Thursday, May 29, 2008


I don't know how many people still log onto this antiquated blog...However if there are still curious eyes out there here is an update.

In February of this year the restaurant in Durango that I worked at burned to the ground. It was quite the shock. One minute you are serving kabobs and the next you are on the sidewalk wondering when they are going to get rid of the smoke so you can finish your shift. Then your patience turns to worry as the smoke becomes an inferno and then you are out of a job! They are rebuilding it but it will still be quite some time before it reopens.

Fortunately some leads I been following turned into an editing position soon after the fire. I now work for an Environmental Consultant firm and I'm learning a ton every day.

I have now made Durango my home...I miss Portland but have come to love the mountain air and sunshine. I'm planning a trip to POrtland next month so it will be nice to catch up with family and old friends. Cheers!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Horseback Ride to Missionary Ridge

I have been more than lax in my blogging since March (thanks for reminding me Dad). I have done some really cool things and haven't shared them so now I will try to catch up a little. On Labor Day weekend Sept. 1st Ben and I went on a two day overnight horseback trip with Ben's long time friend Robert. Robert has been friends with Ben's Dad since they were teenagers and was there when Ben was born so we were in good hands. Robert is a professional bass fisherman as well as an avid bow and arrow hunter so he was looking for elk.

Five years ago this Ridge had a devastating fire and of course much of the burned terrain still shows evidence of the fire. You can see the defoliated trees that survived in the background.

To get to the saddle up point we drive about 15 minutes north of our house to missionary ridge road. Then we drive about thirty minutes up the road to the trailhead. After our horses were saddled we headed up the trail.

Here is the interesting thing about the horses Ben and I were on. They were older than we are! My horse was thirty five years old. That means he was giving trail rides a good five years before I was born. He refused to take the bit and Robert said, oh well good old smoky doesn't really need the bit, he'll just follow the others anyway. So I carried a rope to stear him and it was true, he just followed the others. This is Smoky, I think his grey and his wrinkles make him look distinguished:

Ben's horse, Chico, is 33 and is Smoky's little brother. Smoky and Chico like to stick close to each other.

We took our time getting to camp, Robert was looking for Elk and stopping now and then to call for them on his bugle. We didn't see any however. Just some tracks. The trailride was beautiful.

After about five hours of riding and stopping we got to the top of the ridge and made camp near a watering hole.

Come to find out, horses sleep standing up all night. It was early to bed and early to rise and the next morning we rode out almost the same way we came in. Ben's horse stumbled at one point, he wasn't very sure footed, and Ben took a tumble but was all right, just a little bruised. It was a great way to see the ridge and enjoy the ride. Thanks Robert!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Little House on the Mountain

Finally I have taken some postable pics of the new casa. This is the view of the little neighborhood from the road. Our house is the green roof at about one o'clock. Ben's dad's house sits on the hill above center.

The snow has just melted so we haven't landscaped yet.

It is a large greatroom, this is the view just coming in from the garage. The front door is out of frame to the right.

That's my little desk in the corner, and the door leading to the garage.

Master Bed with attached bath off to the left. The other bedroom is empty right now but will be ready for visitors!

Guest Bath

We have yet to hang the microwave but eventually it will be above the stove. The kitchen window faces south so there is always alot of light there.

So that's the casa, it is very homey and the hydronic in-floor heating is very nice, the tile is always warm. Hope you liked the tour!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Mal Pais One Year Later

We were very happy to arrive back in the tropical climate we love so much and we quickly re-acclimated to the paradisaic lifestyle. Many of our friends who are permanent residents were around to welcome us as well as some of Ben's family already staying at the house. Ben has been living there off and on for more than ten years so he really considers the town his second home. Although there are lots of things one could do on the peninsula, each day pretty much resembles the next once we settle in for our stay.

A typical day starts out with a light breakfast and some coffee. Then its off to the beach to read or float on the inflatables or take a long walk. As the house sits just off the beach there is a shady garden area to recreate in between the heat of the beach and the house. Here we may play croquette or mini-golf in the afternoons.

Of course the afternoon is not complete without a little hammock time. Here is Kate, Ben's mom, and his niece in one of the hammocks over the porch.

Around four we have a cocktail hour, often sitting on the beach watching Eliza (Ben's 2.5 year old neice) trap and free the hermitcrabs with her trusty sand shovel.

"Hey Eliza, look at me!"

The sun sets around 5:45 everyday. It is the gathering and socializing hour.

After sunset its dinner time. We cook often in the outdoor kitchen. This pic not taken after sunset obviously.

