Where’s your bakery?

Do you have a special bakery nearby? If I could start one I would like to include a good mixture of gluten-free and yeast-free items. Of course that would be difficult since most products have flour and yeast as key ingredients.

Well, while I couldn’t eat the regular bakery items at the Silos Baking Co. (Magnolia Bakery) in Waco, Texas, I sure could enjoy the quaint, hometown, wonderful-looking bakery developed by Chip and Joanna Gaines, former stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper series.

When interviewed in 2016 by Today, Joanna commented: “I’ve dreamed about having a bakery since I opened the Little Shop on Bosque Boulevard in 2003. After our move to the Silos (our market and shops), the little building on the front of the property was the perfect spot to finally open one.” https://www.today.com/home/see-inside-chip-joanna-gaines-bakery-magnolia-silos-t104852.

Guests wait patiently to savor the fresh-baked goodies from the Silos Baking Co. in Waco, Texas.

The line into the bakery was formed beside the building on the day we visited. I’m not the type to wait around but this is a one-time event that we needed to endure with patience.

I did enjoy watching people from practically everywhere enjoying themselves and salivating over the smell and view of the sweet delights.

Here are some views to trigger your saliva glands too.

The family sure enjoyed the cupcakes that ranked probably in the top five ever. Just look at these beauties.

A dozen cupcakes and two gluten-free cookies makes it worth the wait at Silos Baking Co. in Waco, Texas.

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

New Mexico back road

U.S. 87 traveling toward Amarillo.

While traveling from Colorado to Amarillo, Texas, we were never short of something interesting along the route.   Interstate 25 was picturesque and intriguing, and then we took U.S. 87.  

I could imagine the area filled with prehistoric creation combined with volcanoes in this area.  

Another thought occurred too.  Is this part of the terrain where monstrous cloud systems form, creating super cells and major tornadoes heading east?  That was certainly on my mind.  It didn’t help that occasional signs with warning lights warned motorists of potential high winds crossing the roads.

As we approached a dark image ahead we first thought it was part of a mountain range – BUT, we soon learned it was a large cloud.  Should we turn around? 

No, we would continue and see what it was about.  

While we didn’t see lightning I was still apprehensive about continuing through this cloud.  

Well, we didn’t even encounter rain until farther along toward Texas – just a lot of gray cloud cover.  

So, when things seem dark and scary as we face them, unless there is real danger we should continue pursuing our destination.  Sometimes the threat is not as ominous as we initially think.  

I thought it was neat to see the long trains on each side of U.S. 87 – sometimes on the left and sometimes on the right.  Here is a little video of the ride at certain segments.  

Traveling along U.S. 87 in New Mexico from Colorado toward Amarillo.  

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Beauty to and from

Traveling south along U.S. 50 highway in Colorado.

The trip to the Colorado Rockies was a very enjoyable one.

I had some thoughts though while looking at the images on our trip toward home.

Does one enjoy the trip to the destination of plans more than the return journey home?

Is the view different when traveling back; do we anticipate the trip, or do we just have a ho-hum attitude – like I’ve seen it before already?

Why not enjoy every bit of the journey – to the destination and beyond? 

The mountains are the same – I mean they didn’t change in just a week.

The sky is still adorned with the majestic blues.

Why, even if gray clouds pop up the sky is still the same above.

One could take a thousand photos of a location and each image is unique.

I think I shall never tire of beholding the beauty surrounding us.

We may have a thousand look-alikes that look and act just like us;

But! We are individually unique and made special for this time.

We too should continue enjoying the beauty within us and the beauty all around.

Quarry along U.S. 50 in Colorado.
Quarry along U.S. 50 highway in Colorado that has its own beauty and purpose.  

Take a breath, pause – behold!  Absorb the scenery. 

Enjoy life!

Blessings and love along the way!

Ron

Stand the test of time

Rocks that tell the tale of time.

As I look at these images over and over again,

I can’t help but wonder what has passed by through the ages.

Rocks of old, pinnacles and spires – formations;

Taking untold years of change and erosion,

From the affects of the sun, rain and water – life.

But they stand, albeit weathering that which would take it down;

Representing a part of our own lives, and how we can endure.

When the affects of life take their toll and we wonder how we’ll go,

But we’ll endure with God’s help as He preserves our being,

When we have our trust in Him – 

This I know.  

National Park Service image display, edited for clarity

According to geologists and the U.S. National Park Service:

Morrison Formation, Jurassic (bottom left of photo) – Picture herds of dinosaurs grazing alongside streams; turtles and crocodiles slip unnoticed in an out of the water; termites scurry in and out of underground nests.

Dakota Sandstone, Cretaceous (next level up) – This cliff band was formed from warm river valley habitats; fossils of lush flowering plants are trees are found here.

