Colorado


Treeline

As a girl I learned about treeline or timberline, a high altitude border somewhere between 11,000 to 12,000 feet on the mountain where conditions get so harsh that trees can’t grow.  A little over a year ago we visited Acadia National Park in Maine, and a ranger talked about Mt. Desert — so named because trees don’t grow on top of it.  Mt. Desert can’t be more than a hundred feet above sea level.  How can it have a treeline? Since then I’ve been noticing tree lines everywhere.  Some run along the top of a hogback leaving one side of […]


Retro Cool

I bought this helmet (clearance priced) in 1975 when patriotism wasn’t cool. Steve and I have worn it for 42 years, off and on, and the only comment I remember about the design was a neighbor calling me a hippie –until last summer. Half a dozen ATV riders on Taylor Park trails thought it was very cool, an Easy Rider throwback!  No one made me an offer though, so I’m still wearing it. Have a groovy birthday USA.


Newfangled Park

The promised grand opening didn’t seem promising.  We couldn’t see a park from, the road was still under construction, and who ever heard of an Old West park?  But the road opened, the planners did a bang up job on the play town, and there’s a hand pump feeding a waterfall of sluice boxes.  I can’t wait to thrill a grandkid!


A Favorite Dad Story

“We scouts raised enough money to stay on Grand Mesa for two weeks. The Mesa is the highest flat-topped mountain in the world. It’s beautiful country; forests of blue spruce, ponderosa pine, and aspen with flowery meadows in between. The flat top collects rainfall in three hundred sixty lakes and a zillion marshes. Those wet-lands make for a whole lot of hungry mosquitoes, but we scouts were tough. After two weeks of eating the fish that ate the mosquitoes that feasted on us, we were all blood brothers, and there was no mystery left in the circle of life.” Thought […]


Library Cruise

I spent much of last year begging people to listen to programs I’d slaved over for months.  I got a few takers here and there.  Then I got my foot in the door with half a dozen libraries and the Colorado Springs Senior Center, and life is good! This year I let their schedulers know I’m rolling out my Whales presentation, and I’ve got five speaking date just like that.  I’ve always appreciated libraries—Steve says I’ve never seen a library tax I didn’t like—but now I am profoundly grateful to libraries, not only for speaking ops but for so many of […]


Mile High Sea Sightings

Snorkeling the Under the Sea exhibit at the Denver Aquarium would have been more exciting if I hadn’t watched it on every round I’ve made as a volunteer guide. Still my view from the top revealed a number of things I’ve never have seen from the walkway. An interesting fish approached and took a big interest in my gloved fingers.  I knew that no snorkelers have ever been nibbled in Under the Sea, but thanks to that visit, I also knew that the dive safety team’s decision to glove against fish nibbles was an excellent call. Active moray eels are easy to spot near exhibit windows, but in the quiet recesses they drape themselves in crevasses and over a […]


Mile High Snorkel 2

It was the most pampered snorkeling trip I’ve ever experienced.  Kim got me rigged up in top of the line gear, including a wetsuit that floats, then had me sit with my feet in the water while she slipped on my flippers! No waddling across the beach like a duck in clown shoes, no getting queasy in the waves, no fear of, drowning, drifting out to sea, animal attacks or boat strikes.  No worries period.  Any time I lifted my head, Kim was there with a float to steady me, answer questions, adjust my gear.  Much as I love the ocean, […]


Mile High Dive

Dry-landers take heart.  If you’re yearning to snorkel with sea creatures a thousand plus miles from the nearest seashore, Landry’s Denver aquarium will have you swimming with more sting rays, eels, fish, and skates than sea snorkelers can hope to glimpse.  You may even spot some mermaids.   Too calm for you?  In another exhibit, you can scuba dive with the largest sharks in Colorado either as a guest or volunteer.   It’s a great way for divers to keep in practice when a trips to the coast are such a strain.   After a year of driving to Denver to work as a guide, I can attest that Landry’s is a breathtaking place to […]


Universal Sign

NO PLACE IN AMERICA HAS THE VIEW YOU WILL SEE FROM THE TOP… At first reading, this sign on Colorado’s Monarch Pass, seems to claim the most outstanding view in the U.S.  The view is wonderful, but not the best, even in the West. Then I realized that almost any fast food parking lot can make the same claim, or better.  You won’t see exactly the same view anywhere in the world, the universe, or even whatever’s bigger than that.