As most of you know, My Lovely Bride is an author. Back in Greek and Roman civilizations, scribes wrote on parchment, lambskin scrolls or maybe clay tablets. Suzanne uses a computer, but she has two assistant scribes that some of you have met, but you might have been unaware of their hidden talents. Sometimes they actually use their paws to type for her… making her editing more time consuming, but loads of fun.
Do you fellow boomers remember Canadian bacon when you were kids? I haven’t seen it in years, but when we were in (duh) Canada, we decided to try their bacon… Wow, it has about 20% of the fat that US bacon has, and is delicious. I got the industrial sized package, so we might be ignoring Kansas bacon for another week or two…
On the way south from Montana to Colorado, we stopped at the Little Big Horn Battlefield. I had mentioned Custer in the previous blog, but wasn’t sure we’d be able to get much time at the National Monument because of the Crow Fair being held nearby… but it worked out well. These markers where Custer and his men fell are on the hillside not far from the Little Bighorn River where 5,000 Indians were camped. He lost over 200 men that morning, a tremendous tactical victory for the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians, but which also led to their ultimate defeat within two years.
One of the interesting side notes of this action was that Custer had about 40 Indian scouts, mostly Crow, who had signed up with the US Army to help it fight the Sioux and Cheyenne, their historic enemies. Before the battle, Custer sent almost all of his Indian scouts off to safety, likely thinking that they would be treated savagely if captured by the Sioux. One Crow scout, whose English name was White Man Runs Him, said in 1919, “I remember Custer well. The Indians called him Son of the Morning Star. We scouts thought there were too many Indians for Custer to fight. It was the biggest Indian camp I had ever seen.” White Man Runs Him’s tombstone is located a few hundred yards away from the Last Stand markers in the Little Big Horn US National Military Cemetery.
We had a special treat Monday evening in Fort Collins, Colorado: we were invited over to Donna and Bob Visocky’s for dinner with some of their best friends. Donna created a fabulous gourmet dinner and Bob raided his extensive wine cellar… does this group look happy or what? (From left to right, Suzanne, Ann, Bill, Bonnie, Bob, and Donna; the guys are the “thorns between the roses”, so to speak.) Ann’s golf pro husband was absent; having played day one of a golf tournament, scoring a 67 and in the number one position, he decided to stay at the hotel and get some rest (probably a good decision!). Bill departed shortly after this photo was taken… not because Yours Truly insulted him, but to play… HOCKEY! Yes, that game they play on skates, like with “full body contact”. He’s really only 27 years old, but you can see that hockey has already given him grey hair.
We have been frequent moochers… er, I mean, guests… at the Visockys’. Suzanne met Donna through her fabulous online magazine, http://www.bellaspark.com/. Donna organizes spiritual events around the country, and her husband Bob is like me, a strong supporter of his wife’s work but yet not at her spiritual level. Unfortunately, the four of us share the loss of a daughter. Like our Susan, Bob and Donna’s daughter Kristi transitioned to the other side in her 20s. They now hold an annual golf tournament in her name to fund scholarships and a Habitat for Humanity house. These are some of the young people who have been awarded scholarships by Kristi’s Fund. For more information, see http://www.kristisfund.com/about/about.html
Today after Suzanne gave a fabulous phone reading to a lady in Canada, we moved to a campground in Estes Park, Colorado, just a mile from the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, one of our favorite places in the USA. We immediately dressed out for hiking, and got a three hour hike in at the Cub Lake Trail.
It’s a lovely area, with a stream from Cub Lake winding through a lush green meadow. The hillside above the meadow was badly burned in a forest fire last October, but it doesn’t diminish the almost sacred feeling of the valley. We saw rabbits, chipmunks, marmots, raven and mule deer (doe and fawn).
On the trail, Suzanne decided to commune with nature, in the form of this little baby bunny. It was an adorable little thing, only about 6 inches long, and well-hidden in the twigs under a tree. We were lucky to get a glimpse of him.
We also met Geoff and Jim, fellow hikers who were coming the other way on the trail. They live in the area, and gave us excellent advice on other trails not to miss. We hope to get together with them next year for some hiking and dinner when we return to Fort Collins. We’ve decided that at least a month is needed to do the hiking and sightseeing here in the National Park and surrounding area.
This last photo is of Cub Lake. It is a sublimely beautiful spot, showing the starkness of the burned forest above the beautiful shades of green in the lake itself. We could have stayed for an hour just watching the colors and light change, but Rudy and Gretchen were awaiting us back at The Coach, and you don’t keep dachshunds long from their dinner…