Sunday, May 28, 2017

Rocky Mountain National Park

It is a big undertaking moving pets and stuff but you can't spend every waking hour getting situated...time to get outside!  We took a drive up to the Rocky Mountain National Park for a short 4 mile hike. We picked a short hike without much elevation since it is starting up pretty high already.  We went to Bear Lake and then branched off to a waterfall.  We didn't get all the way to the top of the waterfall we don't think since there was still snow on the trail and because of it we didn't know where the trail was! Beautiful views...lots of water....lots of animals and nice sunshine!




Thursday, May 25, 2017

Lots of Changes for the Kruse's

There have been lots of things going on over the last few months.  Jeff lost his job at Honeywell (which he hated) in September I think?  They had sent him to Redmond for 6 weeks and when he got home started yet another (twice yearly tradition I guess) round of layoffs and his number was up. This kind of sucked at the time since we had no intentions of leaving New Mexico for another few years and there really aren't any decent jobs in New Mexico. None the less he went on some interviews and pretty much exhausted all New Mexico options.  Any thing I could get wouldn't have benefits or pay well enough for us to stay so we started thinking of options of where to go.

Once you have lived on the West Coast you really can not be anywhere else.  It is almost like a whole other country.  I grew up in California then moved to Washington State which at the time seemed a little backwards.  The west coast is so much more progressive than the rest of the country any where is a step back.  If we had gone to NM straight from Washington we would not have been happy but since we were coming from Puerto Rico it was a step up. I met Jeff and we lived in Washington for over 20 years before the weather got to me.  Traffic got so bad that I didn't want to go diving any more since it took longer one way to get to the dive site than it did to do the dive.  As options of where to go next we narrowed our choices down to the part of Nevada closest to California, Tucson Arizona, Colorado or Eastern Washington. Turns out there was a job involving batteries and space in Colorado that was perfect for him, he applied, got an interview, we drove up for the interview and he got the job!

That is when reality struck. Reality hit fast when he had to start the job in three weeks.  We put the house on the market.  He had to go up to start the job and did the AirB&B thing for a couple months while trying to find a rental.  The number one priority was for us to keep the cats and chickens.  Eventually we will probably buy a house but the prices are crazy-high here (maybe it is the legal weed?)  Prices are even higher than Seattle area houses I think and definitely much more than in NM. We didn't think we would find somewhere that would let us have the chickens so I arranged to "board" them at the Lyons Farmette which is close enough to Longmont where we would probably end up renting.  On Jeff's way to meet the owners and introduce himself he saw a FOR RENT sign which ended up being the place we rented! We could have all three cats AND the chickens!

So here we are in Lyons, Colorado...on the route to Rocky Mountain National Park in the Front Range of the Rockies. The town reminds me a lot of Duvall, Washington in its size and arrangement but it has a lot more progressive stuff going on.  It is noisy - mainly cars and the river noise (anything would be after Placitas NM) but the trade off is we can walk everywhere, are close to lots of parks, are renting on a kayakable river (getting out at our house will be great), are close to organic locally sourced food and restaurants that serve it and have a surprising amount of wonderful food choices a lot of which are vegetarian and vegan. There will be a lot of folk and blues festivals in the summer which might be nice too.   Boulder Colorado is a half hour to 40 minutes away and EVERYTHING is there.  If we could afford it that would be THE place to be. More on that later after we head that way this weekend! For now here are some animal photos from "out the door" (in the house looking out the window). We had never seen a black squirrel is wonderful to have trees, green, water and mammals! We even have a couple "Squirt" rabbits.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Ojito Wilderness Area

I have been terrible about blogposts since I have discovered the ease of Facebook. Since moving to New Mexico we have been busy actually doing things and nothing is fucked up so things aren't as humorous to write about! So what have we been doing? Lots of things. The main things are hiking, exploring the state, raising chickens, doing lapidary work (grinding stones) and I have started learning to work in silver.

This post is about one of our little hikes. The Ojito Wilderness Area is one of the many many hiking/biking areas an hour or so away. It is out near San Ysidro in the Cabezon area. We have been out that way many times and even though areas are only mere miles from each other they can be hugely different landscapes. We had visited this area before but it was in the snow and we wanted to see it without snow. One of the features is the hoodoos which are only in a small area and no where else out this way. Very interesting. I have become enamored with New Mexico skies, churches, ruins and twisted trees. Here are some of the twisted trees we encountered.



Besides the trees themselves (which are ancient) I love shadows of things. With the bright light here I was thinking of a series of "anti" things - just the shadows...not the actual things themselves. A non-portfolio of sorts.

Beside the twisted trees there are hoodoos which are formations of dissimilar materials that erode differently and make it look like rocks are balancing on other rocks etc etc. Very cool stuff. Bisti Wilderness is a major hoodoo area we have not visited yet so we found these which are closer to home.



We finished up with the hoodoos and drove over to a dinosaur trail. A dinosaur skeleton was found and removed from the end of the trail a few years ago I believe. We didn't see any evidence of the dig but did find some petroglyphs. Petroglyphs are ALL over the state by the thousands. We encounter them everywhere!



Thursday, November 17, 2016

Caving again, Chiricahua Crystal Cave

Its been a while since our last blog post so here we go.

Scott Christenson, chairman of the Sandia Grotto graciously led a grotto trip to the Chiricahua Crystal Cave.  Thank you Scott!  Not only did he lead the trip but he picked up the key making he and Sam's drive 8 hours.

I'll keep it short.  It was fun and hard!  We were all very sore after 8 hours in the cave.  It was Type 2 fun.  The kind of fun that gets better when your done.  We hurt.  It was a sporty cave with many chances of falling to your death if you screwed up but they were easy rock climbs/stemming.  We went to the bottom, Scott opened the second gate, an amazing feat to get through with one bar remaining.  Only Katrina could have joined him if he did not remove the second bar.  We made it to the Pelican room in about 3 hours.

Katrina and I met Scott C, Sam, Michelle, and Scott O at in Rodeo, NM 6 hours from here. We got up at 7:30AM and leisurely got ready for the day.  We drove into the stunning mountains a 1/2 an hour away and parked.  A short hike up to the cave gate was scenic.  

No vertical gear needed but hand lines in a few places would be nice.  If your a decent rock climber this is no problem.  There was not much belly crawling but there was a lot of squeezing at funny angles.  Rout finding was tricky but Scott did an amazing job!

The cave was different because it was like being in a geode.  There were Quarts crystals all over the calcite walls.  Something we never saw in PR.

We could have gone back Saturday morning but we were so sore that no body did!  Instead we drove home taking a detour through Silver City and the Gila forest.

Below are a bunch of pictures.

Scotts signing one cave register.