Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.

Snowy morning view off my brother’s back deck in Larkspur Colorado.
Pretty as the snow is, it partly obscured the even more spectacular view of terra–cotta colored Dawson Butte.

Our cross-country route from Space Coast Florida to Portland Oregon consisted of only three for-sure points. There was our start point, our end point and the stop at my my brother and sister-in-law’s. in Larkspur Colorado.  The latter took us through snow – which we did not expect when we left Florida! Granted, my brother’s place is at over 6,700 feet. Not as high as the passes we traveled through but still up there for a couple like us, used to living at sea level.

Cherry blossoms that broke out of their snowy cover in Larkspur Colorado.

No visit to my brother’s is complete without at least one walk. Due to the snow, it was just a short one through the neighborhood. Nonetheless, we were far from deprived of anything except the extra exercise we’d get by hitting the trails, which were too snowy for us.

My brother, Mark glancing at the deer in his Larkspur Colorado neighborhood.

Deer are commonplace in Larkspur, Colorado and considered pests to gardeners. My brother would likely add that they’re also pretty tasty, and my sister-in-law would add they can do some serious car damage.

Part of a group of eight or so deer we happened across in my brother’s neighborhood.

There were about eight deer in the herd we came across in our walk. The youngest were still well past their spotted fawn days. 

Patty, my sister-in-law, please to find lilac blossoms off a branch downed by the snowstorm.

The wet, heavy snowfall broke some branches. My sister-in-law found a large blossoming branch of lilac on the ground and was able to gather a bouquet from it with plenty to spare.

Wild turkey, like one we saw outside my brother’s home in Larkspur Colorado.
This image is a screen snap pilfered from Larkspur nature photographer David Neils video.

Over breakfast, on the morning of our departure came, there was a gaggle of wildlife parading past my brother and sister-in-law’s dining room window. The turkey, like the deer, are not that uncommon.

Mountain lion, much like the one that sauntered past us by only a few feet in Larkspur Colorado.
This image was downloaded from Pixabay.

However, only the glass and a few feet separated us from the mountain lion, whose body brushed up against the side of the house. My brother and sister-in-law never saw a mountain lion that close before! It was the second wild cat (not counting the feral kitty variety) we’ve seen together in the wild this year. Earlier we came across a bobcat, hiking Maritime Hammock Sanctuary in the Melbourne Beach area of Florida.

Brown bear, like one we saw outside my brother’s home in Larkspur Colorado.
This image is a screen snap pilfered from Larkspur Colorado nature photographer David Neils video.

Not long after the mountain lion came by, a bear waddled past. We tracked him from the dining room, then off the back deck, down the driveway and out toward the pond across the street.

Loveland pass

Alas, we were between storms. There was the snowstorm we caught the tail end of on our way into Larkspur, and another on its way. Our choice was to stay snowbound for two to three more days, or go, after only a day and a half. We needed to move our boat by June first and figured we’d need at least a few days to get it ready to go. It was time to hit the road again, this time, taking the interstates for speed.

We’d originally planned to visit Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Arches and Canyonlands. We would encounter too much snow for a car ill-equipped for it. Instead we hope to take a more dedicated trip to the Southwest this fall, with our hiking, camping and backpacking gear and without a carful of our most worldly possessions.

One of many tunnels winding through the Rocky Mountain passes. The longest is Eisenhower Tunnel, Loveland pass.

Quite a few tunnels were blasted through the Rocky Mountain highways to make the passes passable. Once again, we found ourselves in much colder than normal or expected temperatures for that time of year. Temps dropped to 32 degrees F and we again were driving through a snowstorm, though much less of the one on our way into Larkspur.

Glenwood Canyon, Colorado.

After all the scenic drives on our cross-country trip, we weren’t expecting as much that snowy day on I-70. Yet we were delighted with Glenwood Canyon’s beauty. My quickly snapped photos don’t even remotely do it justice, as the most spectacular parts of the road there is no safe place to pull out and take photos. It winds through stunning red rock cliffs.

Colorado river view at Glenwood Canyon Colorado Rest Stop.

We were glad there was one point we could stop at in Glenwood Canyon; a rest stop. Even though the visitor center there was closed, there were some terrific short trails along the river, where we could stretch our legs and take in the view.

Sandstone cliffs entering Utah from Colorado, taken while underway.

As we headed into Utah, the scenery became much drier, yet Utah’s sculpted cliffs did not disappoint!

More of Utah’s cliffs taken as we sped past in our car.


Utah’s Cliffs, shifting from sandstone to limestone.

Trail at rest stop in Utah.

Gully overlook at Utah rest stop

Hills taken from our car window while underway,  just outside Price Utah.

Location Location
On day 10, (not counting the day before, when we just stayed with family and didn’t drive anywhere), we left Larkspur Colorado and stopped at the end of the day in Price Utah. It rained the last half hour or so of our drive in; at least we were out of the snow.

This is a catch-up blog post. We are currently on the hook of Sauvie’s Island on our boat, Serendipity (N45.47.410 W122.47.179). Sauvie’s is in Oregon, just outside Portland. There are a few more cross-country catch-up posts to come. 

We hope to make up for our short visit with my brother and sister-in-law by returning their hospitality on our boat this summer.