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 > A stump, a meadow and a rocky road, a summer trip report

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whazoo

Idahome

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Posted: 09/01/11 07:20am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A stump, a meadow and a rocky road, sounds a little cryptic. But when a guy's feng shui (pronounced fung shway) is out of whack it sometimes takes something small to knock it back into balance. And since it's summer in Phoenix Arizona and I work outside, my fung shui has become funk shui. Not to mention a few rotten nights camping and you should get the picture, I was in a bad shui. (Note: the author has used poetic license in his interpretation and use of the term feng shui. It is not intended in any shui to insult or conflict with the true meaning of the term.)

Let me back up a bit first. Mrs. Whazoo and I were going back to Colorado to camp, visit friends and have Outfitter install a new Tundra fridge and solar panels. I don't know for the life of me why we didn't have them from day one but I had no way of knowing the 3-way Dometic just couldn't handle the summer temps in Arizona when we load up for a trip. We got tired of throwing away puddles of ice cream sandwiches or of trying to drink them with a straw. So here we were, going back to Colorado for all the right reasons.

As it happened, it was also flower season. I've decided that I'm a pansy for flowers and after seeing other posts here I'm glad to have the company.

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For years I have joked with Mrs. Whazoo that my "trip" donuts, Entemanns glazed buttermilk in particular, were health food. Well now you have it from the horses mouth, that be me. Eat up everyone, they're officially good for you! And a big thanks to Terry Rey for the vitamin donut poster, it's the do-nuttiest and cool in a big way. Hi Terry.
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Our first stop was a place I hiked to last year with Doug aka Sheepcamp, the Old Hundred Mine. I wanted Mrs. Whazoo to see it for herself. Hi Doug! We blew through Durango as dusk was on us in a hurry to make it to Lime Creek for the night. Sleeping in gave us a late start, funny how we do that on vacation.
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There was a small stream fed by runoff at the parking area, and the flowers were there to see us off.
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The trail up is quite incredible and with no time to acclimate we were both soon gasping for the few molecules of air available at 12,000 feet. It was like stereo, gasp gasp, with a little reverb thrown in. Or was that just my heart?
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Looking back it's hard to see the truck, especially from a small picture.
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The trail had sections so steep that I was just a few feet ahead of the Mrs. and yet looked almost straight down on her. Looking at this picture I wanted to tell her that if she stumbled and fell to keep those arms out and go into a glide, but the moment was already gone.
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The distant road leads to Silverton.
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This is the first view of the Old Hundred boarding house and tram house. The Old Hundred was an ambitious mining claim owned by the Neigold brothers from Germany.
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It's an incredible sight to see and wonder, how the heck did they do that? Silverton is visible in the distance.
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It was 2 pm by the time we made it to the trail way above the mine, there is no actual trail down to them because of the rock slides, and with clouds coming on we thought it better not to climb down. The next two pictures are from last year with Doug.

Story has it the brothers Neigold were taken with music and actually had a grand piano brought up to the boarding house. Yep, I read that somewhere. But folklore has it that when the second floor rotted and the piano fell through, it landed on a flat miner. At least that's the way it was told to me. A flat miner...drop me a note if you didn't get that. A note...A flat minor
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Looking up past the rock slides well above the boarding house you can just see the "cut" that marks the end of the trail. And also see what you have to do to climb down to the buildings. It's not for the faint of heart, or those with acrophobia. I don't really know what "acrophobia" means, I never did study spiders.
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It sure looked to me like someone had thrown flower seeds up into the air and they had landed all over the side of the mountain. I'll use a term from RicJones and just call them PLF's, pretty little flowers. Hi Ric.
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Having a slight headache after the hike, Mrs. Whazoo told me to take some Aspen before bed. A natural remedy that worked wonders.
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These horses looked to be having a confab of sorts. Maybe telling stories from their haydays.
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This particular afternoon we arrived at the Taylor Reservoir and turned up the first dirt road we came to. It lead to the old revived mining town of Tin Cup. Piece and quiet were missing from this entire area, DOA. The road was a major atv and ohv highway complete with a solid layer of dust in the air. Even farther up the mountain past town. We spent quite some time looking for an unoccupied spot to camp. In frustration I took to an atv trail and even then found campers. Finally a hole appeared in the forest with just enough room to level off and camp. The atvs ran into the dark hours and were up before sunrise.
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Of course we left first thing in the morning, piece and quiet was our reason for being there. Driving back down to the lake we then drove up the Taylor River a few miles and found a real nice spot to camp for a few days. It was right on the river, complete with the sound a river makes to send a us off to a good sleep. Or maybe an afternoon nap, oh yeah.
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Yes it was BLM land but there was a ring of rocks obviously put there by the BLM to partition off the camp spot from the land around it. It was looking pretty good for some relax time.
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Breaking out the bikes for a ride, what scenery!
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And just our kind of road too, flat, smooth and easy. I'll still say this though, bicycle seats sure hurt worse than they used to, even with my new padded seat under my old padded seat
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The river is a hundred feet off the starboard bow. Port/left, starboard/right. Hi Ben.
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Is it real or is it memorex? Can you figure it out?
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The evening could not have been better. That's when they showed up, them, the boys with the Chevy Tahoe towing a trailer of motorcycles. They left the dirt road just before our camp and drove over the bushes to camp on the grass, a mere hundred feet away from our back door. So much for sanity, this was not the shui I wanted it to be. I was so upset with people and Colorado I vowed to never come back. Mrs. Whazoo just read her book, like wives can do.
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So we left again the next morning and drove back down to Gunnison where we met up with our friends Steve and Mrs. Steve, wonderful people I met at the Overland Expo in 2010. We spent the night at their wonderful place in town and cooled off my raw emotions at the local bar. Good friends are right in there with Aspen and the sound of rushing water to sooth our nerves, and I hope next time to be in a better mood to begin with. And then there's the fact that we're both Outfitter owners, but his is bigger than mine, being the longbed and all. Hi Steve.
[image]

