A Crafter's Life, Outside Adventures!, tierneytravels

Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part IV

I am sitting in the Philadelphia airport and I figure this is a great time to complete this series of posts about the trip my visiting sister and I took in June 2021 from Denver to Glenwood Springs, Colorado via Amtrak train.

See these posts for Parts I – III if you are just joining us:

Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part I 

Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part II 

Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part III 

After an amazing weekend, it was time to take the train back to Denver.

At the Glenwood Springs Train Station

This time we decided to sit on the opposite side of the train (right instead of left) that we did going to Glenwood Springs to try and get different views. Now you could argue we sat on the same side of the train on the way back as we did the way there, as we were on the left side going there and the right side going back…but I think you know what I mean…

Oh and I forgot to mention in the post Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part II, we did have to wear a mask the entire time on the train.

So here are some of my favorite photos (we both took a ridiculous amount of photos out the train window) on the train ride back to Denver which include the sunset (we traveled to Glenwood Springs on a morning train; the return train is an afternoon train ride):

2021-06-15_09-23-52_6722021-06-15_09-25-15_8922021-06-15_09-26-22_5622021-06-15_09-26-24_796

2021-06-13_15-38-24_7692021-06-13_19-48-43_4192021-06-13_19-49-18_3892021-06-13_20-01-57_3962021-06-13_20-02-47_648

And of course the photos do not do justice to the actual beauty of the scenery but it was the best we could do looking out a UV protected film window on the train!

It was pretty late when we got into Denver as the train got delayed on the ride home. 

The next day we laid low, relaxed around the house and played with Mike the Miniature Schnauzer. I will close this post (and this series of posts on our adventure) with some darling photos we took of my sister and Mike.

2021-06-15_08-17-19_9912021-06-15_08-17-23_9902021-06-15_08-17-27_771

A Crafter's Life, Outside Adventures!, tierneytravels

Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part III

I am visiting my brother and his family on the Eastern Coast of the U.S. right now and spent yesterday in New York City, but that is subject material for a future blog post (it seems like instead of “tierneycreates”, lately I am “tierneytravels”). For now I will continue my series of posts about the adventure I had with my sister in June 2021 traveling to Glenwood Spring, Colorado via Amtrak train.

If you are just joining us, here are Parts I and II (there will be a total of 4 parts when this series is complete):

Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part I 

Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part II 

In Glenwood Springs

Arriving in Glenwood Springs via train, we first took in the beautiful scenery around the train station:

2021-06-13_13-55-46_6482021-06-12_09-48-31_0022021-06-12_09-56-36_3802021-06-12_09-53-35_5032021-06-12_09-50-03_627

After checking into the Bed and Breakfast we were staying at, The Floradora House, we headed out to explore the downtown area and visit the brewery that I enjoyed on my first visit to Glenwood Springs – Casey’s Brewing.

Here we are hanging out at Casey’s Brewing:

Yes, look it is another selfie where I am not looking at the camera – ha!

Downtown Glenwood Springs is lovely and we had fun wandering about the shops and restaurants.

Glenwood Springs has two historic hotels: The Hotel Denver and The Hotel Colorado. They are on opposite sides of the bridge connecting one section of Glenwood Springs to the other.

Bridge over review connecting sections of Glenwood Springs
The Hotel Denver
The Hotel Colorado

Our Bed & Breakfast accommodations were within walking distance of downtown and here is the wonderful room we shared:

Even better than the beautiful room was the fun we had at the included breakfast each morning, visiting with other guests visiting from around the U.S. and Canada. Here is the wonderful main floor guest dining area and a sampling of the breakfasts.

We had two mornings of incredible conversations as we chatted with different guests each morning. We even met someone who had grown up in New York like we did.

Our second day in town we headed to the Glenwood Springs Hot Springs (what they are famous for – natural mineral hot springs), which in my post Weekend in Glenwood Springs (my first visit to Glenwood Springs with my partner John), I referred to as “taking a bath with a hundred or so other people”.

We spent the morning there and then returned in the evening (you buy a day pass). Here is my sister enjoying some “community bathing”!

It is pretty warm in the hot springs mineral pools and you can only stay in 5 – 15 minutes before you have to get out or just sit on the side of the pool and take a break, otherwise (as I discovered) you get pretty dizzy!

Our third day in town we went on a little adventure and walked a couple miles to the closest thrift shop (my sister loves “thrifting” like I do, actually she was the one who got me into it):

On our trek to the thrift shop we saw some people paragliding off one of the many hills in Glenwood Springs:

After thrifting we stopped at a delicious donut shop, Sweet Coloradough for a treat and relaxed on their patio with our sugary delights:

We had several yummy meals while in town. Here I am at one of the delicious restaurants after a relaxing session at the hot springs:

We wished we had one more day planned in Glenwood Springs, but before we knew it, it was time to head home.

The final post in this series will be photos from our train ride home, which had different views than the trip to Glenwood Springs (time of day was different and we sat on the opposite site on the way home).

A Crafter's Life, Outside Adventures!, tierneytravels

Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part II

Okay continuing the story I started on July 17, 2021 about my sister’s visit and our train ride to Glenwood Springs, Colorado in June 2021 – Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part I.

Waiting for the Train

Our trip started early in the morning at Denver’s Union Station. Union Station is the prettiest train station I’ve ever been in (including several I’ve been at in Europe):

Image credit: Wikipedia
Image credit: LA Times

Here are several of my images as we waited for the train in lovely surroundings:

And if you’d like to see some images I took in the “Silvertone” setting on my camera:

Our train was arriving in the station around 8:00 am but we got there an hour early and had coffee/tea and pastries while lounging on one of the comfortable sofas in the station.

