Saturday, July 16, 2016

Day 53 - Rocky Mountains and Music, Music, Music

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


"We will do that tomorrow morning then," he says.

Through my mind raced anything I had mentioned about tomorrow.  I had mentioned using the fitness room at the community center.  Was that it?  I had told him we were going to take the back roads to Carbondale, Colorado.  Was that it?

"What will we do tomorrow morning?" I ask George. 

"Have sex," he says.

I look at him, he hadn't said a thing during our whole walk other than to echo what I had said or agree with something I had said.  

We were getting close to our cabin and the end of our walk.  Maybe he came along on the walk because he had expectations.  

"Did you think we were going to have sex on this walk?"  I ask.

"No," he shakes his head and grins.  

I am puzzled.  This just came out of the blue, like he had been having a conversation in his head and thought I was listening in.  I shrug askance.  He mirrors my action.

"Are you just giving me a warning?"  I ask.

"Yes," he nods and he smiles at me.

"Ok then!  Thanks for the advance notice!" 

That conversation occurred at the end of this day, our last day in the condo near Rocky Mountain National Park with my brother.  At the beginning of the day I got a few moments to myself before George got out of bed.  So I went for a brisk walk. 

By "brisk" I mean fast.  George walks a slower pace and I usually am several paces ahead of him, as if we were on our trikes, he following behind.  I keep having to stop, wait, slow my pace.

So this morning I could walk fast.   Besides all the extra eating on this trip, the long bike rides aren't as frequent, the yoga sessions less frequent, the weight-lifting has been hardly at all.  The pants are getting tighter and I am feeling less fit and strong.

There was a road across the highway from our neighborhood I wanted to explore.

I walked down that road toward the lake (Grand Lake). 



Within a distance of about 5 blocks there was a sign saying this was a reservation and all users must pay a fee.  There was a fee station.  I ventured a little further and then turned back.  It was cold and there was a breeze that cut right through both my light jackets.

I returned to our condo.


George was already up and dressed.  Larry wanted to buy us breakfast and then we all wanted to explore the park some more.  So I packed a lunch and we all got in Larry's car and he drove us to downtown Grand Lake.

Larry had been mentioning some flowers he had seen on the side of the road that I had missed.  He thought they were tulips.  He stopped the car in front of them and I told him they were poppies.





He took us to a bakery on a side street.  The side street ended at a little park on the lake.  The scene was calling to me so I told them to go in and save me a seat.  I would be right there.





As usual on this trip, I ordered too much.  The bakery in the display was calling to me, but I knew it wouldn't stick with me until lunch.  So I ordered eggs too.


The chocolate in the Chocolate Croissant was chocolate frosting.  I shared it with George, Larry got his own.  Then both Larry and I couldn't make it through our egg breakfast.

We hoped that entering the park while the air was still cool and the shadows were long that we might see some wildlife.

We stopped at an old farm homestead and walked the path through a meadow.  Four dots in the distance were moving and had big antlers.  ELK!


Evidence of Elk on the path.


Back in the car we began the climb to the continental divide.



There was a parking area full of cars at the point of the Continental Divide.  A ranger was there talking about the dead trees.  Completely natural cycle, he explained.  The bores come in, attack the older trees, then either freeze or are burned out in a fire.  The young trees, with natural resistance grow and eventually the older dead trees fall.




Larry compiles CD's of music.  He had put together a CD with music from different times of his life to be played at his funeral.  It was enjoyable listening to.  He said he had sent a copy to his son and wants to write up a couple pages explaining the significance of each song. 

Who would think that preparing for ones own funeral could be such fun!

When the song "How much is that doggie in the window" came on, I heard George singing along in the back seat!  Wow!  Only my kids will appreciate the significance of George singing along with the radio.  He is happy and that is a very good thing.


We continued to climb.  Near the top is the Alpine Visitors Center. 



We entered one building and I used the restroom and asked George if he needed to use the restroom.  "No," he said.

Five minutes later we entered another building and George asked where the restrooms are.  So I took him back to the first building.

Larry bought a 12 oz bottle of water ... $2.50.  And he bought a National Park Monopoly game.  Not to play, but he liked the ranger hat playing piece.



The construction and maintenance of the roads through the mountains is something that is awe-inspiring.  We look at the stone walls that sit on very steep inclines and wonder how they ever did it and do it still.




Larry not only compiles music CDs, but he keeps a blog and writes poetry.  You can see his stuff at:

Blog https://azpoimer.blogspot.com

My disclaimer here... the views, content and comments made there-in are not mine or that of my affiliates... except my brother, Larry.


I want to ascend the steps to the top of the mountain.  George wants to go too.  There are no railings. I am a bit concerned.  But we start to climb.  I notice a building with tall sticks on it.  "Are those for measuring the snow or finding the building in deep snow?" I ask him.


We bundled up with two jackets.  The wind was cold and got stronger as we climbed.


I counted steps but lost count around 130.

At the top was a kiosk talking about the plants and animals that survive in this cold altitude.  There is a bird with feathers on it's feet and eye-lids.  The yellow-bellied Marmot hibernates 7 to 8 months of the year.

And there was  a picture of the building with the sticks, covered in snow.


I was surprised at the beauty and variety of flowers there are in this area where trees can not grow.  The plant below is a kind of alpine "Chicks and Hens".  So tiny.


We started the decent.  I stopped every once in a while to look back and check on George.  "I'm fine," he'd say.

I was surprised to see groups of Amish had used a car to get up here and were climbing the stairs.


Back at the parking lot we looked back up the mountain.  So many beautiful flowers!




Here are some pictures we took on our way back down the mountain.


Larry kindly pulled over when I sighed over the beauty of the flowers along a rock wall.  I got out to take some pictures.





Back near the entrance of the Park we had our picnic lunch of PB&J and fruit.

I needed to upload pictures and the internet at our condo was lousy.  It would cut me out when I tried to upload more than a few pictures at a time.  So we went to the Grand Lakes library.

George looked at magazines (I helped him find some.  He used to love reading about the study of genetics and Time magazine had an article on the topic.)  He still enjoys Automobile magazines.

The internet was fast at the library and I was able to upload three days worth and write.  After an hour George started coming over every 10 or 15 minutes.  He would lightly scratch my back and say, "How ya doin'?"  I guess he was done reading and looking at magazines.

I was relieved to get all caught up. 

We were all thirsty so we went looking for a place to get a drink.  We ended up at a coffee shop instead of a bar.  Two smoothies and a coffee -- $20.   






At 5 pm there was music on the square in front of the library.  We didn't have lawn chairs so we sat on the boardwalk.

The band was quite good.

Larry wanted a CD.  So he sent me up to get one.  Then he came and helped me pick one out.  George took our picture while we were hunting through the choices.


We left when the band took a break.  We went back to our condo.  While I was at the library, Larry had gone and bought a hat and a frozen pizza.  So I cooked the pizza for him and made nachos for George and I.  After eating our nachos, Larry's pizza was done.  I didn't know he had planned to share his pizza with us.  So we ate a couple pieces of pizza too.  It was good!  But now I was stuffed.

So I said I was going for a walk and George said, "I'll go with you." 

We walked around the neighborhood.  George not saying anything except to agree or echo something I said.  We walked until the mosquitoes drove us to turn around, and that is when I got the "warning" from George.  "We'll do it tomorrow morning then."

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