Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Our site in Durango. Once again, we get the big front yard.


We have several guesses about the flowers. We all agree, the white puffs are dandelions.

So far we have lupin, carpet bugle, and blue bonnet guesses for the blue ones.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Our RV Park in Leadville. The Leadville RV Corral. Not the nicest park, but it's handy, right in the middle of the city, and open all year.

We'd rate the park a 1 and the surrounding scenery a 10.

From: Steve Taylor []
Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2006 9:02 PM
Subject: leadville

Monday, May 29, 2006


Saturday was the Iron Horse Classic. Two thousand bicyclists whizzing past our campground, racing the steam train 52 miles uphill to Silverton. We stood next to the road and cheered them all on.

Sunday was the Indy 500. We watched the whole thing on television. After, we went out to wildcat canyon and got the cassin’s kingbird, along with clark’s nutcracker, jays, all three bluebirds, and vesper sparrow.

Monday we went to the junction creek campground and got grace’s warbler. The slam dunk, can't miss lead, actually worked! They were right where they were supposed to be, high in the ponderosa pines. Then we went to a park in Bayfield and got the cordilleran flycatcher. Two more new birds for us, along with lewis’s woodpecker, red naped sapsucker, lots of yellow warblers, a couple American redstarts, dark eyed junco, and chipping sparrow.

All three of the leads came off the same internet reference. That worked out well.

Tomorrow, thankfully, it's back to work, so we can get some relief from all this intense birding......

Weekend update

On Saturday, a batch of our mail caught up with us. Included in this mail was a jury summons to appear in person at at 8am, at the courthouse on Leopard Street, Corpus Christi, Texas, Tuesday, May 30th, or face a $1,000 fine.

It's May 29th.

We're in Colorado.

I plan to throw myself on the mercy of the court, by telephone, first thing tomorrow morning, Tuesday the 30th.


Gore canyon

The exit from Gore Canyon.


Brother Bill was having trouble identifying the particular flower in the picture.

Maybe this will help.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


Birding was good in Steamboat. We didn’t get the sage grouse or the juniper titmouse, but we did get to list about fifty birds.

Birding in Leadville was not as productive, but we were only there for two nights, and got twenty-five.

Durango. We got a lead off the internet, drove south on highway 550, west on highway 160, south on county road 141, and southeast on county road 136, an unpaved road on the indian reservation. Three miles in, we found the Cassins’s Kingbird. Not an unusual bird…., if you’re in Arizona or New Mexico in the summer. We got to see him without getting that hot. A new bird for us. Cassin’s Kingbird.

Tomorrow…. The can’t miss, slam dunk, Grace’s Warbler near a campground west of Durango. Again, not an unusual bird….., if you’re in Arizona in the summer.

How beautiful can it get?

In response to the question, how's this for a tent camping spot?

Gore canyon

And what could be better than a train tracked canyon?

"S" curves.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Gore canyon

What could be better than a high country canyon?

A high country canyon with a train going through it.

Friday, May 26, 2006


Steamboat Springs was good, but we’re done there. We moved on to Leadville on Wednesday. A scenic drive south on highway 131 to Wolcott, and over Tennessee Pass on highway 24, to Leadville. A hundred mile day to Leadville. Ten thousand feet high. Ten thousand feet high, and surrounded by snow covered mountains. Great weather. Highs in the sixties and lows barely down to freezing.

Leadville was good, but we’re done there too. We’ve moved on to Durango. South down highway 24 to Poncha Springs. Got pulled out of a pack of traffic in Buena Vista for going six miles over. Turns out the policeman didn’t want to give me a speeding ticket. He wrote me up for having an unrestrained wife. We moved on. Over Poncha Pass, and south through the San Luis Valley. Hung a right on highway 160 to South Fork, over Wolf Creek Pass, looong slow downhill to Pagosa Springs with no brake stink whatsoever, and on through Bayfield to Durango.

Arriving at parks like Alpen Rose in Durango is like a homecoming. Good to be here. Took a walk and a raven ate my glasses. We returned from our walk to find two ravens on the picnic table. I put my glasses on the table before we left. The ravens flew off when we returned, and my glasses were nowhere to be found. Not for awhile anyway. I imagined the bright and shiny object becoming a permanent part of a nest or a packrat stash, but eventually we found them under the table. They only got messed with, not digested.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Springtime in the rockies

The Steamboat area got great snow this last winter. Now they are having a warm early spring. The Yampa River is one of the least-dammed rivers in the west.

The campground is having a very wet spring. Wetter than they want it.


We don't always get to stay in places where the sites are well separated. At the Steamboat park, they're back to back.


If it's not round, can it still be an arch?

