Friday, November 30, 2007


There's snow this morning. Not much here at the house, but it rings the valley a couple hundred feet above. The weather forecast is for more today and tomorrow.

That's good news for everyone here. All of our water in the Mancos Valley (with the exception of a very few wells and springs) comes from the La Plata Mountains that form the east edge of the valley ... plus the rain and snow that falls on the ground inside the valley. So, our snow pack this winter is, essentially, our water ration next summer!

Incidental to that (water for the town, the valley and Mesa Verde National Park is a much higher priority), we hope to have a good base of snow for Mancos Mush IV, which will take place Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 9 and 10. The Web site for the Mush is

If we have good snow, the races will start at 8,031 feet elevation and go up to 11,093, with both a 30-mile and a 40-mile course each day. There WILL be snow at higher elevations, no doubt about that. But lack of snow at lower elevations may require moving the starting point a little higher (this was done in 2006) and that both shortens the courses and makes it more difficult logistically.

I was out streetwalking yesterday to raise sponsorships for the Mush, and will go again today. The Mush is getting established as an annual event now, and it comes at a great time for Mancos (what else is happening around here in February?), so support is good.

We're getting some ancillary activities going to coincide with the Mush. The library is going to host an event then, raising money for our new library. Mancos artists Veryl Goodnight and Patsy Davis are planning a dog-themed art show, Wolves at Heart, with an exciting Junior Wolves at Heart art competition for students in Montezuma County. So, we're planning on a yippin' good time in the Rockies, regardless of the snow depth!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The rest of the story ...

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit with Drayton in Fort Collins, going into Old Town in the evening to window-look and dine, filling his house with turkey smells (and leftovers) on Thanksgiving and visiting with him. Saw him in a trivia competition with Katie, his housemates, etc., on Wednesday evening, and he's as good at it as ever!

On Black Friday, we took advantage of sales at big box stores in Ft. Collins and Loveland, then headed over the pass to Grand Junction. Kind of a ho-hum day weather-wise, but we needed to cover miles and we got into GJ before dark.

That gave us time to stroll the downtown pedestrian mall area ... about four blocks of shops of all sorts and an amazing amount of statuary! That really is an impressive way to bring art and life to a downtown area.

Saturday dawned bright and cold, with fresh snow in the hills to the south. So, we toured Olathe and Delta (with its Egyptian Theater) and Montrose and then climbed the mountains into Telluride. Did some streetwalking there, too, and then over Lizard Head Pass, detouring to visit Upper and Lower Ophir. Pics are of Telluride and Upper Ophir. Beautiful day, and great setting for picture-taking. Where else can you see such blue sky? Tom

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Following up

This is a new experience, this blogging stuff ... complicated by the fact that our high-speed interaction connection was down (something having to do with the water that the technician poured out of the router!).

Anyway, we'll pursue this for a while, let a few people know about it, and see where it leads.

Part of the inspiration (for Tom, at least) was the trip Sandy and I took over Thanksgiving to Fort Collins, where son Drayton lives.

We took two days each way, staying in Buena Vista on the way up and Grand Junction on the way back. Neat trip, with second days each way characterized by bright sunshine and fresh snow. We got lots of pictures!

On the first day out, we did side-trips both sides of Wolf Creek Pass, then wandered in the San Luis Valley. Took the road north of Del Norte to La Garita and Penitente Canyon. Never did reach the canyon, but really had a great experience in the La Garita area. There's an old Catholic church there, by the Carnero Creek Cemeterio ... fascinating place, with the San Luis Valley spread out to the east and south (picture of San Juan de Baptista above, from the cemetery).

We enjoyed supper in Buena Vista at Mother's Bistro ... a place that advertises "comfort food" can't be all bad! The menu is limited, but the meatloaf was good and the decor and service (by the owner) was great.

I wanted Sandy to experience breakfast at the old hotel in Fairplay, but they're not doing breakfast nowadays. So, just down the street is the Brown Burro Cafe and it was comfy, family-oriented and had good breakfasts (and the smallest restrooms we've ever seen!). Fairplay was beautiful in the fresh snow, bright sunshine and about 12-degree temperature.

'Nuff for now; more later ... maybe.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Good morning!

This is Sandy and Tom's first effort at a blog, to record and share our travels, etc.