Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Calm Before The Storm

Yesterday, Jean Cambell suggested that maybe a few of us old "lonesome pickers" should gather around the fire at the Waconda to play a few songs before the 'Forth of July' arrives and the (you know what)...hits the fan. We do this sort of thing at Daven Haven for the "RUDE AWAKENING" and it's always fun but also very busy with people reminiscing and talking. Most of the time the music gets lost in conversation. Tonight, it was pretty much just the pickers and singers. Jon Cook, John Brown, Mike Hanifen, Moby, Larry (back porch light) and myself ... just a pickin' and a grinnin' 'round the fire.
A great time and a good way to ease ourselves into the madness soon to follow!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Lazy Days

Mondays, for me are probably like a Saturday for most people. It's my day off after a weekend of music and sometimes a little madness. It's time to relax and reflect on the week that just passed by. I don't know if my 'four footed' friends here had as great a week as I did, but I'm kind of in the same mode myself today. Just lye in the green grass and enjoy the sunshine. I hope you all can be as lucky as these "happy campers" are!
A couple more of these days and it's the 'Forth of July' weekend and they'll have to take me back to the "funny farm"...where I'll be happy to see those nice men in their pretty white shirts...'cause their coming to take me away!!!...HA, HA..

Friday, June 26, 2009

Perfection...Rocky Mountain Style

I saw antlers rising above a sea of grass. the swift waters of the mighty Colorado River as they flow from their 'birthplace', raging over a thundering waterfall to calmly make their way through an open meadow filled with wildflowers as they gracefully pick up speed and tumble down to Adam's Falls below. ( It just doesn't get any better than this!)

I know that a word such as perfect, is a lot to say but Tuesday and Wednesday here at 8369' were definitely that for me! The weather was gorgeous, the company indescribable and the beauty of this place never ceases to amaze me. Two days of enjoying hikes in RMNP, a wonderful dining experience at Caroline's Cuisine, a great lunch at Max & T's and to top it all off....front row seats to see the Rocky Mountain Rep's presentation of "The Pirates Of Penzance" at the theatre in the 'Community House' here in GL. This may sound like a chamber of commerce advertisement but Grand Lake in the summertime is to me... the "Greatest Show on Earth"!!

Come on up and see us sometime!

Monday, June 22, 2009


Not much to say except that summer is finally here! It's a beautiful day here at 8369' and the four-legged critters are enjoying the sunshine along with the rest of us. I took this photo a few minutes ago on my way home from running errands in town. I'm going to go out and whack at the weeds in the yard and enjoy this beautiful day! Maybe a little golf later....who knows?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Father's Day And Classic Cars

There were a whole bunch of Model A's in town Friday. Sooo cool! I wish I could trade my Focus in for one. Summer does bring classic cars, motor cycles, boats etc. to 8369'. The drive over Trail Ridge Road is fun for them and it's good to see them stop and have lunch or whatever on their way back down to the 'flat lands'. I wonder what Barky Lew thinks when he sees them as he's mowing the grass in the park on his John Deer lawn mower. When I first met "The Lew", he had a '32 Model A Coupe with a 'rumble seat' and everything was 'cherried out'! I use to have a '36 Plymouth Coupe (hot rod) and I do miss it sometimes. I am willing to bet that those old cars look way better than Barky and I do now!
It is 'Father's Day' and I recall when my dad restored a 1926 'Star Four' by Durant Motors when we were kids. I remember when we went down to pick it up in Lyons and haul it back to our house in Holly Hills. It was pretty 'rustic' and even had bird nests in the vents. We all tried to help him out by sanding down the fenders and the old wood spoke wheels and such. Anyway, he made it golden and it looked just like it had just rolled off the assembly line in Detroit. He drove it in parades (St. Patrick's Day) and even up to Georgetown (if I remember correctly?) Honking the 'aryougaa horn' in the tunnel just before Idaho Springs. I miss my father and that beautiful old car!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Patience Is A Virture....(and I want it right now!)

As always, the weather here at 8369' changes more than an old man like me has to change his underwear. Today at the Waconda, Larry and I played some music to a small crowd under darkening skies but the weather managed to hold off until the patio finally filled with folks to listen and enjoy the music. Then the wind picked up and the rain began to fall. I assured them that the storm was not going to last long. (in fact), Aron Rhone and I even placed a bet as to how long it would continue. I said ten minutes and he said eight. He won! The rain only lasted 7 minutes, but none the less, in that short time.... most of the audience had left.
Then the sun came out and my friend Jon Cook sat in and played some of his incredible songs. (I believe that he is one of the most incredible songwriters I have ever had the pleasure to listen to!)
The people who were afraid that they would melt in rain sure missed out on some wonderful music and stories.
I remember back to the days of the "Beer Garden" at Squeaky's. It always seemed that on Sundays, the weather seemed to clear up around 5:00 and I believe it still rings true.
Once the tourists head on back down to the "Big Smoke", God shines a little light on us local folk to reward us for our long winter and the crazy tourist season that lies opon the horizon..