The station is so beautiful you’d want to just grab your laptop and go work on a blog post with a cup of tea or coffee, even if you were not catching a train!

Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, Colorado

6 hours sounds like a long time to be on a train, but not if you get to spend the time having delicious snacks, catching up with your sister, and seeing amazing scenery as we traveled this route:

See the 5 hour 41 minute route

Driving to Glenwood Springs is a 4 hour trip but I think the additional 2+ hours (the train ride was over 6+ hours due to having to slow down while going over the Continental Divide) is worth it because you are not driving I-70 at steep inclines as you climb up the mountains (not only steep inclines and sharp curves but also some crazy drivers who all seem to be in a hurry to get somewhere…).

From the article Prepare to be Blown Away on the Best Train Ride in Colorado:

After departing Denver’s Union Station westbound, the train begins the section of railway that made the Zephyr famous—a 300-mile journey over the Colorado Rocky Mountains, along the Colorado River and through Glenwood Canyon. Because roadways take a different route, much of the landscape through which the train travels is viewable only to rail passengers.

As the train leaves the Eastern Slope behind, it travels through 31 tunnels before entering the 6.2-mile Moffat Tunnel and crosses the Continental Divide. Passengers are plunged into darkness for nearly 10 minutes before emerging back into daylight at the west portal, near Winter Park Ski Area.

The route continues on the Western Slope of Colorado through remote Fraser Canyon, Granby—the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park and rugged Gore Canyon. The final 12.5 miles through Glenwood Canyon are among the most spectacular, with unimpeded views of the headwaters of the mighty Colorado River, the historic Shoshone Hydroelectric Plant, the Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path, and of course, the soaring 1,300-foot cliffs.

The seats in coach were very comfortable and were modified recliners with leg lifts so you could put your feet up. Here we are enjoying one of the many snacks we packed for the train ride in our cooler:

Relaxing train ride, visiting with sister, snacks and a magazine = happiness

Now comes the difficult part of writing this post: deciding which of the zillion photos we took during the train ride to Glenwood Springs to share with you, without blowing out my blog’s media allotment (and I have an upgraded WordPress plan!). Every time we thought we’d seen the most amazing sight out of our train window another amazing sight appeared! And as you can guess, the pictures do not do justice to what it was like to actually be looking out the window.

So I will use the rest of this post to share those images I selected. For the most part the images are in the order that we saw them on the train ride. You will see at times we are traveling along the Colorado River. Oh and one of the photos is of the observation car which has large windows/glass dome – passengers can take turns sitting in the car to get a more 360 degree view.

2021-06-11_11-06-49_1352021-06-11_11-07-05_7972021-06-11_11-18-40_8512021-06-11_12-47-44_7022021-06-11_14-42-59_1502021-06-11_14-45-31_8392021-06-11_15-28-47_2182021-06-11_15-35-29_3752021-06-11_15-45-04_8542021-06-11_15-48-08_4772021-06-11_16-26-40_3882021-06-12_06-56-42_1422021-06-12_06-56-42_3512021-06-12_06-56-42_431

And here are a couple short video clips I uploaded to YouTube to provide more visuals (the first one was a “jaw-dropping” experience):

Part III of this series of posts will talk about our time in Glenwood Spring, CO.

A Crafter's Life, Outside Adventures!, tierneytravels

Train Ride to Glenwood Springs, CO and More – Part I

In early May 2021 I went on a road trip to see Glenwood Springs, CO for the first time (see post Weekend in Glenwood Springs). I love it so much that I decided it was the perfect trip to take my sister on when she visited in mid June. But this time instead of driving there, we took the Amtrak train!

Before the Train Ride

Before heading out on our 6 hour train ride from downtown Denver’s Amtrak station (Union Station) to Glenwood Springs, the day before our train trip I took my sister to the South Pearl District/South Pearl Street of Denver to wander about and then go thrift shopping. 

2021-06-10_14-36-39_3322021-06-10_14-37-00_108

2021-06-10_14-54-27_012

Above is another terrible attempt at a selfie (I am the “World’s Worst Selfie Taker”) and I am not sure why I am staring off in the wrong direction, ha!

We wandered to various little shops boutiques and had lunch at a very delicious restaurant (where I took our selfie).

After the South Pearl Street wander about and lunch, we went to the huge Goodwill downtown (my sister loves thrift/charity shops also) and we had a wonderful browse there as well as several other thrift shops we stopped at on the way back to my house.

My sister toted about the new Wonder Woman tote bag I had made her (which I first shared in the post Okay so here is a tote bag (or two)…), during our shopping adventure:

In the next post I will continue with further stories of our adventures during our trip, starting with the train ride to Glenwood Springs, which was breathtaking in its scenery!

Trying to catch up on blog posts, I’ve realized that it might be easier for busy readers if my posts are a little shorter; and it is less work for me to get a post out there 🙂

Outside Adventures!, tierneytravels

Weekend in Glenwood Springs

I’ve lived in Colorado for a little over 2 years now (moved here in April 2019) and the geologic beauty of this state never ceases to amaze.

