While we were in Colorado, we took the kids to the top of Vail to play at Adventure Ridge. They got to ride a snow cat, drive their own real miniature snowmobiles, play laser tag, trampoliine bungee jump, and could have inner tubed and ice skated had their dad's cash held out. Which it didn't. Holy green vacuum, Batman, that place sucked the green from my back pocket faster than Disney World, and that's saying something!
This place, Ski Cooper about 45 minutes south of Beaver Creek, was absolutely fantastic. It sits atop the Tennessee Pass, and is where the 10th Mountain Division trained for WWII. The view of the Collegiate Range from Cooper is absolutely breathtaking; the picture fails to do it justice.
We had the nicest time at Tumbling Waters. Joe and Carolyn have made a great family friendly campsite, lots of trees and creeks and trout and hiking -- all that good mountain stuff, with free coffee.
We got home last night from camping in a tent for a week in the NC mountains. It was fabulous, especially the first night when we didn't put the fly over our mesh-roofed tent and it started to downpour at 3:00 AM. Oh, if only we could have had some one there to take video of us putting the fly on in the dark in the pouring rain, with Noel half awake stumbling around in the mud and the girls fast asleep with rain falling into their open mouths. And not even able to swear properly what with all of Dee Dee's relatives sleeping in tents around us. But after we got the fly on, everything went well despite rain every night. No yellow jackets. No broken bones. Not even any hurt feelings, although Noel never could quite understand why he wasn't allowed to just keep fishing in the trout pond. He and a camp buddy spent entire days fishing under this little creek bridge. When the fish farm guy saw how dedicated Noel was about fishing, he let a half dozen farm trout, about 2 lbs a piece - pretty good sized fish, loose in the stream for Noel and his friend to catch. The boys never caught them, but they could see them swimming around and they had a great time trying. The trout were really delicious this year, and we let Noel catch 5 right before we left. We ate two on the way home, and have three in the freezer.
Thus endeth the fish story.
Renee did a nice paint job on my toenails. Memo to self: Make sure you've got polish remover on hand before you let cute 5 year old paint your toenails.
Rochelle and Dee Dee did some horseback riding and inner-tubing, and we all made quite a few hikes up to the Panther Creek swimmin' hole -- that's where most of the pictures are from. You can see them at the new photo album on the right, or click here.
See y'all next year, Tumbling Waters. NEW PHOTO ALBUM ADDED -- TUMBLING WATERS. Check it out.
It's always changing, always vast, always busy. The black soil of the Florida muck is like no black I've seen before (sorry Midwesterners). And I saw a tarpon jump in a drainage canal right before my eyes.
I drove home this morning from Miami (to Crystal Beach, FL). Here are some pic's. I took a lot while I was driving, and I learned a few things. First, if you don't clean the dead bugs off the windshield, autofocus focuses on the icky squashed bug carcasses, not on the pretty scenery. Second, looking through the viewfinder while driving is probably not a safe long-term photo strategy. Third, BURMA!
Hummingbird Finally, my first hummingbirds. Saw them on a fire bush in Crystal Beach, FL. My rental's neighbor's yard is all xeriscaped, which is ugly to me but just fine with the little hummers. At first, I thought they were the biggest hornets I'd ever seen.
Flamingo! One of these dudes flew right over my house. I couldn't believe it. And please don't tell me it was a roseated spoonbill because it was a frickin' flamingo, dude! Huge and pink and right there above me. I was like so freaking out, you know?
Falcon! Don't see these guys too often. Wish we did. Bet the morning doves don't.
Black Skimmer These beauties are getting scarce, but one flew by yesterday at low tide on the hunt for minnows.
Dead sea turtle cool, but smelly
Reddish Egret These have been hanging out around the pool quite a bit lately. Must be a new group of adolesent birds -- the youngsters like to hunt where the water is clear, and it takes them a day to figure out there are not now and never will be fish in the swimming pool no matter how clear the water.
Brown Pelican I saw a flock of about 200 of these at Disappearing Island yesterday, just south of Anclote Island on the west coast of FL. Good to see such a large flock.
Wood Pecker They've developed a sudden interest in the orange tree, which just went into bloom.