The Knitting Nurse

Rambles and Travels

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CO Climb and Camp – July 2013

Let’s go back to CO.  In addition to a fun day of climbing in Eldorado Canyon with Ed, Denise, Elasha and I had a morning of climbing at a little sport crag up clear Creek Canyon called the Canal Zone.  A quick approach (maybe a mile walk from downtown Golden?) several well-bolted routes and AM shade appeal to those seeking moderately-rated sport climbing.

Clear Creek flows down through Golden, CO.  The Creek’s been loved to death,  (kayaking, swimming, walking, picnicking).  I noted much needed riparian restoration is happening along the creek.

Lookout Mountain above Clear Creek. The “M’ is for CO School of Mines.

Denise, Elasha and I met at the rec center and walked up the creek, crossed the bridge, and headed up the hill to the crag.

The creek looking up canyon:

An aqueduct of some sort once snaked up the side of the canyon.  Remnants are still visible:

Saw some cactus not seen in my home-place.  No rattlesnakes were encountered, fortunately.

A trip above treeline was one of my CO trip requests.  Friends Kurt, Todd and I headed a ways west out I70 to Eagle, CO and headed south down Brush Creek Road.  Through a pretty valley studded with horse farms we went, then past Sylvan Lake State Park.

Passed a cattle drive.

Followed the dirt road about 20 miles out.

I think (but not sure) the mountains in the background are in the Holy Cross Wilderness.

So pretty!

We were headed for a  4×4 fire road above Lime Creek familiar to my travel companions.  It was gated.   Bummed, a bit of time was spent driving up other fire roads looking for the perfect campsite with a the most important qualifier, a VIEW.

And this we found.

Kurt set up a slack line, a source of entertainment new to me.

I wasn’t steady enough to walk sans poles.  I’d love a place with a yard so I may set one up.  It’s great balance exercise. I could feel my core working!

I also slacked in a hammock with a helluva view.  Napping bliss!

That night we enjoyed a campfire, smores and the Supermoon’s rise:

Glad to have some time, up high, camping with friends.  We were above 10,000′.  Boy could I feel it!  Living at sea level’s taken its toll on my altitude fitness.

Missing this sort of landscape.

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Eldorado Canyon, CO With Ed

‘Bout a month ago I spent a week in CO visiting a mighty fine gaggle of friends.  Leaving my home state of MN, at age 24, west I ventured to CO.  A rock climbing trip there fanned the flames of an interest in the outdoors and climbing.  Once steeped in CO, a fully ignited passion for mountains and wide-open vistas let loose.  Over the course of 12+ years I taught grade school, changed careers to nursing, and made some of the dearest friends to me.

Upon arrival, knowing just one person, I posted a note on the Neptune Mountaineering cork board looking for a climbing partner.  One can only boulder and solo the third Flatiron so many times.

Ed answered and we climbed. Boy did we climb!  I used to get out four+ times per week. A true friend I made. Though far apart in miles for many years, now, some bonds of friendship last.  I’m thankful for these connections in life.

Ed and I spent part of a day climbing in Eldorado Canyon, the park we frequented, visiting old favorites.


Seeking shade, we climbed on the Bastille formation.

Atop the Bastille:

We climbed two multi-pitch routes, Bastille Crack (5.8) and Werk Supp.  (5.9)  Werk Supp was the first lead climb I did in Eldo and I remember thinking, “I’m not in MN anymore!”  Ratings are not soft in Eldo.

Heading up:

The Bastille formation looms above south Boulder Creek.  The bridge below crosses to trails and oodles more climbing.  There’s a lifetime of climbing to be had. My photos show just a smidgen.

Ed re-racking gear up top.

Looking up the canyon, South Boulder Creek flowing past and Redgarden Wall to the right.  It’s huge, folks, scale’s hard to come by in photos.


Looking out the canyon towards the town of Eldorado Springs and the plains of Boulder.  The Flatirons bust out to the left at the ridge seen on the left back of the photos.


Still grin when I think of this day which I do frequently.  Climbing’s healing, being way up high, feeling the texture of the rock, moving, watching birds and hearing the creek roar below.  Not much climbing in my new locale.  I miss it and need to figure out a way to return this therapy, of sorts, to my life.

