Colorado Tales #58
JUNE 1, 2013
Hi Friends and Relatives,
It is significant that I write a Colorado Tales today. Fourteen years ago on this date we moved into our home on St. Vrain Road in Boulder County, Colorado. We have had some wonderful things happen during our 14 years here. Most of all we love our location. Our views of Meeker and Longs Peak delight us every day. We have our coffee every morning looking west and watching the first rays of light illuminate the mountains. Some days, when the light is right and the fields surrounding our home are ripe for harvest, we can see for ourselves what inspired Katherine Bates to write the line “Purple mountain majesties above thy fruited plains”.
Last March, on a snowy day, Ken and I drove up the canyon to Nederland to watch the Coffin Races at the “Dead Guy Days celebration”. We are including a couple of photos to prove this event really happens. One team, dressed as the Jamaican Olympic bobsled team, was very professional and had the fastest pallbearers.
Another team was The Frigid Beavers, a women’s group from Beaver, Oklahoma. They may not be professional but they sure had fun stumbling and laughing through the snowy obstacle course with huge audience support.
Each team must race with a corpse in the coffin! This is usually a very small person. One wore a skeleton suit and whiteface for realism. It is a wild and zany happening. We must go back again next year.
Also in Nederland, they have beautiful dogs. Because this little town is nestled in the mountains and has a colder climate, there are some cold weather breeds that are just beautiful.
With spring in the air Ken has begun taking some multi-day motorcycle road trips exploring dirt roads in Rockies and enjoying the scenery. He takes some great photos and I can paint from them. Two weeks ago he rode over the Rockies to Colorado’s Western Slope, an immense area more like Utah desert than Rocky Mountains with weird erosion and deep canyons. Ken was amazed to find Gateway, a ghost town 50 miles from the nearest major road that is now owned by the founder of Discovery Channel who built a sprawling resort on the site. The photo shows Ken’s BMW on the road to Gateway. The resort has a fine automobile museum that Ken enjoyed.
I can’t believe it is June already. It has been incredibly busy. In April I judged the St. Stephens Art Show. I was thrilled and delighted to be a judge. A friend of mine asked how I would feel when someone was not happy with my judged decisions. My response, some people will like me and some will not. Can’t please everyone especially when you have only so many awards to give out.
In May the Saint Vrain Historical has a Strawberry Days event at the Boulder County fairgrounds. For the past several years they have asked that I put together an art show with our local artists. It is a fun, down home event and the strawberry shortcake is good too. By the way you can get the entire meal with burger/bun, short cake and a drink for $5. Can’t beat that.
June 5, we set up for the BAA/LAG (Boulder Art Association and Longmont Artists Guild) show at the Boulder Fairgrounds. I am the event manager and starting Wednesday I will open up the event and close it at 8 pm for 5 days. I’ll be pretty tired by Sunday.
In July we have Rhythm on the River where I manage the Art Zone Tent. We have a full tent this year with 10 artists and 3 art organizations participating. One of our artists is a true American Indian “Ben 3 Eagles”.
There have been some very negative things that have happened in Colorado. One tragedy in Aurora involved a fellow shooting up the theater, killing several and injuring many. He is now pleading not guilty because of “insanity”. I have my own theory on this subject. Not everyone who commits heinous crimes is mentally ill. We have mentally ill and then we have “crazies”. Whether or not the violent TV, movies or games entice them to commit these horrible crimes, or they just want to have their name in the paper and become their own sort of “hero”. They are not all mentally ill.
The first Part of May we had half a foot of snow (wet heavy snow at that). You could not find the gardens. When the snow melted, it was instantly weed-the-gardens, buy annuals, and plant, plant, plant. It is hard to believe that one month ago we were buried in snow. Also, in April we had a record setting cold snap of 9 degrees. The perennials had already put out their leaves and were winter burned. The bulb plants will have to wait for another year to blossom.
Ken flew to Connecticut in January and brought our son Mark back to Colorado. We had a wonderful visit. Scott, our second son, drove up from New Mexico with his two dogs. Claus, the older dog, was having health issues. Percy was a newly acquired dog, very rambunctious and active. Ken thought it might be a Caroline dog, a breed that sprang from the southern swamps.
Oh, I must mention that I won “Best of Show” in Loveland, Colorado, for my painting of Lily and Guinness romping in the snow. It will become our 2013 Christmas card and is called “Dashing thru the Snow”. It was thrilling to have won this award.
We will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary this year in December. We will be traveling to Rio de Janeiro in November. We have the airline flights, hotels, and have sent away applications, passports, etc. to secure a visa. The visa process was difficult and expensive. Evidently the US is requiring South Americans to obtain a visa to visit at a significantly high cost, so in turn the South American countries are charging a high cost for visas and entry into their country.
We’ll spend a few days on Ipanema Beach in Rio and then we fly to Iguassu Falls, one of the wonders of the world. These falls are not only in Brazil but also Argentina and Paraguay. From Iguassu Falls we fly back to Rio de Janeiro and take a 4 hour bus ride to Parati, a small and historic fishing village. No vehicles are allowed in the inner city. If you did drive your vehicle thru these stone streets, you soon would ruin your shocks.
We have much to look forward to during the next few months.
Health wise, I have had some back problems. It seems that after the hip replacement I was favoring my left side. This has caused the spine to veer to the left. I have been going to a physical therapist and doing a number of exercises. It took five years to get in this condition, so it will take a while to correct this problem.
Ken is a Volunteer Park and Recreation ranger. He enjoys hiking in our open spaces and talking to hikers, bikers, and horse people. Upon return he reports on his experiences and the number of persons he encountered on the trail.
Hope you are well and enjoying summer.
Diane and Ken