Tattoos – and on the road again…destination BC, Canada

This weekend we left beautiful Colorado and are heading to British Columbia, Canada. We stopped in Ogden, Utah and are currently in Kennewick, Washington before spending tonight in Canada, and tomorrow on to our AirB&B in Canada.

The past few weeks have been packed with visiting kids and grandkids and friends (Quinn and Ben, and 3 month old Caleb from S/Y Wanderlust-met in Martinique, now living in Colorado-it’s a small world!), and exploring Golden, Boulder, Morrison and discovering Grand Lake, Colorado in the mountains. Grand Lake is the largest natural lake in Colorado. Keep in mind that there are numerous man-made large reservoirs in Colorado.

img_7012
Grand Lake, Colorado

After leaving Grand Lake we drove a longer route home through the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) on our way back to Golden that afternoon. The road is twisty and curvy, and rises to over 12,000 feet. Amazing views.

ZPIg2froQXWOLiDBNvkpTw
Rocky Mountain National Park

We enjoyed sunsets over the mountains as well. Below is one taken at North Table Mesa trailhead outside of Golden:

5N2tWe74QLWI0fBb6FdUHQ
Sunset from North Table Mesa trailhead

There is a creek running through Golden, named Clear Creek. And a local tube renting business alongside it! So last Monday, on a hot 90F day, we rented a tube each and spent the afternoon floating down Clear Creek (twice). It was a lot of fun! But of course, I couldn’t bring my phone into the creek, so unfortunately couldn’t get any photos.  But here is photo of the creek. Made for a really enjoyable afternoon.

IMG_7069.jpg

Some of our favorite eating places include Barrels and Bottles Brewery in Golden. We’ve spent frequent evenings there, having a pint of home brewed beer or glass of wine, dinner and playing Mexican Train Dominoes. A fun place to hang out! Another favorite, beautifully classic restaurant is the Sherpa House Restaurant which is run by Sherpas of Nepal and the Himalayas. Take a tour through the photo gallery on that link, it was an amazing place, with amazing food.

But among all of our wonderful time spent here, we needed to deal with some medical issues as well. This time, it was Gregs turn. As previously posted, he had a skin cancer removed, and a tooth extracted by an oral surgeon. Both are healing nicely. We are hoping that will be the extent of any medical care we need this year!

While in Colorado, I was also able to finish Krisi’s knitted cowl that Mike had bought the yarn for. It turned out really nice!

IMG_0362
Cowl done!

Now that I’ve finished the cowl, I have restarted on the lap blanket that I began while in Minnesota (you know, I HAVE to have something to knit!). It’s a seed stitch pattern on the outside of a beautiful celtic cable stitch running down the middle of the blanket. My goal is to finish before we leave for Aquataurus in January 2019. A good project for those driving in the car days!

vsR46dznRoKoOwDLZGjqyQ
Lap blanket-in progress

Also while we were in Colorado, Gregs daughter discovered that her mare was pregnant! She rescued her in about January this year, and a pregnancy test was negative. Yes, a FALSE negative, and while we were there, she discovered that she was going to have a baby in the next 2 weeks! Yep, one day she didn’t know her Annie was pregnant, the next day, she would be dropping a foal in the next 2 weeks! What a surprise! So we had the joy of meeting “August Surprise”, or “Gus” for short, a little colt, and here he is at 3 weeks old. What a cutie pie!

V2MTsApNRKmRbOpQ3DSCkgc45Si1TVTV6mu7vLu5DIzg

Lastly, I can’t forget about the Tattoos! Here are mine (yes, plural):

oaVcK19jSNeugxm3HZQ
Left ankle: The lotus flower and sanskrit “Om Mani Padi Hum (compassion, in Sanskrit) are the old tattoos. The new is the silhouette and the sanskrit “OM”. Nice job Kidd!
BfFtVi7HQdCDYteB3mHExA
Right ankle: The “Mitak’ Oyas’in” is old (means “we are all connected” in the Lakotah language) and the Native Medicine Wheel is new.
F03d7mT6Tiuf+quTDeWEjQ
Left forearm

Because I cannot download the photos of Gregs tattoos, I will let him show and explain his, on his blog (link is on the right). So go there and see what he got, or just keep guessing :-).

 

 

Advertisements

Beautiful Colorado

Colorado has been full of adventures! Since arriving, we have experienced a damaging hailstorm right when we arrived, that totaled our son-in-laws car!!!!!!,

IMG_0265
Hail damage: car was totaled!

have had some amazing hikes, visited with kids and grandkids.

