Tuesday, August 30, 2011

DAY 58: "Get Me Off This Hamster Wheel........"

DAY 58:  Central City, CO
TEMP:  High 86 / Low 50

"Lord, some days, we feel like a hamster on a wheel 
spinning the same stupid mistakes over and over.  
Help us to crawl off the wheel into the palm of Your hand." 

I received the above prayer this morning via Tweet which was written by my sweet friend, Lee.  Those of us lucky enough, receive her prayers most every morning.

I would have chuckled had I not been upset with Chuck when I received it this morning cause, like many days, it really hit home for me today.

See, there is a certain "issue" that, every time it comes up, causes Chuck and I to be on polar opposite sides of the fence.  I claim he is too insensitive and dismissive of the issue and of my feelings and he thinks I'm over-dramatic and over-reacting.  Crazy thing is; we're probably both right.......and we're probably both wrong.

I'm sure we're no different than any of you......we've all had these "bone of contentions" that are like a fire in your gut that, no matter how hard you try, can't be extinguised.  This particular issue has reared its ugly head far too many times over the past few years and no matter how many times I try to explain to him what I'm feeling and what I need from him, he just doesn't get it.  And I'm not getting why he's not getting it......sounds just like a married couple, huh?!?

Bottom line is.......its stupid.......just plain stupid and not worthy of the energy, time and anguish we put into it.  And speaking for Liz only, I need to get off that repetitious hamster wheel, spinning the same stupid painful attitude and move on.  AND, I need to accept that I cannot make him feel something that he doesn't.  I'm just glad we didn't have this discussion BEFORE he colored my hair yesterday!

Don't worry......all is well in the Etheridge RV.........

well, except that Murphy has diarrhea again....UGHHH.....

Monday, August 29, 2011

DAY 57: "A Namby-Pamby, Sissy Road...."

DAY 57:  "OMG Road", Central City, CO
TEMP:  High 73 / Low 55

Today started out as the day Chuck has been dreading for awhile now.......it was 
"Color Liz's Hair" Day.......

My hairdresser, Frosty, (yes, that is her real name) would be so proud of him.  A couple weeks ago, he attempted to highlight my hair, but it didn't turn out so good.....He missed some "key" spots on the top of my head which caused me to wear a lot of hats.....until today!  Today, with Murphy and Molly by his side watching, he got an A+ and I no longer have any large gray spots sticking out.  Win-Win!!!!

After successfully checking "Color Liz's Hair" off the list, we headed to Idaho Springs to pick up a couple items at the grocery store.  Somehow, I convinced Chuck to let us take a back road.....a "dirt" road......a road that makes him cringe to take his beloved trike down......This road is called the "Oh My Goodness" Road because its suppose to make you say that while taking the hairpin guardrail-less curves and steep dropoffs.  Well, whoever named it that was just a sissy......a namby-pamby...a mama's boy.....

There was nothing daring, scary or dangerous about this road whatsoever........W-I-M-P.

However, there was an old hippy nudist colony....actually, just remnants of the colony....which consisted of two old hippies, my age, with their clothes on.

And some very interesting scenery.......

DAY 56: God Planted Flowers for Little Clara......

DAY 56:  Central City, Colorado
TEMP:  High 75 / Low 50

Awww......Murphy and Molly knew exactly how much I loved sunrises and sunsets.....that must be why they woke me up at the butt-crack of dawn this morning, so they could drag me outside to see this beautiful sunrise....

And this, my friends, is what RAIN looks like......Of course we were on the trike when this was taken, seeing as it always rains when we're on the trike.......

And I promise......No...I SWEAR... this will be my last cemetary story....

My new friend, Sean, that I met at the cemetary Friday evening, told me about a single grave of a little girl located just across the road from our campground.  I checked it out and found the lone grave of a little girl named Clara A. Dulaney.

Little Clara died in 1855 and was 1 year, 5 months and 2 days old, and is buried in the Missouri Flats Cemetary.  Her lone grave is all that existed to mark the entire town as she is the only grave in this cemetary.  She's been alone up here for over 150 years, yet there are wild flowers spontaneously growing all around her grave, almost as if God planted them there for her.  She died of unknown causes shortly after the Civil War, and with the isolation of Central City at that time, I wonder if the people even knew the war was over.

