Here’s what rush hour in Evergreen, CO can look like. As is fitting, this prolific elk herd is making its way over the road towards Elk Meadow Open Space. Elk Meadow is one of several terrific open space trail systems that can be found in Evergreen, CO. Additionally, Evergreen is the town in which the mountain search and rescue team, for which Todd and I both volunteer, is located. As a result, we spend a great deal of time in this little mountain town. You’re not far from Denver but you feel worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the city. (The one photo I couldn’t resist because a baby in the herd stopped in the middle of traffic to nurse.)
Ok I’m grasping at straws here. I am currently working in San Antonio, TX. The hotel I love happens to be near the popular River Walk. The river is the San Antonio River that flows through the downtown area of the city. The touristy part of the river is about 2 miles long. The total length is about 15.
It’s lined with shops, restaurants and bars and is very high energy, which is what I enjoy most about it. I need to do more exploring as there is a section designated as a World Heritage site which includes several missions. Late night working hours need to stop!
Some people call it the Venice of America. Uh no, there is nothing like Venice in my humble opinion.
My image for the week is of a set of umbrellas that catch my eye every time I walk by. Colorful umbrellas are prolific along this section of the River Walk.
If anyone has explored the missions I referenced above, I would appreciate some tips!
I went for the rude awakening on this theme for this weeks WPC – Awakening. Mainly because it’s essentially still winter in Colorado. Sure, it was 60 degrees and sunny today, but I fear we will get a 5 foot snow storm in the coming weeks. I don’t have a garden and things are barely blooming around town.
Ok, so here goes. Last summer I went to Borneo, Malaysia for two weeks. One of our packing list items was a pair of leech sox. Who has a pair of those hanging around? No-one with any fashion sense (they were cheap to buy in Borneo). These sox are so tightly woven, leeches cannot penetrate the fabric. They also warned not to wear pants with zip off legs because they can inch their way through the tiny teeth of the zippers.
I didn’t believe it – I thought – no friggen’ way can they get through zippers. But it was true. Disgustingly so. Those little buggers look like super skinny nails when not engorged….and when they are done feasting they blow up to about 1.4 inches or 4 cm.
This image below is a macro version of tiger leech we came across in the Danum Valley (image taken by John Mittan – our guide). They sit on leaves and lie in wait until something walks by. As soon as they get a whiff of you, they jump and then wiggle their way into strange places! UGH.
There were 10 people on our trip – all but 2 of us got attacked – I did not – thankfully. Probably because I was obsessively checking my body parts. They landed on arms, necks, stomachs, and crawled through pant zippers. It was a rude awakening these things even exist, much less are able to crawl through zippers!!!
For those of you who live in climates where these creatures exist, bless you. I am truly disturbed by their existence! LOL.
Have you ever been “attacked” by a leech??
So I think I’m late to the party, but I FINALLY found Jennifer’s Color Your World 2018: 120 Days of Crayola, a 4 month (January 1, 2018 to April 30, 2018) blogging challenge event. Each day has a new color theme based on a past or current crayon color in Crayola’s box of 120 crayons.
Um, crayons are some of my favorite things. An ex-boyfriend once bought me a box for Christmas – one of the best gifts ever!!!
The Color today is Blue – coincidentally, I bought a new painting this weekend. I know the whole thing isn’t blue, but it was the blue in the bus that caught my eye. The Life Bus LOVES VW buses, vintage camper vans and airstream trailers as they all scream open roads, freedom and adventure to us!
For this week’s photo challenge, we were asked to share our favorite photos of a sunrise or a sunset. Mornings are generally not my friends, however, I managed to capture one of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever seen, from my backyard in Colorado.
Sunsets on the other hand, are some of my favorites which I have also included. This part of the day is extremely relaxing to me after a long, hard day of work or at the end of wonderful vacation day – usually enjoyed with a cocktail or glass of wine. I miss many of them unfortunately, however, when I see a good one, it’s usually captured on film. I must have 100’s of images of sunsets – sharing several that have a special place in my heart. Enjoy!
To view other amazing talent please see the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge main page.
Sunset #1: 3 women breaking fast during Ramadan in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. The sun was setting over the South China Sea.