Mancos Shale, Cretaceous – Fantastic creatures lurked in the ancient waters of a broad inland sea that deposited this shale layer; ocean waters covered Colorado.

West Elk Breccia, Tertiary – A mud flow from the West Elk Volcano that froze in time.

Blue Mesa Tuff, Tertiary (top right of photo) – Cemented ash from towering volcanoes once found near the present day San Juan Mountains. 

Pancake mountains?
National Park Service image display, edited for clarity

The Dillon Pinnacles are an example of the many spires found in the Curecanti National Forest, Colorado.  You can tell how the wind, rain and ice carved away at the landscape.  This process happens everywhere but how does the rock at this area form pinnacles? 

When the erosive forces hit the hillside, the underlying weaker rock wears away rapidly.  The more resistant tuff forms a cap of rock on top.  The cap rock helps protect some of the rock underneath while the surrounding rock erodes more quickly.  Thus, a spire or pinnacle forms.  Eventually the cap (tuff) erodes like many of the pinnacles in this area.  (U.S. National Park Service)

Hiking information in this area can be found at https://www.nps.gov/cure/planyourvisit/hiking.htm.

Blessings and love along the way!

Ron

Blue Table

As we continued our journey around the Blue Mesa Lake Reservoir in Colorado, I wondered about the name “mesa.”  Naturally, I looked it up. 

Wikipedia says:  Mesa (Spanish and Portuguese for table) is the American English term for tableland, an elevated area of land with a flat top and sides that are usually steep cliffs. It takes its name from its characteristic table-top shape. It may also be called a table hill, table-topped hill or table mountain.

So, with the blue table around and the collection of water that flows into the area, I can see how the Blue Mesa name originated.  

Blue Mesa Dam and Reservoir

The Colorado River Storage Project on the Upper Colorado River in the U.S.A. is the most complex and extensive river water development in the world.  It includes water drainage in Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.  

The Curecanti National Recreation Area became one of the components of the project when it was established in 1965 with the completion of Blue Mesa Dam, creating the largest body of water in Colorado, Blue Mesa Reservoir.

“Most visitors to the park are surprised and impressed by Blue Mesa Reservoir, but do not realize there are actually three large dams and reservoirs in the park.”  National Park Service  https://www.nps.gov/cure/learn/historyculture/aspinall_unit.htm

Blessings along the way!

Ron

Blue Mesa calls me

Blue Mesa Lake provides added beauty to the Gunnison area in Colorado.

“Colorado is a landlocked state, but plenty of Rocky Mountain lakes and reservoirs offer miles of shoreline to swim in and sun yourself by each summer. Blue Mesa Reservoir — part of Curecanti National Recreation Area — is the state’s largest body of water, which means abundant recreation and lounge-worthy beaches.”
https://www.colorado.com/articles/blue-mesa-reservoir-colorado-beach

We didn’t know what to expect while traveling along highway U.S. 50 toward the Blue Mesa Lake but soon saw firsthand how beautiful the area was. Then we approached the Blue Mesa Reservoir.  

It was apparent the lake depth was down a little – probably awaiting the winter’s snow and water deluge – but the level allowed a different view that includes some of the sandy and rocky surfaces.  

Here is a little video clip of the approach to the lake area.  I’ll post more this week about the Blue Mesa Dam and river outflow.  

Blessings along the way!

Ron

Colorado fly fish

Traveling along Colorado 135 not far from Gunnison are plentiful locations for photo-taking for sure, but – how about fly fishing?  Yes, it is a popular area for this unique sport.  Have you tried it? I tried it a few times without success.   These areas really look enticing though.  

Anglers try their skills with fly fishing beside Colorado 135 at Almont.  

Fly fishing season in the Gunnison, Colorado area ends in October so we were there just in time to see some of the anglers near the main roadways.  We didn’t take time to go into the more isolated areas.  

Those not fly fishing equally enjoy the cool waters.  

I didn’t see any salmon heading upstream but I noticed a number of people, beside the anglers, wading in these cool waters.  

Fly fish anglers wade the moving waters to perfect their sport.  
Colorado fly fishing in Almont area.
Bait shop sits on the Gunnison River at the little town of Almont. 

The Three Rivers Resort provides supplies, food and lodging, along with other recreational items and fishing guides.  
https://www.3riversresort.com/fishing/  They have some good barbeque too and I’ll post about that separately.

Did you know?

“Fly fishing is an angling method in which an artificial “fly” is used to catch fish. The fly is cast using a fly rod, reel, and specialized weighted line. Casting a nearly weightless fly or “lure” requires casting techniques significantly different from other forms of casting. Fly fishermen use hand tied flies that resemble natural invertebrates, baitfish, other food organisms, or “lures” to provoke the fish to strike (bite at the fly).

