Ski Trip to Aspen/Snowmass

Another wonderful ski trip, this time with the Chagrin Valley Ski Club and our friends from Ohio, to Aspen/Snowmass, Colorado. A destination with four mountains: Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk; and two incredible towns, Aspen and Snowmass. We flew from San Diego to Denver to meet up with the group flying from Cleveland but arrived too late to catch the bus so we took a small van with the five others who were late arrivals as well. It was a long drive to Snowmass from Denver, four hours with a stop for groceries and beer. We stayed at the Top of the Village Condos, a perfect ski-in/ski-out location, and shared a two bedroom condo with Karen Moyer and Bruce Kahn. Lucky us, because we flipped for the Master bedroom and won. The first two days at Snowmass, the weather was picture perfect, blue skies and lots of snow. Monday night we took the free shuttle into Aspen to see the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour playing at the old Wheeler Opera House, built in 1889. We had dinner with the group at the Red Onion Restaurant, Aspen’s oldest historic restaurant and bar established in 1892, dating back to the silver boom of the 19th century. Continue reading

The Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

The Sagrada Familia is the most visited monumental site in Spain, over 3 million visitors per year, and our bus tour of 34 people with a guide was a small impact on the number of people already there. The challenge of making a half-completed building the most visited monument in a country, could only be achieved by a great, unigue architect, one of those that emerge only very rarely, one like Antoni Gaudi. On March 19,1882, the first stone was laid by the architect, Francecs de Paula del Villar, who submitted his resignation shortly after over a disagreement with the director. In November 1883, Gaudi began work on the Sagrada Familia, combining Gothic and Art Nouveau forms, and continued until his death on June 10,1926 after an accident, when only a quarter of the basilica was completed. This year it has reached its final stage of construction, and 2026 as its estimated completion date,100 years after the death of Gaudi, (1852-1926). Continue reading

Ski Trip to Chamonix, France

Courmayeur Italy-8

Our first trip to Chamonix, France, we went with the Cleveland Metro Ski Club and our friends Karen Moyer and Bruce Kahn, plus 97 other skiers from Cleveland. Chamonix is the the site of the first winter Olympics in 1924. One of the oldest ski resorts in France and is known as the “gateway to the European Cascades”. We arrived in the morning after a long night flight and wandered around the quaint town of Chamonix until we could check into our room at the Hotel Prieure. There were 30 of us staying at this hotel and 70 staying at the Hotel Alpina. At night the narrow streets are lit up with bright snowflakes of all sizes, the shops and restaurants are open late, as the French begin their evening after 8pm. We had dinners in the hotel and also breakfast every day, (included in the package), and then hit the slopes right after breakfast. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Las Vegas and Hoover Dam

Decided to stop in for a week in Las Vegas, from October 20th to the 29th, staying at the Las Vegas Motorcoach Resort. It’s a beautiful RV park in the middle of the city, close to the strip. We spent an entire day walking up and down the main strip visiting all the different Casinos. No gambling for us but enjoyed seeing all the amazing architecture, and decor inside the buildings. I bought tickets to the Elton John Concert at Caesars Palace, so excited to see him live. We had dinner at the Gordon Ramsey Restaurant before going into the show, and what a fabulous show it was. He is quite the entertainer and we loved every minute of it, especially as we knew all the old songs. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Mt Timpanogos, Utah

Aspen Grove

Back in Utah at the Mountain Valley RV Resort in Heber City. We love to stop here on our way south as it is such a beautiful park with views of the mountains in Utah’s Wasatch Range from our site. This time we had a different agenda for stopping here as we wanted to climb Mt Timpanogos, it was listed on the top 20 hikes to make you feel like a Badass. Naturally we had to go for it!!! Mount Timpanogos also referred to as Timp, is the second highest mountain in the Wasatch Range, rising to an elevation of 11,752 ft. We left the RV Park around 8am passing the Deer Creek Reservoir with views of Mt Timpanogos in the distance. We drove to Aspen Grove to begin the 18 mile hike, out and back, to the summit. Continue reading

