Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Rocky Mountain National Park

Being originally from the East Coast, I admit that I had never heard of this park before we came to Colorado. So I was quite surprised to find out that it is number THREE in numbers of park visitors behind Great Smokey Mountains NP and the Grand Canyon NP with over 4.5 million visitors last year. Bob and I have been watching the weather forecasts every day and today looked like the best day to visit, weather-wise, so we left the campground at 8:00 am and drove to the park.
It was a beautiful morning.
We passed Shadow Mountain Lake and there was a little part of me that wished we could have a summer home here.
There are three ecosystems represented in this park. When you enter, you are in the Montane which is below 9,000 feet.
The road starts to climb and before too long you are in the Subalpine ecosystem which is from 9,000 feet above sea level to 11,400 feet.
Eventually you reach the Alpine which is above 11,400 feet and the highest on this road is 12,183 feet. I got out and hiked along a trail to take some photos (Bob stayed in the car with Auggie because dogs are not allowed on the trails) and the air was cool, clean, and very thin. It was a bit hard to breathe at that altitude. We had packed bag lunches and enjoyed them while sitting in a pullout with the most amazing views.

Here are some of my favorite photos.

This was definitely the best time of year to visit this popular park.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Trip to Granby, CO

I can be a Nervous Nellie at times (no, really???) and one of the things that sets me on edge is mountain driving in the RV. So when we were planning this leg of the trip I had some reservations, to put it mildly, when we looked at Google Maps and saw this.
The dreaded switchbacks. Add them to steep grades and they are the stuff that my nightmares are made of. I called the campground Sunday morning and was given reassurance that we can make it in a 40’ motorhome that is towing a car. So off we went.

Before too long we had reached the first of many switchbacks.

The scenery was worth the drive, though, and I had fun snapping pictures. 

And I have to say that with Bob’s expert driving skills and the width of the road we made it through just fine. Of course, we’ll have to face them all again on the way out!

We are staying at a park that is brand new and still under construction, but there are some definite pluses. We were offered 30% off our campground fees because of a fall special. And for $50 we could rent a golf cart for the week. The usual cost is $50/night! So we decided to go for it, and Auggie is so happy. He thinks we should own one of those things and tries to hop in them every time we walk past one.

We tootled around looking at the amenities and I told Bob I wanted to drive the cart this week because he uses them when golfing and, like Auggie, I like the idea of golf carts, too. So I get to drive and boy, they are fun!
We saw the putting green...
...and the heated pool. There are also three hot tubs. We may take a dip later today. It’s a little chilly here, being at 8000 feet in elevation but I’d like to say I went in at least. We also have a nice view from our campsite.
We had an early supper at the resort’s grill and had a glass of beer as well. We enjoy talking with the folks here; they are very friendly. Later this week we’ll visit the Rocky Mountain National Park and I’m really looking forward to that. But I’d like to get used to this elevation before we visit because we’ll have to drive over passes that are 12000 feet in elevation and we are just getting used to 8000 feet.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Quilt Museum and Coors Tour

Bob and I have not been idle here in Golden, CO. On Friday Bob dropped me off at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum for a lovely hour while he ran errands. This museum was founded in 1990 and is dedicated to the preservation of family heirlooms, and promoting and educating the public on the importance of quilts in our culture. Their collection includes over 500 quilts.
Bashful Honu by Sue Sherman
Apple Orchard by Marianne Williamson
Colorado Dreamin’ by Amy Davis
Don’t Let People You Despise Live Rent Free in Your Head by Linda Laird

There was also an exhibit of miniature quilts that were very inspiring to me since our living quarters are small. These were all sewn by Tina M. Gravatt.
Ribbon Log Cabin with Ribbon
Amish Hexagon and Stripes, 18.75 x 23 inches
Lullaby of Birdland, 18.25 x 23.5 inches
Mariner’s Compass, 19.5 x 24.5 inches

On Saturday Bob and I drove to the Coors Beer Factory to take their tour. For $10 apiece you get a tour, three samples of beer, and a commemorative glass. Coors was started in 1873 by Adolf Coors who invested $2000, along with another investor who put up $6000. 
The factory as you drive up to it
We stood in line for about 45 minutes until a tour bus picked up our group
Inside we saw a small museum display with the history of Coors 
These are vats of mash
Quality Control
The bottling room
The Sampling Room. We sampled Colorado Native Olathe Lager and Rain Delay Hazy IPA.

Afterwards we walked two blocks and had a nice lunch at the Table Mountain Grill and Cantina. Golden is a picturesque town with lots of little shops.
We leave Sunday morning for Granby, CO. I am not sure we will have internet where we will be staying, however, so if I don’t post anything for a week you’ll know why. 

Friday, September 13, 2019

Schacht Spindle Company and Celestial Seasonings Tea

We have made it to Colorado! The trip was easy and uneventful and we are settled into our campsite outside of Boulder until we move to Granby on Sunday. I had made reservations for a Thursday tour of Schacht, a company that makes looms and spinning wheels, so yesterday we drove into Boulder. What a pretty view of the mountains this town has.

We arrived at Schacht a few minutes before our tour was to start, and we were greeted by Jane Patrick herself. I wish I had gotten a photo, but I always feel funny about asking for a picture of a total stranger. She showed us the office area and we waited for the other two tour folks to show up. There were some very nice displays to peruse while we waited.

Schacht is celebrating their 50th anniversary next week and we were kind of glad we came when we did because of all the personal attention we received. It’s going to be crazy around here next Friday! Our tour guide, Caleb, was wonderful and he answered all of our many questions.
We got to see the different steps of how a spinning wheel is made, plus some assembled looms.

Once the loom parts are made and finished, the person who assembles it can put it together in 35 minutes.

We left Schacht and grabbed a yummy lunch at a nearby Whole Foods before heading over to another Boulder company, Celestial Seasonings (the tea company.)

I’ve been drinking their tea my whole adult life so seeing where it is made was a thrill.
Bob and I sampled some teas while we waited for the tour to start, enjoying the art work on the wall that has been featured on tea boxes over the years.

Celestial (as the locals call the company) is also about to celebrate their 50th anniversary. 1969 was a very good year for new companies in Boulder.
Unfortunately, on this tour we were not allowed to take photos, but our guide led our group through the different plant areas where the teas are stored, mixed, and packaged. They work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week producing a half million boxes of tea every day. We learned that Sleepytime tea is their biggest seller everywhere in the world except Canada, with Bengal Spice tea holding the #2 spot. In Canada, Bengal Spice is #1 and Sleepytime is #2.

We were ready to chill out after this tour so we headed back to Auggie who was waiting patiently for us. On Friday we will probably just relax.