I'm laying here thinking of the beautiful sights we saw, yesterday. There's just no picture that can do them justice. Rich and Nancy always preferred the southwest part of Colorado.
If you're interested in seeing better pictures than we took, you can always look here.
There was some construction going on by the river so we couldn't get good shots of that this time.
Well, I no more than thought about whether I was going to swim when Nancy said, "C'mon, buddy, let's go." We took a nice ride over to Lemon Reservoir and then on to Vallecito...but more about that later. We wound up on the same dirt road that Nancy remembered from 2004, but it seemed to go on and on. Lot's of campgrounds in the area. There had been a forest fire in 2003 or 2004 and Nancy remembers that she and Rich were worried about Durango. In some of the pictures, you'll see remnants of the fire and the new growth--there are also a lot of signs warning of flash floods; a result of the fire--no vegetation to keep the water from flooding the road around the lake and the homes that are on that road.
I was so excited about swimming. Nancy let me swim for as long as I wanted. I remembered this place, though we weren't in the exact same spot. We saw a wild turkey, and though we were too far away to capture them on the camera, there were baby geese that seemed to be ushered into the water any time I barked because I was so happy. Then, we walked in the field and I ran and ran. The grass tastes so good out here. Nancy yells at me for eating it, but I just can't resist.
Nancy let me chase the ball for a long time. Then, she made me rest for a while. She said I don't know when to stop. I just love to chase balls, though, and when I can chase them in water, that's heaven to me.
I'm bringing it home, Mama.
In between swimming, we walked and I ran, sometimes in this field of "ugly" dandelions.
I was so exhausted that when I got in the car, I didn't want to get up to let Nancy put my seat belt on. She called me a big oaf!!
I slept in the car while Nancy ate lunch at Vallencito--she leaves the truck running with the air on.
Nancy had packed a lunch, and she sat on a log at Lemon Lake to eat it, and I forgot and shook and got it all wet. She wasn't mad. She packed us up and set out to see if there was any place to eat...what a pleasant surprise she found.
I told you, briefly, about the fire. Here are some pictures of the extent and how six years later, what was once a thick forest is still sparse.
Nancy thought of Keely when she took this picture, and how she would love it here. There are places to ride horses all over the place here and around Durango. In 2004 Susie and Nancy went on a private ride that took them off the trail--the young man who was their guide was very nice and made sure they had a good experience. It's different riding in the mountains.
Nancy remembered this carving from the last time we were here. I think it relates to the fire. It's of an EMT rescuing a Bald Eagle.
Nancy was saying on the way home that she's learned a lot on this trip. For one thing, she doesn't need a lot of space, and she doesn't need a lot of material things. She doesn't miss the house. She realized that she took her memories, her happiness, and her sadness with her. Rich, Lizzie, Benji, her Mom and Dad are all in her heart. She gets sad, but she has come to feel that sadness is part of life. It comes to all of us at one time or another--some just sooner than others.
She especially missed Rich on the way up to Silverton, yesterday because they had made the trip so many times and she felt as though she was riding in his tire tracks. She laughed, though, because she knew that if "Thelma" had been with her, surely they would have been off one of the mountains from laughing so hard. She misses Judy, and has given some thought to taking a route that gets her to New Jersey, if the weather cooperates, so that she can see her. Unless she becomes more fearless than she is, she doesn't want to drive the trailer through Manhattan.
As far as John and Michael, she talks to them more since she's been away, and looks forward to seeing Michael, Keely, and Peyton in Portland. She and Susan talk every day and I'm so excited that I'm going to see her in 6 days!!! Then, we'll see her, again, in San Francisco, and maybe again some place on the way home.
Well, we have a long day ahead of us, tomorrow. Nancy is going over to shower. Everything is done except putting things away inside, which isn't much beside the TV and computer, and hooking up. Then, it's Arizona, here we come. 108 degrees. ::groan::
Oh, one more thing. Nancy thought she lost the foot for her hitch way back in Amarillo when she was tossing things in the trailer and the back seat of the truck because of the wind. She finally broke down and bought a replacement, yesterday, and yup, you guessed it--she found the foot in a box of my stuff, today. She finally got the truck washed--nothing inside. After my swiming, she said we went to the lake smelling like a kennel and came back smelling like a swamp. She fully expects to find the hex wrenches, tomorrow, because she bought a set, today. I feel like I already said that. Oh, well.