An Unexpected Visit from Wild and Wonderful Old Man Winter

An Unexpected Visit from Wild and Wonderful Old Man Winter

We drove up to Breckenridge last weekend, expecting wonderful weather and golden-hued fall color. I couldn’t believe it when the snow began to fly as we approached the Eisenhower Tunnel. I had wondered when Old Man Winter would pay us a visit, but I figured he might wait until the middle of October.

Only a day after the official start of autumn, he surprised us.


I have been predicting an early winter. I’m gifted and talented in that way. There’s a slant to the light and the birds have been flocking together for weeks now. The perennials died back early, I’ve never seen so many owls hunt during the day, and the squirrels have been in hyper-drive. What does that have to do with an early winter? I have no idea. I’m not even an amateur meteorologist. Someone told me pinecones packed high on the tops of trees indicate a cold, snowy winter. YES! Must be a Farmer’s Almanac thing. Why would trees do that? Maybe if there is a megaton of snow, the pinecones won’t get buried and rot in the spring melt. Who knows? I’m ready for snow.

Wonder why I’m excited? This photo says it all…


Yep. Those are ski runs in the hills out yonder.

It melted today (moan), but I think the Old Man is lurking. I bet there will be more surprises on the horizon. Winter will arrive early this year.

Are you ready for winter? Has the Old Man surprised your neighborhood yet?

Summer’s Race for Stillness

three daisies

Summer fun includes a wide range of activities. Some can be enjoyed at breakneck speeds while others require taking a moment to be still and take in the surrounding beauty.

It’s wildflower season in the high country. Summer is so fleeting at high altitudes, it’s hard to find them at their peak. I went on a quest.

While hiking Baker’s Tank in Breckenridge, Colorado, I shared the trail with others on a different sort of quest. It was part of a race course for mountain bikers. I was surprised they took the time to say hello, smiling and chatting as they passed. Later, I found out the race was 100 miles long! I don’t know if you’ve ever biked in the mountains, but sometimes you can walk faster than you can bike when trails become treacherous.

On the way back home, I found this amazing field of flowers. They were backlit by afternoon sun. Time stood still while I stopped to take in this magnificent sight.

In stillness we find beauty.


daisy macro

As I headed to the car, a bike racer road up behind me on the trail. He was a couple miles away from the finish line, all downhill. You can see the relief in the smile on his face.

“How many hours have you been biking?” I asked.

mountain bike racer

“Nine hours. Almost done,” he said while whizzing by.

Amazing. We both succeeded in our quests only mine required complete stillness.

Do you have plans to go hiking this summer? Is it winter where you live? Have you ever mountain biked or found a huge field of wild flowers?

This is a response to the Weekly Photo Challenge – Details.

Click for more adventures on my Wild Ride. You are welcome to share my photos on Pinterest!

Take a Risk or Crash and Burn

Peak 6 Breck

We experience discord of challenges throughout our lives. Our minds, bodies, environment and other people must synchronize in order to reach our destination. What if we are tested and face plant? What if we are intermediate level and find ourselves on double black? What if something in our path is too big to plow through? What if it’s too steep and we tumble down the mountain?

Some take the safe route to avoid failure, but seldom reach the finish line. Continue reading

Breckenridge’s Short-Lived Masterpieces – Photo Essay

breck snow sculpture

Last weekend the International Snow Sculpture Championship began in Breckenridge, Colorado. Sculptors from around the world came to compete. They all started with the same block of snow.

These were my favorites. 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

My First Wild Adventure In Seven Weeks Was Uber!

I-70 parking lotAfter 7 weeks of sitting home recuperating after surgery, I was ready for adventure. My husband, Danny, went skiing with work buddies, so I decided to drive up Friday night and meet him in the mountains. We have a home on Baldy Mountain just above the town of Breckenridge opposite the ski resort. I just about gave up packing my car since I was so exhausted, but forced myself to keep going.  I HAD TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! On my way up, I hit a snowstorm, but love driving in snowy conditions even though it added an hour to my drive. I’m a Wild Driver.

As promised by my surgeon, I woke up Saturday morning with unbelievable energy after a steroid shot the Monday before. I decided to make a breakFEAST. While running to the grocery store, I pulled over next to a gnarly snowboarder dude with some pretty cool dreads waiting at the bus stop.

“Want a ride?” I asked, “I’m headed to City Market.” Continue reading

Travel Tips from a Colorado Wild Rider

barn flag

If you’re like me, you take time to prepare for a trip. I check the weather and plan accordingly. Okay. Obsessively. But just like the weather forecasters in your area, they all have trouble predicting too much in advance.  (The one on my iPhone is way off.) The temperatures soar when it’s supposed to be cool or storms roll in when you plan to camp on the beach.

If you’re coming to Colorado, I’ll make it easy for you. No matter how warm it gets, the dry air will feel cooler. I can never complain about the same 90 degree temperatures to my mother who may be experiencing the same heat in Wisconsin. Remember, it’s never the heat, it’s the humidity. Continue reading