Friday, March 26, 2010

Hanging Flume Event

I know you've stayed up late at night wondering about Hanging Flume's. Well, you've come to the right place! We had the DVD premiere event last weekend for "Hanging Flume: The Best Kept Secret of the Wild West" last weekend at Gateway Canyons Resort, and you, too, may know more than you ever thought possible about the Hanging Flume.

The Hanging Flume precariously perched above the Delores River near Gateway, Colo.

In all seriousness, it is quite the marvel, and you can learn more about this piece of Colorado gold mining history at And you can even by the DVD while you're there.

The center for all the action: Palisade Event Center, Gateway Canyons Resort

We had the premiere event for those involved in helping preserve this little-known piece of Colorado history, and they had a wonderful time.

A mountain man from the late 19th century stopped
by to tell us about the building of the Flume.

Valerie, Cat and I waiting for folks to finish watching the video. A long, yet successful, day!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm kind of a big deal ...

If you would like a signed copy of the Sentinel article I'm in, I'll see what I can do. Now go and become a fan on Facebook and follow Winefest on Twitter! (I hope you know I'm totally kidding!)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Plane Excitement

John and I ventured over to the Museum of the West to see what displays they had and to learn more about the area. I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of information they had regarding this region. John was excited that there was an airplane, even if it was only half an airplane. Plane exciting!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

God's Gift?

I've driven by this store a number of times, and I've always thought I should stop and check it out. My thought was to help support a local Christian bookstore.

This is what I saw when I drove by today. "God's Gift" refers to marijuana and it's a marijuana shop! I'm glad I didn't stop by. Colorado has legalized the selling of the substance for medicinal purposes, but there are a lot of things going on in Grand Junction now because they didn't set up proper laws before allowing folks to open shops. Welcome to Colorado ... What a mess!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

John's Gone Native

I've always referred to John affectionately as Mr. Colorado since it's where he lived when we met. You know he's a Texan to the core, but he's gone native. This weekend I found that I could sign up for a free Colorado hat on the Colorado tourism website. I did just that and we went to pick up the cap at the visitor's center. You, too, may look like a Colorado native. Just come and visit me!
I don't know if John will wear the hat in public.
I think he's a bit embarrassed to wear a Colorado hat!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Down in Monument Valley

Monument Valley - Sunrise

Saturday morning started early once again, but not 4:30 early, more like 6 a.m. early. John took this picture of Monument Valley from outside our hotel. The colors were incredible!

Monument Valley and one of the "Mittens"

My one complaint about the park is we weren't able to explore and hike. Monument Valley is not in the National Park system because it is a Navajo establishment. We were only permitted on the 17-mile dirt road loop and were told not to hike. This was disappointing, yet I understand that they want to keep the park in pristine condition.
Rolling Stones in Monument Valley

Monument Valley "Mittens" at sunset

John and I decided to hike a trail that was marked on our hotel's map to Hidden Arch. The map wasn't that great and we couldn't even find the trail head. I asked at a convenience store, and I was told that we needed to go to the back of the campground, cross a dry river bed by foot and then follow the "light" trail. We started along the trail not knowing how far the path would take us. We weren't very far into the trail when there were a number of "light" trails going in all directions. We went one direction, then another and John spotted the arch that was right in front of our faces. Because of the rocks behind the arch, it was hard to make it out. You can spot it at the right angle when a bit of blue sky peeks out.

Hidden Arch - Discovered!

Hidden Arch

We had beautiful weather through our stay until we left the lodge. This picture should look somewhat familiar. Let me give you a hint. Run, Forrest, run!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

South by Southwest

John and I had a bad case of cabin fever, so we took a long weekend to explore even more of the surrounding parks. There are so many natural wonders within driving distance, I don't know if we'll ever see them all while we're living in Colorado.

Thursday evening we took off for Moab, Utah, where we stayed the night so we could get to Canyonlands National Park at sunrise. This was not my idea! John wanted to get a sunrise picture at Mesa Arch. We were up at 4:30 a.m. ... It's very cold that morning, and we pull up to the view point around 5:30 or so where we meet many cars. It's our luck that the Brigham Young University photo class is at the arch before we get there and there's about 30 kids in the "prime" photo positions. John jockeyed his way into position and managed to get some phenomenal shots. He's becoming quite the photographer.
Mesa Arch - Canyonlands National Park - Sunrise

View through Mesa Arch - Canyonlands

We then explored Canyonlands, which is a great park, however I wouldn't say it's a must see. If you're ever in Moab, you must go to Arches. On the other hand, I'm surrounded by so many spectacular natural wonders, I may be a bit jaded when it comes to which natural wonders I prefer.

Me and John - Canyonlands

Acting like a goofball (it's natural) - Canyonlands

By 9 a.m. we had been through Canyonlands and started our trek to Monument Valley. We went through a number of tiny towns including Mexican Hat, which is named after the rock formation, and Bluff, Utah. Here we stopped for lunch. The restaurant was directly under the Twin Rocks and was aptly named Twin Rocks Cafe. I had the best hamburger on Navajo Frybread. Delish! The bread is like a Mexican dessert bread without the sugar and honey. I strongly encourage you to give it a try. I should've taken a picture!

Mexican Hat Rock Formation outside of Mexican Hat, Utah
The Twin Rocks - Bluff, Utah

Finally we arrive at Monument Valley to stay at Goulding's Lodge, which began in the early 20th century. The Gouldings settled there originally as sheep traders and then Mr. Goulding established a trading post with the Navajo. During the Depression, the Goulding's approached Hollywood with pictures of the Monument Valley area in hopes of John Ford directing his Westerns in the area. It was a smart move ... the first movie starred a young John Wayne.
Goulding's Lodge - Monument Valley, Utah - Can you believe the view?! The lodge had a museum, theater that played John Wayne movies, delicious restaurant, indoor pool and tours available of the park.

Stay tuned ... I'll fill you in on the rest of the trip in future posts.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Weekend Warriors

John and I look like we're training for the Olympic biathlon. In all actuality, we're finally trying out the rifle he got for Christmas. It's been too muddy to get to the range in our car!

You can see this is where old mannequins retire.