A couple of weeks ago, between installments of out of town visitors (3 sets so far and more coming!), we visited Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

image credit: Visit Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs is famous for its natural mineral hot springs and this was the primary reason we visited – so I could experience a mineral hot springs for the first time, as well as see the beauty of this region.

The drive was gorgeous, especially when we got to Glenwood Canyon which is before you get to Glenwood Springs. We stopped at a park/rest stop in Glenwood Canyon along the river and wow:

I did not want to leave the park/rest stop area, just wanted to pitch a tent by the water and relax!

Here is a little video I took that I uploaded to YouTube (unfortunately I did not think to film it landscape):

Once we got into Glenwood Springs, we checked into the Hotel Colorado which is one of Colorado’s historic hotels (there is another historic hotel nearby, The Hotel Denver, and these are the famous hotels in Glenwood Springs).

I appreciated that there was a framed quilt inside the hotel!

There was a bridge from the Hotel Colorado side of the town to the shopping/downtown area, which provided a nice view of the area:

Do you see the train tracks in the image above? Well keeps those in mind for what I will mention at the end of this post.

Once we got into downtown, we wandered about – there are lots of shops, eateries and pubs. We stopped at a wonderful brewery tasting room and had pierogis for lunch from the food truck across the street.

After lunch we browed a used bookstore which also had a quilt:

We also visited the famous Glenwood Springs Hot Springs at the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, and it was an interesting experience.

The hot springs mineral water felt great but it was like taking a bath with a hundred or so other people! We all had our bathing suits on but it still felt a little strange with all those people surrounding us while we soaked in the hot springs!

It was a very fun weekend and I appreciate all the post vaccine travel we are able to do now.

Okay, so I asked you to remember the image earlier in this post with the train tracks. Well in the near future I will be riding on those train tracks! My sister is coming to visit and I am taking her to Glenwood Springs for the weekend via the Amtrak train from Denver to Glenwood Springs.

I am hoping it is as scenic as it looked when we drove to Glenwood Springs and saw the train tracks along the way.

image credit Trainweb.org

I haven’t traveled by Amtrak train in many years and I am pretty excited about the 5+ hour train ride from Union Station in downtown Denver to Glenwood Springs. My sister and plan to bring a picnic to eat on the train, relax, read and of course catch up.

I did find this article online titled: Prepare to be Blown Away on the Best Train Ride in Colorado! That’s a good sign!

A Crafter's Life, Life in B&W, Outside Adventures!, tierneytravels

Garden of the Gods in Black and White

This is sort of part 2 of the May 6th post Out of town guests? Put them to work!. We didn’t just make our friends visiting from Oregon work on home remodeling projects, we did actually take them sightseeing.

The weather was cold and a bit snowy during their visit but they really wanted to see the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado. According to Wikipedia, The Garden of the Gods is comprised of “red rock formations were created during a geological upheaval along a natural fault line millions of years ago”.

This was my second time there and very different from my first visit in August 2019 when we took my visiting sister and nephew there (see post And on the 8th Day…Part I). It was much sunnier and much warmer in August.

In honor of the difference between the warm August and cold/snowy early April visit, I took photos in Black & White instead of color.

Here is a photo journal of the day – enjoy (or cringe at my attempt to be a B&W photographer, ha!):

And yes, Mike the Miniature Schnauzer joined us in the backpack.

Outside Adventures!, What's on the Design Wall

The Mountains on the Wall

I spend a lot of time in my home office. I work four 10 hour days Monday to Thursday each week. I try to keep the walls of my home office visually appealing since occasionally during boring conference calls I might need to stare at them (smile).

Have you ever played “Conference Call Bingo”? My friend Cody turned me on to it.

I love mountains, that is one of the reasons I chose the part of Colorado (the Front Range Urban Corridor of the Rocky Mountains) I moved to in 2019 (see series of posts Colorado Bound) – it has lots of visible mountains!

image credit: KGA Studio Architects

I’ve enjoyed some amazing hikes in Colorado (see series of posts Outside Adventures! – the posts on my mountain hikes) and being near any sort of geologic rock formation is one of my favorite things in the world.

I love Mountains. One of my favorite memories while living in the Seattle area was a visit on my birthday to Mount Rainer/Mount Rainer National Park (which I beloved nicknamed “baby mountain” because it was my most dearly beloved mountain of the Cascade Mountain range).

image credit: Mt. Rainer Guest Services

So last year while visiting my Washington state based quilting friends Judy and Dana, I picked up a mountain scene themed panel to make a future wall hanging.

Finally, over a year later, I finished this wall hanging. See photos below.

The panel is by one of my favorite fabric lines – Stonehenge by Northcott Fabrics. In a perfect (and frivolous) world I would own the entire fabric line!

I made a simple quilted wallhanging by adding in a thin and then larger border with some coordinating fabrics from the Stonehenge line, and used the outside border fabric to bind it.

Then I hung it on my home office wall (which is also the upstairs guest room):

Someday I need to make a queen-sized bed quilt for the upstairs guest room bed!

In case you’ve been following my blog for a while and you have a very detailed memory (filled with lots of random things you remember), you will notice my home office wall color has changed. It used to be green, as shown in this post from April 2020 – Home Office Tips and Tour.

We decided to paint it the same color as the rest of the house instead of the random green color it had on its walls. It was one of those projects we did during my guest blogger’s (Mike the Miniature Schnauzer) discussion of endless pandemic home remodeling projects in his post Guest Blog Post: A Whole Lot of Remodeling Going On.

