S: The Best of HighCountryAerie.net
1: Live, Love, Laugh Our 2009 RV Journey Photos by Art and Robin Holleman Dedicated our family and friends who support us in our wandering lifestyle
2: Our Journey Begins !!!
3: put 2009 travel map here
4: Winter was definitely setting in while we were getting everything packed and ready for our travel journey to begin. China Grove was covered in about 4 inches of snow - definitely a Winter Wonderland and very tolerable knowing we were headed South soon!
7: When we lived in Ohio and vacationed in Colorado, it was always a thrill to leave Denver Stapleton Airport and enjoy the scenery as we approached the mountains. Left: approaching the mountains on Interstate 70, in early December. Above: Looking east on Interstate 70 towards the Eisenhower Tunnel. Since moving here, we have always enjoyed the Friday night parade of headlights as Front Range skiers come to the county for a weekend of fun in the sun and snow.
8: Matlacha Island Artist painted telephone poles | 4 of many throughout town
9: Ugh - Oh! Trailer tire blow out on Alligator Alley between Fort Myers and the Florida Keys | In 90 degree heat, Art grabs a new tire, jacks up the trailer, puts on the new tire and gets us rolling again
10: Venture Out Resort on Cudjoe Key Our new home for April & May
12: Art does his best to relax in his new home
15: There are lots of activities in the county during the summers. Upper left: free weekly concerts at the Dillon Amphitheater. The event is called, appropriately enough, "Sunset at the Summit". | Great snorkeling is only 20 miles away from the resort
17: We arrived in the Keys just in time to celebrate the Conch Republic Festival ... one of the craziest times in Key West! As you quickly learn - ANYTHING goes here!
18: Fun at the Bed Races with friends
19: Bed Races - basically Gays on Wheels
20: Art puts on his ponytail for the big occasion
22: Girls just wanna have fun ...
25: Good Times | Good Friends
26: Key West | Drag Races
28: Kevin's 21st Birthday !
30: Fun on Mallory Square, Key West
32: Birthday Trip to Dry Tortugas
36: Joe Allen Garden Center Key West
41: Artist Painted Bicycles
42: After enjoying a wonderful April and May in the Keys, we headed North to Indiana to get repairs done on the RV. Since there is nothing much to do in Decatur, Indiana, we took a few side trips while the repairs were in progress ...
44: We enjoyed a wonderful blast to the past in a soda fountain in a restored home in downtown Fort Wayne
48: Exploring the small Michigan town of Saugatuck on Lake Michigan
51: Holland, MI
52: Celebrating our 5th Anniversary in Petoskey, Michigan
54: Apostle Islands
57: Williston Fairview Bridge
58: Top of Beartooth Mountain
59: Beartooth Highway | Charles Kuralt deemed it the "most beautiful highway in America". We Agree!
62: Autumn is the time to put on the polarized sunglasses (polarized lenses intensify colors for anything at right angles to the sun), sit outside and enjoy how nice the summer was, and contemplate NOT sitting out thre in the winter! All these photos were taken with a polarizing filter.
64: With the Gore Range as a backdrop, and the sun at just the right angle (shining THROUGH the leaves), a trip along some of our backcountry roads is always worthwhile. Beetle-killed pine trees add contrast to this picture. At right is the SGR cabin, nestled in a huge grove of large aspen trees. The cabin is owned by some folks who have done a Colorado website for at least as long as I have. We have mutually linked our sites for years. Recently we had the opportunity to meet them, only to find out that we are, indeed, kindred spirits. What a beautiful area!
65: Art's New Toy
68: Whitewater Rafting Trip on the Snake River Jackson Hole, Wyoming
70: Things really quiet down in the county twice a year. Once for "mud season", a.k.a. spring, when all the snow is melting. The other time is after the leaves fall, and we're waiting for snow and another ski season. | Pictured above, the Dillon Amphitheater, where all those fun summer concerts were held, Main St. in the town of Frisco, and a snow shower...all the leaves are gone.....
72: Camelback Mountain Summit Scottsdale, Arizona
73: Climbing Camelback Mountain has been on Art's "bucket list" for many years
74: Friendship and social activities don't end when winter sets in. Folks in this county are indeed a very social group. Maybe it's one way to combat "cabin fever". We have more guests in winter than any other season, and we have activites here that aren't done in many other places in the country.
75: Parties don't always have to happen outside in winter, either! Our townhome complex has an annual progressive meal. | Great food and good friends always make a good combination!
76: Spring! Ullr, the Norse god of snow, is reluctant to give up his months-long domination, so spring comes either all-at-once (rare) or so gradually that it's difficult to notice. Here in the high country, spring is also known as "mud season", a time when the snow is melting, the trails are a morass of mud, and it's time for locals, burnt out from tourist season, to head west to Moab for some much deserved rest and relaxation.
77: Opposite, left: some of the ski slopes at Arapahoe Basin. Opposite, right: along Pebble Creek Road Opposite, bottom: "snowed in" Above: Red Peak at sunset
78: Skiing and snowboarding at Copper Mountain, after a two-day snowstorm. Photo by Cora.
79: Lincoln Peak, just south of Hoosier Pass, which is south of Breckenridge. Taken on Easter Sunday, 2005, on a very windy day aloft--look at that snow blowing off the peak!
80: Titan II Missile Site Tucson, AZ
81: The poor aspens...just when they thought it was safe to leaf out, winter makes a last attempt!
82: It's now late May, the ice is finally off the lake, and what's left of the winter's snow is losing its battle with the sun on the shores of Lake Dillon.
83: Top: for the past ten years the pine bark beetle has been trying (and mostly succeeding) to destroy the single-species lodgepole pine forests in the area. Many trees are dying and being cut down. If you're in the area and you see logs being transported by trucks, look at them and see if they have the gray-blue ring around the cuts. The ring is caused by a fungus carried by the beetles: the logs are "beetle kill". Left: Aspens are leafing out....can summer be far away??
84: The arrival of spring means the deep snows in the mountains begin to melt and start their journey toward the sea. West of the Continental Divide (Summit County and points west), the water winds up in the Pacific. East of the Divide, it goes to the Atlantic. The snowmelt also means it's "whitewater season", and, especially along the Arkansas River kayakers and rafters are in seventh heaven.
85: Aspen trees, like all trees, flower. The flowers are not showy, and can be messy. But when the sunight flows past the branches, they light up.
86: An aspen tree in "full bloom". Not showy, but it sure is good to see this!
87: The Gallows
88: Ken Deshaies Ken's job as a realtor and owner of SnowHome Properties (snowhome.com) really makes him get around the county. Here, a tongue-in-cheek photo of him, Cora and me at the old cabin in Mayflower Gulch, taken by Mary Deshaies. At right, the town of Frisco, taken from the summit of Mt. Royal. (I swear, from town that mountain doesn't look that high!). At bottom, a fox, which showed a disturbing interest in Ken and Mary's dog Chelsea.
89: Ed Baker Ed and Anita Baker live in Rome, Georgia. Evidently Ed was inspired by High Country Aerie to do a similar site showcasing his own experiences. We met the Bakers last summer, and together drove down to the Salida area in an attempt to photograph the rafts and kayaks on the Arkansas River during a time of peak snowmelt runoff. It was evident from the outset that we were kindred spirits. Ed's site can be found at TerraGeezersRamblins.com
90: David Greene David Greene is the most recent "newbie" webmaster, apparently inspired both by the mountains and High Country Aerie to do a similar website about his own corner of the world. You can find his site at Between2Waters.com. Above, the Blue River near Breckenridge, with arnica blooming on the banks. And a full moon rises over Lake Dillon...obviously in summer!