We are now at our daughter Mandy’s house in Wyoming for a relaxing few days. On the way here we saw beautiful mountain scenery–on Monday between Durango and Montrose in western Colorado and on Tuesday between Montrose and Canon City in central Colorado. On the latter day, we followed the Arkansas River for quite a few miles. We saw rafters on this river, which is much bigger than the San Juan in Pagosa Springs. Doug wants to come back to this area and raft on the Arkansas. After a great trip through the mountains, we had some trouble before leaving Colorado. Doug noticed that one of our camper tires had started shredding and the other one didn”t look good. He had brought an extra tire, so he was able to changed both tires in less than 45 minutes so we could be on our way. We didn”t arrive at Mandy”s in Laramie until 9 pm, however. We are just thankful that he had the foresight to bring the extra tire, and that it wasn”t dark yet.
Yesterday we traveled about a hundred miles to Mesa Verde. I had always wanted to go, but it looks like we waited too late to really take advantage of the area. The 3 guided tours all were rated “strenuous” and involved ladders and such. However, there was one large place called the Spruce Tree House that we were able to go on our own, which was rated moderate.
This is a picture of the place. Mesa Verde has many of these cliff dwellings, as well as pithouses, which were built partially underground. It was awesome.
Today we did an activity that left me a little wounded. We floated down the San Juan River on tubes. Now we hadn”t done that for many years, and we are both bruised and sore from hitting rocks. We tried to pull up our bottoms over the rapids, but when you are spun around backwards a rock can surprise your body! We did this 25 or 30 minutes trips twice. It was so much fun,but I should have stopped while I was ahead. Everything was going great until I got to the “getting-out place”. Doug and Laura (Wright) had gone in a kayak this time and were waiting for me. Laura had even gone halfway out into the river to catch me. But I spun around and just kept floating past her. I tried to paddle to the shore with no success. Doug told me to get out of the tube-the water wasn”t deep. I did that, but the rocks were slippery, the current was too fast, and I was trying to keep hold of the tube which was pulling me downstream further. It was very scary. I couldn”t stand without slipping, and the water was pushing me along. Doug came along the shore and was able to get the tube with an oar. I had found a steady standing place and was afraid to move again. (The other day a woman was on a rock in the river and had someone call 911 to rescue her. Now I understand why.) I was standing probably only 4 feet from shore, but didn”t know what to do. Laura stepped into the river again, calling me to her. I reached her hands and then slipped down hard on the rocks. I thought I had broken something, but I am walking OK. I feel an ache deep in the area where my leg bone attaches to my hipbone in the front. Don”t know how many bruises we will both have in the morning, or if we will have to roll out of bed. It was great fun, however, while in the river. Just tricky getting out!
What a fun time we had rafting on the San Juan River! It was a catagory 2 & 3 as far as rapids were concerned. Doug and I didn”t really want a terrifying white water experience. Our guide was from Texas, growing up in Cy/Fair until he was in high school. There were only the 5 of us on our raft, and I didn”t have to row. Larry sat in front (I think he wanted a more scary experience), and Doug and I were in the back. There were 3 rafts on this “expedition” and each time one got stuck on a rock, the others would wait. During one of these times, we passed a fisherman who had a trout on his line. As he was reeling it in, another fish jumped out of the water in front of us and another one jumped right into one of the other rafts! You never heard so much squealing out of the teen-aged girls in that raft. The fish even jumped over the front bench and flapped around. Finally their guide got it out and threw it back into the water. The fish was about 14 or 15 inches long. The guides said this had never happened before.
We arrived at Pagosa Springs last night and settled into the RV park where my cousins, Larry, Linda, and Laura Wright were staying. It was raining hard right before we got here, then went down to a sprinkle while Doug was getting the trailer set up. Linda was so sweet to invite us to their place for supper. Their RV is a 5th wheel, so there was room for all 5 of us inside. It is very beautiful here. There is a small river on one side and a tall slope on the other side. It was much cooler here. When we woke up this morning it was 51 degrees inside the trailer. However, this afternoon it feels very warm with hot sun beating down. In a little while we are going to take one of those short raft trips down the river. We will probably be glad of the hot sun when the river water splashes on us. On the way here, our refrigerator would not work on DC or on propane. Doug stopped and had the battery checked and it was low. We bought some of those styrofoam coolers and put our food in. It had stayed cool, so we didn”t lose it. Here at the campground it is working great on the electriciy. Right now he has the battery being charged. I hope that is all that is wrong with it.
I didn”t think I would be writing any more about the birds, but now there are 4! Doug thinks the new ones may be the babies; they are fluffier than the others. Someone had mentioned about putting an owl up there to scare them away. While showing our visitor from Tucson, Dorothy Moore, around the town square, I found a couple of small ceramic owls. They didn”t look a bit scary, but I had to have something small to fit on the ledge. We put them on the ledge in front of the door, and sure enough it worked. They moved to the other side of the porch! Last evening we witnessed a domestic dispute between the probable parents birds. The two new birds sit very close to one another, facing each other. One of the older birds had settled in the corner and snapped (if you can call it that) at the other one trying to get near. They both flew away for a while. When we checked later, the two older birds were in opposite corners. But at least they are away from the front door. Who knows, when we get back from our trip (leaving next week), we may have a flock of barn swallows.
A few days after cleaning off the mud nest, I looked out my front window after dusk. There on the ledge where the nest had been were the two birds roosting!!. They hadn”t started to rebuild the nest, but they were sleeping there. Odd! Doug taped some deer block netting up there to keep them from roosting in front of the door. Then only one bird was roosing on the next ledge, but at least not in front of the door. That went on for a long time, with me wondering where the other bird was. Did they have another nest, and the mother bird was sitting on the eggs? Was the other bird killed? I felt sad that this single, solitary bird was sleeping there alone. However, this week, Thursday night, we looked at and BOTH birds were roosting there again. Good grief–a messed up porch again! Does anyone know why they would do this?
This is a picture of the birds that have tried to take over our porch. A couple of months ago, I noticed them flying around, landing on the fan, and generally looking cute. Then I noticed that they were building a mud nest on a narrow ledge on the inside top of the porch. People kept telling me that I should get rid of the nest, especially since it was right in front of the door. They were roosting there at night and doing you know what on the porch floor. After checking to make sure that no eggs had been laid in the nest, I knocked it down and cleaned everything up. As I did this, the two birds kept flying in and out of the porch. I felt so bad, but they didn”t need to be roosting right there at our front door. I thought that was the end of it. More of this saga tomorrow.