Friday, September 28, 2018

A Giant Step Back in Time

What better way to welcome fall to the mountains than by taking a giant step back in time? 
Say to an 1880s mining town.

On the way to South Park City, the weather was absolutely perfect in the high 70s, 
with a brilliant blue sky and not a drop of rain in sight. 
It made the trip across the Continental Divide even more breathtaking 
as entire hillsides magically turned to gold.

We spent the day near our mountain cabin visiting a reconstructed "ghost town" 
that recalled the romance of a by-gone era.

The town has a fascinating history.
In 1957 more than 40 original historic buildings were moved to a common site 
where an authentic mining town now called South Park City was born.

More than 40,000 artifacts and furnishings were donated to the project by local residents 
and today these original buildings stand in tribute to that time.

After gold was discovered in this area, mining camps sprang up in every gulch and gully.
Soon the hills were dotted with towns with such colorful names as
Buckskin Joe, Eureka, and Horseshoe.

While there were various reconstructions such as saloons
(there were probably a LOT more than just this one) . . . 

 train stations . . . 

and mines, 

my favorites were the recreations of pioneer homes. 
I couldn't help but think about our own little cabin that had been moved from this area 
and how it might have been used back in the day.

Plus I discovered lots of ideas on how to decorate our cabin.
I love this idea of using old newspapers as wallpaper.
The miners used layers of newspaper as insulation in their cabins. 

Fairplay loves its burros, the patient and sure-footed animals that were
largely responsible for the success of the mining operations.

Besides its famous Brown Burro Cafe, Fairplay hosts an annual burro race,
running approximately 30 miles through the mountains. 

Even the high school mascot is called the Burros!
I just love that!

Besides loving burros, the town of Fairplay in the real South Park
was the inspiration for the South Park animated TV series.

And, of course, like anyone else who has enjoyed "South Park" on TV,
we just had to get our photos taken as those characters! 

Such a fun and educational day.
With wooden sidewalks and a wide dirt road down the middle of town, it felt so realistic.
I have to say this was the best historic recreation I've ever visited.

If you're in the area, I highly recommend a visit. 
Take Hwy. 285 south out of Denver to Fairplay. It's just under two hours' drive. 
Exit at Fairplay. Turn left off of Main Street to Front Street and go to the end of the paved street. 
Then take a giant step back in time.


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Friday, September 21, 2018

Quiet Moments of Fall

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
So I'll let this glorious scenery in the Colorado mountains speak for itself 
and fill you with quiet joy. 
Happy Fall!!

'Nuff' said! 
Hope you're enjoying this wondrous time of year. 


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Friday, September 14, 2018

Aftermath -- the Cabin Break-In

Hi Guys!
Before I begin this post, I want to thank all of you for your thoughtful comments 
regarding the break-in of our cabin. I've never received that many comments on any post! 
Each comment was so supportive and sympathetic. I appreciate all your suggestions. 
We are in the process of replacing our door with something stronger and safer. 
 Thank you so much for caring. 

Now, on to this week's post . . . 

I'm actually feeling much better after scattered bouts of anger and sadness.
We've taken precautions and several of our mountain neighbors 
are keeping an eye on the cabin for us.
I don't want to let this incident take away from enjoying the cabin so life goes on. 

And what a life!
This week we were greeted by a wondrous scene at the cabin. 
The first snow!
Seems too early for it but at 11,000 feet, I guess it comes early. 

The cabin wore a dusting of pure white snow, 
making it look like a powdered sugar cookie . . . 

. . . while the meadow glistened and the majestic mountains gleamed. 

It was breathtaking, seeming to wash away any scary memories of the break-in. 

After removing the boarded-up doorway to the cabin, 
we went inside. I wasn't sure how I would feel. 
It's a creepy feeling to think about an intruder being in your home.

It was very cold inside but everything looked fine. 
Maybe our little Yei statue kept the cabin safe. (A Yei is a Navajo spirit diety.)

And, let me tell you, nothing lifts my spirits more than finding a great bargain at a thrift store.
While looking for a new cabin door at Habitat for Humanity, we found this gorgeous loveseat!
The perfect size, the red plaid I wanted, super comfy, and only $45!
It looked brand new so we hauled it up to the cabin in the back of our CRV. 
But just barely.

I spent a couple of hours moving it here and there, trying to find the perfect spot.
I think I found it!
The room actually feels bigger with this arrangement
even though it has a big piece of furniture in it now. 

Here's the perspective from the loveseat. Note the back door is still boarded up from the break-in.

Both seats have wonderful views of the mountains.
It doesn't get much better than this.

Thanks again for all your good wishes and hugs.


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Friday, September 7, 2018

Scary News: Our Cabin Wrecked!

Oh, where do I start?
I've been so upset, I've given myself some time to calm down before attempting this post.
Our lovely little cabin was vandalized!
Was it a bear or a human?

At first we thought it was the bear that has been visiting our neighbors.
He's a handsome fellow isn't he?

But the more we examined the evidence, the more we began to think it was a vandal, 
probably looking for money or valuables. Not going to find either in this cabin.

A thoughtful neighbor noticed our back door had been broken into in our absence and 
quickly boarded it up for us, then called us to let us know. Thank God for nice neighbors!

I was just heartbroken when I saw the huge mess the vandal had made.
It was much worse than I was expecting.

Here's the back door, smashed to smithereens. 
It sure looked like a hungry bear was the guilty party.
But we didn't have any food in the cabin.

Those of you who have experienced a burglary must know how I felt. I wanted to cry. 
We'd been working so hard to make this little cabin our own 
and now it was a total mess. I was so angry. 

The bedroom was trashed but the only thing broken was an oil lamp globe. Everything was tossed about, drawers pulled out and dumped upside down as if someone was looking for money.
It seemed unlikely a bear would do this.

Even a latched tool box had been opened and dumped (not easy to do without a thumb!). 

Outside we found a glass wine bottle that had been smashed against a tree and another tool box dumped. Looking more and more like vandalism or an attempted burglary.

The Parks and Wildlife guy came out and checked for signs of a bear but didn't find any
(claw marks, hair, poo, etc.). We then contacted the sheriff and reported the incident. 

I set about cleaning up the mess, sweeping up broken glass everywhere, making the bed, 
putting drawers and cabinets back together. 
As I worked I noticed the damage was just superficial, nothing too serious.
It could have been much worse but I still felt creepy. 
Ironically, the only thing missing was a canister of bear spray!

Since this happened, we've heard from another neighbor who found their door window broken 
by a rock. We also discovered a baseball-sized rock by our back door. 

I'm still working through my anger and sadness. 
For several days, I was so discouraged I didn't even want to go back to the cabin. 
But now I'm ready to return, replace our broken door and enjoy the mountains 
as the leaves begin to change and the high country welcomes Fall.

I won't be staying overnight there alone again though. 

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