lovely Loveland

devil’s backbone

We love Loveland! It’s so beautiful here, especially right now with all the fall colors – even the parking lots are surrounded by gorgeous trees. Our RV park is right up against a pretty creek and is filled with trees as well. If we didn’t have places to go and people to see, I’d love to stay here longer. The only drawbacks are lame cell service (again!), and it’s really quite cold. Which we knew, of course, and aren’t complaining about (cold is so much better than hot), but figuring out all the things cold weather means in an RV is a different story. So Deron spent much of Sunday working on stuff to “winterize” the RV. I ordered jackets for the dogs – their first walk in the morning is so brutally cold! Hopefully they’ll wear them without complaint.

Monday we took a walk around the Benson Sculpture Garden. So many interesting sculptures – I think there are over 150 if I remember correctly – of all different styles. I won’t bore you with ALL the pics, but check out the photo gallery for the ones I thought were the coolest. When we got back to the coach, we got the sad news about the plane crash near our old house in Santee, and the devastating news that Deron’s friend Steve, the UPS driver for that neighborhood, was killed. We were so so sad; it meant so much to us that many of our friends and family reached out to us, realizing that Deron had probably known Steve. His tragic death was another reminder that life is unpredictable, and we need to love and savor all the moments and all the people God gives us.

Tuesday was cold, and rainy as well, so we spent the day inside for the most part, mapping out our destinations for the rest of the year. The dogs’ little jackets arrived and they LOVE them. We might have to get them boots next, LOL. We were bummed to find out that it had snowed up in the Rocky Mountain National Park, so a big chunk of the scenic drive is closed, probably for the rest of the season. So we decided not to spend $25 to drive a little way up into the mountains and then back down. But there are lots of other things to do around here, so we’re not too sad.

We spent a good part of Wednesday on a two-mile hike up to Devil’s Backbone – yet again, just when you think you’ve seen all the cool rock formations…. (see pics). It was chilly, and so WINDY along the ridge under the keyhole! (Hooley started whining while we stood up there trying to take pictures; I had to carry him until we got back down out of the wind – I think he was afraid he’d get blown right off the edge!) After the hike, we visited Sweet Heart Winery for a small charcuterie board and flight of wine. We had already planned to stop there because we’d seen that they were a dog-friendly establishment (it’s always fun to be able to bring the dogs with us and let them socialize); but then Kathy Brumfield recommended we stop there and say hi to the owner – her cousin, so then we had a second reason to go. We enjoyed the food and wine in the beautiful, peaceful venue, but we didn’t manage to meet Kathy’s cousin – oh well! Our last stop of the day was Grimm Brothers’ Brewhouse – another dog friendly establishment – for pizza and local craft beer at the oldest brewery in Loveland. We had dinner on a comfy couch amidst their many barrels of beer, and lots of other families with dogs. Deron enjoyed his porter, but my Hefeweizen tasted suspiciously IPAish, and I’m not a fan. But the pizza was yummy!

After such a chilly day (and even chillier weather in the forecast) we decided to swap out our summer clothes in the bedroom closet for our winter clothes that were in the RV’s “basement.” Now we’re pretty well geared up to handle some coldness.

Thursday was our last day in Loveland, so we spent it trying to wrap up all the loose ends in our next two months of travel. We just have two more places to book and then I think we’re done. (Just for some perspective, we will be staying at eighteen different RV parks, three Harvest Host locations, four homes and one hotel between now and the new year – that’s a lot of travel arrangements to figure out!) We stocked up at Costco, Safeway and Walmart so that we’ll be set for groceries for a while.

Today we left Loveland and headed down to Pueblo – with a few stops on the way (which took longer than expected because Deron’s RV GPS kept sending us on routes that required u-turns… um, hello RV GPS, do you not know that u-turns in this rig are no bueno?) Our first stop was at a Nespresso boutique in Denver, because we’ve temporarily switched from drinking Deron’s delicious cold brew in the freezing temp mornings to enjoying hot Nespresso instead – so we needed more pods. Susie Wiley told us we’d better eat at the Skirted Heifer if we got a chance to, and she was right! We stopped there on the way back down through Colorado Springs and had some delicious burgers. “Skirted” means “having an extra layer of melted cheddar cheese resembling a skirt” – which was very yummy (much better than the smashed burger edges at Freddy’s Steakburger).

We finally arrived and set up camp in Pueblo, but we’re leaving right away tomorrow, so tonight’s just chillaxing (emphasis on CHILL).

Love you guys and hope to see lots of you in December!

praise & prayer

Please join us in praying for UPS driver Steve Krueger’s family, as well as the pilot who also lost his life, and those who were injured and displaced by the plane crash. As the crash was somewhat close to our old home, our former neighbors were pretty shaken up and are dealing with shock and the loss of their beloved UPS driver as well.

random observations

  • I’ve started to realize that we were relatively spoiled by living in a San Diego suburb – we could almost always find pretty much whatever grocery items we wanted, if not at our local Sprouts or Vons, then at a Whole Foods or Trader Joes not too far away. This is not the case in many of the places we’ve traveled through. In one small Texas town, we needed a lime, some basil, some fresh ginger and a shallot for a recipe – struck out on all four! In the past couple days we’ve been watching a reality show and one of the people kept talking about “food deserts” – and I get it! How sad it must be to not have fresh produce or herbs to cook with!

travel teasers

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Four Corners Monument

Mesa Verde National Park

Chino Valley, AZ

Newport, CA

San Carlos, CA

Portland, OR

2 thoughts on “lovely Loveland

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