Sunset #2: Taking an evening stroll on a beach somewhere along the Oregon Coast. It was a beautiful evening!
Sunset #3: Celebrating wonderful family in Laguna Beach, California from the deck of their home. This is a view of Catalina Island which is usually not visible. My iphone x captured this one pretty nicely!
Sunset # 4 from Marfa, Texas at my favorite music festival of all time!
Sunset #5 Another from Marfa!
Sunset # 6 Nothing like a gorgeous sunset over Reykjavik, Iceland ❤️
Sunset # 7 The Mekong in Laos
In thinking about the Favorite Place challenge, I thought immediately about this humble little place in the Rockies. The roots that bind me to this little old miner’s cabin near Boulder, CO run very deep. My father’s family has been in the Boulder area since the 1890’s. My dad was born in Boulder, in 1933, when the hospital building was just a house. My grandparents bought this tiny cabin somewhere in the 1950’s. It’s only about 1200 square feet but it has so much character and historical charm. It’s made out of the original log and chinking dating back to the 1920’s. The cabin does have electricity, rigged by my grandfather, but is not winterized. When we were little kids we still had to use the outhouse. I remember having to run in the pitch black of night outside to use the outhouse. To a small kid, the blackness of the night made the distance to the loo feel like it was a mile from the cabin. In reality it’s about 20 yards. The porch screen door has that familiar slam I’ve heard for the forty plus years I’ve been going to this wonderful place.
Growing up, we visited our grandparents at the cabin frequently. The back bedroom was the kids room and the beds in there were jammed together so it was like one big mattress. With the cool mountain nights, we had lots of blankets piled all around us making it so cozy, it felt like camp. The primary feature of the cabin is a giant river rock hearth which roars with a huge fire and heats the place so warmly. When we were little we used to play pick-up-sticks in front of the fireplace and roast marshmallows. We still have those same pick-up-sticks and still play in front of the fire.
I learned to tie my shoes here on a water tank which. As kids we would go to the creek and bring back big buckets of water from which my grandmother would then boil the water on the stove. This was very often our drinking water. My father’s relatives, would come up and we would all go on long hikes into the Indian Peaks Wilderness where we would fish and mushroom hunt. Pam, Todd, my nephew, and I all spent a recent Halloween up there in the pitch black night watching scary movies. My favorite memory, however, is when my best buddy in life, Todd, and I got married there. Sixty-ish of our best friends joined us under the pine trees for a very simple ceremony. It was the perfect spot!
The flyspeck of a village where my family cabin is, is part true ghost town, part eclectic community. There is only one stop sign in the town and 2 dirt roads. The mushroom hunting is pretty great, last summer we saw a moose every weekend we were there, and the darkness of the night and stars on display is mind-boggling.
This is the place that makes me the happiest. There isn’t any internet or TV in the cabin, only a DVD player. I love waking with the sun, going to bed when it’s dark, watching the hummingbirds at the feeder, going for hikes, hearing the roar of the creek, having the neighbor dog, Saber, come over to great us when we roll up to the property, coffee on the big back deck, and just being in the moment with nature all around. No matter where my Life Bus rolls, this is where I always want to come back to.
Here’s to your happy place!!
Thanks to Word Press for another great challenge!
This was probably the hardest challenge I have had all day!! Too many favorites on the list….but…the first image that popped in my head was one I took in Thamel, a ” “neighborhood” in Kathmandu, Nepal.
After we finished hiking up to the first Everest Base Camp, we spent a few days in this awesome city. Peace and quiet are things we all strive for, but bustling cities are pretty cool too, this one in particular.
The 2 days we had to explore Thamel, were some of the best days of the trip! The people were interesting, the infrastructure was insane, and we laughed and laughed until we cried on our last night there. Great memories for sure!
The image below illustrates the frenetic energy of the place – an image that never escapes my memory! I ❤️ Nepal!!
Thanks to Word Press for another FUN challenge!
