The day started out with a fresh blanket of snow. David and I headed for Red Hill which is only about a mile from our house. This is a popular hiking area for Carbondalians. David had been up Red Hill before a few times but not with this much snow. I don't think I've EVER gone hiking in the snow. It's a nice climb and worth the effort just to be surrounded by snow-covered trees, deep blue skies, and meditative silences. Here's a slide show of some of the photos taken today with a little of my harp improvising. Take a deep cool breath and enjoy.
A new year, a new decade, a new state, a new home, and a new job! David and I welcome 2010 with enthusiasm and wish a fruitful new year for all our friends and family. We spent our New Year's Eve quietly in the comfort of our cozy townhouse. We got the movie "Up" and got take-out from local restaurant Beijin Tokyo, a great restaurant we'll visit often now that we've tried their food... yummmm! We saw the blue moon as we drove around. Blue moons on the last day of the year occur only every 19 years so what a great treat for the final day of the year!
On New Year's Day we lounged around a bit but then took a walk on the Rio Grand Trail, a 40+ mile trail that stretches from Glenwood Springs to Aspen. Hikers, walkers, bicyclists, cross country skiers, horseback riders, dogs (with owners), and snow shoers use this trail year round for commuting and recreation. No motored vehicles are allowed on this trail so it makes a peaceful and safe place to get some exercise and solitude.
We took photos and videos of the beautiful scenery including a gentle stream that follows the trail and the cross country skiers that were about. We noticed temperatures were not too bad. It was 32 degrees but no wind at all and we bundled up so we were quite comfortable the whole time. We still comment how much difference temperatures can feel with a lack of wind.
As we begin our new year, we look forward to new adventures, new seasons, and new opportunities in Colorado. We look forward to meeting new friends and hope that our friends from Amarillo will keep us up-to-date with their news. Happy New Year everyone and may you all have peace and joy in your lives in 2010!
Today was a refreshing drive to Snowmass Village and Aspen. We took David's sister, Karen to see how the wealthy spend their money. Of course Sadie is always welcome on our trips. She loves the ride and loves to be greeted by all the people on the streets. Beautiful skies and sunshine led the way for us. We exited too early for Snowmass Village but were glad we did as we found spectacular snow covered mountain views.
One cannot capture the powerful and spacious mountains of this area with a humble photograph but perhaps the reader can pretend breathing in frosty mountain air and use their imagination with the photos I have here.
We briefly stopped at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center. I've been catching notices in the Post Independent newspaper about the various classes and events offered here. It looks like a perfect place for a retreat or hmmm... oboe camp or harp camp perhaps. The facility looks like it's comprised of several buildings including a dining hall. One building we entered had a large open room with a labryinth laid out on the floor. Ambient music was softly playing and a poster with instructions on how to approach the labryinth was displayed. I hope to come back to this place and possibly take a class or two. There are several craft type classes including photography, painting, journaling, etc.
As we approached Aspen and our usual covered garage parking area, we spotted a paraglider in the air. Karen and I promptly got out of the car while David and Sadie parked. To our surprise, not only was it amazing to see a paraglider in these cold temperatures, but we could tell he had skis on too. I can't imagine a more interesting way to break your leg but apparently this person is much more experienced than I. (ha).
As we shopped through the many clothing, sports, and art shops in Aspen, we were often stopped by people on the street asking what kind of dog we had. Sadie is a Keeshond/German Shepherd mix and quite unusual compared to the many Golden Retrievers, Boxers, and other better known breeds. We had Sadie all "dolled up" in her yellow jacket with the fleece collar. Sadie is always very popular in Aspen especially with the ladies dressed in higher fashion. They find her quite adorable.