After first arriving in Colorado, we were in an AirB&B in Boulder. Gregs son and his girlfriend flew in from Minnesota, so we were able to visit with all 3 of Gregs kids and families, as the girls both live here. We rented cabins in a KOA campground and visited Royal Gorge with the whole family and grandkids.

kDR5nGnGQ2y6cx6orzz+7A
Royal Gorge at Canon City, Colorado
DoOWUZS1T2W5CL3IU2ET6A
Campground: KOA cabins at Royal Gorge

While Gregs son and his girlfriend were here, we also had a great 3 mile aggressive hike up to the Royal Arch at Chataqua outside of Boulder.

S5KDGhQGQFukHsBqVuEk3A
Hike to the Royal Arch in Boulder, Colorado

My feet hurt so bad after that hike! But it was an amazing hike nevertheless. After hiking, I’m always wanting a foot massage but never get around to scheduling it!

HlP%ZXXESsqGBGDX1ybWow
MY FEET HURT!

After a few days in the Boulder AirB&B, we moved to a Colorado Springs AirB&B. While there, we mostly visited with Gregs daughter, who lives there, and her family. I taught my 12 year old granddaughter how to knit! And bought her circular knitting needles and yarn, and she is off to knitting herself a headband! And Gregs daughters husband bought her yarn and a cowl pattern, knowing she doesn’t knit, but that I would make the cowl for her! So yes, I’ll probably have it finished for her before we leave here.

1Z8y9zNuS3ag9U5Uv24zFw
Knitting a cowl for Gregs daughter

After Colorado Springs, we moved to our longer term AirB&B in Golden. A beautiful little home with a nice fenced in yard (so I can let Toto out without being on a leash). We will be here now until the end of August (we’ve been here over a week already).

Over the past week, we have done some hiking, drove up to Lookout Mountain and had dinner with the sun setting over the mountains.

vtpsWrSVQvewucu1hCXF0Q
Sunset dinner at Lookout Mountain, Golden, Colorado

We’ve also found some amazing places to eat! Including a small brewery called Barrels and Bottles, a Nepalese restaurant owned and run by Sherpas from Nepal and the Himalaya area, amazing place with amazing food.

One day Greg wanted to hike, so I found that the Annual Colorado Springs Intertribal Powwow was taking place in Colorado Springs. I dropped Greg off at the hiking trail, and spent the next few hours at the Powwow. I’ve always loved these events, even when I lived in Minnesota, so this was a real treat for me.

Forthcoming plans include beach time at a local lake beach area with family (kids and grandkids), more hiking…and more tattoos!!!!

Unfortunately since we’ve been here, Greg has had a skin biopsy which showed basal cell    cancer, so he needs to have that removed next week, and he’s had a sensitive tooth, which needs to be extracted, probably next week as well. Better here than in the Caribbean! We leave for Canada (BC) on August 31, so we need to have all these medical issues taken care of before then.

And I’ve found a local Yoga studio, and have attended yoga classes 3 times this week, and will continue this until we leave. It has felt so good!

So…until next time…we will have new tattoos!

 

Our time in MN is coming to an end

Our time here has just flown! During our time, we were able to “race” the J30 sailboat (Winsome) that we raced years ago, in a “fun race” one Saturday, with our friends Lloyd and Carolyn. And get this, WE WON! Just like the old days when we won each race about 20 years ago. While on the docks in Lake City, we saw the previous boat we owned before Aquataurus, “Second Wind”. She is docked right next to Lloyd and Carolyns slip, so as we were coming in, I was able to get this shot of her.

QUTRnkPHR+6b5+bGCXmsuA
She is for sale again! Maybe we should buy her back? Naw–I don’t think so.

During our time in MN, we were able to enjoy my youngest granddaughters 8th birthday with a picnic in a park. It was a fun time, with my daughters family, Gregs son and girlfriend, my daughters husbands mom and her boyfriend, and the 2 grandkids, and the 2 dogs (Toto and Lily-Gregs sons).

suBuRW4HSdOtxxUDOHbYfw

36630708_10213773266779665_2206461541908217856_n

We’ve been able to get together with parents and have some good times. Here is a photo from a fun crazy Friday night with my mom and her good neighbors!

mLApLclbRXqptRRwfDKvXQ

And we were able to visit Gregs parents and grill out.

lAQfDkFnQqGBvRYrrcBiZg

While in Minnesota, I was able to get together with good friends…

FivS38guS4ihGlmgyzkmDQ

…and spend more quality time with my daughter and her husband out on the town in Minneapolis.

