“Oh, you’re going to Colorado?” Laurie gushed with characteristic enthusiasm. “You’ve GOT to go to Crested Butte and meet my dear friend, Honeydew.” We did, and we did, and we’re far better for it. Sharing friends is one of life’s greatest pleasures; it’s taking name-dropping to the next level. We had such a wonderful time visiting Crested Butte, exploring that gorgeous country, and have yet another place to revisit; the list continues to grow.
After 5 wonderful days in another Colorado ski town, Breckenridge, with Sooney’s sister and hubby, Jim, we have again crossed the divide and are headed southwest for more excitement. And excitement is the operative word here, for every day has been filled to capacity. It’s almost crazy how many activities we pack into our days with another cozy night in our trusty camper as our just reward. (63 nights and counting.)Breckenridge is an up-scale ski town with lifts pointing heavenward across the street from the library. Ride up; ski home. No driving is necessary due to the free bus line that plies the town until late at night. A civil community, great restaurants and, alas, no fresh bread. We learned that the better eateries import their bread frozen from LaBrea bakery (in Los Angeles) and bake it here. We’ve yet to find a source of freshly baked bread on our travels, and get by visiting cafés featuring delicious pastries, bagels, and coffee (usually accompanied by free Internet connectivity).
Journal entries of our travels to Asia last fall seemed to be bound by a common thread of interesting food we’d discovered. With Sooney’s critical appetite, we always eat well. The tenor of this journey has been sounds (or the lack of them) and sensual imagery. Sooney has identified probably a 100 birds so far, and we’re only 3 weeks into our adventure. Alerted by their lovely songs, we pause from our daily walks with lifted binoculars and pleasure in yet another ID. They’re getting so accustomed to seeing us that I’ve been able to photograph several birds with our new Canon SX100 that features a 10x telephoto lens and image stabilization. Not one of those BIG pro-models that we see with surprising regularity in the parks, but a perfect companion for water bottles in a waist pack, ready when we need it.
Leaving Breckinridge on Sooney’s birthday, we camped at Joyful Journey Hot Springs just south of Poncha Springs. Astonished by the seemingly endless song we heard at rising, Sooney fully expected to experience birder’s euphoria assembled in the tree adjoining our campsite. The joke was on us, however, as we were introduced to Mr. Mockingbird and its remarkable ability to imitate other birds’ songs. In fact, we learned that in urban areas, they’ve actually added auto alarms to their diverse repertory. We also learned that they’re often targeted by late-sleepers. We tend to rise with the sun and opted instead to record that memorable concerto (an excerpt of which resides at www.viani.us/sv/mockingbird.htm).
When driving long-distances with my parents in the 50’s, an entertaining time-killer had us looking for license plates from each of the 48 states. Today, identifying the origin of assorted foreign languages is the modern alternative. Our national parks continue to delight everyone, and vistas (Black Canyon National Park) to veggies (wild onions that complemented last night’s pasta) are on-going treats that have been captured in both our memories and photographs. As always, Sooney is the quintessential editor and each evening we pare our images down to a manageable number. Photos without stories sometimes diminish compelling viewing, but I think some of you will enjoy the collections we’re compiling at www.viani.us/pix, especially photos of the wildflowers that continue to amaze.
Be safe and stay tuned.