I can’t believe it’s been almost two weeks since Wes and I landed in Denver, CO, where friends Diane and Bob picked us up and we went back to enjoy a beautiful sunset at their home in Berthoud later that evening. Of course, their three sweet doggies were as happy to see us as we were they, but I believe my precious buddy Hershel was the most excited! We spent the evening sitting out on the deck petting their fur babies while watching a splendid sunset.
The next morning the four of us started our four-hour journey over to Steamboat Springs to attend the American Women Artists Exhibition at the Steamboat Art Museum. It was a beautiful day as we started along the winding road following the river while leading through canyons, and were met by continuous gorgeous scenery the entire time!
As we climbed in elevation we began seeing more snow, some still quite deep from a recent snowstorm, and I had to get out and play in it a couple of times! Although snow still covered the ground, the temps were in the low 70s and I decided that this was the perfect conditions for playing in the snow, and it actually felt good to my sandaled feet! Of course, before I could even make one snowball, Wes had made one and hit me with it, and if time had allowed, I would’ve certainly built a snowman!
It seemed each bend in the road brought more spectacular scenery and I was glad each time we stopped, so I could just stand there and take it all in. There were several occasions in which I longed to have my beloved kayak with me and pictured myself gliding blissfully across the surface of the beautiful lakes.
Amazingly the trip got better as time went on, bringing sightings of Bald Eagles, herds of Pronghorn and much more! The sky seemed endless whilst standing amidst the wide open vast pastures in between the mountains.
We stopped at the impressive Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge along the way, which at 8,200 feet in elevation is the highest National Wildlife Refuge in the U.S. and encompasses more than 23,000 acres! Whilst standing there admiring the scenery, our visit was shortlived, as we suddenly realized we were being eaten alive by mosquitoes! So we quickly headed back to the vehicle and rode with the windows down for a couple of miles to blow all the unwelcomed passengers who had tried to come along with us, out of the car!
Just when we had already had an amazing journey, it got even better when I spotted a moose standing out in the field! Then several miles up the road I happened to look over at the right time and saw a big bull moose standing in the middle of a snow-covered meadow, against the backdrop of evergreens, with the sun streaming down illuminating the entire scene, and I thought for sure I heard angels singing! Of course, by the time we turned around and went back to try and get photos, he had disappeared, but we had the beautiful image forever imprinted in our memories!
We arrived in Steamboat in time to check into the hotel before heading to the meet and greet for the AWA exhibition that evening. After attending an AWA function at a ranch the next morning, we visited the beautiful Yampa River Botanic Park that afternoon, where we enjoyed walking amidst a stunning collection of flower gardens! I highly recommend a visit to this beautiful park if you’re ever in Steamboat Springs!
Each evening we spent playing ping pong on the lovely grounds of the hotel, and of course, I spent time swimming each afternoon in the heated pool which was a real treat indeed! After the AWA members meeting the next morning, we grabbed a quick lunch before enjoying a short hike to the gorgeous Fish Creek Falls. We could hear it before we could even see it, as it was being fed by the snowmelt and crashing down with a roar! We spent a while just admiring the spectacular falls whilst being serenaded by its thunderous symphony!
The falls weren’t the only awesome sight as this park, as we met several friendly critters along the path, including this totally adorable Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel, who obviously had its cheeks packed to the hilt!
Before we knew it, sadly our time in Steamboat Springs had come to an end and it was time to head back to our friend’s house in Berthoud. The drive home was as beautiful as the way out, and I longed to join the excited rafters and kayakers enjoying the abundant whitewater from the snowmelt in the river along the way!
We arrived back in time to excitedly watch the installment of Diane’s sculpture “Over-worked and Under-paid” in Bensons Sculpture Park in Loveland, before joining several friends for lunch afterward. The next morning we headed over to friends Masood and Joy’s beautiful home, where we enjoyed a hike through their lovely canyon. Having gotten hot during our walk, we were delighted when they asked us to join them for fresh cold watermelon and sparkling water on their porch! It was a real treat and we so enjoyed getting to watch the numerous visitors to their birdfeeder nearby including a Lazuli Bunting! Having enjoyed wonderful conversations and many laughs, we thanked them for their hospitality and headed back to our friends’ home.
That evening we were in for another delightful treat as we headed over to friends Sue and Bob’s beautiful Italian-style home. Bob had made a delicious dinner, which we enjoyed while eating al fresco on their covered porch, offering a splendid view of Sue’s brightly colored assortment of flowers against the backdrop of the mountains. Numerous hummingbirds entertained us with their amazing acrobatics as we ate, followed by getting to watch a mule deer nurse her baby on the nearby hillside. It was truly a most enjoyable and relaxing evening together with dear friends!
We thanked them for a wonderful time and delicious dinner, before enjoying a nice walk back through the canyon leading to our friends home, as we watched the setting sun dip behind distant mountains, bathing the sky above in warm oranges and pinks!
The next morning Wes and I had enough time to enjoy a hike to the top of the hill behind their house which affords a splendid 360-degree view, including a nearby lake. It was so beautiful and the hillsides were covered with the yellow blossoms of wildflowers in areas. Before we knew it, it was time to head to the airport, so off we went, saying our goodbyes and returning to our home here in the Smokies. Today is Wes and my 29th Anniversary, and we’re so thankful for all of the wonderful memories that we’ve made thus far together, just like our time in Colorado, and look forward to many, many more great times and years together!
~ In The Studio ~
For the first time ever and just this week, we have a Special Offer on several of our older paintings that can be seen and acquired via our Facebook Page. Thanks to everyone that added to their collection from the preview in our monthly email newsletter. Be sure to follow us on Facebook or subscribe to our newsletter (below) to take part in future opportunities!
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Until Next Time . . .