19-Ironhorse Bicycle Race, Bull Snake, Cooking School, Ophelia Ragtime

July 1st, 2001. Filed under: Uncategorized.

July 1, 2001

We continue to keep ourselves busy here.  Ken has entered several mountain and road bicycle races.  We traveled to Durango where he competed in the Ironhorse Race against the steam train from Durangoto Silverton.  This is a road race of 47 miles up the mountains for an elevation gain of 5500 feet (over a mile).  I took the train and Ken got to Silverton first! I met him there and we rode back down together on the train. The train ride was very scenic and very slow.  Having traveled this route up and back, I am all trained out for a while. Ken finished the race in a little over 3 hours, 9th of 15 in his class. 

We returned home from Durango on a Sunday and both ran in the Bolder Boulder 10k road race on Monday, the 29th of May.  We were in the citizen’s race along with 44,000 others.  What a well-organized event!  It truly is amazing. 

Ken also competed in mountain bike races in Fruita and in GunnisonCO and won his class both times.

As long as we are talking about competitions, I entered the YMCA 5k road race that was held simultaneously at the same start time throught the US and Hawaii.  The East coast started at 10 amLongmontCO started at 8 am, etc.  I won my class and received a medal.  Never have won a medal before. Cool.


The gardens are coming along quite well.  We have managed to rent 15 acre-feet of water (about 5 million gallons!) for our pond.  Our water issue is still not resolved.  I did call the Daily Times Call newspaper and an investigative reporter come out and talked and took notes for at least 1 ½ hrs.  He said you know I will have to make inquiries and I said, “When I called you, I knew you would”.  One of his comments in looking at the digging project was: “I don’t believe a small pond has taken 2 years.  Entire housing developments are completed in 1 year.”


I don’t think I told you the story about the “big guy”.  The dogs and I walk around the pond a couple of times daily.  One warm sunny day in May we came upon a bull snake.  This snake was larger in girth than my wrist.  I could not have gotten my hand completely around this – if I had a mind to.  I did not have a mind to.  I jumped over it and we got on our way with our walk.  I saw at least 3 feet of snake and, did not investigate as to how much longer it was.


The Cooking School of the Rockies really has some fantastic chefs and cooking courses.  Just this past Saturday I was in a hands-on class in Dim Sum.  This traditional Chinese style started along the Silk Road in China in the late 900’s.  Travelers used to stop at little places along the way for tea.  Soon they started serving food/snacks with tea and this was called dim sum.  Dim Sum means “little heart warmers”,  hearts delight”, “touches the heart” and so on.  What a wonderful cooking class and what wonderful food we created.  I requested to be assigned to “Chicken, Sausage & Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaves” (He Ye Bao).  The lotus leaves were huge and had to be hydrated and then cut in half.  However, I believe my favorites were “Steamed Shrimp Dumplings” (Hsia-Chiao) and Potstickers.  The spring rolls were great as well as the “Boiled Pork Dumplings with Spicy Peanut Sauce” (Chiao-Izu).  This past Monday I was in a hands-on course called “Salad Extravaganza”.  The favorite dish by overwhelming response from class members was the “Purple Potato Salad”.  This was made with purple potatoes, fresh green beans, yellow peppers, black olives, red onion, etc with a dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and red wine vinegar, etc.  What a beautiful presentation.  It was like a finely painted picture.


A few weeks back I took an “Award Winning Salsa” class.  Roma Melrose has entered salsa and chili contests and has won several.  This was a fantastic course.  So now I have expanded my herb garden to include cilantro, fennel, marjoram, as well as the favorites, basil, oregano, dill, and so on.  The vegetable garden is in better shape than it was last year.   I must have at least 100 tomato plants of perhaps 8 to 10 different varieties.  In a seafood course I took, we used tomato comfit, which I have acquired the recipe for. You can dry these and store them in oil and freeze them.  I intend to do this when they come into season.


June 13th was a very busy day for me.  It started with a Newcomers Board Meeting.  Being President of the Newcomers club I received a call from Longmont City Council inviting myself and a couple of other members to a City Council Forum held that same day. To finish the evening off, I worked at the “Ophelia Ragtime Concert”, as a member of Rocky Mountain Ragtime selling CD’s.  We must have sold 200 CD’s and money was coming in so fast you just threw it into the cash box.  To make things a little more hectic, the organizers wife took the charge card machines after the music began and during intermission, people wanted to charge their CD’s. I had to placate potential customers, so they would not go away angry.  Well it took 15 minutes for someone to find the charge machines and after intermission I took them my seat in the front row for sales after the concert.  I was very tired that night and slept in the next morning until 6:15 a.m.


Friends from the East coast, Rick and Ruth Treat came into Boulder and we met them with Adam Hevenor for dinner at the Hungry Toad.  It was great to see them.  They plan to come back through this way on their return home from a Southwestern tour and said they would stop by again.


Al Tinti, one of Ken’s bicycling friends from Connecticut was in Denver this past week for business meetings and we met and visited with him.


If you to come out this way, please let us know.  It would be great to get together.


If you have a chance to see the modern day musical recreation of “AIDA” do so.  Elton John wrote the music with lyrics by Tim Rice.  I saw this at the Buell theatre in Denver. Even if you didn’t know the composer, you would recognize the music as being Elton’s style.


One last thing, I sold one of my paintings in the Muse Gallery!  It was “Rippling Sands”, one of the pictures created while visiting Siesta Key.  $200.  Wow!  The Muse gets 20% and the frame cost a few dollars, but still, someone liked my painting well enough to pay $200 for it. Wow!


After my regular walking/running group event this morning, I thought I would bring breakfast out to the pond and enjoy the peace and beauty of the morning.  On the grass near the dock was a 4 ft snake which immediately coiled and was ready to strike.  Samson was closest and Zeus behind him.  I called them both off and we went around a different route and this creature turned to watch us and kept watching us for several minutes before slithering away.  After this encounter we went back into the house and I pulled out a book to identify the snake.  I came across two pictures, one of a bull snake, and one of a western rattler and it is difficult to determine which I saw.  In any event, this is one lady does not get close enough to be sure which it was.


Hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July.


Love Diane and Ken

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