Saturday, June 30, 2007

Evening light

At Montrose.

Evening light

At ridgway.

Can you spot...

Can you spot the puppy in this picture?

In the first picture. The second picture is a clue.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


A record travel day. Start to finish, seven miles.

We finished the job in Montrose yesterday and started a job in Telluride today. We’re not actually going to Telluride; there aren’t any RV Parks there, we’re going to do this one “remote”. We’re exchanging all the information electronically. We’ll talk by phone, fax, and email. We needed to come out of the canyon so we get a cell signal. We also wanted fifty amp service so we can run both air conditioners. The state park only has thirty amps.

It’s hot here, ninety degrees every day. That’s pretty hot for the mountains. Is it hot everywhere?

Monday, June 25, 2007


A family of magpies lives in the field next to us. They fly back and forth calling and complaining. A family of six. They all look alike, parents and kids, same size, same color; shiny iridescent black set off by striking white. Big birds. They look alike until the youngsters start fluttering their wings and begging to be fed. Sometimes they’re all in our campsite at once, on the fire grate, the picnic table, the trees, and the bird feeder, sampling the suet. Talking amongst themselves.

Nice family. A little noisy as neighbors, but nice family.

Walking the dog

My daughter writes trip reports and she's not even on a trip. Well, not like we are anyway.

From: Becky Alexander []
Sent: Monday, June 25, 2007 9:22 AM
To: Steve Taylor
Subject: Walking the dog

So, I walk the dog for around two miles every morning before breakfast, then again each evening after dinner. In the mornings I'm alone (nice quiet way to start the day), except on weekends, when Bri comes with. In the evenings, it's usually me and Brian, along with the younger kids. Saturday night, we were exploring the neighborhood east of us, and found a nice park to hang out at for a while. There were a couple of other families there, and we were enjoying it - except for the dogs in the yard next door. They were a pair of Chihuahua-ish things that yipped incessantly. After around 10 minutes, the owners of the house came home, and the dogs shut up. The owners then went into their kitchen, and sat at the table, right next to the patio door, which they left open to enjoy the summer evening. After a few minutes, the dogs got bored, and started up their barking again. The response of the owners was to shut the patio door, to cut off the obnoxious noise, leaving the dogs outside to bark! How's that for an oblivious dog owner? Everyone at the park, though annoyed, had to laugh at the absolute cluelessness.

Sunday night, we were out walking again. Conner rode in his stroller for the first three miles, but after the third park stop, decided to run along with his sister. Teigan was riding her scooter, in a cute little peach-colored sundress. Conner was barefooted, his little naked feet slapping on the sidewalk. The dog did her business in a person's yard, so being responsible dog owners, Brian and I stopped to clean it up. We kept an eye on the kids, who were still racing ahead of us, and saw they had stopped at the next corner. As we watched, Teigan took off her shoes, and they both sat on the curb, letting sprinkler run-off water wash over their bare feet. I was wishing I had a camera - they were pretty cute. As we walked to catch up with them, they got down in the water and crawled around - being dogs I assume. Still pretty cute. However, as we got all the way up to them, we realized they were laying face down in the water, slurping. EEWWWW! Guess we had never actually TOLD them not to drink water running in the gutter. Oh well - I'm guessing it's not fatal.

Have a good day.



Sunday, June 24, 2007

Summer sucks

Sure the weather is nice, the trees and flowers are in bloom, and birds are everywhere, but say you’re in a state park, next to a trout stream, and it doesn’t get dark until nine o’clock. You’re not going to go inside the house before dark, are you? And then you want to take a walk around the camp loop in the dark because the moon is so bright you don’t even need a flashlight. Now it’s ten o’clock and you haven’t even checked the evening’s email yet. Then, suddenly, it’s eleven o’clock and you haven’t taken a shower yet.

I tell you, summer is exhausting. But I guess it could be worse. We could live farther north where the summer days last even longer.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Durango to Ridgway, sixty air miles. Drive out the park, turn left, and drive right there on highway 550, only eighty highway miles. We drove out the park and turned right. South on 550, west on 160, north on 145, east on 162, and there you are, Ridgway, one-hundred ten miles. One-hundred ten miles, and we didn’t drive over Red Mountain Pass. We looped around and went over Lizard Head. Lizard Head is steep on the north side, we smelled the brakes and pulled over to let them cool part way down, but it’s no Red Mountain. No string of steep fifteen mile per hour switchbacks on Lizard Head.

