Let the Paint Fall Where it May

Ruth and I wandered into the DAM (nope, not a curse, just the acronym for the Denver Art Museum) last week and found fun and fantastical art pieces. And a few photo ops. The DAM may not be my all-time favorite art museum, but it occasionally offers a pleasant break from reality.
View of LoDo from the 3rd floor

Even the views are framed.
Sandy Skoglund's "Fox Games"

Sandy Skoglund’s “Fox Games”: don’t walk through this room if you’re on anything stronger than Robitussin.

Ruth applies the rule of perspective

Cowboys on the open range

Who says dress-up is child’s play?

Van Ruisdael-esque

Even the drive home was Van Ruisdael-esque!

7 November 2009. Tags: , , , , . travel. Leave a comment.

More Cow Bell!

         And here we arrived. In beautiful Geneva, Switzerland. The locals we so friendly and our couchsurfing host, Jullianne, was incredible. She fed us and kept us occupied as we explored the city. This was my first experience with couchsurfing, and I couldn’t have had a better host. On the first morning, we ate at the bakery where Julianne worked (delicious apricot cheese danish and some fresh fresh squeezed orange juice… yum!), and then headed into explore the city. Luckily, we were staying in the countryside, so we had a nice little walk to the bus stop on which we met these lovely ladies…

 

Cows. Bells. Switzerland.

Cows. Bells. Switzerland.

 

The wine vineyards just behind Julianne's apartment in the countryside. We never got to try any, but rumor has it that it's wonderful.

The wine vineyards just behind Julianne's apartment in the countryside. We never got to try any, but rumor has it that it's wonderful.

         On the last night, we got to take a walk with Julianne and Athos (her little Yorkie dog named after one of the three musketeers) and saw a beautiful lightning storm rolling over the Swiss Alps.  The clock below was one of several dozen we saw in the city. Some were sun-dials, some were brick, stone, yellow, black, artsy, expensive…

The world famous flower garden clock in Geneva's city center. It took us three passes before we finally found it. Turns out, all we had to do was look for the Chinese people. The gathered there in clustered hundreds, camera and case in hand.

The world famous flower garden clock in Geneva's city center. It took us three passes before we finally found it. Turns out, all we had to do was look for the Chinese people. They gathered there in clustered hundreds, stealthily wielding cameras and making peace signs.

 


Chateau de Chillon

This is the Chateau de Chillon just outside of Montreux. Historians say that the beginnings of the castle date back 1,000 years, but it's prime was in the 1300s. Lord Byron made this famous in his poem "The Prisoner of Chillon."

 

Me and Mariah on the bridge that leads to nowhere... but is connected to Chateau de Chillon. It doesn't look perilous, but the water was cold, the bridge was narrow, and we all know that I am less than graceful.

Me and Mariah on the bridge that leads to nowhere... but is connected to Chateau de Chillon. It doesn't look perilous, but the water was cold, the bridge was narrow, and we all know that I am less than graceful.

 

A vista of the quaint little city of Montreux, Switzerland.

A vista of the quaint little city of Montreux, Switzerland.

 

 

This gem of a tree lined the streets of Geneva. This isn't photoshop... it really looked like this.

This gem of a tree lined the streets of Geneva. This isn't photoshop... it really looked like this.

 

A hidden square in the city walls. We only found it because someone opened a door and we were rubbernecking.

A hidden square in the city walls. We only found it because someone opened a door and we were rubbernecking.

 

A mob of Laotians outside of the United Nations protesting government hostility.

A mob of Laotians outside of the United Nations protesting government hostility.

 

 

These are the flags of Geneva, Switzerland, and the Borough in which Geneva is situated. The span across the Mont Blanc bridge.

These are the flags of Geneva, Switzerland, and the Borough in which Geneva is situated. They span across the Mont Blanc bridge.

 

A beautiful view of the Swiss Alps as we rode the train through the mountains, across switzerland, and into Italy.

A beautiful view of the Swiss Alps as we rode the train through the mountains, across switzerland, and into Italy.