Some things happen at a snail pace and some things happen faster than a jackalope can outrun a coyote. Our move from Amarillo, Texas to Carbondale, Colorado was the latter. Over the years, David has developed his skills as a web developer. His dream was to live in the mountains and when he applied for a job in El Jebel, CO, “our” dream was about to start. At the end of September 2009, David was hired as the Director of Web Development for Blue Tent Marketing and in a few short weeks, he was going to officially and in person start his new job. We had much to do in a very short time. We had to get our house in Amarillo cleaned up and ready to sell, find a place to live in Colorado, and we had to downsize, downsize, downsize (more about that in another post). Many of our friends were shocked when they got the email that we now live in Colorado. All we can say is sorry we created a cloud of dust as we left but you do what you have to do. With many prayers and the Lord's help, plus a great Realtor, Stephanie Lewis, we found a lovely townhouse in Carbondale, CO in a new development called Keator Grove.
Now when you try to locate our address on a Google Map, let me give you fair warning... you won't find us (hee hee). Not only does Google not show the street we live on but it even misspells the name of the street nearest to us. (Yes, I did report it to Google... they're working on it.) You won't find Linden Circle in Carbondale, CO and you won't find Keator Rd. but you will find Keaton Rd on Google maps. We are approximately a 3 hrs drive west of Denver, 30 miles NW of Aspen, and 12 miles SE of Glenwood Springs. Map
There is so much to see and do in this area so that's why I've started a blog. We have only begun to explore and I want to take all of you along on the journey with me. I thought I'd start out with telling you about the center of attraction here, Mt. Sopris and just the highlights of Carbondale's history. Future posts will be about the downtown area (including shopping, restaurants, events, and people), the hiking and biking trails, the scenery, the dog parks (or is it dog barks?), photos of our townhouse, and anything else that we find here that is post-worthy. I'll also have a calendar of events on this blog.
Mt. Sopris is the most prominent feature as you drive into Carbondale. It is a twin-summitted mountain peak (both having the same elevation of 12,965 feet). The mountain greets us every morning from our office/guest room and changes in color as the sun and clouds pass by.
Our pastor from Washington Ave Christian Church told us that he has seen Carbondale and commented, "God was working overtime when he built that part of the world!"
The town of Carbondale has an interesting history. The Ute Indians were the first known residents but when Aspen became a huge mining town with the discovery of silver and gold in the late 1870s, Carbondale grew with hunting and farming folks that took advantage of the rich and fertile soil to supply the mining town with food. In the 1880s, twenty families moved into the valley from Pennsylvania. These early settlers started cattle and sheep ranches and grew potatoes which became the main crop for Carbondale. The settlers named the town after their hometown Carbondale, PA. With the silver panic of the 1890s, Carbondale's growth suffered but the potato farmers helped the town to recover and prosper... hence, the Potato Day celebration. We just missed Potato Day in September and look forward to that next year. When Aspen grew as a world-class resort in the 1960s, the tourist industry affected Carbondale, even though it's 30 miles away. We're about to see very soon the effects of the ski season on Carbondale.
Many of our friends in Amarillo assumed we were about to move from the North Pole of Texas to the North Pole of the world but Carbondale is rather unique in its weather stats. They boast having 295 days of sunshine each year, low humidity, cold but mild winters and comfortable summer temperatures. Carbondale has been given the name "banana belt" of the Roaring Fork/Crystal River Valleys because even though surrounding areas can get heavy snow storms, Carbondale can get a few inches or more but it soon melts (or at least on the south side of the buildings) in a couple of days. We were overjoyed at the first snow here after we arrived. Six inches of beautiful, fluffy white snow made our cozy Keator Grove complex look like an old fashioned winter greeting card. Even when it's 40 degrees outside, we feel very comfortable in a hoodie and scarf because the wind is so minimal here. I laugh when I read the weather forecast for Carbondale... "winds at 5 mph, calming later". In Amarillo, a 15 mph wind was their definition of calm (hee hee).
We are loving our new area so much and look forward to each day. We are getting more settled and still have boxes to unpack but now our house looks more like a home rather than a warehouse of boxes. I hope to keep everyone up-to-date on our experiences here with lots of photos. Please check back for future posts and feel free to use the comments section for letting us know how YOU are doing!