September 30, 2015


Maybe no one is reading, but I am feeling the urge to write as our blog of four years flows gently away.

I am definitely finished with Huffington Post.  The picture of the slain elephants, the picture of the starving dog will live with me forever although just barely glimpsed in my scrolling down the messes of news.  I don't want them in my memory bank.  There is so much of 10 reasons why we should do such and such, or 6 ways to benefit something or other, or 5 things we should not eat.  Over and done with you, Arianna, although I respect you tremendously.  Yesterday, I went to Aljazeera and enjoyed.

My new mantra is "settling."  It is an expression from my friend, Debbie. I use it to calm myself - mind and body - over things that could bother or worry or cause angst.  It helps to "settled with it".  I think it a better word than "adjusting" or "accepting."  I just burned a huge batch of granola, and I am settling with it - I learned to use the timer on our stove.

There are some pictures that I want to share.  Most recently, Mike and I camped at Crested Butte in Lake Irwin campsite for three lovely days. The colors are at their peak, the tourists are gone, the quiet and peace was serene, the views pristine, and our campfires were heavenly.

                                  Lake Irwin

We climbed Ruby Peak which was right beside our campsite.  Or, I should say that Michael climbed Ruby Peak.  I had grabbed the wrong shoes, had my threadbare no tread tennis shoes instead of my state of the art new Oboz which have a tread like a tractor.  So, getting to the ridge was easy and then the last 400 feet to the summit started making me afraid - real steep, loose gravel and sand, and so I "settled" and sent Mike on his way.  He was gone longer than I would have liked and came down shaking his head saying he was never doing that again without some poles.  My nimble and unafraid man has also "settled."  And to be truthful, this is the third summit I have turned down in the last few years.  If fearful, then settle with it.  

                                                Ruby Peak

Finally, he returns

And from Ruby Ridge while I wait

and wait

The next day we hiked Beckwith Pass with all the glorious colors.

                                 Ruby on the right

We drove home in the Sweet Beast listening to Alison Krauss and the Union Station and there can be nothing better.  

The week before I went to the desert of Utah, Cedar Mesa, to camp with 9 lovely girlfriends and to celebrate and honor our Pat who is turning 75.  We had a blast, laughing, playing charades, eating royally - even had ice cream the second day (it was on dry ice).  We were all required by the birthday girl to sleep in tents to prove we still could, and she wore a tutu both nights to show her spirit.  The Anasazi ruins we hiked to were spiritual and wonderful as always.  

Pat in the middle

700 to 1150 CE
                                    And still standing
                       Very spiritual places

A Baby's footprints above the door.
1000 plus years ago.  So Sweet!

                 There the ruins of Moon House are nestled into the cliffs.

And the week before that, I went to Telluride to hike and to see the After Film Festival movies.
Maybe I will tell you about the movies in another post as this one seems to be about hiking. 

Silver Lake up Bear Creek

To the top of the ridge before descending into Deer Trail
Town of Telluride below us

   Telluride's Via Ferrata across the way - the route is the line right above the red fingers at bottom of mountain

                Columbine Lake up and over from Lewis Mill

                       Lewis Mill

So, I just cut the tomatoes and de-seeded the slices and chopped them, and then I threw them into the compost on top of the morning coffee grounds instead of into the bowl of avocados for guacamole.
I am settling with it.


August 20, 2015


Let's see....

Back to Creede and our camping with friends and seeing plays.

                         Still crawling in and out of our tent.

Good buddies from our Telluride days, camping together in Creede.

I have been climbing some peaks, no 14ers but the 13,000 and 12,500 peaks are enough and they get you plenty high for the panoramic beauty.  There is nothing like sharing the glory with friends, using your body to climb, terrific conversation, and peaceful wonder at the top.

                         Hanging on from the violent wind on Ruby Saddle

                                 Resting in the glory heading up to Belleview


                                         Friends, good buddies, powerful women

                                   Imagine!!! Lunch on top of a mountain.  Views galore!

                              Bushwacking straight down!  Thank goodness for poles!

And then a visit from our Darlene and her Cooper dog.  What a pal from our Winter Park days!  Dar and I spent three months together living in Cholula, Mexico and traveling all over Mexico and Guatemala in the early seventies.  What tales and adventures!!!

                                Dar picking raspberries at Karen and Paul's garden.

And now, making a rhubarb cake and heading over to Paonia at a ranch of our Corpus friends.  Mike is a trooper spending four days with eight of my high school pals, all from elementary days and one from preschool - a bit unusual to stay in such close bonds with high school friends, but so fun!

Life is pretty darn awesome!!
Mike may return, but in the meantime, here are some pictures.