Fly fishing can be done in fresh or salt water. North Americans usually distinguish freshwater fishing between cold-water species (trout, salmon, steelhead) and warm-water species, notably bass. In Britain, where natural water temperatures vary less, the distinction is between game fishing for trout and salmon versus coarse fishing for other species. Techniques for fly fishing differ with habitat (lakes and ponds, small streams, large rivers, bays and estuaries, and open ocean.)” Wikipedia

Blessings along the way!

Ron

Bull elk rack, hardware and gas

Crested Butte Museum
The Plute Bull Elk display seems like it wants to speak to the museum’s guests.  

There is a small museum in Crested Butte’s downtown and you could easily drive past it.  While walking the sidewalk we just happened upon this neat little museum and were compelled to check it out. 

According to the wall plaques, this museum began as a hardware store and then a gas station.  John McCosker built the store in 1883.  It was also a blacksmith shop.  Until this day though the quaint little building is known as Tony’s Conoco. It provided needed support to the residents and those working the mines during this era.  You can enlarge this photo to read more of the history. 

Also interesting in the museum is the largest typical bull elk rack in the world, known as the Plute Bull or Dark Canyon Bull.  Have you seen anything larger?  Enlarge this image for more details. 

I enjoyed this little museum that takes one back in time a little. 

Blessings along the way!

Ron

Mount and valley

Mount Crested Butte is a separate location from Crested Butte, and has a higher elevation.  Snow has now begun to blanket the area since our visit in late September – which is good for skiers.  I can just imagine the white, glistening snow over the area during the winter.  

One of the many websites highlighting this area is https://www.mtcrestedbuttecolorado.us/, designation Mt. Crested Butte as home of world-class downhill skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, hunting, golfing, as well as world-class art and music festivals. 

The resort town is home to just over 800 year-round residents and is located among the Elk Mountains.  The namesake mountain rises just above town to a height of 12,162 feet. “This unique setting affords some of the most breathtaking vistas in Colorado.”

Mount Crested Butte has some excellent lodging – whether hotels, condos or homes.  The area we liked was Wildhorse Trail, managed by Iron Horse Properties.  The view behind our vacation home was fantastic – like a postcard in each direction.  https://www.ironhorsecb.com/vacation-rentals-homes.asp?cat=4495

The valley below was picturesque as much as the mountains, nestled among the Elk, Snodgrass, White Rock and Teocalli Mountains.  From what I could tell the valleys include the Raggeds Wilderness and the Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness.

Side view from front of vacation home

I’m glad you’re still coming along with us to enjoy the views. Below is a video clip of the drive through Mt. Crested Butte down toward Crested Butte.  

Dash cam view while traveling through the ski resort town of Mount Crested Butte down toward Crested Butte, Colorado during late September 2018.

Blessings along the way!

Ron

Cruising Crested Butte

Looking east along Elk Avenue toward Crested Butte Mountain.

Don’t you just love cruising the local streets of towns less traveled, enjoying the local flavor, culture, art and life itself? 

That’s the feeling when we traveled multiple times through downtown Crested Butte, Colorado recently, just before the snow season.  I thought I would capture a little of the quaintness of the shops and life during a normal weekday.  

I’m sure snow season presents a different scenario as cold weather “sportsters” converge on this beautiful little town, as well as Mount Crested Butte just above the town of Crested Butte.

With fly fishing being very popular in the area, the Dragonfly Anglers shop is unique for fishing supplies and apparel.  
The Artisan Rug Gallery is a stand-out building very noticeable while cruising along Elk Avenue.

Crested Butte Emporium and Old Trading Post

Real estate and dog grooming even goes together in nice, flavorful colors in Crested Butte.

One important factor we had to work through while staying in high altitude was oxygen.  I felt pretty good and didn’t have altitude sickness but at night I had to breathe deeper.  I also had a slight headache a couple of days and bought a can of oxygen.  I didn’t have noticeable change though.

Sea Level Spa and Oxygen Bar provides good service for adapting to the altitude.  Bicyclists and hikers are regular customers.  The shop also provides a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber for more in-depth treatment.

Some of us experimented with the oxygen bar.  It helped some but the next day we felt we needed another treatment.

If you travel from lower altitude and stay in some of the higher ones this is something that needs to be considered, and even adjusting the budget a little.  

As we cruised through the town there were local places that seemed to stand out.  The local art was noticeable as well as the bicycle shops and unique eating establishments.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is an attractive shop that would easily pull one inside. 
The Company Store is an interesting place that also incorporates the Secret Stash Pizzeria.  It seemed to be busy during their hours of business.  
Crested Butte Marshal’s Office and stone jail built in 1883

Let’s take a little ride along Elk Avenue, shall we?
https://youtu.be/u4u2fnJ_ZpE

All-in-all, Crested Butte is a great mountain town that I had envisioned it would be.  

Blessings along the way!

Ron