Our lives now include living at one of the nicest senior communities in the USA. Rossmoor in Walnut Creek, CA. We will still travel in the RV but not full time.

Archive for September, 2011

Santa Fe’ is a Go for the month of October!

Yeah!  We have decided to stay here in Santa Fe’ at the Trailer Ranch RV Resort at 341 Cerrillos Road, 87507.  We plan to stay through October, enjoying the fall as the colors change.  We like the location and the people.  It is our first “over 55” camping spot and it is on a busy road with every possible business.  I have discovered “Sunflower” a grocery chain that I learned about in Colorado.  We love Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, but Sunflower is less expensive than Whole Foods and right around the corner!

Yesterday, I left without cameras.  We thot we were visiting Santa Clara Pueblo (reservation) to see some cliff dwellings.  It seems, however, that the recent fires caused the Pueblo to close the tourist roads-they learned in previous fires that tourists trample new growth, and in the desert you must give it a chance to come back.

As I am fortunate in meeting my angels along the way, I visited with the only couple in the store and resturant ,and they are from Los Alamos-both worked there.  They encouraged us to visit and so we went to the Science Museum.  Everything about the town and the museum and the government and the land affected my mind and body.  First, the set up is on high plateau land that fans out in fingers of land with canyons dividing it.  So to get from one neighborhood, or laboratory, you have to drive up and cross a bridge.  All buildings appear to be government buildings-not surprising once you think about it.  All big businesses are connected to DOD.  The views are spectacular.  The original Boys Ranch that Oppenheimer knew from visiting up there and that became housing for the original scientists, etc. is still there.  Movies in the museum are real views of what and who were there as they worked on splitting the atom and building the bombs.  The two bombs dropped on Japan were mocked up in real sized models, and you could touch them-as well as the “gadget” that exploded them.  I could go on and on.  Very surreal for me.

At any rate, it was quite an afternoon.

Pictures follow but not of Los Alamos.

Theme for our life these days

What a tree, near Georgia O'Keefe museum in Santa Fe'

Taos Plaza Beautiful young dog wanting to play with my girls-right!

Bridge over Gorge of Rio Grande? Makes me think of Twin Falls, but deeper. Guess people use this for suicides all the time. Strange

When we left Taos we saw an area of "extreme houses" that we still have not learned about. Will go back! this is one of many.

Love this picture of Russ and the girls in old town of Santa Fe'. We often take walks and people watch.Russ relaxes and I find great art everywhere. Dolfins in the sand.

Santa Fe’ arrival and meeting Jackie’s Grandson

We have been in Santa Fe’ for 3 nights and Cerrillo Rd. is a great spot for an RV Ranch.  The town spread out here and surrounded this campspot.  We have everything including Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, 14 theatre cinema, every chain restaurant and a mall with Sears, Penny’s and Dillards. (for you Californians, that’s about the level of Macy’s).  We are staying two weeks and want to attend the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Albuquerque.

We went right to the old town square and ate at our favorite place, Pasquals just off the square.  This is thanks to Jenean when we were here in July a year ago.  It is the best food and so tiny.  At the door we met two women from Pleasant Hill, CA.  Then at the group table we sat with a couple from Maui.  We so enjoyed the visit-she and I sat together and Russ and the successful contractor husband on the other.  They would not leave without inviting us to stay at their place when we get to Maui.  Probably not in the motor home.

Yesterday was another spectacular day.  We drove north to Jen and Jason’s home to meet 2 month old Alec.  Cute as a button.  He is my lifetime friends from Gooding, Jackie and Larry’s new grandson.  We grabbed burritos in town and drove out past the new Oprah House and past great looking Casinos with hotels on three of the reservations.  Their place is a tiny but adorable pueblo in the country. Besides holding Alec, we discussed places to visit while here, and we think Jen and Alec may join us on some excursions. Yea!

Leaving Colorado Springs we look over the cloud covered plains

There's something to be said for afternoon rains in Colorado Springs

Santa Fe' camping spot

Russ cooking breakfast

Baby fix!!!

Jen really enjoys being a mom as does Jason-Alec looks like his Dad.

Girls love watching Russ cook

High elevation sickness on Pike’s Peak


Well, this is a crazy catch up week for me, plus we are seeing so many beautiful things here in Colorado Springs that I want to do these blogs.  However, to do them, I am in Starbucks and Russ and dogs are sleeping in the car.  We just got reservations for Sante Fe spot Saturday nite-we will drive 6+ hours to get there.  We have young friends with baby there.  They are who I went to see last summer (the one before this) when they got married.  Now I will hold my Gooding friend’s grand baby myself.

Russ and I took the cogwheel train up to the top of Pikes Peak.  Sat with a 20 year old air force wife.  She was darling-grew up on Long Island and had some good stories about the hurricane.  Her college in Vermont is still reeling from the floods.