37167565_10213837068894678_646359459555180544_n

37090668_10213837065974605_3188958774274555904_n

We spent time hiking at Taylors Falls, Minnesota, and was able to spend a night in St. Cloud with Gregs son and girlfriend, working to get his house ready to put on the market to sell, and while there, after a day of manual labor, was able to enjoyed a night of jazz with them at a local cocktail bar called “The Veranda”.

oQBY9yVBSM6Y185ykSoBZg.jpg

Our “home” has a fire pit, so we were able to spend some cooler evenings enjoying it, but the mosquitos were quite aggressive this year, so probably didn’t spend as much time at the bonfire as we would have liked.

I was also able to spend time with my oldest granddaughter for her 11th birthday (these kids are getting so big so fast!), taking her out to sushi and then saw the movie “Mama Mia; Here We Go Again” with her. We will miss her real birthday in August, so it was a very special time with just her and her Nana. A night to remember!

Afton has a nice little wine bar called “Swirl”, so we spent some quality time there, as well, over the past 2 months.

Despite the rain, mosquitoes and frequent storms, it has been a great 2 months visiting family and friends and getting to know this part of Minnesota. There hasn’t been a day that goes by that we don’t see Mrs. Doe and her 2 fawns. They are getting big!

KZWyCfdORF+YgFKioZUeEg

lw+AzmWjSrG3Zwzf4O+YVQ
Hiking with Toto in Taylors Falls, MN
c+MIX0lAQCOoD3QrcN7VnQ
A hot air balloon above our “home”
fullsizeoutput_14ee
Swirl Wine Bar

Tomorrow we start heading toward Colorado, where we will stay for the next month. While driving there, we will be staying with family each night until we arrive next Monday at an AirB&B in Boulder. A very special time indeed, being able to see family as much as we have.

From the sea…to the woods

Since arriving back on land, we’ve driven from Florida to Minnesota, visiting family on the way. We found a cute old farmhouse just East of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul) on AirB&B and we will be staying here until the end of July when we drive to Colorado.

I couldn’t figure out what seemed so strange to me. Lately I’ve figured it out…the stillness. We are situated between 2 bluffs on the St. Croix River, in a heavily wooded area. So, it is very quiet, and STILL! Very tranquil. And after blowing winds almost constantly over the last 4 months, the (what I’ve discovered) stillness was just SO STILL. But I am getting my land legs back under me, and am enjoying this change.

Unfortunately it seems like since we’ve arrived in the U.S., we’ve had clouds and rain! I miss my sun! So we had plans to do some hiking and biking, but it’s been so rainy, it’s just not possible! Our “home” is close to a State Park, but we haven’t had a chance to get there because of the weather! And because of all of the recent rains, both the St. Croix and the Mississippi Rivers have flood warnings! They are really high!

We have experienced some great nature while here, we have resident does (deer) that we see at least once a day, and Greg saw a pair of fawn twins in our yard last week (sorry about the poor quality, he took it through the screen).

IMG_6784
Mother doe and her twin fawns

We’ve also had some nice long walks as well bike rides despite the weather (dodging the rain showers), enjoying the nature on land.

oeK1vlLzSBOkKHfvW34OGg
Afton bike trail between Afton, MN and Hudson, WI
Cq6MVY%nR7iN041w87pfJQ
Canadian geese and their goslings, while on my daily walk
sVApPIaZTXiBCbbsOOIGrg
Summer butterfly on a flowering plant in our yard.

US2GdwFQQ96gxSOGTZUkkw

Hoping that we get more normal summer weather while here in Minnesota!

 

 

 

Colorado time comes to an end

So the end of our time in Colorado included this hike to Royal Arch. It was an amazing hike, with lots of “stairs”. It was pretty aggressive but was totally worth it! Royal Arch Trail link

img_5656
Royal Arch, notice the people on top, who hiked up there! Not me!
img_5652
The trails to the Royal Arch. It was pretty strenuous, so glad I had my hiking sticks (photo of me hiking down)! Totally saved my knees!

Also during the last part of our trip, we brought our grandson, Lane, to Bishops Castle. Bishops Castle link It’s a spot where we took our kids, Clint and Sheena, in the 1990s. Back then, there weren’t 3 floors like there are now. The story is that this guy, Jim Bishop, has been building this castle over the last 60 years, by hand, stone by stone. It is free, and accepts donations to continue the building of it. The next plan is to build a mote around the castle, providing they have the donations to do this. Jim is still alive, and when talking to the gift shop cashier, when Jim is no longer able to build the mote, his children plan on continuing this project.

