Category Archives: hike

New Year’s hike {Fox Run Regional park}


This park would make a nice Summer hike, it’s heavily shaded, but that’s not the reason we came here. The girls and I have seen Ute Indian trees in the Springs, Manitou and elsewhere in the area as we have hiked around. But, this park has a huge number of prayer trees, directional trees and a prophecy tree. I missed out on the lecture about the trees when the guy came to HR historical society to talk, but I made note of the park. So, we took off and hiked on our own, both to ring in the New Year and to see the trees.

Some of the goal post trees line up to Pike’s Peak (when there was fewer trees around.)

We missed our trail turn, but we did end up seeing that nice peek at Pike’s. My Alltrails app wasn’t connecting, so we decided to take the road back to the car rather than backtrack. You really have to watch the trail marker signs on the Rollercoaster trail!

My word for the year is – Effort. I will put in the effort for whatever needs to be done, but I will also consider my effort a gift and not worry about the response of others.


Frisco Fun


Hannah and I got medicated up, she’s got a cough and I have sinus implosion, and we headed to the mountains for some cold and fresh air. I always love the snow covered views on the drive.

We stopped at Whole Foods for lunch, something we wouldn’t have thought of doing before the diets we’re on (James and I are on different diets right now.) Fueled up we went into town to stop by the fudge shop and look around at the other shops.

Then off to Officer’s Gulch to hike around. We thought the pond was frozen over, but James fell through after a few steps, just enough to get his shoes soaking wet….so we stayed on the path.

Back to the Fort


The guys packed up and we all went to IHOP for brunch. We dropped the girls back at home and took one last picture.

Then we headed to the airport.

It’s going to be a long day for them, they don’t leave Denver until 4ish, they have a connecting flight, then with time changes they don’t get into NY until 11ish. Then a friend has to pick them up and drive them back to Ft. Drum. I think they have a few days to acclimate before they are back on duty (and get used to the weather, it was -15 when they got back.)

James and I went by the Refuge before going home.

Back at home we cleaned up, had dinner, took the girls to Target and then James and I went to The Alley to hear La Pompe Jazz. Here’s a bit of them.


Dinners this week starting tomorrow – Chicken curry with sweet potatoes, Shoyu chicken with cabbage slaw, BBQ salmon with corn on the cob, Apple cider pork chops with greens, Beef sirloin tips with baked mushrooms, Chicken stir fry, Beef stew.

Shoyu Chicken

1/2 cup soy sauceĀ 
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika (optional)
2.5 pounds skinless chicken thighs

Whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, water, garlic, onion, ginger, black pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, and paprika in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Add the chicken thighs, and toss to evenly coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat, and lightly oil the grate. Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade. Discard the remaining marinade. Grill the chicken thighs on the preheated grill until cooked through, about 15 minutes per side.
(Or cook in pan on stove top until chicken is done.)

Apple Cider Sauce and Pork Loin Chops

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 pork loin chops
seasoning salt to taste
black pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 (8 ounce) container frozen apple cider concentrate, undiluted 1/4 cup dry sherry

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe frying pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chops with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and poultry seasoning. Place in hot oil, and brown on both sides. Drizzle Worcestershire sauce over chops, and pour in apple cider.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove chops to a plate, and return frying pan to stove over medium-high heat. Stir sherry into pan, and boil until sauce thickens, stirring frequently. Serve sauce over chops.

Opt Outside hike {Cheyenne Mt. State Park}, Parker tree lighting


Today was Fresh air Friday and Opt Outside day, we usually go on a hike after Thanksgiving anyway, but today there was an added incentive – free entrance to all state parks. We chose Cheyenne Mt. since we’d never been there before and it’s a nice drive to the Springs. We brought a picnic lunch for after the hike.

It was a pretty day, but very hot for this time of year (70), so we cooled off with some ice cream in Old Colorado City.

Back at home I worked on my Shutterfly book (from our cruise, there is a sale going on, so I had incentive to finish it.) When Bethany got home we went to Parker for the tree lighting.

Bethany went to Dani’s for a sleepover, we had dinner at Taco Bell (that is 2 times in a week!) Back at home we pulled out the tree and put it up, but didn’t decorate it since Bethany wasn’t there.




from crisp morning air,

breathing in blessings,

dancing in gratitude,

for the infinite goodness,

that is –

my life.

joy comes in the morning,

to those who look for,

and speak –


opportunities abound,

for gratitude to go around.

love gathers more strength,

when you lavish it,

give it away,

make someone else grateful today.

thank you becomes second nature,

when we nurture,

that attitude,

of gratefulness,

in the soul.


Bethany went to the Dino hotel with Dani, so it was just the four of us for the day. I made some white chocolate chip banana walnut bread for the neighbors and started cooking.

Hannah helped with the dressing, but she is adamant that it’s stuffing, even though stuffing implies that it’s stuffed into something and I haven’t stuffed a turkey in years.

I had 3 new recipes, coriander sweet potatoes with lemon yogurt sauce topped with feta, pecan pie carrots and a salted caramel chocolate pecan pie.

I thought the girls might not like the potatoes, but everyone liked them. It doesn’t seem like feta would go well, but they were sweet and tart. I could do without the pecan pie carrots, meh. The pie was decadent, very good but a little was all you needed.

Thanks to James’ turkey search we had a smoked turkey.

Hannah was asked if she got any turkey, yes, it’s right there. Can you spot the turkey?

We also had a pecan pie and a pumpkin pie.

We settled in to watch To Have and Have Not, then we went on our thankful hike with Maisy.

Grace spotted a muskrat sitting under the big rock.

We found a gorgeous Fall tree for pics.

A huge red tailed hawk flew right past us on the way back, I was so shocked I didn’t pull out my camera. The sunset progression on the way home.

We Facetimed with my Mom, Tony and Kevin when we got home. They had a Thanksgiving lunch at my Uncle’s and Kevin made fajitas for dinner (they have another Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.) We saved Bethany some pie and food and stayed up for a bit reading.

Hike {Paint Mines}


I knew it was too good to be true. We had 6 families say they were coming to hike with us and every day that went by someone bailed. This morning was cold and rainy so it ended up being Page’s crew and us.

We drove through rain, snow and more rain, but by the time we got to the Paint Mines it was just cloudy. We bundled up, but pretty soon I was carrying all the jackets in my backpack as the girls (and I) shed them when the sun came out.

The rabbits were everywhere this time.

We saw 2 jackrabbits, lots of regular bunnies, a dead mouse, birds and tracks of deer, fox and either a very large dog or a coyote.

Hike {Big Dry Creek}


After school and some fortification from Cafe’ 180, we headed to Westminster to hike, but really we were searching for glass eggs.

Westminster started a program to get more people on the trails, well, the eggs must be TOO easy to find. We walked and saw prairie dogs, hawks and coyotes – but, not glass eggs.

B&W day 5.

Later Grace took this cute pic of Hannah.

Grace got dropped for her retreat, Maisy helped me read, then we had dinner at Saltgrass.