Thursday, December 31, 2009

Frosty breath & sparkly snow

Couple of inches of snow yesterday. I awoke to the sound of Walter (the great guy who plows the roads and watches our house when we're not here) plowing our driveway at 6:15 in the pitch dark. Energetic guy!
Gorgeous blue sky and sun for the last day of the year. We're off to Crested Butte for the torchlight parade soon. Love that town, it's so quaint.
So who can guess what the funny looking thing in the photo is? None of my family may guess - they were here for the unveiling. This was part of Mark's Christmas stocking present from his secret Santa (Chris). Okay, it's a hyper lip single elk call. I'm sure you all guessed correctly. Oh, yes, Mark now has a gadget to attract elk. Not that he is planning on hunting them (at least for now) but just wants to see them... The instructions came with exercises too - The chirp, the mew, the estrus call - which all seem to be variations of "EE-OO" using a big breath blowing in this thing. I'll let you know how it goes...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fantasy land around us & fantasy in the theatre

Another great day in winter wonderland. We have snow flurries in the air happening right now. More snowshoeing today and new animal tracks appeared in our path overnight. Nice we made a highway for the animals... New tracks around the house as well - we think maybe there was interest in Mark's grilling last night. Can you believe it - grilling at 0 degrees. Hearty man!
I shake my head over the horses & cattle out in extreme cold that we drive by almost every day. They seem perfectly fine - just need their hay. So that's what all that haying was for this fall...
We went to see Avatar at the new movie theater in Gunnison. It's at Western State and very nice. The movie was amazing and I recommend it if you haven't seen it. The special effects are terrific and it's a great story. (And, we got to wear 3D glasses).
Can't believe the year is almost over. We plan to go up to Crested Butte on New Year's Eve to watch the torchlight parade that skiers do coming down the mountain. It seemed very appropriate. This is the busiest week of the year on the ski mountain so we should be there with lots of company.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Brrr it's cold

We went for a fun drive today up to Taylor Reservoir. Hardly any cars out and we watched the temperature drop to -14 by the time we got all the way to the reservoir! And there were a couple people fishing (as in standing in the river - brrr)on the way and a few ice fishing on the reservoir. There were snowmobiling tracks on the ice too. The snowy photo on top really is the reservoir. Can you believe it?! Mark doesn't think he wants to participate in these activities at this time. Can't say I blame him...
The photo with what looks like a baby pine tree has something else in it as well. Don't know if you can see it, but I caught a weasel next to it. They turn white in the winter - definitely great camouflage. We also saw a bald eagle soaring up and down the canyon. I tried, but couldn't get the photo.
Did more snowshoeing today and it was easier than last time. Some of our tracks still remained, which is a lot less effort than the trailblazing part, and coyote or fox tracks appeared in them as well. I guess they decided it was easier to walk in too. We see so many tracks and so few animals. Good at hiding... I think we'd have to stage a middle of the night raid to catch them.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Christmas Story, baking and eating

Christmas was wonderful, and sadly, family is gone, flying back east as I write. We had loads of fun, and have eaten so much food (all the kind that you're NOT supposed to be eating - the kind that's great) that we'll need to go into recovery mode. Tiffany, who just completed her 20 week pastry cooking class, baked up a storm: croissants, miniature quiches, toffee, and gingerbread cookies. She also knows how to enlist assistants - Chris & Mark jumped right in. Fabulous - all of it.
It's been cold, cold (minus stuff), lots of heavy wind, but sun shining with stark white & bright blue skies. We relaxed with big fires, cozy blankets, and activities of choice.
Oh, Christmas Eve we all watched A Christmas Story. Can you believe it - neither Mark nor I had ever seen it. No one could understand how we missed it. Red Ryder BB gun anyone?
Never has a week gone by so fast. Fun had by all, and for those who have seen the caves across from our house - a coyote was seen coming out of them yesterday!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Swooshing, sleigh bells, and sparkling snow

Wow, have we been having fun! Skiing and snowboarding went well, although Heather decided to switch back to skis, which she thought might come back to her - it did! And can you believe it,I actually got on skis for the first time in 18 years. Definitely nervous about it, took a refresher lesson, and did have "muscle memory" come back - to some degree anyway. Mark also had not skied for 18 eighteen years, but had no problem jumping back on the slopes (that's a guy for you).Jay opted out for a quiet day at the house and Tiffany and Chris were doing great skiing on their second day.
Last night was our Christmas surprise from the girls & guys. We went on a horse drawn sleigh to a ranch for a fabulous dinner. It was spectacular! They said bundle up, and, boy, did we need to do that. It was FREEZING, but there were blankets on the sleigh, and we loved seeing the stars and mountains at night. What a wonderful present!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas tree adventure

Here is our adventure in the snow finding the perfect tree.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Huffing & puffing in the snow

Part 1 of two -Further adventures in the snow. We (Mark & I) finally did some snowshoeing today. Oh, my, yes to everyone who said it was quite the workout. Of course, it took half an hour just to figure out how to put the things on and get all the correct clothing on. Winter is work! We blazed a trail on our own property through the woods in two feet of snow. Coming back on our track was easier, but I think I will be sore in some places tomorrow. It was FUN.
Don't know how the girls & guys did yet with their lessons on the mountain. They're on their way back now.(part two)
Christmas is nearing and packages are being thrown in the snow by our community gate. At least they're getting here!
We had dinner in Gunnison last night at a restaurant we like called Sugah's.Good food and cute Xmas lights on Main St...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winter a la magnificance

I'm back!!! We're here for the Christmas holidays with the family and lots of snow! My worries over all of us traveling to Colorado in winter were justified, just backwards. No weather in CO at all, but a HUGE snowstorm in the northeast caused big concern for the girls & guys. They made it okay, and except for a lost bag (Chris - which he got this morning) all is terrific.
It's a minus temp every night here, animal tracks all around the house, and we've already had an adventure. We went out for the Christmas tree cutting. It was deep snow and we laughed & lurched around a bit, but got a good tree. I may have a video to post later.
Ski & snowboard lessons tomorrow for the guys & girls. Wish them luck!