldn't help it.
We had a random four day weekend.
And I didn't travel this summer.
And I was going through withdrawls.

Southwest Air to the rescue.

Had to make a run for the mountains.
And oh was it incredible.

Flew into Denver and immediately set course for Colorado Springs.
But first, a detour to the United States Air Force Academy.
To see the Cadet Chapel.
Because it is gorgeous.

Frank Lloyd Wright.
Can't say any more. Just breathe.
The stain glass might just be inspiration for a quilt in the future.

And  I got to listen to the big pipe organ as a group of cadets were taking a class in the organ loft.

After watching the cadets do their lunch time formation,
I hit the road for real to Colorado Springs.

Garden of the Gods.

Truely one of the great FREE parks in America.
 Did several walks and hikes.
I know, they sound the same, but really aren't.
The walks were ranger led, very interesting. And lots of wildlife to see,
including this Wiley guy:

The hikes were amazing. And tons of people were out and about.
Here I am near Balanced Rock.

Spent most of the afternoon here.

Later I headed out to a local brew pub for dinner and the TV.
Had to watch the Cards win their way into the World Series.
Met several locals and enjoyed the conversations.
This lead to a GREAT hike on Saturday morning with Bryan.
Section 16.
That's Colorado Springs way down there.
This is only a little bit up the side of the "hill".

This is near the apex of the UP portion of buring my lungs and legs.
SOOOO worth it!
See the top of that ridge way off across the canyon?
I was there!
Got to see the scrub oak turning red, a micro climate with Aspen trees turning gold from green,
and snow.

Beautiful day.

I'll fill you in on the rest of my Saturday adventure in Colorado Springs tomorrow.

Monday, October 7, 2013


The hardest part of living in Missouri is that you can't see the sky.
Not really.
There always seems to be something in the way,
whether it be buildings or telephone poles or wires.

Here's a cool sunset... with houses in the background.
Same sunset, a few minutes later and shot a little higher to cut out the houses.

An amazing sunset from my deck.

Pesky wires.

A beautiful sky out somewhere hiking.

We are heading into autumn,
better enjoy those beautiful skies before they turn gray.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Randomness # 132

I've been busy with work and work... and more work.
Here is one of my two homes away from home:

I have managerd to get out to a farmer's market here and there too.

And took a stroll in St Louis' s fabulous Tower Grove Park

As well as a hike or two.
Saw this fella enjoying breakfast at Lone Elk Park.

And had a beautiful hike along the St Francis River in Fredricktown.
This river is the ONLY river in Missouri with whitewater
(in the spring they hold kayak races through the rapids).

And I have one more thing done in the kitchen:
The fancy-for-show mostly vent hood is up!
I have to still tile, and do lighting,
but it is coming alone.

Maybe it will be done by Christmas.