Friday, June 19, 2009


Gateway Arch, St Louis
Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri

I often think I would like to put aside the many obligations of dogs, cats, rabbits, shop, spinning wheel and garden and just travel around this wonderful country. But then I realize just how attached I am to home and creatures and I come to my senses. But for a change a little travel is nice!

First Gimpse of the mountains
First glimpse of Rocky Mountains, east of Denver

So we took off on a road trip, with the excuse of the Estes Park Wool Market as a destination. Actually, we both just needed some time off. Thanks to Linda and Susan I was able to leave the shop, and dear Kym and Laveta and Diane all looked after the different animals. Good folks around here!

As usual, we got a late start on Monday, because Ron had to work later than he had hoped. By the time we got the car emptied out of his work stuff and the dogs to their different places to stay, then packed, it was after 4 before we headed out. We made it as far as Charleston, West Virginia, before deciding to stay the night. We headed out early the next morning, driving across Kentucky looking for horses and horse farms, then into new territory for me across Indiana and Illinois. I would love to dye yarns in some of the colors I saw...bright greens and rich earth tones that were almost moorit. We stopped in Lawrence, Kansas, for the night and treated outselves to a salad dinner. In Charleston I was able to get the laptop to work for a little while, then it went on strike across the rest of the country!

It was foggy across Kansas, so I didn't see much on the way out. I know several people through Twitter, Facebook, and so on through this part of the country, but without the laptop it was hard to get in touch. And there's just never enough time to do everything I want to do, is there? I even have an old school friend that lives in Kansas now.

Climbing into the mountains
Climbing the mountain toward Estes Park

We were getting a little tired after three days on the road and glad to see the Castle Mountain Lodge when we got into town. We had dinner at Nicky's, following the path by the lovely Falling River and surrounded by mountains.

Cathy and Me
Cathy and Me

One of the main things I was looking forward to on the trip was finally meeting in person Cathy of Catena Expressions. If you're not familar with Cathy and her wonderful original crochet designs and beautiful descriptions and photographs of her part of the world, get on over and have a look. I'll wait.

An unexpected bonus was meeting Mike, Cathy's husband, who is a talented photographer and woodworker. We met for lunch at the Grubstake in Estes Park, and I can certainly recommend the Henrietta sandwich! There wasn't an awkward moment in visiting with these people I had never met in person. They are so interested in so many different things and ideas that there was something to chat about every minute.

As you can see by the photo above, Cathy brought me flowers, beautiful peonies from her garden at home. We brought them all the way back to Virginia, and they're still beautiful on my kitchen table right now.

Handmade Mike Clark Original Spindle
Handmade Mike Clark Original Spindle

This picture didn't turn out well, but I was thrilled on Saturday when Mike presented me with this lovely spindle he made from a lovely piece of soft orange agate. I'm not a very good spindle spinner, but with this one I've been making beautiful fine singles from the California Red roving I bought at the Wool Market especially to spin with this spindle. It's beautifully balanced and spins like a dream!

More about the Wool Market and our visit to Estes Park in my next post. There are a lot of pictures in this photo set on Flickr.

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