Return from Colorado August 14, 2012

i’m baaaaaaack!!

A-MAZING is the word that comes to mind.  colorado is always beautiful.  even tho i only went hiking once but i enjoyed the closeness of the mountains every day.  some of the days were just entirely too hot for me so we went for an evening hike.  we were lucky enough to be there for several boulder farmers markets and i was lucky enough to meet monte’s daughter, wendy, our first saturday morning at the market.  she gave me a lot of pointers about our upcoming trip to utah.
zach and i spent a day in nederland which was fun.  on the way there, there had been a rockslide closing the only road we knew how to get there on so we headed up another road to a town called sugarloaf.  no cell service so no way to find an alternate route but zach said he saw it on the map, so off we went.  it did indeed take us to nederland (the scenic route) but it was great because it had been over 90 in boulder and the higher we got the cooler.  when we arrived in ned, it was only about 70 degrees and perfectly clear and sunny.  we strolled around ned for a while and i asked a local where the best place to eat would be.  he suggested a restaurant called ‘katmandoo’ which was a nepali restaurant.  i wasn’t sure if i wanted to try it but we did and i have to say it was one of the best meals i ever had.  we went home a different route and stopped to hike up this huge hill to see a view of the mountains.  this was the only place i have a picture of me knitting (see below).  but what a view, huh?
we decided to spend a few days in utah because i came up with the brilliant idea of whitewater rafting down the colorado river in moab.  of course everyone was excited about the prospect of it but the closer it got, the more i wondered why i ever made the suggestion.  for those of you who don’t know, i am afraid of deep water. a swimming pool deep end is fine so i guess what i’m afraid of is the unknown.  my imagination gets the best of me with thoughts of snakes and fish with huge teeth just waiting to brush past my legs or take a chomp.  (yes i know its ridiculous)  when i made the reservation, i lucked out and all they had left on the rafting trips was the scenic route.  when i expressed my fear to the lady taking the reservation, she assured me that five year olds can do this trip.  ok smartie pants — five year olds don’t KNOW there could be snakes and potential monsters lurking in the muddy water, so there!
my fear was falling out of the raft but the nice lady assured me that there was not a chance of that happening, as this was after all the family/scenic route and also with the drought conditions, the water was especially low.  my good fortune again.  somebody up there likes me.
the other brainstorm we had was that we would camp….not my gig but it was actually fun.  we arrived in moab wednesday early afternoon and it was 104 degrees!!!!  when we got out of the car at our campsite, i thought i literally walked into an oven.  think of it – if you have an internal temp of 104 you could die!  so we climbed down to the river and proceeded to get wet and a little muddy.  since deni has been to moab several times, she suggested we hike the dead horse canyon.  it’s a 3 mile round trip hike with the most breathtaking scenery i have ever seen.
the next day bright and early we proceeded to the moab adventure center to begin my first whitewater adventure. after checking in and signing liability forms (wha?? liability forms??) they handed us a life jacket.  i could NOT get mine to close – i’m pretty sure it was meant for a girl with a training bra, so i loosened it up.  at which time one of the female guides promptly tightened it up again, thus cutting off my breathing.  i mentioned that it was too tight and she said ‘believe me, you will thank me once you’re in the water because they grow.’  i said ‘what do you mean ONCE I’M IN THE WATER??’  she just laughed.  so now i’m being hugged by a boa constrictor and panicking that i am indeed going in the water with this thing around my chest.  i tried to calm myself with some yogic breathing and remain positive.
off to the bus we go for a 35 minute drive up the river to the spot where we put the rafts and kayaks into the water.  i did open my vest on the bus ride to keep the blood vessels in my eyes from bursting.
now we get the safety speech from the head honcho which pretty much makes me want to turn and run.  obviously i can’t – i have NO idea where i am and the bus has already left.  be brave….