Is this a hole with corners, or is it an arch?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Even outside remote mountain towns, there is still the danger of traffic jams.


The sandhill cranes wandering about behind Hayden.

I couldn't get a picture of Judy standing next to them for perspective, but they are almost as tall as she is.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


We're not that good with raptors. Our take on this one would be dark morph Swainson's. If someone who really knows make a better call, we'll let you know.


Charming little bandit, the common yellowthroat.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Another good looking bird in the marsh. The black-necked stilt.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


A twenty mile day. Stagecoach to Steamboat Springs. Drove to Hayden this afternoon to check out some sage grouse habitat. Didn’t find any sage grouse, but got some sandhill cranes.


Our spot at Stagecoach.


Another hot day in the high country. Eighty degrees. Moved from Kremmling to Stagecoach State Park outside Steamboat Springs. Fifty miles. The warm weather hasn’t managed to melt all the snow on Rabbit Ears Pass yet though.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Life on the road

Last Sunday we crossed the Continental Divide at the Eisenhower Tunnel. It rained and snowed, making a mess out of the coach. A rig wash costs $100.

On Tuesday, Judy soaked in the hot springs, bought some stuff, and had a massage. $100.

Wednesday, Judy washed the rig while I was at work.

Life on the road.


No trip report to write from here. Nothing going on.

The job went well. Enjoyed the commute back and forth to Hot Sulphur Springs.

We wandered through some good pinon/juniper habitat. Nice birds. Prairie falcon, mountain bluebird, lark sparrow, brown creeper, No juniper titmouse though. We wandered through some good sage habitat. Sage thrasher, brewer’s sparrow, horned lark. Heard a sage sparrow, but never saw it.

Nothing happened. Nothing to tell.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Here is another marsh bird you don't see often.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Hot sulphur springs

A different kind of high country here. We’re not in the jagged spectacular Creede kind of high country. We’re in the high mountain valley with the Colorado River flowing through it kind of high country. Seven thousand feet, rolling hills, ranchland, river bottom, the jagged snow covered peaks are way off in the distance.

Hot Sulphur Springs is a small mountain town, but not a dirt road main street town. Main Street is paved and has a center stripe. Some of the side streets are even paved. Highway 40 passes right through on its way from Granby to Kremmling. You could guess by the name of the town, that there might be some hot springs here as well, and you’d be right. A nice resort that has been here since the 1800s. Twenty-three pools and tubs, rooms, patios, grass, picnic benches, and lots of stairs connecting everything, all alongside the river.


Okay then. Black bellied whistling ducks in the mist...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


We just can't decide which is the more handsome profile for a pied billed grebe.


Moorhens in the mist.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


It was a good trip. We had our anniversary on the beach with dinner at Virginia’s on the wharf at sunset. We saw lots of birds, listed more than a hundred, with five of them new for us: Stilt Sandpiper, Canada Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, Mississippi Kite, and Yellow Bellied Flycatcher. It was our best tern trip ever. We saw Royal, Caspian, Gull Billed, Sandwich, Common, Forster’s, Black, and Least.

We headed north. We drove from Port Aransas to Big Spring, in Central Texas. Saw more Mississippi Kites. Drove from Big Spring to Raton in Northern New Mexico. Saw horned larks in the Texas Panhandle. Drove from Raton to Longmont, Colorado, and set up at the Boulder County Fairgrounds. Spent the afternoon with Becky, Brian and family in Erie. Watched Annie and Rags run, jump, and play together in the back yard. Annie fetches the ball, Rags ambushes her on the way back just like always. Left Longmont Sunday morning and looped around to Littleton to visit with Matt, Kari, and Alex. Got to spend quite a while in the motorhome with Alex, deciding which buttons were okay to push and discovering what each one did. I think Matt and Kari need to get Alex a motorhome to play with now.

Tonight we’re set up in Kremmling, Colorado, the closest campground to the new job in Hot Sulphur Springs, seventeen miles away. Let the commute begin.

It was a good trip. Life is a trip.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Port a

He did take the occasional breath.

Port a

He never blinked. He never even opened his eyes.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Boardwalk 2

Sometimes that two foot lump covered with silt turns out to be the head of a very large gator directly under our feet.


Sometimes that big lump in the water next to the boardwalk is just a big lump in the water.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Port aransas

And my bougainvillea.....

Not big yet, but definitely coming along.

Port aransas

That’s it for here. Time to head back to there.

Next up, four jobs in three weeks, Hot Sulphur Springs, Steamboat Springs, Leadville, and Durango.

Port aransas

The oleander on our site are in bloom.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006


A couple fine looking spoonbills visited our pond.