What a great weekend we had. Charles and Lisa made it over from Santa Fe, clear sailing until snow close to us and having the worst time on Star Mt. roads (including our driveway) - sorry... But all was well ,blowing snow outside, roaring fires in, wine and philosophy (well, really wine enhanced babble), trek into Crested Butte, and a crazy amount of wildlife sighting - elk and big horn sheep.
Secret Stash visit of course. Lots of snow around. That's a view from our table out the window.
Our crazy Florida license plate caused some people to stop and ask. Here? Why? And that's Paradise Cafe's outside seating. Guess we'll have to wait for summer...
Elk staring at us
And we still have company, just a changing of the guard. Lisa and Charles went back to Santa Fe, and Uncle Ralph joined us last night after a 14 hour trek hauling his snowmobiles from Wyoming. Not allowed on Star Mt., but there are plenty of places to go for that and off Mark and Ralph have gone for a new adventure. Our time is growing very short - back to Naples Thursday.
Made our way up to Taylor Reservoir. A very different story than the last time we did this in winter. It was minus 14 then and this time 16 above. One lone fisherman was preparing to try the "hog trough" and only one shed out on the water at the reservoir ice fishing. There were driveways plowed out along the way in the isolated areas, hearty people - wait a minute, I guess that applies to us as well. (at least for a few weeks anyway). Saw a group of big horn sheep close to Almont as well. The wildlife sightings have been few and far between.
After Lisa sent me a link to the state of water, all kinds, and how bad most of it is for us (joy) with one exception - mountain spring water, Mark & I jumped in the jeep to go to our (not really ours but close by and free to anyone) mountain spring. Yes, it's still running 24/7 - magic. Filled up a container - we should live forever now!
We have guests coming for the weekend - Lisa and Charles. Hurray! They're driving over from Santa Fe and it may be a little snowy. We'll all enjoy the winter wonderland I guess.
Wow, the days are zooming by - we have only 9 days left before going back to Naples. We had some snow (6 inches) and the direction it blew caused Mark to have to grab a ladder to climb up and brush off the satellite dishes. The snow was so deep around that part of the yard, he had to use snowshoes. Who knew snowshoes were a necessity here? And yes, we have 2 dishes - one for tv and one for internet - the way it's done here. Must stay connected with the outside world.
Today the sun was shining and 22 degrees. Felt warm! Skiing today. I'll admit I was very apprehensive, but after trying to remember what you do with those ski things, it went well. I can't claim to have the most beautiful form, but at least didn't fling myself and equipment all over the slopes. Things have changed since we were last there skiing. There are platforms for jumping in quite a few places - very impressive and fun to watch, but not for me.
Oh, yes made it to Secret Stash the other day. That unique pizza place sucks us in and spits us out feeling much heavier. - sooo good.
We saw a herd of elk on the way to Crested Butte a couple days ago. Or, really, Mark saw them and then I grabbed the camera (we call him eagle eye Adams) They are not in the least bothered by cold and bask in the sun laying on the snow.
So beautiful here at this time of year, but winter is still in full swing for 2 more months. Then spring arrives, or as they call it here - mud season. All that snow has to go somewhere...
The big snowstorm predicted here did not materialize. We(Star Mt) got 2 inches, Crested Butte got 3 + 6(sort of medium for them), and Gunnison zip. Since we're 1000 feet higher than Gunnison, we seen to always get stuff they don't.
Continued the endless deck shoveling/chopping and finally Mark was able to get the grill out from the ice. Yes, we're part of that crazy group who grill all year round no matter the weather. Yummy ribs last night!
Went to the gym in town again. We're trying to stay on a decent workout schedule while we're here. This gym has a ton of machines (I avoid the ones that either look torturous or scary) and a number of people working out, who, I swear, do not have one ounce of body fat., You would never know this country has an obesity problem around here. This area is a place of extremes: temps, snow, and endurance sports. Even the animals are tough. They're out all winter in minus 24 and worse, and seem fine. I feel - puny....
I want to mention an amazing hand cream, and no I'm not selling it, nor work for them. This isn't even new, I got it last summer. But it's awesome for dry skin, and boy, you really get dry skin here - no humidity at all. And it smells great...
Went snowshoeing again and the Adams trail is finally getting traffic, Saw fox and coyote tracks, a pee marking, and a large bone in the middle of our trail. Why was the coyote dragging this around and why did he leave it?
Having fun every minute. Even the quiet night is interesting. The moon is 2/3 full and it illuminates the soft serene snow - magical. Everywhere we go people seem to be enjoying themselves - isn't this beautiful - a sleigh ride in the snow.
