The Moose is Loose!

I have always wanted to shoot a moose… with my camera. They are huge animals which can be aggressive and dangerous. They are also majestic and fearless, qualities I have always admired.

A few years ago, I freaked out and fumbled with my phone as a cow and her calf pranced by the liftline in Breckenridge. By the time I pulled off my mittens to take the shot, they had dashed into the forest.

Last Friday night, Danny and I walked the Pearl Street in Boulder after dinner. We stopped in a shop and I overheard a conversation about a moose encounter. The man and his wife had dropped off their daughter at CU and then hiked Brainard Lake, about forty-five minutes away in the mountains.

“I want to see a moose,” I whined like a two-year-old.

He pulled out his phone and showed me the extraordinary photos of a bull moose whose antlers were in velvet. Can you imagine stumbling over them in the spring? Whoa…

I Jonesed for a moose encounter, but Danny planned to play golf on Saturday afternoon. He doesn’t doesn’t have the opportunity very often. He had a meeting on Sunday. Hiking would have to wait.

With rising temperatures Saturday morning along with smoke from Western fires, he hoped to finish some yard work in the morning while I hosted a Drop and Hop Party on my blog.

Then divine intervention occurred.

He cut his right hand with the hedge trimmer. I sent him to Urgent Care and then found out how it happened. I won’t laugh because the last time, this happened…

After four stitches (only a flesh wound between his index finger and thumb) he was told to skip tennis and golf for the next ten days.

Now the afternoon was WIDE OPEN!

“You want to hike Brainard Lake?” he asked.

“Yes!” I abandoned my party. We packed water and snacks in one backpack and then stuffed jackets into another. We drove up Lefthand Canyon.

Like we had expected, the temperature was in the low 70’s. There were others hiking, but it wasn’t crowded like Rocky Mountain National Park. That place is a zoo in the summer.

We hiked on a trail through the aspen and evergreen forest up a thousand feet to another small lake in the high alpine environment.

moose munch

It was ablaze with wildflowers.

We avoided loud conversationalists and listened for breaking branches. A dude with a boom box passed us with his posse. Okay. This is a wilderness area and the third time this year someone has blared music while hiking. What are they thinking?

I had to say something this time.

“Dude. Although I appreciate that your music is turned down to a reasonable level, this is a place where people go for peace and quiet. You should turn it off.”

The group kept walking. He yelled something back at me. I think he said, “Thanks! Have a nice day.” Pshh.

The temperature dropped and the wind picked up. I didn’t want to get caught in a storm. It was hard to tell what kind of weather was afoot with all the smoke. We turned around. Continue reading

Creepy or What?

haunted house

A couple of weeks ago my husband Danny and I drove up to the Mount Grays and Torreys trailhead. My SUV wound up the steep dirt road so slow a granny with a walker could have passed us at times. While struggling over rocks and pot holes in the comfort of my Toyota Highlander, I thought of the hope and courage miners carried in their hearts while traveling up this same treacherous road more than a century ago.

We came upon a miner’s boarding house. Situated along a stream and within view of Mt. Torreys, it appeared ready to tip over. When placing my hand on the weathered boards to take a few photographs, I expected it to lean with me. Continue reading

Take the Challenge

Have you been chained to your desk this summer or have you channelled The Hulk and broken out to enjoy the nice weather? It’s not too late to join us.

Here’s how:

Share photos of your outdoor fitness adventures through Twitter and Instagram with #WRFChallenge. I’ll link you up!

Deanne Schultz posted a selfie while taking the Challenge on her birthday. Happy Belated Birthday, Deanne!

Patricia Sands has been playing tennis to enjoy the outdoors.

My daughter Courtney Lindau and her friends took an epic hike near Red Rocks.

Went on an awesome hike with these ladies above Red Rocks today! 🗻☀️🍃

A photo posted by Courtney Lindau (@courtneylindau) on

Continue reading

How to Add Excitement to Your Life

Remember when you were a kid and you went out exploring, wide-eyed and full of enthusiasm? What happened to that childlike wonder? Are you so bored, you find yourself watching Bachelor in Paradise and realize you’ve hit a new low? Here are a few ideas to keep summer from becoming a yawnfest.

Take a stay-cation. Become a tourist in your own town. Check out new shops, restaurants, food, festivals, music, museums and events.

Pearl Street Mall

Check your city’s calendar. Many have summer events like outdoor movie night. Google: calendar of events for your city. Your local newspaper or Chamber of Commerce should have a website with a list.  Continue reading

Don’t Tell Mom

When I’m scolded by a young woman in her twenties for being reckless, I know it’s been a real adventure.

I had been road biking to a small town about ten miles from my house and back to build strength in my leg after knee surgery. After several bike rides, I itched for something different. Something new. Something…adventurous.

I decided to mountain bike around the Boulder Reservoir instead. I used to belong to a mountain biking group that explored Boulder County. It had been a while, but I thought it would be fun to hit the trail again.

Looking back, I should have recognized the turkey vulture as a bad omen.

turkey vulture

On the way to the res, I rode by Coot Lake.

Coot Lake

I entered the Eagle Trailhead. A new little friend hopped along the path and pleaded with me to turn around. Of course, I didn’t listen. Continue reading

Deconstructing the Avant Garde: Ed McCartan’s Art Retrospective

When my dad moved into the nursing home, I didn’t think an art show would be possible. I shelved the idea of a gallery opening. His amazing work has only been shown publicly at outdoor art shows once or twice, more than fifty years ago. He has always been a humble man and he remains unrecognized for a large body of artwork created during his lifetime.

Ed McCartan Self-portrait

Ed McCartan’s self-portrait.

Then Hospice took over. They came up with an idea to do a retrospective at the nursing home where he is living, the Evansville Manor, a few blocks from my parents’ house in Evansville, Wisconsin. Danny and I had to go.

Drawing had helped my dad with the transition into the nursing home. He would sit in the window of his small room and sketch from photographs or from a book of animals. A few weeks before the show, he stopped drawing.

Ed McCartan Art show 2

Dad and Mom.

My mom had framed many pieces over the course of the last year. He had forty paintings to show. We set them up in order from earliest to latest work. Continue reading

Are You Adventurous? Take the Quiz!

According to Wikipedia, adventure is an exciting or unusual experience. It may also be a bold, usually risky undertaking with an uncertain outcome.

DSCN1731

Although I have a reasonable amount of fear which prevents me from doing anything super crazy and life threatening, I get bored doing the same old thing. I tend to seek out new experiences in almost every aspect of my life.

soap tastes yucky

Soap on a rope tastes yucky, but at least I tried it.

When we were children, we approached new experiences with wonder. My family went on Sunday drives to explore Southern Wisconsin. I have memories of hiking, camping, canoeing and making new friends.

Girl Scout Camp

When was the last time you made a fun weekend plan that didn’t include mundane tasks or a trip to Home Depot? Continue reading