Next on the list was to visit Pearl St. in Boulder. Pearl Street is a walking plaza with many restaurants, artists and musicians. After a hike, we stopped for a bit of lunch and found this musician, playing the piano, upside down. It’s an amazing plaza!

img_5727
Upside down piano player.

We also took the cog train to Pikes Peak. This is the 2nd time for this trip (first time was with Clint and Ashley, my son and daughter-in law a few years ago). If we were lucky, we might see some bighorn sheep. Apparently, this cog train concept is used frequently in Switzerland, where most of these trains are located. This cog train, is the highest in the world, at 14,100 feet, also has a perfect safety record.

img_5735
Photo outside the window of the cog train going up to the summit of Pikes Peak.

We are above tree line here (about 12,000 feet) hence, no trees to be seen! I THINK we may have seen the backsides of 2 bighorn sheep, but they were WAY FAR OFF!

img_5740
Photo at the summit of Pikes Peak, 14,100 feet. Greg in the foreground.

Being in Colorado showed some amazing mountain sunrises (see below). I will miss these mountain sunrises, but am looking forward to seeing those Atlantic sunrises next week! It’s coming so fast!

One last beautiful snowfall and hot tub time was also experienced in Colorado. It made me miss the winter hot tub times. I guess the next “land home” we have just might have to have a “little” snowfall during the winter, with a hot tub. It’s so ethereal!

img_5755
Snow fall, photo from in the hot tub.
img_5753
Cozy winter day, snow falling, reading, tea.

Finally, the last hike in Colorado. My feet felt SO GOOD coming out of those hiking boots! So, the boots will be retired into storage until next summer. Colorado has been an awesome experience. We will miss it, and look forward to returning next year. After the hike, we found one of our favorite places in Boulder, the Daneshab Teahouse, and celebrate with wine outside-one of the last 80 F days we will probably see until we arrive in Martinique on Nov 17.

img_5773
Oh my feet felt so good out of those hiking boots!
img_5774
Great wine at the Teahouse, on a beautiful warm day in Boulder, after hiking.

 

img_5772
Final hike in Colorado.

The week before we left Colorado, I was fortunate enough to discover that Freddy Cole, jazz musician, was to be playing in Denver! We got tickets and had an amazing time. The venue was in a restaurant and the tickets we got put us front and center of Freddy. Dinner was great! He is 87 years old, brother of Nat King Cole, and still has a great show!

img_5802
Greg, Freddy Cole and I, signing the CD we bought.

 

img_5798
Freddy Cole preforming

So, on to the next chapter. We’ve spent the last 2 weeks (since we got back to Minnesota on Nov 5), visiting family in Kansas City (on our way to Minnesota), visiting parents in Minnesota and Illinois, visiting kids and grandkids in Minnesota. We are “living” with my daughters family while we prepare for our trip to Martinique on Nov 17 (5 days from now).

While traveling, I also tried to find and visit as many Yoga studios as I could (considering I’m a Yoga Teacher, I needed my yoga fix!). While back in Minnesota, I was able to attend a yoga class this weekend at my local yoga studio, Urban Yoga. If anyone is in the Rochester MN area and want an awesome yoga studio, I highly recommend they check out Destiny at Urban Yoga MN . Unexpectedly, I saw TWO super good friends! What a blessing that was!

So, next blog will probably show 85 degree days and amazing sunrises and sunsets! Stay tuned my friends!
Namaste!

 

Winter Storm warning, hiking and Wild Animal Sanctuary

Right after the last blog post, we had a winter storm warning issued for our area here in Boulder. We woke that Monday morning to a beautiful snow-laden landscape! The roads were too warm to keep the snow, so they stayed just wet. We must have gotten about 4-6 inches on the grass, in this area, and I’m sure the mountains got more! I guess I got my snow fix! It was beautiful, but now we are back to 70-75 degrees F, beautiful weather for more walks and hikes.


The past 2 weeks we have hiked to Crater Lake near Nederland in the mountains (that was just before the snow!), Mount Sanitas west of Boulder, and the Enchanted Mesa trail of the Chautaugua in south Boulder. We’ve done babysitting with the grandkids (Jeni’s daughters), bike-riding and of course, being the foodies that we are, have found some great area eateries. I’ve walked almost every day, have seen some great amazing sunrises


and sunsets, and recently we visited the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado, which is northeast of Denver.