In addition to the mountain quilt wallhanging, I also have B&W photos from hikes around Colorado as well as some other B&W photos I love.

The B&W photograph on the right in the second image is by Kirk Fry Photography (a local Colorado artist) and gifted to me by my friend Michele.

And here is the desk where I endure conference calls from all day – ha!

It helped to have quilts to look at when the conference calls get mind numbing…

I also now have a built in shelved closet in my home office but I will talk more about that in a future post about another remodel of my studio (if you are on Instagram, there are some images on my IG page @tierneycreates).

Outside Adventures!

Good Morning

It’s late on my side of the pond but I was in the mood for a quick blog post.

I thought I would send you all a “Good Morning” with a couple photos, whether it is morning on your side of the pond now or it might be morning by the time you read this post.

The other day my partner John, on his early morning bike ride, took these lovely photos as he stopped to watch the sunrise on the reservoir near our home.

IMG_20200727_055600IMG_20200727_054104IMG_20200728_060524 I so enjoy seeing beautiful nature/landscape photos on the blogs I follow and I wanted to share a couple with you!

Have a wonderful day 🙂

I hope you realize that every day is a fresh start for you. That every sunrise is a new chapter in your life waiting to be written. – Juansen Dizon

A Crafter's Life, Outside Adventures!, tierneytravels

Rocky Mountain National Park

Well while we are waiting for Wendy’s next installment in her guest blog series (see previous post Quarantine Quilt Project: Life in the Time of Coronavirus, Part I (Guest Blog Post)), I guess I could start to catch you up on my adventures.

First Visit to Rocky Mountain National Park

A couple of weeks ago my partner John took me to Rocky Mountain National Park for the first time. We had to make a reservation to visit the national park (new thing in the time of the pandemic). In April 2020 I did a series of posts on the beauty of Colorado seen in several hiking adventures (And on the 8th Day…Part I, And on the 8th Day…Part II, and And on the 8th Day…Part III) and our trip to Rocky Mountain National Park could easily fit into that series of posts. I moved to Colorado in April 2019 and the mountainous beauty continues to blow me away!

We did a mixture of hiking and driving through the national park, We got up to 12,000+ feet above sea level (3657.6+ MSL). Good thing I already live at 6000 feet above sea level (1828.8 MSL) and I was able to acclimate to the altitude.

On our way to 12,000+ feet, we stopped along the way:

2020-07-02_15-21-27_630Near the top of the drive from the car’s altimeter:

2020-07-02_16-28-51_595I did get a little lightheaded when we were hiking near other people at 12,000 feet and I was wearing a cloth mask I made. We let the crowds get ahead of us so we could take a break from our masks and just use social distancing (we stayed at least 50 feet behind another hiking group).

Here are a smattering of photos from our drive through the national park and our various hikes. The photos do not begin to capture the beauty of the park as you can imagine.

2020-07-02_13-48-32_8782020-07-02_14-05-31_9232020-07-02_14-26-51_4552020-07-02_14-52-06_1112020-07-02_15-46-47_4682020-07-02_15-54-27_1962020-07-02_15-57-54_0802020-07-02_17-31-26_694IMG_20200702_150830IMG_20200702_1528052020-07-02_14-06-26_618And of course while taking my standard zillion photographs, once again I attempted to channel my inner Ansel Adams and took black & white photos. Here are a couple of my favorites:

2020-07-02_15-03-50_248IMG_20200702_133821~2

The Elk “Sherpa”

We had a curious experience while at Rocky Mountain National Park. While hiking in the higher elevations of the park, we came across a young elk. The elk ended up going on the hike with us, grazing along the way. We joked that the elk was our “Sherpa” leading us up the mountain.

2020-07-02_16-39-51_2622020-07-02_16-50-56_8292020-07-02_16-53-44_842It must have hiked with us for about a mile to a rock formation at the end of the trail. When we stopped, it stopped and waited for us.

After we explored the rock formation and turned around to walk back toward our car, the elk joined us for most of the walk back. Then suddenly it turned to look at us, as if saying goodbye, and walked off to join its herd in the distance.

2020-07-02_17-02-53_866The whole experience with the young elk felt sort of magical and mystical to us. Not to get all “woo-woo” on you but my partner and I both lost our life partners of many years (I am a widow, he is a widower) about 3 months apart. It sort of felt like the spirit of a love one was visiting upon the elk to walk with us.

I did a little googling on elk sightings as a message:

The elk represents dignity, power, inner strength, and passion. If you experience an elk sighting, it’s a message to stay steady on your current course. (californiapsychics.com)

I know super “woo-woo” but it just felt like a special moment when the elk went walking with us…

Fun at Lower Altitudes

In addition to visiting Rocky Mountain National Park, we also visited Fort Collins, Colorado and Estes Park, Colorado which is at the foot of Rocky Mountain National Park.

We love craft beer and stopped at several breweries:

2020-07-01_17-56-45_220IMG_20200701_1816222020-07-02_12-18-54_048If you’ve ever seen the movie The Shining which was filmed at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, you will get the humor in the ale by Estes Park Brewery shown above!

Estes Park has a wonderful downtown shopping (tourist trap, ha!) area with endless delightful shops filled with things you do not need. While wandering about we stopped in a very naughty confectionary that specialized in gourmet caramel apples.

2020-07-02_11-29-16_4842020-07-02_11-29-28_8312020-07-02_11-30-25_193I am proud to say we left with only one caramel apple in hand (and it was incredibly delicious and we wished we’d bought two!)