Recently, several county sheriffs have seen what looks to be a little girl in the area of the grave.  And on a separate occasion, a Central City gambling shuttle driver was driving past the grave and heard three distinct knocks on the outside of the shuttle bus.  Now, I don't know about you, but I think this is all a bunch of malarkey so some tour bus driver and bored county sheriffs could get their 5 minutes of fame.  That's just my opinion, though.....

And this is for my sister, Debbie.......who I can't wait to see this weekend!!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

DAY 54: Tombstones, Legends and Columbine Flowers......

DAY 54:  Central City, Colorado
TEMP:  High 71 / Low 55

"Death may be the greatest of all human blessings."  

From our front window perch up on the mountaintop, you can make out a small cemetary on a hill at the base of this quaint little town several miles away.

Ever since we arrived here in Central City, I have been eyeing this cemetary eagerly wanting to check it out and see how old it is.  And today was the day!!

After breaking into the gate of the cemetary (just a little bit), I was enjoying walking around reading the headstones, taking pictures and imagining what these people had been like.  Since this town is a historic mining town founded in the mid-1800's during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush days, my imagination was in overdrive as I saw whole families buried here.

It was late in the day as I was making my final row of tombstones, when I looked up and saw a young man walking among the tombstones, taking pictures and making notes.  Our paths crossed and we started chatting about these ancient buriels.  Turns out, he's been coming here since 1985 and researching the families buried here.  He had a wealth of information that he gladly shared with me.

He walked me from grave to grave giving me background on many of the people buried there.

They ranged from a woman who was determined to be a witch by her peers.  Legend has it that if one stands just a few yards from her grave, a green mist will surround the area.

And then there's Sarah Ella Rudolph and her two children, who all died on the same day, buried in an avalanche in their home in 1899.   My new friend, Sean,  told how it took many rescuers to find the bodies, and how they heard the faint cry of one son who survived, and that they found Stella with a wooden beam on top of her, holding her daughter.

And then there's John E. Cameron's grave; it's been said to be visited annually on the anniversary of the young bachelor's death, Nov. 1, by a young woman, dressed in black, who is said to leave columbine flowers each year.

The cemetary history lesson continued until we had visited each grave....spoken about each life......calculated each life span......

So, was it just a coincidence that my new friend, Sean, just "happened" to show up at a small, lonely old cemetary when he did?  Hummmm.......

Thursday, August 25, 2011

DAY 53: "Babbling Brooks and Whispering Pines..."

DAY 53:  Mt. Evans, Colorado
TEMP:  High: 76 Low: 55

"If God had wanted to be a big secret, 
He would not have created babbling brooks and whispering pines."  
~Robert Brault

And babbling brooks and whispering pines we experienced today!

We rode to the top of Mt. Evans today.....the highest paved road in the US.......and a mountain that can be seen for over 100 miles in each direction.  Imagine that, my friends from East Texas or Oklahoma or Ft. Worth.....Imagine being able to see a mountain located in Dallas from your front yard.  Crazy cool, huh??!!

Maybe its just where I am right now in my spiritual walk, or maybe its truly a magical place, I don't know......but I cannot help when I'm driving through the forests, then above the tree line.....and then passing through the snow lined road.....and seeing the bighorn sheep grazing on the side of the road as if we didn't exist....and the deer gawking at us as if  they  were the hunters......to realize that God actually "spoke" each of these things into existence.   That's simply mind-boggling to me......

Today the beauty was magnificant....which isn't even a proper word to describe it.  We passed Echo Lake, which was like a mirror  to the mountains surrounding it; we saw mountain goats grazing within a few feet of us looking as tame as Murphy and Molly (well, actually "tamer" than Murphy and Molly!) as well as mule deer and marmots (a rodent similar to a beaver but without the tail).  

We both felt the presence of God today.......