Somehow we were bored yesterday morning and couldn’t think of anything fun to do. So, I suggested a field trip to the Garden of the Gods, about 55 miles (ish) South of Denver in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It’s one of my favorite places to bring visitors, especially if they have kids. The red rock formations are beautiful and the kiddos can run around and climb on some of them. The mixture of the red rocks and snowy Pikes Peak is pretty spectacular. You can also bring pups on leashes too, which is always important for our household!
There are dinosaur fossils, all sorts of hiking trails to explore, and you can rent electric bikes or Segways if that is what you are in to. I am not sure if a Segway is such a great idea unless you are a pro at them. We were leaving the park and noticed a woman (in a mink coat of all things) in a ditch on the side of the road. I am not a proponent of fur coats, but I hated to see her flat on her back holding her head in agony. I can only assume she got spooked by a car and lost control.
If you are a road cyclist you can ride through the park in designated bike lanes – only recommendation there is do it in the morning when there are fewer people out and about. If you are a runner, there are some great fun runs in the summer – a 10k and a 10 miler. This park has a tendency to get really HOT in the summer, so if you happen to be in the area during that time, bring some extra water and a snack. I say snacks, because you can lose track of time and end up further away from your car than intended!
A few things about the park from Garden of the Gods website:
Explore Colorado Springs’ paradise in one magical stop. Garden of the Gods Park is a registered National Natural Landmark. Imagine dramatic views, 300′ towering sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snow-capped Pikes Peak and brilliant blue skies. This world-class Visitor & Nature Center and museum is the most visited attraction in the region with all new interactive exhibits. Learn how the amazing red rocks got there with the NEW Geo-Trekker theater experience, shown every 20 minutes. Delight in one of Colorado’s most photographed views while eating in our glass-enclosed café or from our terrace overlooking Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods.
After dinking around the park we landed at the Broadmoor Hotel for a glass of vino. It turned out to be a wonderful day!!
Enjoy the Pics – click on an image for a larger view! See if you can find the climber!
I think I may have picked the wrong profession….or maybe not. I would so rather be OUTSIDE doing anything other than sitting at a desk for 9 to sometimes 14 hours a day – it just doesn’t drive me anymore.
I often wonder what life would have been like if I worked in the Forestry field right out of college….oh well, my current profession has allowed me to do some amazing things, so for that I am grateful!
Thanks Word Press for the Challenge near and dear to my heart!
The things I enjoy outside are many…..can’t think of anything to leave out except downhill skiing, only because it scares the crap out of me….
Photographin’ interesting landscapes! – Guadaloupe River, Boerne, Texas
Walkin’ the dog at the dog park – they can be pretty vast in Colorado!
Campin’! Backpackin’ included….I think I could live in a tent. Boulder, Colorado
Hangin’ in the park by my house….
Hikin’ in the mountains….any mountains….Dolomites, Italy.
Explorin’ alleyways (photo by Todd – edited by me) – Venice, Italy
Hangin’ with friends on a river trip – Grand Canyon, Arizona
Kayakin’ anytime one is within reach – Seward, Alaska
Hikin’ can be through ANY terrain – Superstition Mountains, Arizona
Photographin’ wildlife in any form – beautiful or not! Bearded Pig – Borneo
Snorkelin’ or divin’ in the sea – Nemo!! Borneo
Stand Up Paddle Boardin’ – Boulder, Colorado
Simply walkin’ on the beach! Tulum, México
Or trail runnin’ in the mountains! Vail, Colorado
Yep, the outdoors and exploring new places bring so much joy to life!
Viva La Life Bus!!
The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is “Out of this World”….you could interpret this phrase in a few different ways. I like the Urban Dictionary definition “Out of the ordinary; Super-duper awesome. It can be anything — place, thing, food, person, creature, and event” – so this is where I went with it :-). Although technically, you could say you venture to other worlds when you travel…
The Life Bus has had the privilege of experiencing a fair amount of Out of this World places! There are so many it is hard to choose what to share. Here are a few of our faves. Enjoy!
You know we LOVE Alaska based on a number of our posts. This was taken from our float plane which dropped us off at a cabin near Juneau.
Cycling in Laos was an incredible experience. Every time I look at this image, it brings me joy!
Kayaking through the Fjords in Norway. Yep! It is truly this beautiful!