Here is a hysterical (and scary t-shirt) we saw in a shop window (bears a prevalent at Rocky Mountain National Park):

IMG_20200702_115830In case the image above is too unclear – first the child is attempting to feed the bear and then the child is inside the bear!

And while wandering about Fort Collins and Estes Park, I took more black & white photos:

2020-07-01_19-29-31_6612020-07-01_19-30-20_581Thanks for making it through all these photos!


Postscript

But wait…more photos! I am sure there are way too many photos in this post but I am going to add a couple more.

In late March, early in the pandemic, when we were just beginning to go stir crazy, we attempted to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. We had a stay at home order in place but you were allowed to go on outside hikes. Not sure what we were thinking but we headed to Rocky Mountain National Park without first checking if it was even open.

We discovered it was closed to the public but we ended up visiting the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, where the first The Shining movie was filmed. They were allowing people to walk around the outside of the hotel and to come into the lobby as long as they maintained social distancing. Here are a couple photos from our visit to this amazing historic hotel (which include an autographed photo of younger Stephen King, author of The Shining).

2020-03-22_11-54-56_8632020-03-22_12-14-04_2882020-03-22_12-10-48_119MVIMG_20200322_1211542020-03-22_12-12-10_489IMG_20200322_120015Oh and in case you are wondering (and you remember the movie), no they do not have a labyrinth like the famous one in the film.

Sneaking in one more B&W photo to close out this post!

2020-03-22_11-56-31_869

Life in B&W, Outside Adventures!, tierneytravels

And on the 8th Day…Part III

This is my third and I think final installment of my series of posts celebrating my one year anniversary of living in Colorado by sharing some of its natural geologic beauty.

If you are just joining us, here are the previous two posts in this series:

And on the 8th Day…Part I

And on the 8th Day…Part II

Today’s post is about a recent hike (two weekends ago) at Castlewood Canyon State Park.

And let me kick off this post with a photo I took early in the hike that I think is quite lovely (I forgot which smartphone camera settings I used, perhaps “Sepia”):

2020-04-10_11-42-11_276 (1)Although we did not hike into this specific area (the site of the remains of Castlewood Canyon Dam), Wikipedia has some interesting history on Castlewood Canyon State Park:

The park retains a unique part of Colorado’s history, the remains of Castlewood Canyon Dam. Visitors can still see the remnants and damage from that dam which burst in 1933. The event sent a 15-foot (5 m) wave of water all the way to downtown Denver resulting in a flood.

My partner John and I brought Mike the miniature schnauzer with us, and once again, as in photos in other posts in this series of posts, Mike got to hike in the backpack:

2020-04-10_12-03-07_2942020-04-10_12-30-58_602IMG_20200410_132042Yes, Mike is one spoiled miniature schnauzer!

With social distancing in place, hiking was a bit tricky when we got to narrow areas as if there was another set of people walking by we had to get at least six (6) feet away from them. This got a wee bit cumbersome during the hike at times, especially if there was a large family group hiking.

During this time of social distancing, I always wonder if dogs think that humans just do not like each other any longer, as they are always avoiding one another as much as possible!

You cannot sit at any of the park benches or picnic areas (they are closed off during the COVID-times) but we did have a nice picnic on a large rock next to a stream during our hike.

2020-04-10_12-15-53_5262020-04-10_12-15-57_8972020-04-10_12-30-16_017As you can see in the first photo, Mike looked on as lunch was prepared and eaten, wondering why he was not invited to the feast (we did bring dog treats and water for him of course)!

I will close out this post with some of my favorite photos from the several hour afternoon hike at Castlewood Canyon State Park in both color and black & white. Thanks for virtually sharing this hike with me!

2020-04-10_12-05-50_3482020-04-10_12-10-09_3312020-04-10_12-30-44_7902020-04-10_12-52-10_8742020-04-10_12-39-39_9742020-04-10_13-03-37_898IMG_20200410_131303IMG_20200410_130816

Life in B&W, Outside Adventures!, tierneytravels

And on the 8th Day…Part II

I am continuing my series of posts to celebrate my one year anniversary of living in Colorado by sharing some of the natural geologic beauty I’ve witnessed over the past year as I explore Colorado. Here is the link to the first post in this series if you missed it – And on the 8th Day…Part I. This post also explains the title of this series of posts.

I meant to continue this series yesterday, on April 19th the actual anniversary, but I got distracted by the endless trimming of half square triangles (No Scrap Left Behind (half square triangle craziness)), so I have a good excuse. No worries (in case you’ve been losing sleep wondering how I am progressing on my latest scrappy quilt) I will update you on this piece in a future post, but for now here is a photo of my growing piles of trimmed half square triangles:

2020-04-17_08-39-13_878


Eldorado Canyon State Park

Eldorado Canyon State Park is one of those hidden gems in Colorado that no one talks about except the native/locals. Luckily my partner John is a Colorado native and knows all the great places to hike. We spent the day there with Mike our miniature schnauzer in September 2019.

2019-09-14_10-15-30_843Here is the description of this spectacular park from the Colorado State Park’s website:

Eldorado Canyon is a hidden treasure right in Boulder’s backyard!  Whether it’s hiking amidst the towering sandstone cliffs, picnicking along scenic South Boulder Creek or climbing Eldo’s sheer golden walls, Eldorado Canyon State Park truly has something for everyone!  Discover this hidden jewel and take home memories that will last a lifetime.

