As always, it’s the people who captivate us…and these three (plus Tucker and Gipper, the Labrador lookalikes) are perfect hosts and loving family.
Sky makes the home and the food, Mike cares for the grounds and seems to always be building a new structure of some sort – this trip it was to enclose the vegetable garden. And, Eli, is growing into a young lady, a soccer team player and a strong student with a caring manner which leads her to mentor to dis-abled youngsters in town.
Eli almost made us fall out the window of our 2nd floor apartment when we saw her behind the wheel, driving into the property on our first day….we never saw her driving before. Shocking growth for her, but a great asset when you live on the edge of the wildness about 20 miles from “town” (Steamboat Springs, CO).
Here she is driving us into town and leaving on her first day of school.
Sky has just begun a new career as an in-house designer/marketer at Into the West, a store and interior design place in town. (It was one of the places that Mike worked when he was learning his craft of furniture making). Here’s a room in the store and a trinket, which are ever-present as well.
Mike’s marijuana wholesale and resale businesses are experiencing the challenges of any start-up and he is becoming a solid leader.
Just for a moment, let’s walk downtown Steamboat Springs and show you some of our favorite sites. The horse in front of F.M. Light’s General Store is a fixture…no rider this time and I cut it’s head off. Mr. Howelson’s statue pays tribute to one of the town’s founders. Deb of our favorite Ranch Organics Soap Company is a pretty lady who we finally met in her store this week. And, Eli’s friend, Ellie, works in Fuzziwig’s Candy store, owned by her parents.
On one corner are statues of famous American’s. I am seated next to Philadelphia’s own Ben Franklin. Mark Twain looks seriously down on us. He is the author of one of my favorite stories…he is in England and writes a 12-page letter to one of his best friends. The last line is, “I’m sorry I didn’t have the time to write a shorter letter.” Perhaps some of you are saying that I didn’t spend enough time editing this “catch-up” piece.
Another favorite thing is hiking Young’s Peak, behind Mike’s house. He has spent countless hours carving trails around this treasured spot. (We bought the 90 acres piece before the real estate recession to save it from being developed into 400 apartments and are rezoning it for 8 lots now…5-acres lots and 40 acres of the mountain will be preserved as open space). Nancy and I got lost looking for our favorite bench, so he came home to show us (again) where it was. Tucker is our “lead dog” on all the hikes. And, Mike supports his Mom on the way down. You can see the mountain from the house. The new road leads to it…road is about 4/10 of a mile long.
On the north side of the house, we face Blacktail Mountain (9,000 feet) and the Stagecoach Reservoir (over 800 acres). When you hike toward it, you can see the dam and the “buttes” which are a prominent feature on our side of the view. Elk live up there until the winter, when they sometimes bed down in the ground around Young’s Peak. In the lower right photo is the view from the dam, back across the reservoir to Young’s Peak and Mike’s house is to the left side of that photo.
Another event this time of the year is to try to find the haying farmers working in the fields as this is really horse and cattle country and they need the hay for the winter feed. (There are still cowboys who work the cattle herds here). When out searching for the hay workers, we find other interesting sights like old houses in the Yampa Valley.
The views here are splendid, but many of them have you looking “up” at action in the sky on top of the mountains. Here’s a sample from a night I was manning the grille.
And, one day this week we visited with Butch and Louise at their place near the Clark Store in the north Routt County neighborhood (or wilderness). Even though we are spending the better part of a month with them (Chautauqua, Boulder and Montana) we really enjoy their mountain home, their company and the one-hour drive from Mikes up the Elk River Road to the area of the Zirkel Wilderness and the mother mountain – Hahn’s Peak.We did some final planning for the trip with the Boyds, starting on Saturday and enjoyed their company and their views….they see Hahn’s Peak and Steamboat Lake from the living room.
So, many thanks to Mike, Sky & Eli for a wonderful week at our “Colorado home”.
Off to more adventures tomorrow.