So here we are at Ridgway State Park, the place we always get hugs from Danny and Jeannie, perennial camp hosts, but they’re not here this year. They moved on…, but not far. We can still go into town, Ridgway, and get hugged. We know where they are.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Another busy week. My brain is tired.

We didn’t really get out and around much. No drive up to Silverton. We did get to wave at the steam train as it went by every morning. The weather is warm. We’re back to a little altitude, maybe 6,500 feet, so the nights are cool, fifty degrees. We saw the space station and space shuttle go by one night. The space station is about the brilliance of Venus, but much faster. It rose in the west, followed by the shuttle, and disappeared overhead a few minutes later, presumably in the earth’s shadow. It was going so fast, it must circle the globe about once an hour.

Tomorrow, Ridgway State Park.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Had a nice walk on Father’s Day. Spent a couple hours in Sand Canyon. Saw and hear lots of birds. Got plumbeous vireo and gray vireo, both unusual birds for us. Got a walk in the Hawkins Preserve, which is administered by the Cultural Center Client. Got a long look and listen to a lazuli bunting at the edge of McElmo Canyon.

But we’ve left the gang in Cortez behind. A busy time there. Worked with the Hospice organization last week. Worked with the Cultural Center this week. Finished up and moved on to Durango this afternoon. Tomorrow we start a new job here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Nothing like afternoon thunderstorm light on the cliffs of Mesa Verde outside our front window.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Cortez KOA. Annie scores a ride with Beth.

Saturday, June 9, 2007


Phoenix to Flagstaff to Gallup to Shiprock to Cortez. Here safely with our friends at the Cortez KOA. I think they saved the best spot for us.


and what would a trip to a fancy resort be without a day at the spa?


Before we left Creede, Annie got another ride.

Friday, June 8, 2007


It was a great conference. It was a great visit with Ken. We loved the conference facility.

But we’ve moved on. We drove from south Phoenix, through heavy traffic on a Friday afternoon, and stopped on the north side of Phoenix at Pioneer RV Park. Easy in, easy out, pull through site. We've been here before. Had a visit with brother David here three years ago.

Gamble's quail, curve billed thrasher, harris's hawks, three kinds of doves, gila woodpeckers, cactus wrens, northern cardinals, and a new bird: lucy's warbler.

One day of driving tomorrow, and we’ll be in Cortez.

Wild horse resort

and they were soo nice to Annie too.

Wild horse resort

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


A long day of class sessions. A late dinner. An even later exercise, but got a wonderful desert coyote pack serenade along with the late evening swallows and lesser nighthawks after sunset.

A half day of technology, gadget, and digital practice sessions tomorrow and we’re done with the CPE for the week.

Sunday, June 3, 2007


In our continuing effort to divest ourselves of some colorado property, we have had the trailer removed from the lot behind our house.

The demo guy broke away all the bricks and concrete, looked underneath, and found the axles and wheels intact. Forty-five years after it was installed, a little air in the tires and it was good to go. He hauled it out to Longmont and salvaged it. Back the next day with some dirt and a bobcat, and the lot is done. We’ve got the fence scheduled to go up later this month.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Two nights ago

Two nights ago, the low temperature was twenty-two degrees. Tonight, the low will be eighty.

What a difference a little distance makes. We left Creede, Colorado at nearly nine thousand feet, and, over the course of two days, descended south to Phoenix. Easy driving, we took a looping route, no mountain passes, by following the Rio Grande, east to the San Luis Valley, then out the south end of the valley into New Mexico, picking up the Interstate at Santa Fe, abandoning the Rio Grande at Albuquerque, and heading west on Interstate 40. We spent the night at Gallup. Got Cassin’s kingbirds there. Today, we continued west to Flagstaff, still at altitude, seven thousand feet, then did the big drop to Phoenix at about fifteen hundred.

Now we’re suffering separation anxiety, having plugged the motorhome in at an RV Park and left it in favor of the conference hotel. It’s a nice room here at the Wild Horse Pass Resort in Chandler. It looks out over a recreated Gila River, complete with complimentary riverboats that cruise past every fifteen minutes. Got a Gamble’s quail and a Verdin. Pet friendly, so Annie can enjoy this with us.

The conference starts tomorrow.