Sunday, May 13, 2018


Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.
--John Milton 

The Holy Cross Abby in Canon City, Colorado. Built in 1924, the Abbey served as a monastery and boys boarding school -- closing in 2005. Tours are available -- visit their website for more information.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

peaceful change

Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures. 
--John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

Some photos from my recent hike at Red Canyon Park, north of Cañon City.  Click here for more information about this park.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Lake Isabel

Lake Isabel is a 40 acre, man-made lake in the vicinity of Bishop's Castle and a great place for picnicking, camping, fishing and hiking. The lake is found on Hwy 165 with parking areas on both the north and south sides. The view from the north side is above (top photo), the others are from the south side of the lake. I went on a fairly busy summer day and found the south side to be less congested. A small fee is charged at the gate for a day pass. Numerous trails are in the area, making this a great destination for those wanting to enjoy the outdoors.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Hornbek Homestead

Dare to be different. Be a pioneer. Be a leader. Be the kind of woman who in the face of adversity will continue to embrace life and walk fearlessly toward the challenge.
--Oprah Winfrey

Life wasn't easy for Adeline Hornbek. Born in Massachusetts in 1833, she married at 25 and moved to Oklahoma. She had three children before her husband died. She moved to Denver and married again in 1866 and had another child. Her husband soon disappeared, we don't know what happened to him, and she set out into a remote area of Colorado, purchasing 160 acres in Colorado's Florissant Valley. In 1878 she built the cabin you see here and somehow was able to overcome all the odds raising her children, running the ranch, working for a local merchant -- as a single mother on the frontier. A model of rugged individualism, Adeline was a pioneer in more ways than one.

Click here to learn more about her life.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Anyone traveling in southern Colorado needs to make the trip to experience the unique and otherworldly beauty of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. It is one of 59 parks in the National Park system and though out-of-the-way, it is well worth the drive. The mammoth sand dunes are piled up 755 feet high as southwesterly winds blow the sand against the 14,000 foot tall Sangre de Cristo Mountains -- with the storms winds from the north and south coming off the mountains holding the dunes at bay.  CLICK HERE to see more photos, read a lengthy description of the park, and get recommendations of things to do.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

hometown pride

"I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him."
--Abraham Lincoln

Downtown Cañon City after a snow. Founded in 1860, Canon City has been and is many things... a railroad town, a river town, a farming town, a prison town, a mining town, a vacation destination, and now... a high-tech town? Fremont County (along with Custer, Chaffee and Lake counties) have earned the designation of Technology Sector, with hopes to draw high tech businesses and start-ups to the region.

Known as the Climate Capital of Colorado, Cañon City boasts the best weather of Colorado with 300+ days of sunshine and mild winters. The city is a mecca for tourists with the Royal Gorge Railroad and suspension bridge, white water rafting on the Arkansas River, miles of hiking and mountain bike trails, and some of the best rock climbing venues in the state. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

old stories

Old stories are like old friends. You have to visit them from time to time.
--George R.R. Martin

An abandoned, old house in the San Luis Valley outside of Mosca, CO. In the background you can see the Great Sand Dunes National Park. I don't know the history of this place, but it was very well built and I'm sure it would have many stories to tell.

To see a nice wide angle of the scene, check out the Google Maps Street View.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Explore. Dream. Discover.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
--Sarah Frances Brown

Above: Lawrence Ross snowkiting across the frozen Twin Lakes near Leadville, CO.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

on top of it all

At an elevation of 10,200 feet above sea level, Leadville, CO is America's highest city. This old silver mining town sits in the shadow of Colorado's highest mountain, Mt. Elbert, near the headwaters of the Arkansas River. The colorful and quaint downtown, which was built up quickly after its founding in 1878, remains a beautiful place to visit.

Click here for webcam views.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

San Luis Lakes

On your way to or from your visit to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, be sure to stop off at the San Luis Lakes State Wildlife Area. It offers great views of the dunes and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and an opportunity to view birds and other wildlife.  For a trail map, click here

Click here to visit the official website.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Robison Mansion

The Robison Mansion was built in 1885 by Lyman Robison, a Scottish immigrant who made his fortune in the silver mines of Leadville. Though his fortune was made in Leadville, Robison's wife, Mary, wanted a home away from the bitter cold winters. The sprawling 6,000 plus square foot residence sits on 3.5 acres on the south banks of the Arkansas River, and today is the setting for weddings, private gatherings and community events.

For more on the history of this elegant home, click here.  To visit the official website for the home, click here.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Winter Evangelist

One of my current pet theories is that the winter is a kind of evangelist, more subtle than Billy Graham, of course, but of the same stuff.
--Shirley Ann Grau

Above: Railroad cars in the snow along the Arkansas Riverwalk Trail.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Duck Park

Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.
--Victor Hugo

Above: Ducks and geese enjoying a chilly swim in the duck pond at Centennial Park. Often referred to as "Duck Park" by locals, Centennial Park is found on the south side of he Arkansas River, near the Royal Gorge Railroad at 3rd Street in Cañon City.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

East Bear Trailhead and Tanner Dome

I went out to East Bear Gulch Trailhead fairly late in the day, so I didn't get to explore too much. After parking, I wandered down to a small frozen pond and found the above angle with Tanner Dome in the background. The actual trailhead for East Bear Gulch Trail is across the road, west of the parking area -- this trail eventually meets up with Stultz Trail after 5 miles and Tanner Trail much further in. After a very short climb on East Bear Trail, you come to a side trail to the right which will take you up a very steep, winding path to Tanner Dome. This area is popular with both rock climbers and peregrine falcons -- and as a result, climbing is forbidden between April 1 and August 1 to protect nesting falcons.

I hiked up to the cliffs and took a photo looking south, looking back toward the position I took the first photo. If you look closely, you can see my silver car in the parking area (to give you a sense of the distance). The gorgeous view made the strenuous climb worth it!

Directions: From the intersection of 4th Street and Oak Creek Grade in Cañon City, head south on Oak Creek Grade 11 miles to a well marked parking area for East Bear Trailhead. Click here for Google Map.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.
--Benjamin Franklin

This impressive fireworks display from atop Skyline Drive celebrating the start of a new year could be seen from throughout the city. Happy new year!