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An Aussie Update; Snakes! Biking in the Aspens; Eat Mor Chiken; Low Country Cooking; Steamboat Moon; Carbondale Event

We recently heard from our Australian friend Dan Baxter, who was cycling across the USA. We had met Dan in Oregon, not a month into his trip. Well, he arrived safely in NYC this week, in under three months and in the best shape of his life. He had a great adventure, and will be returning to Australia and his patient girlfriend Katie. Good on ya, Mate!

Twice while hiking, and again while walking in our campground, we encountered snakes. I can’t remember the last time that happened, and for us to have three encounters within a week, in Colorado, was highly unusual. The funniest of these occurred when we were hiking along a riverside trail, with Suzanne about five paces ahead of me. I looked down and watched a snake slither right between her feet. When I shouted, “Snake!”, she about jumped out of her skin. (I almost said “shorts”, instead of “skin”, but that night have been indelicate. I was amused; she was not.)


Before we left Steamboat Springs, My Lovely Bride said, “Up and at ’em, Ty, we’re going mountain biking!” I was feeling a bit lethargic (that’s Ty-speak for “lazy”), and suggested eating an ice cream sundae instead. It was futile… my suggestion was summarily rejected. Here is MLB tooling through the aspens in a perfectly lovely setting near the Olympic luge training run on a mountain overlooking town. It was a beautiful day, and warm for a change, hence the short sleeves and shorts.

We had another wildlife incident on this ride – when three cows appeared on the trail, one aggressively head-butting another. MLB was hesitant to proceed, since a few days before I had told her of a woman hiker who had been trampled by a herd of cows in the Austrian Alps. I pedaled ahead of her and shouted loudly, “Eat mor chiken!” (You have to be a Chick-fil-A devotee to fully understand this…) They politely moved along, and we proceeded safely on our ride. MLB was suitably impressed by my ingenuity and courage…

As a reward, Suzanne consented to take me out to dinner. She wanted something healthy, like salad or sushi, but I convinced her that because it was the last full moon of September in Steamboat Springs, she must allow me to select the restaurant and my entree. She agreed, and I picked Low Country Kitchen, which specializes in Charleston, SC, cuisine. We started with a bowl of clams, fabulous Southern biscuits and farm cheese. Here I am with my first Southern fried chicken in about ten years!  (You have to remember that Madame is a Yankee, so this was a Big Deal for Your Faithful Correspondent.) Suzanne had shrimp ‘n grits, which was also terrific. There was so much food that it made a nice lunch a couple of days later.

This was the Steamboat Moon that was rising as we finished our dinner that evening. We had enjoyed our visit, but were looking forward to our next stop as well.

Oh, I almost forgot about one hilarious incident in Steamboat Springs… we had noticed this unusual tower one block off the main drag, and when we stopped in a shop for MLB to look for some goodies, she asked the owner about the tower’s purpose. The owner’s reply, “Tower? What tower? Oh, that white thing? I haven’t a clue. Sharon, what’s that tower thingee all about?” Her good friend, and fellow town resident for a couple of decades, replied, “Tower? Gee, I don’t know… I never thought to ask.” Now, we could understand if this was just another building of the same height as its neighbors, but it “towers” over the town like the Empire State Building in 1950’s NYC. You can’t miss it; we just laughed and wondered about the women’s lack of curiosity…

Our next stop was Carbondale, Colorado, where we would be presenting the Messages of Hope documentary. We arrived in time to meet our host, Rita Marsh, at a farmer’s market, where she had set up a table with two of Suzanne’s books, Messages of Hope and Wolf’s Message, and flyers for the documentary and her Heart Gifts presentation scheduled for later in the week in Aspen. Rita had also graciously agreed to accept delivery of about ten boxes of books to have on hand.

Rita had evidently been reading this blog, which proves she is a woman of exceptional taste and culture. How did I know this? Well, she asked if I had met Ernesto yet… I said that, no, I had met no one by that name since we arrived in town, but would love to make his acquaintance. She told us where to find Ernesto, and mentioned that he and I had a lot in common. This photo shows our meeting. I have to admit that like myself, Ernesto is quite robust, handsome and evidently quite a studly kind of fellow; but I’m not sure that’s what Rita had in mind…

On Thursday evening, we showed the Messages of Hope documentary at the Davi Nikent Center for Human Flourishing, which Rita directs. We received an enthusiastic and friendly welcome from the attendees, and the evening went exceptionally well. It was a great start to our Carbondale/Aspen visit, with more details to follow in tomorow’s blog post.

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