Working on it!




“Slowshoeing” Through a Winter-Wonderland

The sky unloaded a foot plus of snow in the Denver area last Thursday.  I worked that day and was lucky to get home that night.  Some weren’t lucky.  The hospital let me go.

Friday I borrowed my kind housemate’s snowshoes and headed for the hills to Golden Gate Canyon State Park.  About 15 miles from Golden, it’s a splendid park with views of the Continental Divide in places.  I wanted views.

Stopped at my friend Denise’s home to drop off something. Visited with Keto, the wonderdog, whom I adore. She has a winter coat that must be six inches thick. Hah!

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Look at that face!  I took a bunch away with me on my black shirt and pants. It’s worth her lovin’, though.

Parked at Panorama Point and took in this view, just a snippet of the view that stretches, well, panoramically. (Is that a word?)

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Had the whole place to myself.  Broke trail with the slowshoes…I mean snowshoes.  It’s an adjustment.  I haven’t snowshoed in a couple winters.  I didn’t really have a winter this year. (NM and CA!)

Waddling in them…I mean walking in them, is work!  There was 12″ of snow to get through.  Observations are more thorough at this slow pace. Hills are more steep!

In the busy Front Range area, it’s a rare treat to have an entire trail to yourself, freshly blanketed in snow, with no evidence of humans around (not counting the trail markers and depression in the ground that provides evidence of the trail being there.)  There were a couple spots absent of this depression.  Took some sleuthing in spots to find my way.

Some views from the waddle:

Something was up earlier than me. See the tracks?

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Imagine how this red berry caught my eye?

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Mt. Thoridin. It’s much bigger than it looks here. There’s rock climbing routes on it.

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IN FACT, I met Denise on this very trail some years back.  I was hiking up to Mt. Thoridin to investigate the rock.  A storm raced in.  With a good ol’ fashioned Rocky Mtn soaking imminent, she and her hubby trucked it out the trail at the same time I did.   We chatted a bit in the parking lot.  I mentioned a trip to the quilt shop up the road and her eyes sparked. 

With that common interest (and many others) we swapped numbers and to this day, I cherish her friendship. 

What a gem of a day I had slowshoeing in peace and quiet. 

PS:  If you’re looking for a new ride this beauty is parked at Gap Rd and Hwy 119.  The sign reads,  “Good Car  $800, Runs Good.” 

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Thoughts Thunk Today-The Little Fox

Went for a hike in the Flatirons today in Boulder.  Noted, in my peripheral vision, a little ball of chestnut fur leaping through the grass so I stopped.  A little fox popped out and onto a rock. So I sat. We watched each other for awhile…and a little longer, until it moved to the next rock, seemingly stalking something on the way, its bushy, black tail swishing, gray and sleek muzzle leading the way. It popped onto that rock and looked out over the top of the grass, tail curling neatly around itself. We watched each other again. Now and then I’d hear something that didn’t fit in. So would the fox. We’d both look towards the sound. So much more it must hear!

What I couldn’t help but wonder was, did the fox take pleasure in simply BEING in its surroundings as I was? Is there a part of that fox’s little brain, not occupied with thoughts of food, shelter, reproduction, food, and more food that processes emotion attached to its surroundings?

Did it enjoy the sound of the wind brushing the pines that buffered the sounds of the city below? Do the sights or the smells (not of food) that surround it make it feel content?

Does a fox find sensory pleasure in its forays into the woods/hills/trees as I do?


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Why do I love Golden, CO? Let me show you…

It’s good to be back, back in Golden, CO that is.  For two months and change I am able to regroup, see friends, play in the hills, do those familliar things I’ve missed while traveling.   Such may include:

  • Walks along Clear Creek
  • Visiting the local library which I love
  • Climbing the Dakota Sandstone of Eldorado Canyon
  • Eating chicken fried rice from New Peach Garden (done tonight!)
  • Reading the “Golden Informer” for its community calendar, the fire dept. news, the annual tree sale

Sounds cheesy?  Sure.  Random? You bet.  I embrace both.

I’m in a slight state of unrest.  Being here is helping me back to the ground a little.  It’s comforting. 