Off and running again the next morning for Outfitter headquarters we made a round-about drive through Loveland Colorado and stopped at Loveland Lake. This gentleman stood still like this for at least a half hour, making nary a ripple. I thought it was quite the picture, even if I didn't quite get it.
[image]

After the solar and fridge install we headed up the Poudre River to camp and turned down a dirt road. Again, campers were everywhere but we did find a quiet little spot off the road with flowers to greet us. We had heard there were moose in the area and hoped to get a picture of one.
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While sitting in my chair next to a log, the sound of claws on tree bark scared the peewaden out of me. I immediately thought "bear", and it acted like one. This little guy spent the next five minutes telling me to leave. He charged me several times while barking vociferously. I named it Randy, because it was.
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Evening was marred by the sound of semi-automatics being fired as fast as the trigger could be pulled. They went on until dark and we wondered if they would ever run out of ammo. I tried to stay focused on taking pictures, knowing that any possible chance of seeing wildlife was now gone.
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So we left again, it was like looking for Woop Woop in Colorado and not finding it. Luckily for us we have friends in the Front Range area that told us about their secret spot. Of course I was skeptical and already in a bad mood. We were supposed to be going on up to Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies but I was too burnt out on people and noise to make the long drive. So we gave my friend's secret spot one last chance. Let's just say it was an auspicious beginning with a very tight dirt road.
[image]

Many stops were made for branch removal, or just plain moval.
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My style differs from Mrs. Whazoo. First you climb to the branch and grab it with both hands,
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Then you jump and pray the branch breaks and doesn't just leave you hanging, you know, out on a limb.
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I don't know, Mrs. Whazoo makes it look too easy, and not nearly as fun as jumping out of trees.
[image]

After adding many new scratches to our rig we found our little slice of Colorado heaven. Yes Mrs. Whazoo, this is Woop Woop Colorado.
[image]

That evening as we sat around the fire there were a few skeeters, but not the kind with carbon fiber bodies we had last year in Idaho. And not near as many. You could not kill those boogers. Yet these were just as pesty in a way, continually buzzing my ears. That in itself is a mystery to me. Mrs. Whazoo keeps telling me that skeeters are attracted to the carbon dioxide that we breath out. If so, why do they buzz my ears and not my mouth? To me it's simple, they're attracted to earwax. That's right, earwax. So of course they mostly buzz us guys, right?! I mean how many times do you slap your mouth because a skeeter is buzzing it? Yet I'm always slapping the side of my head trying to kill the basty nasterd skeeter that keeps buzzing my ear.
[image]