Mountain Home Idaho

We left McCall and headed south to Mountain Home, Idaho, staying at the Mountain Home RV Park on October 5th until the 12th. We wanted to explore some different areas around Mountain Home and we heard that the Anderson Ranch Reservoir was a good place to visit. From Mountain Home we drove 20 miles east on US 20 to Anderson Ranch Dam Road.The Anderson Ranch Reservoir is formed by the Anderson Ranch Dam and is a 7.4 square mile reservoir, and  is popular for fishing and water skiing. We had good views of the reservoir from the road on the way to the small towns of Pine and Featherville. We stopped at Cyndie’s Featherville Saloon for lunch, a little hole-in-the-wall with good food and beer. Across the road from the Saloon was a wood carver and we spent some time talking to the carver and enjoying his carvings. We stopped at the Paradise Hot Springs but decided not to spend the money to spend a few minutes in the hot springs. Then it was back to Mountain Home to our RV. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

McCall, Idaho

Today we arrived at the McCall RV Resort in McCall, Idaho. McCall is off the beaten track but a place that we wanted to visit and stay at this beautiful RV park, we were parked over looking a river and plenty of trees. McCall is a resort town situated on the southern shore of Payette Lake, near Payette National Forest. McCall was established by Tom McCall in 1889-91 as a logging town, the sawmill company operated until 1977. After settling into the Park, we went out to explore the town and drove around Ponderosa State Park, a 1,000 acre peninsula, home to some of the largest old-growth trees in the western US. Click on thumbnail to view images

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Mt Baker and North Cascades NP

Patty posing for Mt Shuksan

We are so close to Mt Baker that we can see it from Greater Vancouver on a clear day. We decided to finally drive there and do some hiking for the day. It was a beautiful sunny day, we left early and drove 30 miles east of Bellingham on the Mt Baker Hwy, Hwy 542, and followed the signs past the ski area and Picture Lake, Mt Baker at 10,781 ft, is the third-highest mountain in Washington State and the fifth-highest in the Cascade Range. We hiked the Artist Ridge Trail, 2 miles RT, to an overlook with spectacular mountain panoramas. We could see Mt Shuksan, 9,131 ft, an “Alp of the Northwest”  in the distance and meandering up the staircased trail we had beautiful mirrored reflections of Mt Shuksan in snow-melt ponds. Mt Baker peeked through the trees along the trail. We met a local couple, Dean and Dudley Evenson, he was playing the flute, while she was taking video of him (www.soundings.com) making CDs for relaxation music and videos. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Summer stay in BC

Getting ready to ride with “Team Ralph”

Summer in Vancouver, BC, 2016, was filled with family, old friends, sightseeing, celebrations and biking. Arriving on July 15, staying at Eagle Wind RV Park, until Sept 15. We spent some time with Bob’s brother Ted and his wife Marg along with Bob’s sister Linda. We re-acquainted with Bob’s old girlfriend from high school, Marg and Don Sheperd, We had a great dinner together at the Granville Island Hotel and went to the Comedy Club near by. Enjoyed a mini Prince of Wales High School Reunion, organized by Ralph White, and what an amazing group of friends to come in such short notice. We had several wonderful biking trips with Ralph White and friends throughout the lower Mainland, and across the border. Culminating in the Tour de Whatcom, a 60 km bike ride around Bellingham, WA. Enjoyed a few beers with my brother, John, Lisa and Toby before leaving Vancouver. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Mt Rainier NP

Our first time to Mt Rainier National Park, we are staying at the SunTides RV Park in Yakima for a week, July 8-15, in order to spend quality time in the Park. Mt Rainier (14,410 ft) stands as an icon in the Washington landscape, viewed from miles away. Our first day we drove to Paradise, the most popular area in the Park, to the Paradise Jackson Visitor Center, completed in 1966, it was so cold when we arrived at an elevation of 5,400 ft, and the mountain was in the clouds. We went to the Guide House where we obtained our permits for our 2-night backpacking trip. This is also where you get permits for climbing Mt Rainier, and there were some people getting theirs. From here you hike up to Camp Muir (10,188 ft) and the next day leaving very early you can summit Mt Rainier. That will be another trip for us! We had lunch in the historic Paradise Inn, opened in July 1917, and in 1920 a 104-room wing was added called the annex, to accommodate the increased demand for lodging. Over the years Paradise Inn remains in its grand old state, barely changed from the 1920’s. After spending most of the day at Paradise we drove to White River Campground where we spent the night before starting our backpacking trip. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading