It’s a bittersweet goodbye to Beth as we look forward to home but at the same time hate leaving Colorado.We make a mental note to return again next summer! It was a great relaxed and comfy stay. Thank You Beth!
(Sorry my internet connection here is causing technical difficulties so this post is fragmented)
To wrap up yesterday:
Creasted Butte was beautiful but the race was grueling for the riders, having to contend with thunder showers and rain toward the finish. The strongest impression I had seeing the race up-close is the commitment, perseverance, and determination of these young men! It was a great wet day!
Stage 3-Wednesday August 20th.
Up early and headed up to Monarch Pass. The day is cloudy , misty and looks like another wet one.
Today is the Queen Stage which is the steepest and longest climb of the race which takes place on Monarch Pass but under the weather conditions we opted for viewing the start of the race back in Gunnison, where the sun is shining! We are glad we did because it provided the opportunity to see Jens Voigt as he prepared for his farewell ride, his last race of his career. He has always been Mike’s favorite pro rider.
Stage 2-August 19th
We arrived early to Crested Butte. As Mike has experienced the race for 3 years now he is well aware of the ins and outs of the event. Getting a good parking spot and then getting a good location to view the riders at the finish is critical!
We head over to Camp 4 Coffee, for a cup and while there become aware that two of the commentators for the race are there too. We are familiar with Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen as they have announced the Tour de France for years! They are exceptionally good at what they do and we have enjoyed them from years of viewing cycling events, so I decide to say “thanks for such great work” and go up to meet them. They are friendly & charming and I get a photo with them as a bonus! Nice way to start the event!
In the winter Gunnison can be one of the coldest towns in the nation! We first discovered it when our boys were young and we would come to Colorado on ski trips. Our first time here was to go ice skating on their frozen lake. This remains a favorite spot for vacations but now in summer or spring. Mike loves to ride in this area of wide open spaces and I can find great hiking trails.
This year we found the loveliest B & B right in the heart of town.
Beth Marcue hosts guests in a comfortable room walking distance from shops and downtown restaurants in a quiet neighborhood. She also provided a hearty breakfast and tended to us with warmth and useful advice about the area. She shares her home in a way that makes it memorable. You can find out more about the accommodations here atVintageInnGunnison.com
Home just a week and off on a vacation with my husband Mike!
We are traveling to one of our favorite states, Colorado. Mike is a great rode-bike enthusiast and has loved the sport for the past 30 years. He began by doing Century rides (100 miles) right from the start. He has raced mountain bike as well but now is committed to the rode. So much so that he has even taken a trip to France with his buddies during the the 2004 Tour de France to ride some of the same course as the professionals.
So, it should be no surprise we are here in Colorado for the Pro Challenge Race! It’s beginning in Aspen and ending in Denver. It is a 7-day stage race but we will just see stage 2 and 3.
Our first day we traveled to just outside Telluride and stayed in our favorite campground at Priest Gulch. The weather is perfection with mild sunny days and cool nights. We had a tasty meal at Honga’s Lotus Petal. The sushi was good but the Mojito’s were the best I have ever had!
We spent our first night in a tiny cabin as we listened to the sound of the rushing river outside our door. Tomorrow we are off to Gunnison for a 4 night stay in a lovely B & B!
It’s hard for me to believe that this is actually my last day in San Clemente! Jim and Tove return this evening and the time has flown by!
This year my husband spent more time here with me and he managed to visit the first and last weeks with a few days in the middle of the month. I loved having him here and we had some really wonderful relaxing days at the beach together.
I also had five visitors which meant a lot to me. Ron and Linda Martinez spent the first weekend with Mike and me. It was great to share our favorite places with them! Then my mom came for a couple of days to relax and get out of the desert heat of Apple Valley. My cousin Susie and my dear friend Kathy Levin from Sedona were also here. They all filled up my weekends with laughter and good company. It gave me a reprieve from the lonelier, quieter weekdays. Although I have bonded with Charlie even more as we have relied on each other for companionship and are now really closer than before.
During Susie’s visit we visited and caught up with her plans for preparing for her hike to Mt. Whitney. We walked the beach trails and had breakfast on the San Clemente Pier. Also spent a day in San Juan Capistrano and enjoyed the mission and basilica and walk the shops along Los Rios. It was a great time together as usual.I was so pleased that one of my dear friends from Sedona was available to come for a few days. She managed to take some time away from a remodeling project at home to keep me company. We enjoyed the beaches, ate lots of good meals including her first real sushi dinner, and shopped. One of our highlights together was visiting one of my favorite stops whenever I am in Newport Beach, Roger’s Gardens.
Charlie was up to her misadventures catching a rat in the yard which I had to trap under a bucket until the gardener came by to discard it for me. She also managed to sneak a nap on the couch outside whenever I was out of view ( something she knows is off-limits). While the weather was many days overcast and humid we managed to enjoy the yard. And with my downtime I managed to knit up some socks!
Today make a week that I have been back in San Clemente at the Sieger’s home. It has been a great week! The weather in Sedona has been in the 100’s and unbearable. It seems to keep getting hotter each summer now. Here I have overcast mornings and then mild to hot afternoons but always with a nice ocean breeze to cool things off. Oh, it does make me start “California dream’n” about returning back to my native state. Mike and I had even purchased a second home with that prospect in mind but recently we put our place on the market and it sold within the first week. Looks like there are others with the same idea. We are now truly Arizonans, if not in spirit, in fact, much to my mother’s chagrin as she looked forward to our return. At my age, one thing I have learned is to NEVER say NEVER.
Today as I took my morning walk on the beach trail at North Beach I reflected on some of the reasons I love Southern California so much. Here on this typical morning of my retirement was the whole spectrum of reasons why this is a great place to live. (Keep in mind that I am in vacation mode!)
As I shared before the weather is mild and predictable with mostly sunny days. My first decision was where to have breakfast and I choose to go out and get my ‘cup of Joe’ at Ellie’s Table at North Beach,(click on their name for a fun video) a newer cafe, where I am becoming a regular. Then, on to the beach trail where I join up with a multitude of people of all shapes, ages, and personalities. The one common purpose seemed to be health and fitness. Whether a group of school kids walking with their teacher, the young mom pushing along a stroller, the buff ‘dude’ jogging with headphones, the elderly grandma strolling with a friend, the rotund middle-aged man walking his dog, they were all enjoying the outdoors! There were people playing volleyball, surfers catching waves, people running or biking which all inspired me to get outdoors and breath the ocean air!
So who was it that said, “Variety is the spice of life.” Well it is here in spades! I could mentioned the number of options for shopping and restaurants… Actually I will save that for a future post as today my focus was on how much I enjoyed feeling my body move, but more than that is the awareness that there were so many others sharing the experience with me!