August 9, 2015

Literary or Political

Ursula K. LeGuin, in this week's "By the Book" column in The New York Times, answers one of the column's regular questions, "Who would you invite to a dinner party," by saying, "Oh, to have Bob Nichols and Grace Paley back for just one more evening!" I did not know who Bob Nichols was or is; turns out "was."

The late Robert Nichols was a Beat poet and, like LeGuin, a political activist. He always said that there is no separation between the literary and the political--and so did Grace Paley, Nichols' late wife, and one of the most-heralded short story writers in our canon. I've never really read either of them, but now I will. I know that not long ago I read a Paley story, but can't recall which story--or it may have been the interview in The Paris Review, done many years ago. I do know that, last spring in Portland, visiting with two of my young colleagues from the MFA program, both of whom either were or had been teaching a class on writing at Portland State University, I heard them say that their students--20 year old's--didn't seem to care for Grace Paley's work. I'll read her, and see if I can tell why.

My last post was simply the link to a column by someone who said we should not see the movie, "End of the Tour," about David Foster Wallace, because, even though the movie is well done and interesting, it takes away from Wallace's work, which both that writer and, he said, Wallace himself would be unhappy about. I asked for input, and got several replies, all of them interesting.

But I'm not going into them right now. I don't know that I will. All I'll say is that I can't really get fired up to see that movie, but not for that reason. It just doesn't sound like much, not, say, like "Mission Impossible IV: Rogue Nation," or "The Drop," or "About Elly," or...

This is likely my last post for some time, maybe forever. I don't mean to be cryptic or maudlin, just letting you know that I am pushing right now my own short story writing, and don't have much time to get what needs getting got to turn out decent posts.

Thanks for reading, and stay in touch. I hope Susan will continue posting now and then, particularly her fine pictures, but that's up to her. We've enjoyed doing it, and, like I say, will likely do more of it. You might check in now and again, or might not.

Whatever, thanks for reading and commenting, and POWER TO THE GOOD PEOPLE!

August 5, 2015


My Birthday Bouquet from Karen is all one stalk!  Believe!

The wildflowers have popped beyond belief with all this rain.  I thought last week was the peak, but no!  They are bigger and higher, the fragrances of the lupine are huge.  The corn lilies have exploded in millions of little flowers on each stalk.  

I took Mike up to Hasley's hoping to see a bit of color left and WOW!  The Fireweed is ready to go and has gone in spots.  We walked across an entire field of Elephantella out in the open but in a bog at 12,000'.  The Bistort is fat, long, and tall.  I need help on this one.  It was real high, in the open beside the small Sulphur.  Is it a Lousewort?

My Michael at the top!  And glory on the way down.


August 3, 2015

Read This and Let Me Know What You Think

I'm not actually posting today, merely tuning up for a future post, by asking my legions of constant readers to click on this link, read the piece, then respond:

Thanks, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Your OLD pal,


July 27, 2015


The flowers are at their peak.  I have been hiking a lot.  Knee is good. My Physical Therapist said, "hiking is your friend," so here I go.

Pictures from Hasley Pass in Crested Butte.  It cannot be captured on camera.  There are basins and fields covered for acres, some over your head.  As you go up and into higher elevation, the flowers change and you see smaller tundra flowers but still is awesome and brightly colored.  I would like to take everyone up there on my shoulders, so you can see the magnificence.

                   Green Gentian (Monument), Columbines, Osha, Sneezeweed

Paintbrush, Lupine, Columbines


                                   Baby Elephants - see their trunks

                                     Columbine and Green Gentian
                                              Larkspur, Lupine, Mules Ears

                                       Field of dreams

Dense Flower Dock

                            Ladies bushwhacking up the basin through the tundra

                     Fravert Basin to Frigid Air Pass and West Maroon Bells Pass

Hagerman Peak, West Snowmass Peak, and Snowmass Peak way in the distance

                                  Maroon Bells from the Hasley Ridge

Ladies on top

There was a GPS among us.  We walked 3 hours and stopped to gaze and photograph 3 hours, so a six hour day, 2000' elevation gain one hour drive to Trailhead and back.  Beautiful day!

And to Third Bowl for ice cream in Crested Butte where a large male bear was in a tree right in the middle of town beside the river.  The Animal Control and police were keeping humans at a distance and intended to herd him out of town when we were all asleep.  And were to make it known to him that he was not welcome back.  Hopefully, he will learn and not get a "strike", for three strikes and you are out.

Tomorrow we are off for Creede to meet Telluride buddies, camp along the river and go to two plays "Guys and Dolls"  and "I love St Lucy."

Fun in our Colorado world.
Susan is back!