Friday, October 30, 2009

Frigid Halloween Parade

♫ ♪ Dashing through the snow in a Halloween Parade ♪ ♫ Here we go again, a day in Telluride that gives anyone and everyone an excuse to dress up and look weirder than usual! The elementary kids always have a parade on Main Street on Halloween, so the parade was held a day early so it could be during school hours.
Weird Elvis! I've never seen a costume quite like this one before.
As you can see, the streets have been plowed but there is still some lingering snow and ice. You have to be tough to be a kid in Telluride! There are no "indoor recesses" here.
I thought the Jelly Belly costumes were really creative.
My favorite costume today was the jack-o-lantern on the right. The green monster behind him was pretty cool, too.
I am going to have to get Maralee to wear some more layers under her fairy costume for trick-or-treating.
Ajax even looked ghostly during the parade!

An Early Taste of Winter

If anyone in Colorado was dreaming of a white Halloween, they got their wish this year! This week some places in Colorado have had as much as 3 feet of snow. I think we only had a little over a foot. I thought I would share some of my snowy photos.
My brother Ryan was here visiting for a few days this week and he and our nephew Josh had their first experience with Colorado snow! I didn't even get any pictures of Ryan while he was here, but I think he enjoyed his visit. He had quite an experience driving back home through snow an ice packed Raton Pass!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Balcony House - Mesa Verde National Park

Last week on Maralee's overnight trip with her school, we were able to tour the Balcony House at Mesa Verde National Park. This is the only tour I had never been on in the park, so I was really excited to have this chance. On our past trips we had either ran out of time or the kids were too little for the tour because of the 32 foot ladder you have to climb. This is a park ranger guided tour. Our park ranger took a lot of time to teach the kids along the way. Like my dad, I've always thought being a park ranger would be a fascinating and fun job. First view of the 32 foot ladder. It doesn't look so bad. The kids (and parents) all did great climbing the ladder. Not only is this tall ladder part of the tour, it begins with a long staircase to get into the canyon, has a 12 foot long tunnel to get out of the Balcony House, then a 60 foot tall climb to get back out via ladders and climbing on stone steps up a rock wall. At an elevation of 7,000 feet, it can be pretty challenging and fun! It's small price to pay to see this amazing home built by Ancestral Puebloans before the year A.D. 1300.
This isn't a great shot of the balcony, but this cliff dwelling was named Balcony House because of the balcony that was built between the first and second floor. The openings served as doors and windows.
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Friday, October 16, 2009

Spruce Tree House - Mesa Verde National Park

This week I went on Maralee's third grade overnight trip and was lucky to visit one of my favorite places! I love the Spruce Tree House cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park. If you watched the Ken Burns series on PBS, The National Parks: America's Best Idea, you know that Mesa Verde became a National Park in 1906 and was the first National Park established to preserve man-made wonders. I have visited Mesa Verde several times in my life. I was really young the first time my parents and grandparents took me there. It has always been a fascinating place to me. I grew up with the term Anasazi Indians, which has now been changed to Ancestral Puebloans, who lived in Mesa Verde from approximately A.D. 550 to 1300. There are still some shades of autumn along the trail to the Spruce Tree House.
There is something truly magical about visiting places like this that were made so long ago.
I'm so happy to be able to share places like this with my kids, places I visited when I was young and the National Parks service protects for future generations to enjoy.
Maralee was pretending to grind corn here with a mano and metate. She and her friends later used this in a skit they performed for the rest of the third graders.
Here I am in almost the same spot as the photo above in 1978!! Ryan must have been 1 and I was 6.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mountains Rule is 2 Years Old!!

I started this blog two years ago today! It has been so much fun and very different than what I thought blogging would be like. It is much more interactive than I had anticipated. I have had very nice comments and e-mail sent from all over the place, sometimes even questions about certain trails or hikes that we have done. Last year I did blog more than this one, but I admit that Telluride Daily Photo does take my attention away from Mountains Rule sometimes. I do keep our personal photos and stories on this blog, however. Here's to another year of blogging! Thank you to all of my blog followers and people that just stop by!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bridal Veil Falls and Blue Lake

Jay and Josh drove up to Bridal Veil Falls today so they could hike up to Blue Lake. Jay was wondering if they would be able to make it all of the way to the lake because of recent snow. Bridal Veil Falls is already freezing over. The sunny parts of the trail looked nice and dry.
They did encounter ice on the trail and still made it up to Blue Lake, although they said coming down was scarier on the ice they had to get around.
The last time I was on this hike it was mid-summer and there were more waterfalls than you could count! They are all frozen now.
This is one icy section of the trail that Jay took a picture of.
This bubbling waterfall is completely frozen over now. Jay said one more snow and it would take snowshoes to get up to Blue Lake.
I missed out on this hike because I traded days this week and had to work. I'm going on an overnight school trip with Maralee on Wednesday. Picture of that trip will be posted later this week!