But we also felt hail, rain, wind and sleet while heading down this gorgeous mountain.......just like we ALL feel in our every day lives......

And we've been rockin' back and forth all evening from the ferocious hurricane-force winds hitting the side of the RV as we're perched on the edge of this mountaintop.......all six of us lumped in the bed together (Chuck and I, Murphy, Molly, Kruger the 1-Claw Cat and Mr. Bill....Murphy's little security blanket doll) safe from the outside storm; safe in our Father's arms.

"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen: 
not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."
C.S. Lewis

DAY 52: Hot Diggity-Dog......We Are Camping in Heaven!

DAY 52:  Center City, Colorado
TEMP:  Low: 54  High: 78
On the dash of the RV as a reminder......
The beginning of 10 miles of curves & steep grades!!

Hot Diggity-Dog......We're back in Colorado!!!  We made the drive from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Central City, Colorado just west of Denver today and are not regretting it one I-OTA!  We went from a high temperature today in Cheyenne of low 90's to a coooooooooool high of 74 degrees when we arrived in Central City.  Ahhhhhhhh......
View from RV Window at Campground

And if that wasn't enough.....we are perched on top of a mountain overlooking this charming little gambling town.....
Road to Campground via RV

And if that STILL wasn't enough....we had some massive mountainous hills, curves and steep grades in the RV to navigate thru to reach our sweet little perch up here in the clouds!  I could hear these words coming out of my mouth as the diesel strained in 2nd gear,  "I think I can; I think I can; I think I can...."  as we made sharp hairpin turns while going up a 10% grade in the road.....this went on for 10 miles!!  Yes, the motorhome drank a good 30 gallons of gas and yes, I could see the fear in the dogs' eyes.....but it made the view all that much better when we reached the top!!!
Dirty Trike

And somehow along the way, the trailered motorcycle changed colors......I have no idea where the dirt and dust came from that was now covering the trike, but it was a totally different color from when we left Wyoming.  
Clean Trike

So, the first thing we did was find a carwash and clean it up a bit.
Road to get to Campground via RV...yes, thats Hwy 70 below

But just you wait.......Over the next few days, you're going to ride with us up the highest paved road in the US.....yes sir-ee....we are all heading up to the summit of Mt. Evans which has the highest paved road in the US......

I don't know about you, but I CAN'T WAIT!!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

DAY 51: Murphy and Molly

DAY 51:  Cheyenne, Wyoming
TEMP:  Hi 92 / Low ???

As you can see, WE MOVED!  It was simply too hot to stay put in Thermapolis, so we're headed back to Colorado......where the temperatures are coooool.....the mountains are BIG and the earthquakes are MILD........

We said good-bye to our new friends, Lee, Rabbit and their dog, Skidboots, who headed north to their home in Cody and we headed south....through some of the most desolate land we've ever seen.  Did you know there are only about 500,000 people in the ENTIRE state of Wyoming??

And even with the boring scenery, today was a good day; nothing broke down, hit us, or fell off the motorhome.........ahhh....life is gooooood........

So thought I'd take this opportunity to introduce you to the newest member of our family.

This is Molly.......We are so blessed to be the "slaves" of this little munchkin who is a Yorkie just like Murphy.  She is traveling around the country with us, keeping Murphy company and annoying Kruger the 1-Claw Cat every chance she gets.
She is such a little Cutie-Patooty!   Murphy has always been such a "Brute-Boy"; walking like a cowboy with his short little bow-legged legs and big gut.....but Molly....she is petite, dainty......delicate......

Today while traveling to Cheyenne, Molly, for the first time, chose my lap to sleep in while on the road.   Unfortunately, this was Murphy's spot.....it has ALWAYS been Murphy's spot.  As Murphy was desperately trying to figure out what to do about this, he opted to pace back and forth with his Mr. Bill doll while he pondered his next move.

He and Mr. Bill talked it over and eventually gave up, took over his Dad's seat and proceeded to give Molly and I his "dagger" eye look the rest of the way here.

"Like many other much loved humans, they believed they owned their dogs instead of realizing that their dogs owned them"