We tried out a new restaurant in Crested Butte today. It's called Sherpa Cafe and is owned by a mountain guide and his family (their last name really is Sherpa) who left Nepal due to the long time Maoist insurgency and political unrest. . Seriously, we now have a Nepalese restaurant in our tiny town. The food was great -I had a Tibetan noodle dish and Mark had Nepali Chili. If you're in need of a guide to climb Mt. Everest, Pemba, the owner, is still taking people up. This summer as a matter of fact. He said he's usually gone 4 weeks and his wife and kids will take over the restaurant until he's back. While we were there, a woman asked if he would speak at her church, and a phone call interrupted their conversation. It was a reporter wanting to do a story on Pemba. He was very nonchalant, said call back in an hour, it was too busy. I think he must have been getting a lot of attention since they've been here.
Went snowshoeing again - what a difference. Walking in our trail is 10 times easier! We were surprised no coyote or fox had jumped in our track. There are lots of tracks everywhere around the house now. Those are rodent tracks of some kind back and forth in the top photo.
I must qualify the fun every minute comment. The never ending snow shoveling, in fact, sawing the ice/snow , off the deck is not really fun, at all. Mark has actually been using an antique ice saw that came from his dad to make some headway in the frozen stuff. This amazes me, a hand forged steel possibly 1800's tool is working better than anything.
We have immersed ourselves in the middle of the amazing winter here. Have already seen elk (Almont Triangle) a half dozen laying in the snow, a coyote out and about (not at our house though) and did some snowshoeing today. OMG., Twice as much snow as last winter so trail blazing was hard, hard, hard. That photo of Mark is out by our back gate. Hmmm...don't see the gate? - standing on top of it! We've only done half the trail so far. Too pooped. We 've seen animal tracks around the house now, so it will be interesting to see if the coyote and fox jump in our tracks as they did last winter. I certainly would - half the effort to get around.
Also went to Mcgills this morning for breakfast. Always really good and lots of people had the same idea. Mark was disappointed that the town had just taken away the big snow piled by the sidewalks, so don't be deceived, they've had a lot of snow. Drove up to the mountain - see - lots of snow.
The massive snow shoveling goes on. Having a nearly 60 ft long deck does not help... There's still a ton on the roof too, I've already predicted this outcome: we get the deck clear and plop goes all that roof snow. We'll see.
And do to multiple requests, since we had cleaned all the flies from the first floor, but waited until today to get the flies from the bedrooms upstairs (nice I know, but we have no guests!) I took a photo before vacuuming - hope you're satisfied. This is what was all over everywhere...
Oh, my, our pilot on the Dallas to Gunnison flight gave his usual speech and then added that Gunnison was currently -24. Bring it on, we clearly are gluttons for punishment! Such an exaggerator, when we landed and got in our car it said -11. Whoo hoo. Anyway, made it to the winter wonderland - hurray.
Made it to the house to find the fly invasion of all time. All dead but literally thousands everywhere. Sooo, the first hour was spent vacuuming, sweeping , mopping. Then the deck. Drum roll - yes our wonderful huge deck that delights in the summer collects snow, a lot of snow. The photo shows 5 feet of snow - that's the grill swallowed up in the snow. Mark spent some more time shoveling, 10 percent there so far. It's a lot of ice in there - good thing our builder braced this for snow load...
No animal tracks around the house, well there's a lot of snow here. We are snowshoeing tomorrow, tough guys blazing the trail, so we'll see if the coyote & fox appear. (they like trails) This last photo shows our fence in the back - notice snow is up to the top. Gee, wonder how our pool is doing...
Hit the farmer's market again. We heard a rumor they were selling local farm eggs. Nada (of course we're going to be gone for three weeks, couldn't have consumed them all before leaving anyway). Did pick up a few more Meyer lemons and pasta from the pasta lady. Garlic parsley fettucine and 100% whole wheat fettucine. You could even see slight chunky wheat pieces in the pasta - wow, great, right. Wrong - trust me, if you see chunky whole wheat pasta turn and run the other direction. We had it last night with meatballs & homemade tomato sauce. Nice cardboard flavor that the tomato could not cover up. Yum...
Finished two books - Richard Russo's That Old Cape Magic, which was good, not great and the other fantastic: Traveling with Pomegranates. Sue Monk Kidd and her daughter Ann Kidd Taylor's journey to Greece, Turkey, and France. You don't have to be a mother or have a daughter to enjoy this wonderful book, but you do probably have to be female. It's a story of spiritual awakenings, a woman's journey through life's passages, and personal discoveries.
Saw dolphins again, who most agreeably hung around close to shore, but capturing a fin of one was the best I could do. It's much harder to photograph than it looks. It couldn't possibly be the ability of moi...
I think my next post will be from Star Mt. White stuff!