We have been sharing a bit of sun with quite a bit of cloud cover and yesterday and today, rain drops so heavy and straight down, you think it is a joke.  While up on the mountain we just took pictures, but talked to a German family visiting their daughter who lives here.  They took the picture of the two of us by the sign.

However, when I got off the train and walked around taking pictures I felt pretty heavy duty elevation problems.  My friend Pat said not to go to Machu Pichu.  What I noticed was white light around me and dizziness.  Also I was tired when we got to the bottom and could not shop in

Guess I will have to go back and visit it tomorrow.

























I love this guy!





















Russ has probably had all the nap time he needs and I better go.  I’ve been here almost 4 hours and met a table full of people three times now.


Sunday in Colorado Springs

Beautiful church garden that clearly was also a fund raiser, people donated the stone benches with family members who have passed.

Lovely couple about my age, moved here from Oregon, bought condo, bikes and motorcycle. Said it is a perfect place to live-again, snow is dry and melts by 10 in the AM

Sundays are interesting.  Most of the time it becomes a magical day.  This last Sunday was one of those.  First I did a beautiful long walk around this campground, and as I walked by one person’s spot he asked me if I knew where to get medical marijuana.  I didn’t even stumble.  I could see he was in pain and he didn’t seem a threat.  Strangely Russ and I had noticed that Colorado has lots of places and had asked my friend about it.  Seems they are like California.  So I went back to the RV, Googled it and you would not believe how many balloons came up close by.  So Russ took him a copy.  However, just on the walk back a woman approached me to share what Jesus had done to heal her son.  There is a type of fundamentalist approach that usually just raises the hair on my arms.  But I actually told myself that I was just as prejudiced as others.  After all I had just helped a guy get his marijuana, so surely a could hear a beautiful story about her son’s healing.

Then we drove into downtown Colorado Springs and could not believe how beautiful it was.  There were great Victorian homes, churches made from Colorado stone, and it was mixed in with tall modern brick offices.  Everything with the blue bright sky.  We met a couple our age with bikes-they recommended living here.  Apparently the snow is so dry it blows away.  According to them everyone gets a motorcycle and does outdoor sports.  They were the ones that told us to go a few blocks east and see Colorado College especially the Shove Chapel.

Well that was another treat.  People were being fed outside the chapel.  We met Steve who was working it. He told us he would be  happy to show us the chapel.  He was so pleased to show us around and tell us stories about the history, that we just roamed and enjoyed.  He

took us up the circular steps into the tower, opened the door to the bells and they began to ring-the quarter hour~ needless to say he closed the door until it was over, but what a thrill.  I could not believe we went outside the tower roof and took pictures 360 degrees.  It is so strange to turn one way to the highest mountains ever, then 180 to the plains of Kansas.

Sunday was 9/11 and we lit candles in the chapel.

Steve walked us up the tower to the bells and roof. This is his daughter.

Colorado College and the Shove Chapel. They feed the hungry every Sunday and we arrived in time.

We barely opened the door and the bells peeled. Wow!!!

From the top of the tower!

The windows are spectacular. You ought to Google the College to see the pix.

Our wonderful guide, Steve, who is very involved in the community and the food for the hungry.

Now for some of the wonderful homes!

Some of these are apartments but quite a few a single family dwellings.

Love this house

Love the cottages as usual.

Loveland, Estes Park and Rocky Mtn National Park

At the top of the world, almost 13,000 feet high.

Rocks have been broken by years of water seepage. The formations in the Rockies are exquisite.

So beautiful

Love the information wherever we go

This land is your land

We are at top of the world. However, since here we found out 53 Mtns are at 14,000 and higher in this great state we .

Since Russ and I arrived in Colorado we have been constantly impressed.  We are driving south at the east side of Rocky Mtns.  Loveland was a great camp site at the base of Estes Park leading us to Rocky Mtn Park-so high and tundra style above the treeline.  Fascinating and literally breathtaking.  We drove a loop that took us south in high country and then around and  north through more canyons back into Boulder and then north to return to Loveland.  9 1/2 hours of scenery and mining towns and lakes and canyons.  Never seen anything like it.

Follow our trip From Loveland, on 34 up to Estes Park and over the pass and south to Highway 70 thru Arapaho National Forest, then north thru canyons to Boulder and back north to Loveland.

The dogs were in the car with us all day.  Everything is big and high and you can see for miles and miles.  Huge clouds just take my breath away.  300 days of sunshine in this area.  Supposedly snow is dry and does not stay in the plains towns for long.  Everyone we meet gives us reasons to live anywhere along the towns you see west of US 25.

Well last week we were in Loveland and had no Verizon so I got behind.  Had to address the Loveland trips.  We have learned to stay longer and site see from car.  Not so expensive in gas.  When we left Loveland we only went to Littleton south of Denver and stayed in the nicest state park I could imagine.  I wish I took pictures.  Then we left there and came here outside of Colorado Springs.  Visually this is the most beautiful RV Park and the entire area is one incredible trip after another.  We are here till Friday when we leave for Sante Fe’.  I have at least 3 more blogs to post just from this area, so enjoy.

