Last week, Bill and I went on our most challenging hike to date. We started on Gold Camp Road at the Section 16 access to Palmer Red Rock Loop and began climbing - up and up and up. About halfway to the top we stopped to eat our picnic lunch. Just about when I thought I was going to die from exhaustion - a couple of cute little things jogged past us and I told Bill that if that old lady with the walker passes us - I'm giving up hiking!
Well the 3 mile hike to the top - with an elevation climb of over 1500 feet - was well worth it. The views were stunning - but you can see it was starting to cloud up and it looked like the sky was getting ready for another batch of the afternoon thunderstorms we have been getting used to lately.
This would have been a great picture if it had included his head - but I've had fun trying to identify it. I think it is a Black-headed Grosbeak.
After reaching the top of the mountain, the trail meanders around a canyon and down to the starting point. That part of the trail is fairly easy, but twice as far as we had already come. It looked beautiful, but the weather was starting to concern us, so we elected to go down the way we came up. By the time we were halfway down, it started raining. Fortunately, we had purchased more rain ponchos from the Dollar Store. At the bottom of the trail, the red clay was wet and slippery! We were covered with mud by the time we reached the car - but had a great time anyway. Next time we will finish the loop.
That evening, I played my first game of Bunco - a game of chance played with three dice. Players take turns rolling the dice and trying to accumulate as many points as possible to win each of six rounds. The game is played at tables of four in competing teams of two. Nancy was our hostess and organized the whole thing - recruiting the players from Einsteins - and we had a ball. The game is easy - but I still lost more games than anyone else - so I left with the boobie prize - a dozen rolls of toilet paper.
Over the weekend we headed to Denver and Jim and Julia's wedding. Jim is the oldest son of our good friends Mike and Mel.
Julia was stunning and Jim was nervous. What a happy day!
Mel and Mike were all smiles. They are very fond of Julia and are glad to welcome her to the family.
Mike and Mel relaxing at the reception with friends from Missouri, Cathy and Tom - who will be stopping in for a visit later this week.
We sat with Moe and Shirley, their beautiful daughter, Laurie (a brand new mom!), and Tom and Cathy. Moe and Bill have been friends since elementary school. Moe is a master gardener, pond designer and builder and craftsman extraordinaire. Formerly he restored antique furniture - now he designs and builds model airplanes, cars, trains and anything else that tickles his fancy.
The day after the wedding we were invited to a family barbecue at Mike's daughter's house in Broomfield, Colorado. Mike was the cook - and it was all Bill could do to keep from taking the spatula away from him! Instead he practiced being a back-seat griller. Despite Bill's "help" everything was delicious!
Just as we were getting ready to leave, the wind started blowing, the temperature dropped and the sky opened up. Driving away, we encountered rain, hail, thunder and lightening. There was a tornado watch - and guess where it was centered - Broomfield!
I went to bed very early last night - exhausted from all the partying. When I got up this morning, there was a new sign on the fence by one of the vacant birdhouses. Bill had asked Moe to make it and Bill put it up while I slept. I'll have to get him to make one that says "Home Tweet Home."