And why do us guys have the market cornered on earwax? Because we grow up with mothers, sisters, girlfriends and finally maybe wives. I figure earwax is a genetic defense to all the instructions we receive over a lifetime. Guys? Am I right or am I right? Yes, I'm treading on thin earwax hear, but I think I'm on to something. What's that? I can't hear you. And this is how it works...Yes Dear, right away Dear. (I love it when she tells me what to do!)
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That night, still feeling like half a man, I took a picture of half a moon. I'll call it a heavy half, but which one?
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My first flower picture of the next day just happened to be a Whazoo flower. That's right, just a little on top and scraggly on the sides.
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A little dodging and burning going on here.
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There were some old mining cabins here and there. Mrs. Whazoo looks at Barney Rubbles place.
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It looks like many springs have passed since this was a usable bed.
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Ma, Ma, did j'uno a tree done growed up in the front door?
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Besides the gorgeous flowers there were also some colorful mushrooms.
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And while I took pictures Mrs. Whazoo read her book. I could tell it was good, her answers to my questions being one syllable and all.
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Boy, I've never seen so many different PLF's before. Thanks goodness for the 32 gigabyte memory card.
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The next two flowers looked like the same to me, but maybe a little different. My flower recognition software wasn't working so I'll defer to others to tell me. I suppose the one isn't open quite as much as the other.
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And since I'm not any kind of a detail person I'll just call this PLF#7.
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When Mrs. Whazoo asked me why I took this picture I had to admit, I was stumped.
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Misc truck shot.
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Mongolian Cluster Schroom, a native to Colorado.
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It was a hack job I tell ya. Next to camp were three live aspen that had been hacked to death for no reason and left laying there. I have to say how disgusted I get sometimes with the actions of a few. My shui is still in a funk at this point, but my mind is turning.
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A stump.
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a meadow,
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and rocky road,
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finally broke my bad mood and put me back in a good shui. After looking at those cut Aspen and thinking of the natural treasures that need protecting, the rocky road that we all fight daily till we reach the end, and the beauty in life and death it came to me as a poem. Funny how that works.
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I'm not lyin, this guy was a dandy. He was so big he took up the entire picture frame with his gossamer sails, ready to break loose at any moment and take flight. As I got closer for the picture I hoped I didn't blow it, like I often do.
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Thanks for reading,
Dave & Lynn Rogers
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PS. Back in Phoenix now it was 117º today, the nighttime low 93. I quit work a little early, about 3:30 this afternoon. My eyes are raw from wiping sweat, the donuts have long melted away. We've had more than thirty days over 110º. My funk shui is back on and the outlook for the next seven days is around 112º. My swimming pool is stuck on 94º water temp and the hot tub is 106...without heat. We do love Colorado and realize that summer there brings the crowds like winter here in the desert. Even with the several nights of what I call rotten camping, the scenery and greenery were a sight for heat stroke eyes. There is bad feng shui and good fung shui, and I'll thank Colorado and friends for the good, however brief. 8/25/11

* This post was last edited 09/01/11 12:27pm by whazoo *   View edit history

Oldtymeflyr

Arapahoe Hills, CO

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Posted: 09/01/11 07:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just took a trip in some pretty nice country.

Thanks.

Rick

romore

Okanagan valley British Columbia

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Posted: 09/01/11 07:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you for sharing those fabulous shots. That is beautiful country.

ecoast

NW NJ's Highlands

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Posted: 09/01/11 08:00am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you VERY much for putting this together!

it's been 25 years since I've been to durango, gunnison.

Still so beautiful...


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Bubtoofat

SE Michigan

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Posted: 09/01/11 08:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is what it's all about. Only in a TC. Beautiful trip report once again.
Mike


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silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 09/01/11 08:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Whazoo:

Outstanding! The study in flowers, textures, light, playing with wide angle, spectacular scenery, the beautiful Mrs Whazoo !

Totally made our day!!

Cheers, and many thanks for your superb documentary,
Sand & Dunes

* This post was edited 09/01/11 08:21am by silversand *


Silver
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RRUGG

Newaygo, MI,USA

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Posted: 09/01/11 08:16am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You're hurting me with your pictures and making me groan with your wit (before I retired I had the reputation at work as the teller of bad jokes, a title I proudly wore). We'll be snowbirding again (as usual) somewhere in your state. Unfortunately Colorado is off our radar until next summer. Always enjoy your adventures.


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kohldad

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Posted: 09/01/11 08:20am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As they say a bad feng shui day of camping beats a day of work every time. At least you finally made it out of the heat for a few cool days.

While I really enjoy your trip reports which are always great entertainment, sure hope to get a tech report on the fridge. You say Tundra, but thought they were bought out and no longer made?


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BradW

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Posted: 09/01/11 08:23am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I couldn't possibly be ready to go back before day break tomorrow. [emoticon]

Brad


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jmtandem

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Posted: 09/01/11 08:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You are a great storyteller and photographer. Keep them coming.


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