Boulder may be expensive, but wow is it beautiful!

Pearl Street Mall, and Victorians of Boulder

Russ and I decided I needed a break.  Even from the “girls”.  So I drove to Boulder for an afternoon.  It’s about 50 minutes south of Loveland and with map and Magellan I went the roads that run through the towns west of I-25.

We had passed through Boulder after our day on top of the world in Rocky Mt. Park.

It was a stunning town-city with buildings from the 1860’s.  Pearl Street has beautiful old business buildings and the city closed off 5 blocks, bricked from one side of street to other.  They planted trees that are now very tall and planted flower pots everywhere.  However, the best thing they do in Colorado is build child fun areas.  All along the walk way are pits for children.  Some have rocks to climb, some stone animals, some water spouts.  Even the mall in Denver yesterday had the best pit of climb on toys I have ever seen.  Kids were having a ball.

Wonderful old buildings, but now a pedestrian only bricked mall.

You can meet people from all over the world.

The children have a ball!

Maybe people do not sue in Colorado

Besides my walk through the mall, I went off to the side streets of victorians and turn of the century  homes.  Boulder was definitely part of the minerals coming out of the mountains, but the University was very early on too.  I loved the University Buildings made from Colorado rock full of minerals.

I think these people are Buddist? They owned the bookstore I loved.

Walked a mile taking about 25 pictures of homes on Spruce Street.

Lots of brick in Wyoming and Colorado

This house had a creek for a front yard and the bridge is from the street side walk to the front door.

Did you see the squirrel in the one above?

The best thing of the day was a late lunch in a deli, where I spoke to an Aussie at the register.  She invited me to join her and her husband for lunch.  They are here for one year on a teacher exchange.  She is a PE coach-teacher.  They are loving the year and we traded teacher stories.  I guess many Aussies take advantage of this and other exchange programs, then return home.  They are from Melbourne and I was given their card. What fun!.  I also met an incredible artist and enjoyed his and other artists’ work inside a shop that they all shared right on the mall..

Finally, I went to a great bookstore.  I met a librarian who helped me pick out some good books.  Sad part of the story-I lost my Nook reader.  Probably stolen from our car, but who knows.

Still seeing exquisite Methodist Churches and others out here.

What is the friendship connection?

Having enjoyed my friends in Cheyenne so much, I knew I must connect with Judy and Stan Wolff-Mills.  I had lost touch with my friend whom I knew in our twenties.  Judy and I taught the deaf in Yuba City.  Two powerful women who hit it off immediately.  We lived through her divorce and my growing up and buying my first home.  She taught me how important pets are and how to sew, knit and cook vegetarian. And oh yes, she and her friend taught me about sex, all those things you used to be afraid to discuss.

This Sante Fe style home was designed to be no higher than 76 degrees in summer with no air conditioning

Judy met Stan while we were still sharing our lives. They had Allie, an incredible child of course.  She has worked in London, and New York city and designed some corsets within Judy’s business.

Well, I had to return to Facebook, my least favorite thing to do on the web.  Thank God-it was how I found her, as they bought land outside of Wellington and not only built an incredible home, but started a llama ranch and her business.

Judy began a business that is fascinating and a perfect fit to all I know about her.  She hand cuts the llama’s wool, and goes thru every step up to making original woven wear that is beyond beautiful.  She also shows the llamas at the shows she sells from and of course takes personal orders.  Only Judy could do the details to jacket pieces.  The lining is unbelievable- hand died silks. OMG

Judy Wolff-Mills

265 Buddy Rooster Lane
Wellington, CO 80549-2127

These are such curious animals and wanted to greet us, but got a bit scared and whistled out a warning.

We met Judy and Stan at a Vietnamese restaurant in FT. Collins and the joy and warmth of reuniting was awesome.  Of course Russ and Stan entertained each other as Jude and I could not talk fast enough.  Then we drove north and on the plains, looking up to the Rockies and met the llamas.  They are pets in many ways, but apparently a good llama owner understands their natural personalities and does not treat them like a dog.  They are much more independent more like cats in that way and they are incredibly curious.  They really have rules for themselves.  I only heard a couple of their voices-a warning call as Russ and I and the dogs approached.  Also I had a llama at my face wait for me to breathe close to his nose so he could get to recognize me.

We took one llama for a walk with us.  It was a good mile and half  and Judy worked on commands.  She shows the llamas when she is out showing and selling her product.  I fell in love with them.

The males and females are in slightly separate areas. Stan and Judy realized that their lovely animals die at 20 years and they did not want to have the animals outlive them. So they have stopped at 20 llamas.

We will meet again in Denver.  Will not loose touch again.  I do treasure all of you and have been reminded that friendships and family are what it is about.  I think I knew it, but became lax about old friends.
Would really have missed out if I had not found these friends.

These animals just blow my mind. She was a better house guest than Izzy who immediately peed and pooped in the front room.

Can you believe the coloration?

The view

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