Well, like the description above says, I did “take home memories that will last a lifetime” and I took WAY TOO MANY photos!

In preparing for this post, I poured over hundreds of photos from my visit to decide which ones to share. I am only going to share my absolute favorites (smile).

In the Rapids

One of my favorite memories of the day is climbing out to the rocks in the middle of river (or creek?) that runs through the park and being in the middle of the rapids (well it was not that turbulent) and having a little picnic.

00000IMG_00000_BURST20190914105921438_COVER00000IMG_00000_BURST20190914105223598_COVER2019-09-14_10-44-33_94700100lPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20190914104452147_COVERMy partner John, who took the photos, had to precariously hand me Mike once I got myself safely positions on the rocks in the middle of the water.

My favorite photo from this moment is selfie I took of Mike and I where it looks like Mike is saying: “My human is kind of crazy for bringing me out to this rock in the middle of rapidly moving water!”

2019-09-14_10-45-39_460

Wandering About the Canyon

I only had to select from 20+ photos to provide those photos above. I won’t tell you the obscene amount of photos I had to select from for these next set of photos. Everything was so beautiful and awe-inspiring as we hiked about the canyon.

Here are some of my favorite photos (because I do not want to blow out my blog page image storage allowance, ha!).

2019-09-14_10-29-20_4172019-09-14_11-15-25_296IMG_20190914_110723MVIMG_20190914_113405MVIMG_20190914_114416IMG_20190914_113116All I can say is that these images do not do the beauty of this place justice.

The sky was clear blue and although it was a Saturday in September there we not very many fellow hikers there. At times it felt like we had the whole amazing place to ourselves!

Traveling in Style

As some of the hike involved a bit of easy rock climbing to get around, we decided we would carry Mike in his backpack most of the hike for safety. Here he is traveling in style (we took turns carrying him vs. our day hike pack) and John carried him most of the time.

2019-09-14_12-21-46_198

The Black and Whites

Of course I took B&W photos during the hike? Would you expect any less of me?!?! (If you are new to this blog you can check out my series of posts – Life in B&W).

Here are some of my favorites as I channeled my inner Ansel Adams

2019-09-14_10-29-51_3122019-09-14_10-35-58_0672019-09-14_11-08-35_1902019-09-14_11-10-53_2052019-09-14_11-31-28_175And to close out this post, here is me, feeling quite happy and blessed to be a on a beautiful hike, on a beautiful day, in the beautiful state of Colorado!

2019-09-14_11-50-44_811

Outside Adventures!

And on the 8th Day…Part I

As I mentioned in my previous post Solo Show Seattle Municipal Tower (re-post), April 19th (Sunday) is the one year anniversary of my move to the Denver, Colorado area.

To celebrate this anniversary, over the next several posts, I want to share with you some of the natural geologic beauty I’ve witness over the past year as I explore Colorado.

The title of this post “And on the 8th day” is a reference to the Judeo-Christian Creation Story in the Bible in which God worked 7 days to put heaven and earth together (actually 6 days as on the 7th day God rested per the story); and the saying I’ve heard from other Colorado residents in regards to the natural wondrous beauty of Colorado:

“And on the 8th day, God made Colorado” 

The first example of the natural geologic beauty of Colorado that I will share, is aptly named Garden of the GodsDuring a family visit in August 2019, we took our visitors for the day to Garden of the Gods State Park.

The photos I am about to share do not do the awe inspiring beauty of this place justice, but hopefully they will give you a little sample of why people in Colorado joke that this state had a day of Creation devoted to it!

2019-08-24_14-36-44_5932019-08-24_14-38-15_5002019-08-24_14-51-03_8552019-08-24_15-01-12_7152019-08-24_15-02-12_6062019-08-24_15-04-01_2082019-08-24_15-21-59_4502019-08-24_15-27-20_121IMG_20190824_1444462019-08-24_15-40-55_6772019-08-24_15-41-40_291

If you’ve ever visited Arches National Park in Utah, it’s a similar concept – amazing rock formations! It is not as elaborate as Arches but it is pretty spectacular in person (as I mentioned, photos do not do it justice…well at least not amateur photos!).

The sky was overcast on the day we visited and I look forward to visiting there again this year on a sunny day. We were a bit hurried during our visit because we will trying to fit in a lot of sightseeing for our visitors. Next time I visit, I want to bring a picnic and spend more time exploring and just sitting and admiring the breathtaking beauty of the place.

Outside Adventures!

Paved Trail Inspirations

How are you all doing? I am thinking about you all and sending you all good and peaceful thoughts.

I’ve been going on a lot of walks in the green space behind my house (as there is not much to do outside but walk around, while keeping social distance). There are miles and miles of paved trails and I’ve enjoying seeing many families, couples and individuals out walking.

In a recent post Perspective I shared inspirational sidewalk/paved trail chalk art I came upon during a walk last week:

2020-03-30_12-07-30_476Well, 2 days ago, I discovered on my walk a whole path of inspirational messages in sidewalk chalk that I want to share with you.

I have captioned each message in case they are difficult to read.

2020-04-05_10-32-00_615
Don’t freak out

2020-04-05_10-32-28_404
Get outside

2020-04-05_10-33-11_635
You got this

2020-04-05_10-33-40_728
Don’t worry

2020-04-05_10-34-11_022
Have fun!

