Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Ghostly kind of day......

Ron told us about an old abandoned mining town near Buena Vista that sounded like a cool place to visit. So off we went Tuesday morning with sunny skies, 65 degrees, and not a hint of wind. The colors and smells are something that words and pictures just can’t do justice to….we wish all of you were here with us to experience it.
St. Elmo Colorado is a ghost town that was officially founded in 1880.
Gold and Silver Mining brought many people to the
area. There were over 150 Patented mine claims in
the St. Elmo area & populations reached a high of nearly 2000 people.
St. Elmo was considered a Hub town for supplies arriving
by train. The tracks were abandoned in
1922. It is said that St. Elmo's Population rode the last
train out of town and never came back.
Even though St. Elmo is considered a ghost town it is still inhabited. Tourism brings many people to the St. Elmo area every year. The old mining roads are now used as jeep and four-wheeler trails. There are also many good places to fish along Chalk Creek, which runs through St. Elmo.
The following was taken from a book written about the alleged haunting of St. Elmo.
"Grandchildren of the last surviving resident were said to have been playing in a room of the hotel in about 1959, when suddenly all the doors in the room slammed shut and the temperature dropped nearly 20 degrees. The terrified children refused to play in the hotel again......
Another one of the grandchildren, a young woman in her twenties, decided to take on the hotel as a project, cleaning out the rooms, making minor repairs, and washing down the walls and floors. After cleaning up for the day, she and her friends would put away their tools and cleaning supplies, only to find them in the middle of the floor when they returned the next day. After this continued to occur, they started placing the items in a padlocked closet, but still they would be in the middle of the floor when they came back."
 Now even though I'm not afraid of the dark, I'll admit that the paranormal freaks me out a little bit. I don't like scary movies, scary stories, or scary ex-wives, and I've experienced all three. I swear if you listened close enough you could hear some rumbling and growling. Turns out it was only my stomach, so we stopped for some ice cream on the way back home.....yes it did help.
It was another fun filled day...retirement is AWESOME.
P.s I don't know what is up with the different looking letters, this post must be haunted!
We're heading to that mountain way back there. Mt. Princeton.

This one is for Rhonda. Our honorary Fire Chief.
On the way up the Mt

Shy deer

Up we go. The last 5 miles were gravel, but level.

You can see the valley we are going through.
Part of the old mine.

Awesome old buildings.

I think I saw a ghost in that window.

This one even had a picket fence.
Old stove in the remains of a once lived in house.

Anyone have a magazine and some TP?

No, not a ghost in a red shirt. He is actually from Minneapolis...small world!

Yoo hoo, housekeeping.
Fall colors!

My two Bitc....err, I mean lovely girls.

Stuff from the 1880s
Help, the Chipmunks are trying to surround me.

 1880s laundry room.

Odd place for this sign.

Looking up.

Stunning color


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sensory Overload in Aspen, Colorado & Purple Pain!

Saturday morning we woke up to some frost but it quickly warmed to 70 degrees without a cloud in the sky. The fall colors here are anywhere from just about peak to maybe a week or so less from peak. We decided to go to Aspen which means going over Independence Pass at over 12,000 Ft, wow what a drive. The pictures I have posted don't even come close to doing justice to what we saw. Aspen is a town that is known for it's primo skiing in the winter and it's ultra rich residents who own homes here that average $6 million dollars. When I came out of the restroom at one of the stores we stopped at, I told Laurie I saw a really handsome, famous man in there. She asked who, and I said "me, I was looking in the mirror".
We hopped on a bus that took us 10 miles to a place called Maroon Bells which is a glacial valley surrounded by 14,000 ft peaks. Maroon Lake mirrors all the beauty around it. The mountains red color and bell shape is what gave the area it's name. Unfortunately, while we where there, a hiker fell 1000 feet to his death and a helicopter was on it's way to recover the body in the remote area where it happened.
The drive there and back is half the fun of the trip as Ron, Rhonda, Laurie & I plan our future excursions and solve the worlds problems!
We grilled sirloin burgers with fresh veggies for supper (or as they say here, dinner) and got ready for the weekly campfire. The stars Saturday night looked like you could reach up grab them they were so bright....even before I drank any beer.
It's Sunday, you know what that means...VIKINGS. Laurie found a cool little bar in Fairplay that has the NFL Sunday Ticket, so off we went. We had beer, appetizers, Laurie had a couple Bloody Marys, we yelled, we cheered, and I cried on the way home (only on the inside). Oh well, there's always next week, right Tim Gaul :)
It's supposed to be sunny and 65 all week and we have a few adventures planned. Have a great week everyone....Bob & Laurie

Frost on the Fiesta
What a damn cute couple.
Look at those beautiful colors...What does it all mean Becky?
It's that cute couple again.
Pretty cool huh?

This is the area the hiker fell 1000 ft.
Looks like a post card.
Hey, another cute couple!
So I say to Ron, "you ever see the movie Wedding Crashers". Laurie and Rhonda squashed that idea. 
The road to Independence Pass.
That's where we came from.

A Mountain Lake....looks different than the one in Minnesota.
Please don't pass, Please don't pass!
This place is called Twin Lakes.
The site of Sunday's Purple Pain.
Even the pole was purple!
Ron is praying in the corner.

So what else do ya do when the Vikes lose? Laurie took to this like a duck to water :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Trip Back Home

My first attempt at a blog!  I had a wonderful trip back to South Dakota and Minnesota, but I was glad to get back to Colorado and Bob!  I didn't realize how much I missed him even after being with him 24/7 for the last 3 1/2 months!
Julie and Larry picked me up at the airport on Tuesday (thanks guys) and took me out for lunch.  Then to Megan's to wait for her to get off work.  On Wednesday I took Megan's car and went to Worthington.  Got to see Pudge, Larry, Robert and Barb.  Had lunch with Shawn and Becky, then went to the clinic and saw lots of my old buddies.  I don't really miss the work, but it was great seeing my ex co-workers!  Then back to Becky's to see the kids.  Sure do miss them, too.  Back to Sioux Falls and went out for supper with Kathy, Emily, and Amber.  Wow, haven't eaten out that much in years!  It was great spending time with them.  On Thursday hung out at Megan's with my grandcat.  On Friday Megan and I went back to Worthington to see some people that I missed.  Little Laur and Kim.  Also saw Jessica again, thanks for the coffee!  Went out to the Ground Round for a surprise birthday party for my buddy Pam Thiner. 
Saturday evening Megan and I went to see Sawyer Brown at Flandreau.  Yes they do have a casino there, and no I did not put one penny in a machine!  We had front row seats but when the concert started 95 percent of the people were standing at the stage.  Before the concert they had a drawing for backstage passes to meet the band.  Megan lucked out, (I was holding a winner but I gave it to her) and got to go backstage and have her picture taken with Mark Miller, the lead singer.  She couldn't stop smiling.  She stood up at the stage for the concert with her I-pad and got lots of great video. 
Sunday was a lazy football day.....Yeah Vikes!  I think Megan yells louder than Bob.  On Monday I did all my laundry then Tuesday morning Julie and Larry brought me back to the airport. (thanks again, guys!)  It was sad leaving family and friends again, but it was wonderful to get back to Bob.  It was great getting back in time to help Ron celebrate his birthday.
As you can see by the last 4 pictures,(we took these driving back to the 5th wheel) fall has arrived in Colorado!  The aspen are turning gold and there's snow on the peaks.

My chauffeur's.

Mmmm...Panda House.

Front Row Seats!

Megan and Mark Miller

Like mother like daughter.

Oh Deer

Here comes fall.
Can you spot the deer?

Snow on the peaks!