This is the  kind of place I’d be excited to raise kids in.  Golden is the kind of place you see people you know at the grocery store and while walking down Washington (or Main St, as I’m prone to call it).

Why do I love Golden?   A  few pics from a walk-about-town today to help explain:

Above “Main” St:

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Clear Creek (very low for this time of the year, I noticed. Frighteningly dry winter I’ve been told.)


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Cowboy fishing (Couldn’t get the fish at his feet or the whole rod above his head. Trust me on this one.)  There are neat bronze sculptures throughout town including: Kids reading on a bench by the library, a giant bug, a Native American Woman, Deer, Fish, many more.


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Best quilting shop ever, Golden Quilt company:


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A hardware store where THEY find you and offer help before you’ve found them!  (You can even get a few nails in a paper bag.)  You can get almost anything at Meyers.


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Dark pic, sorry about that.  “M” is not for “Mom” or “Marlys” as my mom proclaimed upon seeing the “M” lit up on the side of Lookout Mtn.  It’s not for “Mountain” to warn off wayward planes either. It’s for “Mines.”  CO School of Mines. This is a town of scientists, engineers, and teachers and their students. What else can I say?


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I love Golden, CO.

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BBQ goodness…

You’d think with all this laying around time (I mean, productive, rehabbing, knitting, cat-bonding time) I’d be blogging up a storm.  Haven’t been staying current, though!  Took a much too quick trip to Denver a couple weeks ago to enjoy a very full social calendar.

Went to a baby shower for Lisa, a former co-worker and great friend and her hubby, Rob.  Gave her the baby bolero sweater I made.  Looks like this:

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Lisa’s due 9/1.  My bday is 9/4. Wouldn’t it be cool if she delivered on my b-day.  Although, if I were this preggers I wouldn’t want to wait any extra days.  More pics from the shower:

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IMG_3630  Little girls took turns holding this little guy, who was two weeks old. So cute!  Dog’s name is Iceman, a rescue Greyhound that’s so sweet!  He did great with all the kids running around.  Little does he know his world’s about to be shook up in a big way.

After Lisa’s I headed to Golden for a Stitch N’ Bitch and my friend Meghan’s.  Had a  blast. Was a much needed girlfriend-reunion with plenty of wine, food, conversation. Even met a couple of new gals.

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l-r:  Meghan knitting another tube, Kim scrapbooking, a craft I haven’t dared to start, given the lifetime supply of fabric and yarn in my stash. Red crocheting.


IMG_3634  Rada, back from Montenegro, Beth, Red, Denise.

What a great time.  These guys are hard core!  Continued on into the night after I left at midnight. I believe a bonfire was lit.  Thanks, Meghan, for hostessing such a fantastic gathering.

Went to my first Rockies game ever, with Garrett, a new-found friend in Denver, at Coors Stadium.  He’s  major baseball fan.  I used to go to the Metrodome in MN with my pop to see the Twins and the Vikings.  Never been a game watcher on TV, but, do like the excitement of a stadium. They lost 9-3 but was still a great time.  Got do drink expensive beer and throw peanut shells on the floor, something tha made me a little nervous. ; )  Some photos Garrett took. He’s a professional photographer. Taught me some technical stuff about using a digital camera. He didn’t laugh at me when I asked, “Doesn’t the camera just record what it’s looking at?”  Yah…there’s more to it than that…

See his work at: 

Now THAT’S a sunset! 

IMG_3696_1      IMG_3695              IMG_3703_1        The wave was not up to the Metrodome standard I remember.  

IMG_3669  IMG_3657 G and I

IMG_3707_1  Looking into Denver.

Then…dinner at Lee’s, BBQ goodness paired with friends, photos from some’s travels to Peru.

IMG_3712  Brian and Lee

IMG_3714   IMG_3713  John and BW (striking a well known pose)

IMG_3710   IMG_3709 Caitlin, Ralph and Kurt, Kim and Matt

Just a group of friends who always recharge the battery, for me.  I miss you guys…

So quick a trip, but better than the packing and moving whirlwind I last had there.  I’ve lived a lot in the last 6 months!  It’s a good thing.  (Why did someone as corny as Martha have to coin that phrase?)