2020-04-05_10-34-47_989
You are my sunshine

2020-04-05_10-35-14_780
Be creative

2020-04-05_10-36-20_106
Don’t give up

2020-04-05_11-12-08_066
Don’t be sad be happy

2020-04-05_11-12-44_484
Have fun with the little things

I also came across in a drainage area with even more inspirational messages and kid art that made me smile.

2020-04-05_10-37-59_912

I suspect a family with their kids did this project together. I’d like to imagine there was a family cheering themselves up by trying to cheer up others by spreading a message of positivity and hope.

To all my blogging friends who  might be worrying and struggling:

2020-04-05_10-33-11_635


Postscript

A lot of people are out walking about, which is a good thing. However some days it feels like my favorite walking trails are getting a wee bit too crowded (even with people respecting social distancing).

I was quite pleased yesterday when I ventured in a new direction and discovered a lesser known/used path. I had an exquisitely peaceful walk on my own with no one else in sight for 30 minutes. All I could hear was birds chirping.

2020-04-06_17-31-02_7552020-04-05_11-03-24_491

 

 

A Crafter's Life, Life in B&W, Outside Adventures!, tierneytravels

California Quilting Sisters Adventures, Part II

This post is a continuation of my previous post California Quilting Sisters Adventures, Part I.

Northern California is a beautiful part of the U.S. While visiting my Quilting Sisters Kathy and Lisa in the Sacramento area in April 2019 I got to appreciate some of the beauty of Northern CA.

I stayed with my friend Kathy, her husband Matt and her awesome new Chocolate Labrador puppy, Riley. They have incredible wooded areas on their property and just hanging out at their home I got a taste of the beauty of Northern CA.

One morning, I watched three wild male turkeys trying to court a female turkey right off their back patio:

2019-04-04_19-16-17_9542019-04-04_19-17-27_3022019-04-04_19-18-18_696I put an arrow where the female turkey was and she did not seem very interested in any of them (she kept wandering away) while they took turns (or simultaneously) displaying their plumages!

Kathy took me on a day trip to South Yuma River State Park and it was amazing! I will let the rest of this post serve as a photo essay as I show you some of the images from our visit to this stunning state park.

2019-04-04_14-42-02_0312019-04-04_14-34-10_7662019-04-04_14-30-50_7392019-04-04_14-41-57_8272019-04-04_15-16-26_904 (2019-04-05T06_59_02.814)2019-04-04_14-42-05_1002019-04-04_14-51-52_6912019-04-04_14-53-36_9222019-04-04_14-58-40_825Next post (which is the final one in this series of posts) I will share photos and stories from our Quilt Shop Hopping in Northern California!


Postscript

I am also sneaking into this post a continuation on my series of posts Life in B&W, in which I pretend I am a photographer showing you the stark beauty of Black and White photography.

Here are a couple of the images I took during the day trip in B&W for your enjoyment (or you can roll your eyes, ha!).

2019-04-04_14-42-20_2142019-04-04_14-53-43_4282019-04-04_15-03-11_1232019-04-04_15-07-15_021Oh yes there we a lot more, but I figure four images is enough to expose you to 🙂

Outside Adventures!, Quilt Retreats, tierneytravels

A Jaunt About Poulsbo, WA

This is a follow up to my previous post Mini Quilt Retreat, January 2020, on the the mini quilt retreat (just 4 quilters) I attended several weeks ago in Poulsbo, Washington.

As promised, here are some stories and photos from my adventures outside of the quilt retreat, in Poulsbo.

Ferry to Poulsbo

Wikipedia has a nice little write up about Poulsbo, Washington (Washington State in the Pacific Northwestern coast of the U.S. for my international blogging friends, not Washington D.C. which is on the Eastern coast of the the U.S.): Poulsbo, Washington.

As explained in the link above, Poulsbo is located in northern Kitsap County at at the north end of Liberty Bay, a sheltered arm of Puget Sound (an inlet of the Pacific Ocean) and one of the common ways to get there is by ferry.

Washington State has an extensive ferry system. I lived in Seattle, Washington for 8 years (1997 – 2005) and rode many ferries to the peninsulas and islands that are part of the Pacific Northwest.

It really is an exceptionally beautiful part of the U.S. with the Olympic Mountains in the background, except it rains all the time and can be very gray in the Winter (for example one winter a friend reported they went 60+ days without sunshine, this friend eventually moved to Denver, Colorado to get more sun in her life; I moved to Bend, Oregon in 2005 to get sun in my life).  

Living in Denver, Colorado, I am now “land locked” and I do miss the Pacific ocean. So it was very exciting to take a ferry ride to Poulsbo on my way to the retreat. Although it was chilly, I spent most of the ferry ride on the upstairs outer deck at the bow (or maybe it was the stern as the ferry just moves back and forth on its route) watching the water and the approaching land.

2020-01-09_10-21-32_3572020-01-09_10-21-51_3312020-01-09_10-24-04_3302020-01-09_10-21-16_043I spent a brief time inside the ferry passenger cabin, which is HUGE! There are plenty of commuters that take the ferry every day. It was outside commuting hours, so the inside the ferry was fairly empty (or most people were sitting in their cars, as it is also a car ferry).

2020-01-09_10-31-41_438

Inside the ferry they had wonderful topographical maps of the area and the ferry routes:

2020-01-09_10-28-34_6832020-01-09_10-28-55_227

Port Gamble

After a day of sewing at the mini quilt retreat, it was time to go out and explore the area so we spent an afternoon in Port Gamble, Washington on the northwestern shore of the Kitsap Peninsula.