So that is the typical day. In the evening we would often visit friends or go to a party. Next post I will include more family and friend pics as well as photos from our trip to the Osa Peninsula. Ciao!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Rocky Mountain Winter

The slopes in this area have had a late start to the season. However after two storms in the last couple weeks the snow at Wolf Creek resort was spectacular.

On our way back from the slopes the snow dusted valley was breathtaking.

The house is almost done and we are heading back east on Monday. Cheers!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Small Town Life

Durango is a town of about 15,000 people, more if you count the outskirts. I am really enjoying the differences of small town life versus the big modern city I'm from. The parking meters only take coins, and a quarter gets you an entire half hour on main street and 45 minutes on the parallel streets. I work in a restaurant and most of the people that come in are regulars and they all know each other. Not only that when you are new they immediately know that and ask you your life story. I went to the used book store. The lady said "I haven't seen you before, are you a student?" This is a common question as Durango is home to Fort Lewis College. "No," I always answer, "I moved here from Portland." That is never enough though, people want to know why I moved here. So I have started to head them off at the pass. "No, not a student," I answer the book store lady, "I moved here for love." Her face lights up like the trees on mainstreet the day after thanksgiving. "Really!" she exclaims, "That's why I moved here..." And she launches into the story of how she and her husband were having marital problems early in their marriage, they lived in some big city, "and then we decided to move here, this town is a wonderful place for a romance, after we moved here we had our two girls and now we've been married for 17 years!"

She gave me the locals discount and with a big smile wished me good luck, if I was dating a 'Durango Boy' I was already a lucky girl she said. The folks around these parts are very proud of their town and feel they were somehow 'chosen' to inhabit this much elevated state. Many are from surrounding areas but they come here and make it there own. I like how many people go into business for themselves and then pass on that business to their children. If you want to make a good living you have to start a business because high salaried jobs are scarce. There aren't large firms here but that doesn't mean there aren't opportunities. I have decided to start a free lance editing business. Apparently there are only a few editors in town and they are very busy. My first project is Kayak Reef by Brad Stewart (Ben's Uncle) It is a story of prowling on the arctic (the practice of sabotaging poaching boats.) It is fanciful and geared for the 8-12 year old set. Due to be published by a subsidiary of Random House. Brad calls himself a plumber that ran into a book. Before he wrote this book he didn't know there were three ways to spell there, their and they're.

Yes its fun to live in a small town. On Sunday we threw the football back and forth across main street. They love their football here and all the passers by got involved..."Go Long!"

There isn't much crime here, unless unruly teenagers decide to go on a drunken spree through town. The newspaper the Durango Herald prints all the calls to the police the morning after:

Animal Control
11:15 a.m. A gray Suburban had two dogs inside with the windows rolled up in the Centennial Center in the 300 block of South Camino Del Rio.
1:43 p.m. A llama was stuck in the fence in the 31500 block of US Highway 550, near Hermosa.
4:38 p.m. A brown pit bull was running loose in the 3700 block of West Second Avenue.
6:44 p.m. A woman wanted to talk to an Animal Control officer about cats in the 1000 block of Airport Road that possibly had rabies. They were biting people.

Durango Police Blotter
8:24 a.m. Four or five signs were blocking the sidewalk near the Volunteers of Foreign Wars Post No. 4031 in the 1400 block of Main Avenue.
9:44 a.m. Someone found a cell phone in a backyard in the 600 block of East Third Avenue. It was possibly left by a prowler a few nights earlier.
10:12 a.m. Someone spotted a Hilltop escapee Tuesday evening near the Durango Community Recreation Center. (I have no idea what Hilltop is, the insane asylum maybe?)
12:12 p.m. A student was causing a disturbance with teachers and other students at Needham Elementary School.
2:36 p.m. A man wanted to talk to an officer about a cut on his hand in the 900 block of Camino Del Rio.
6:04 p.m. A drunken man was arguing with a trolley driver in the 100 block of East College Drive.

As you can see it is a relatively safe place to walk the streets at night ;)
Cheers from the rocky mountains!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Fall Colors

To get the most of the changing Aspens in SW Colorado it is best to take a drive. So one Sunday morning Ben and I took off in his Dad's Audi for a long drive. Our route was from Durango through Telluride and stop for a night in Ouray. Here are some of the pics from our trip. Please excuse the ones obviously taken from a moving vehicle.

And majestic mountain backgrounds...

Outside Telluride...

The Town of Ouray from above...

Now we are both busy working for the next several weeks. And the leaves are pretty much gone. Next I will post more on the house.