now we get paired up with the rest of our raft-mates and our guide is chosen.  lucked out here too because the guide was an adorable young guy named evan who was funny and smart (and not bad to look at either).  the other mates were a fun and interesting family of 4 from somerset, england and an elderly couple named tom and liz who have done just about everything you can imagine. liz does a website of their adventures called (please do check it out – you will be amazed at their experiences.)  i have a feeling our own paula and ted are a younger version of this couple.  by the way, we kept asking questions of the english family so we could listen to them talk.
needless to say the trip was fantastic, swimming in the river was great and cooled you off immensely even tho the temp that day was ‘only’ around 100.  those doggone life jackets really do come in handy – the current is such that you just float down the river.  of course the entire time i was in the water i was flailing arms and legs to scare away anything that might want to swim up and investigate.  OMMMMMMMMMMMM
if any of you have already done this you will laugh when i say this next sentence:  the easy part was jumping in the cool water and flailing to keep the creatures away.  but once i was in the water, i realized — oh wait now how do i get back into that raft?  turns out the guide grabs you by the shoulder straps of that previously-mentioned very tight life jacket and hoists you into the boat.  what happens next is that your jacket is now around your ears, the top buckle is in your nose, and you are bouncing off the paddles which are situated in the middle of the raft.  all you can do is lay there like a heap of wet clothes and laugh and secretly wonder if everything that is under that life jacket is in its proper position…  nothing graceful about it!
part of the package was stopping at the red river ranch for a fantastic lunch of grilled dogs and burgers, fruit, several salads…  back into the water for the other half day.  yes there were a few of what i call rapids but evan promptly corrected me and said technically they weren’t even a category one because the water was so low.  hmphhhh so technically i wasn’t ‘whitewater rafting’ it was more like the lazy river at kennywood with a few minor white bubbly water spots – but it was fine with all of us – very relaxing and much fun.
six hours later, after we arrived back at the adventure center, we were all tired and sunburned and we decided to go to arches national park.  no hiking for me this time but we did stop at a few of the formations and gawk.  of course the kids hiked a little but i laid down on a warm rock to nap (like a lizard) with tourists of all shapes and sizes and nationalities. perhaps it was better i didn’t understand what they were saying because they were probably saying something about the stupid american sleeping on a rock. i probably inadvertently ended up in someone’s vacation photos.  ahhh it will give them something else to talk about.
our last evening there i had dinner with wendy and her bf joe at a fantastic little mexican restaurant right on pearl street that wendy had been wanting to try.  it was extremely good – i had vegetarian enchiladas with goat cheese.  my mouth is watering as i write this remembering how good it was.  as a surprise, monte treated us to dinner as a thank you for my delivering a few things to her daughter.  thanks, monte – i got the best end of that deal.
and by the way for those of you who saw the vest monte sent out to wendy, wendy LOVED LOVED LOVED IT!  she has the most beautiful bluish/green eyes and that vest was made for her (literally!!).  will send a photo when we get one from her.
zach and i left colorado saturday morning around 10:30 mountain time after buying up loads of organic fruit, grass fed beef, borscht and home made cheese blintzes made by a german lady, etc. from the boulder farmers market and packing them into a giant cooler to bring everything back with us.  he suggested we drive straight through without sleeping so we could enjoy today being at home, as he heads back to virginia tuesday evening for his teaching job.  saturday evening found me driving straight into a perfectly formed crescent moon, almost like it was dangling on a string in front of me leading me on and sunday morning arrived in indiana with a sunrise the soft colors of the rainbow straight ahead.  how lovely it was.  the long night time drive gave me plenty of time to reflect on the wondrousness of my life filled with so many wonderful people.
(hmmm so this is why people go on vacation)
on a different subject, my plans for dolly llamas meeting at my shop this thursday have to be postponed but i will indeed be open friday.  i found a local church in my mom’s hometown who is willing to come and pick up the contents!  i pretty much have no choice in the matter, as i have an agreement on the house for september 1 so it has to be emptied out now.  i am delighted to donate it all to a good cause and that they will come pick it up.  
by the way, i have some sound investment advice i would like to share with you:  buy stock in the company who makes the orange and white construction barrels… 
be in touch in a couple of weeks with the september newsletter.  plans for some new upcoming classes that i’m very excited about.
love to all
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