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Skip's Pool Table

The Lariat got a new pool table last week. Of course, nothing ever goes without a story up here at 8369'. Dustin and Patrick Barnes were bringing the new one in through back door to put in on the new carpet and accompany the new tables and chairs in the "back room". (pretty fancy for "The Rope"). Well, they dropped it and it broke, so they brought another one in but it had red felt instead of the usual green. We all were wondering what Skip's reaction would be to see that 'whore house' pool table in his pool room.
Mike Hanifan to the rescue!!! He re-covered it with green felt and the "world is once again spinning in greased grooves", as DW and that Steinbeck guy used to say.
Thanks Mike.....Skip will be smiling this Friday night. (unless Bobby A. beats him in a three out of five)!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Happy Trails

JENSEN, ROGER M. Roger M. Jensen was born in Ottawa, IL, on July 25, 1935 to Dorothy and Robert Jensen. Roger married his high school sweetheart, Mary Ellen Miner, in November 1956. They had two daughters and relocated to Denver, CO, in the early 1960's. Roger was hired by the Denver Fire Dept. and began service in 1963, and retired in 1989 as a Captain. He was able to spend time with friends and family in Grand Lake, CO, for many summers. He enjoyed the outdoors, walking, hiking, golf, and taking pictures. He lost his wife "Little Bit" to breast cancer in 2001. He is survived by his daughters, Jill (Mike) Coleman and Julie (Roger) Smith; and brothers, Virgil Jensen and Donald (Shirley) Jensen. Roger would be honored if, in lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory were made to the Denver Fire Fighters Burn Foundation, 2342 Broadway, Denver, CO 80205, or the Susan G. Komen for "The Cure".
Roger, all of us here at 8369' miss you and the smiles you gave to us...thanks and Happy Trails!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pyscho Weather

Well, it took some time, but the squirrels are now in Belize and collecting coconuts instead of pine cones! Today was an adventure in the weather department, but we somehow convinced Peggy Mann to play at the Waconda despite the clouds, wind, rain and occasional sunshine. Probably not a great idea but we got to listen to her wonderful music for a little while before the s*#t hit the fan.

I hope the weather is good in Orlando!!!

Thanks to DJ (best bartender in the known free world)!!!

She and I reminisced about years gone by .... (the "Pub"... Stevie Ray, Fetch, Stanski, etc.) but the weather here at 8369' is still pyscho.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

OK, I've lived here in my little cabin for almost 20 years. I always thought it was kind of cool that there was an old outhouse in the back and a year or so ago I even put some barn wood siding on it and cut a quarter moon in the door to spruce it up a little. I used to joke with my friend Mary Jo, that this was her guest room when she would come to visit, but it's really been a storage shed for tools and a place for the squirrels to stash a few pine cones. I always thought the squirrels and I had an agreement to kind of leave each other alone. Today, as I usually do every spring, I go out to take out the the summer tools and put back the snow shovel for the few short months of summer here at 8369'. But I think Rocky and his buddy Bullwinkle (remember the moose hang out there in the winter) have gone a bit too far!!! When I opened the door, there were so many pine cones in there that I couldn't even get the quarter moon door closed. Now I'm in a dilemma. Should I declare war on my grey furry neighbors and turn their little hides into paint brushes? or as Paul would say ... "Let It Be"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Such Is Life!

Sometimes it is difficult to express one's feelings on this stupid keyboard that goes out into hyper-space.

Tonight I am reminiscing about two wonderful souls who have passed on to their next journey.

Ella Mae Sutherland's ceremony was today and then I just heard tonight that my good friend Roger Jensen has left this time and place to be with his beloved Mary. I want to cry, but then again, I am so grateful to have known them both and I also want to laugh with the joy they both gave me and everyone they touched.
I guess all one can say is to thank them for making our lives a brighter place.
I will miss you both!

Horses On The Highway

Yesterday Elk, today horses. I tell ya, it doesn't suck to live up here at 8369'! Finally....a day without rain. Only problem is, I didn't have an excuse not to work and I had to get something done around here. I planted flowers, did some sign painting work, recycled old batteries, set up at Caroline's to play music there tonight and even started cleaning out the RV and getting it ready for a little camping this summer. My back is going to hate me tomorrow but it is nice to be a little productive for a change. Guess it's time to clean up and get ready to sing a few songs!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Just Another Day In The Neighborhood

I caught a photo of these guys on my way home last evening. It's always good to keep a camera in the car because sometimes you get the chance to see something like this, or a rainbow or maybe someday ... who knows?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Old Joke

So.....this moose walks into a bar and the bartender says....hey buddy, why the long face?

Thanks to Craig (Homewrecker) Capps for the pic!