         Sadly, we had to say goodbye to the idyllic, peaceful  country of Switzerland, the witty, playful sarcasm of Julianne, and began our venture into the land where time has no meaning: Italy. Let the adventures begin.

26 June 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Europe, Hiking/Backpacking, travel. Leave a comment.

Young’s Gulch/River

As in most of my  backpacking experiences, this one did not follow the initial plan. We set out at about 5pm on Friday for a Steven’s Gulch but had to reroute due to an obvious “FOR DAY USE ONLY” sign in the parking lot. So down the Poudre we went until we hit a local bar. (I stopped in… to call our emergency contact and tell him the change in plans). Next stop: Young’s Gulch. I had hiked that same route in mid March and the half frozen stream that you cross MULTIPLE times was small and 80% frozen. No such luck on this trip. The “stream” was more like a small river and the stone crossings were hidden beneath the icy flow. Not wanting to get wet, the we-who-do-not-have-waterproof-hiking-boots kids chose the less obvious, less safe courses. I fell in on the third crossing. We lost a few others to the stream crossing nonsense, but the campfire at the conclusion of the day had us rejuvenated in no time. After too much food, off-key singing, and an abundance of campfire stories, my sleeping bag felt like a plush hotel bed.

The night held a storm of rain and snow and only Lauren refused to succumb to the peaceful sound. A reenactment of the morning hours:

3am  – Lauren: “Guys, what time does the sun come up? I can’t sleep.”

          – Me: “6am. Go back to sleep.”

4am  – Lauren: “What time do you think it is? Is the sun coming up yet?”

          – Laura: “Uh, ya, I think I see some light outside.”

5am  – Lauren: “It is not getting light! What time is it?”

          – Laura and I: *snore*

6am  – Lauren: “Ryan. Ryan! Are you awake?”

          – Ryan: “Mrphlph…”

           (Lauren wanders away from camp to our sleepy eyes’ delight)

9am  – Me: “Lauren, did you ever bring your bag in from the rain?” 

           – Lauren: “Too late now.”

9-9:30am: (We listen to Paul snore in the tent beside us.)

9:30am: Breakfast: the only thing that we desire more than sleep. 

———————————————-

That morning, we hiked back toward the car making a detour up a steep incline to get an awesome view of… whiteness. (See pictures below). Another great backpacking adventure for the CSU kids!

Laura assisting Lauren across the "stream." Paul nervously awaits his own fate.

Laura assisting Lauren across the "stream." Paul nervously awaits his own fate.

 

Not a bad view for a potty break :) Note the yellowish spot in the lower center. Home sweet tent!

Not a bad view for a potty break 🙂 Note the yellowish spot in the lower center. Home sweet tent! Note the white specks throughout the picture: Very unwelcome precipitation.

 

Who knew that Ponderosa pines smell like butterscotch and vanilla. Seriously! Go sniff one!

Who knew that Ponderosa pines smell like butterscotch and vanilla? Seriously! Go sniff one!

 

(Sorry, I can't make it straight) This is a funny one. Laura willingly offered up her potential dryness to try and find a decent crossing for us after we had wandered off trail. Little did we know that the rocks to her right were the trail crossing rocks. Oops.

(Sorry, I can't make it straight) This is a funny one. Laura willingly offered up her potential dryness to try and find a decent crossing for us after we had wandered off trail. Little did we know that the rocks to her right were the trail crossing rocks. Oops.

 

The Clan: Paul, Lauren, Laura, Jarrod, Ryan, and me.

The Clan: Paul, Lauren, Laura, Jarrod, Ryan, and me.

 

Gorgeous scenery even in the midst of mist.

Gorgeous scenery even in the midst of mist.

 

"Wow," says Laura, "What beautiful scenery we have today."

"Wow," says Laura, "What beautiful scenery we have today."

 

As luck would have it, the clouds began to part only moments after we began our descent toward the trail.

As luck would have it, the clouds began to part only moments after we began our descent toward the trail.

 

And the conclusion of another great backpacking adventure...

And the conclusion of another great backpacking adventure...

27 April 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Hiking/Backpacking. Leave a comment.