Monday, June 23, 2008

Colorful Colorado?

Colorado's green. Some brown, but mostly green.

Ok, I’m back from my foray into northern Colorado. We went to Lake Granby, near Rocky Mountain National park. It’s a cool area, with many shades of green present. We camped at about 8,400 feet elevation, with cool mountain air to keep us at a reasonable temperature.

Colorado’s been hit hard by bark beetles, which kill pine trees indiscriminately. The dense, overgrown forests of the region are conducive of the destruction the beetles cause. In some cases, only one tree in ten survives. For every tree left at the Stillwater Recreation Area, many logs lay upon the ground. The National Forest Service is working on managing what they can, but the state of Colorado will not pay for any new management ideas. They state that the long mismanagement by themselves led to the conditions that allowed the beetles to propagate, and that they must allow nature to thin the forests back to a pre-human-influence state. This is an interesting theory, but how are they going to remove so much dead wood and prevent a major conflagration or two?

Camping was nice, but we spent as much time getting there as we did there.

I wanted to go fishing, but the local stores at Lake Grand want cash only for licenses, and all three area ATMs were out of service. The stores will not do cash back from a debit card, but they will give cash back from at out of state check (no comprende); however, I didn’t bring a checkbook.

To get from Lake Granby to Rocky Mountain National Park, one only has to drive up the road from Granby. One passes Stillwater Reservoir, where there are some expensive houses jammed into the woods. Then comes Lake Granby, where the main attractions are go karting and horseback riding. Next, comes the park entrance, with a visitor’s center just before the gates into the Park. Trail Ridge Road runs from here up and across the park to Estes Park.

Monday, June 16, 2008



That was an interesting weekend. Friday, I had no work, so we took off for Heron Lake State Park early in the afternoon.

Did I mention that I’ve gotten a job? Yep, I’m working for Tom Udall’s senate campaign. And I don’t even need to get up early in the mornings.

Ok, back to the lake. Friday we launched a Sunfish, and I sailed to the marina. We hung out with the folks at the docks, and then we eventually went to five o’clock somewhere, where we fired up the trusty ole DVD player. Movie: The Pelican Brief, a legal-action combo. Law and Order could take a hint; have random government agencies try to off the district attorney and all the caseworkers.

We’re driving back into town now. Earlier, we stopped in El Dorado to look at a cat. That is a catamaran, not a feline. Our feline needs are fulfilled for the moment, and every mile driven with Dulce reminds us of this fact.

Today was calm for a while, and then around 1:00 it picked up. Suddenly. That was a blast. I managed not to capsize, but I found my tiller extension on the Sunfish to be too short. Later some Boy Scouts showed up. We put four of them on two boats, then both boats received an extra person to coach. I was on one while the scoutmaster was on the other. After a minute, I jumped off my boat onto the floating section of scrap marina bits. The scoutmaster stayed on the other boat with his scouts. About the time I got off my boat, they capsized. I turned the kids I was with loose upon the lake, and they did quite well, no accidents, no capsizing, and they figured out the relationship between sheet, wind, steering, and weight. They had a great time and would like to sail again.

Yesterday was for racing, but the committee boat was not where most people expected, and only three boats found it in time to start. One boat finished from each fleet. Then came potluck. I made guacamole at the marina for our contribution to the dinner. Chile Man had some habeñeros. I cut some guac to the side and added the peppers to the smaller portion. All night long people raved about the guac that would burn your taste buds to high heaven.

Almost home now. I started writing about at Budagers, which is now a movie production zone.