So we had planned a hike up in the mountains and drove about an hour to get there. When we got there, the Lost Lake at the Hessie trailhead parking lot was full, and we needed to drive back to the  small town of Nederland, to take a shuttle back to the trailhead. We got back to town and visited the Information Center. The attendant there gave us other options and a map. So chose Crater Lakes Trail near the Moffit Tunnel. Didn’t look too bad on the map. So we ate some lunch and drove out to the trailhead. Well, we started at 9200 feet of elevation! And I was pretty short of breath the entire 2+ hours that we hiked up an additional 2000 feet of elevation over 3 miles. So the entire hike was 4 hours, and 6 miles. My body hurt! But the views were spectacular (below) when we got to the lakes. Apparently there is one more lake, a higher up climb, but we didn’t do that. This was enough for this weary ole’ body. But I’m glad we did it. I have an app called AllTrails, and we usually check that for level of difficulty “easy”, “moderate” or “hard”. Well, we didn’t check before we did this hike, but when we got back, I did, and AllTrails notes this trail as “hard”! Next time, I’ll pick the trail!

We also hiked to Mount Sanitas just west of Boulder (below). I chose this hike, because the level of difficulty was “moderate” on my AllTrails map.

 

Another hike we had, level of “easy” was the Enchanted Mesa trail at the Chautaugua trail (below). This trail is located where the Chautaugua park is. Still some elevation, but more of a nice hike. But my body still hurts! HAHA.


The Chautaugua movement was an adult education movement in the US. highly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Chautauqua (originated in New York) assemblies expanded and spread throughout rural America until the mid-1920s. The Chautauqua brought entertainment and culture for the whole community, with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers, and specialists of the day. The popularity of the Chautauqua movement can be attributed in part to the social and geographic isolation of American farming and ranching communities. People in such areas would naturally be hungry for education, culture and entertainment, and the Chautauqua Movement was a timely response to that need in the late 19th century and early 20th century.

Located at the base of Boulder’s Flatirons and one of only 25 National Historic Landmarks in the state of Colorado, the Colorado Chautauqua is one of only a few remaining chautauquas in the U.S. It is considered THE western representation of the cultural movement that swept the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is the only site west of the Mississippi that has been in continuous operation since its founding and with its original structures intact and used for their original purposes. It was a pretty impressive area to see.

We also visited the Wild Animal Sanctuary just north east of Denver, and east of Boulder. The Wild Animal Sanctuary is the oldest and largest nonprofit Sanctuary in the world dedicated exclusively to rescuing captive exotic and endangered large carnivores, providing them with a wonderful life for as long as they live, and educating about the tragic plight faced by an estimated 30,000 such animals in America today. Below, a couple prides of lions in their 20+ acre area. Here is their website:  Wild Animal Sanctuary


Above, the Welcome Center of The Sanctuary, which sits on 720 acres, and is located about 50 miles east of Boulder, near the town of Keenesburg. It shelters more than 450 Lions, Tigers, Bears, Leopards, Mountain Lions, Wolves and other large carnivores, it is the first sanctuary of its kind to create large acreage species-specific habitats for rescued animals. (Since January, 1980, The Wild Animal Sanctuary has responded to more than 1,000 requests from private citizens and government agencies to rescue animals from across the United States and around the world. The residents here, were abused, abandoned, illegally kept, or were victims of other terrible situations.). They recently rescued about 25 lions from Bolivia when the government made the circus’s illegal.


It is amazing to see these beautiful animals, enjoying the life of luxury after having been in such dire circumstances (plaques along the walkway describe how these animals lived, and how they were rescued).

The right side of this sign notes examples of Tiger rescues:

  • Two tigers were confiscated from a man that kept them in a horse trailer for nearly 5 years.
  • Five tigers were confiscated from a person that used them to breed and illegally sell their cubs as pets.
  • One tiger was purchased as a pet when he was only 3 days old, and was subsequently kept in a small cage in his owners back yard for over 7 years.
  • Two tigers were kept in a barn for many years by a man that was raising them on his fur farm in order to kill them and sell their skins.


About 1 1/2 years ago, they installed a 1.5 mile walkway above the sanctuary grounds, so you look below to watch the animals. You can leisurely walk to the other end, watching the animals in their own habitat, it was quite amazing.

Website (not this blog!!) to be inactivated

Well, my lnwellness.com website has come up for renewal on Sept 28, 2017. I’ve decided that I’m going to let it lapse, and will not renew it. Therefore, this blog will be the place for people to stay in touch with us (not my website).

So it’ll remain live, until Sept 28, 2017. Just thought I should let everyone know. At that time, I will remove it as a link here on my blog, as well.