2020-01-10_13-12-15_465

We had lunch at a lovely restaurant – Scratch Kitchen, a farmhouse restaurant which appeared to formerly be historic building as it had a Puget Mill Co. vault inside.

2020-01-10_13-15-08_4492020-01-10_13-02-00_736

Quilted Strait

After a delicious lunch, we wandered around historic Port Gamble:

2020-01-10_13-01-01_8292020-01-10_13-12-36_6172020-01-10_13-14-24_238

And ended up at the quilt shop right by the water, Quilted Strait.

2020-01-10_14-15-11_1402020-01-10_14-15-24_5732020-01-10_14-17-25_0922020-01-10_14-17-45_4982020-01-10_14-19-31_7732020-01-10_14-54-51_696

We had a wonderful wander about the quilt shop with its friendly staff and inviting atmosphere. During my wander I was tempted by the line of fabric (whose name I have now forgotten) that one of my fellow retreaters, Karen, used in her wonderful piece I shared in the previous post.

2020-01-10_14-23-01_118
A mysterious but wonderful fabric line…actually I think it is Northcott who also makes my beloved Stonehenge line

2020-01-12_07-59-50_127
Karen’s piece she worked on during the retreat

But I did not buy any as I am getting ready in the next couple of months to move (an update on that in a future post) and I need to control my fabric purchases! Perhaps as a housewarming (or new studio warming) gift to myself I will contact Karen and asking her what that awesome fabric line was…


Postscript

We did have several delightful indulgences during our mini quilt retreat time, and they came from a stop at Deliberate Chocolate.

2020-01-09_16-52-11_6132020-01-09_16-52-41_931

The chocolate was so good it was a mystical experience to eat it!

As we wandered about shops in Port Gamble, I came across this sign that made me smile:

2020-01-10_14-11-18_208

A Crafter's Life, Outside Adventures!

Greetings from Colorado

Hello Blogging Buddies! Long time no hear, right?

Well I’ve been busy settling into my home in the Greater Denver Metropolitan Area (if you are new to this blog see my series of post “Colorado Bound“). Now I am ready to return to blogging about my Colorado, crafting and other adventures.

First Visitors

So far I’ve had four visitors since I’ve moved to Colorado.

My first visitor was my brother Raoul, who was in Denver for a business meeting the same day I moved into my apartment! So along with my friends Jason, Michele and Blair, he helped unpack me! I forgot to take photos during his brief one day visit, so none to share.

My second visitor was my sister and we had fun taking my miniature Mike in his backpack into downtown Denver via the light rail and wander around sightseeing. Here is my sister Rianna with Mike her back:

2019-05-02_11-53-15_0872019-05-01_16-59-03_034My sister (by the way I have one sister and one brother and we are all very close) is exceptionally fun and we had a blast during her visit.

She enjoys shopping adventures and we even took Mike with us to a store called Nordstroms Rack and made him go shoe shopping with us!

2019-05-01_12-28-01_009

We also both enjoy going to thrift shops (see my series of posts Thrift Shop Adventures) and had a laugh at these shoes we found at a thrift shop chain store called Buffalo Exchange:

2019-05-02_15-05-29_542.jpeg

These shoes would be perfect for running, don’t you agree??!?!?!

My sister is exceptionally more glamorous than me, and here we are attending Trivia Night at a local pub (we came in last place in trivia but had a blast):

2019-05-01_21-02-43_814
My sister on left, me on right (note we’ve been drinking adult beverages all evening, ha!)

My third visitor was my “Quilting Sister” Dana who was visiting her daughter who also lives in the Greater Denver Metro area. I will have a separate post about that visit as we had a wonderful outing to a very cool crafting shop!

But here is a preview (Dana craft shop shopping):

2019-05-06_17-48-59_461.jpeg

My fourth visitor was my friend Jenny who came for a long weekend. She is very outdoor adventurous so we went for a short hike in the Flatiron mountain area of Boulder, Colorado as well as explored downtown Boulder.

Here are photos from our hike/wander about Chautauqua Park:

2019-05-25_15-13-43_3352019-05-25_15-13-45_5712019-05-25_15-42-44_5952019-05-25_15-45-18_1882019-05-25_18-48-51_404

I love this series of photos I took as Jenny took in the amazing views:

2019-05-25_15-11-50_9292019-05-25_15-11-52_9312019-05-25_15-11-54_999

Here we are wandering around the Pearl Street Mall area in Boulder, Colorado:

2019-05-25_18-48-42_305.jpeg

My next visitor will be my original “Quilting Sister” Judy – the woman who taught me how to quilt. She visits in August.

I will be busy traveling a bit in July but I am going to plan to attempt (that sounds so committed doesn’t it?) to keep up with my blog and also catch up on the blogs I follow.


Postscript

Are you surprised that my tierneycreates Beastie (see Beastie Adventures) has not stepped in and written a post? She has been busy herself and she will have a future post of her adventures in the future.

Oh and yes, this is primarily a quilting/crafting blog and perhaps someday I will share a post about such topics (smile).

Outside Adventures!

Horsing Around

This post is another entry in my series Outside Adventures!,

Monday I went on a hike with my friend Laurie and her Bernese Mountain Dog Luna on Horse Butte in Central Oregon. But first she took me on tour of Healing Reins where she works as a Physical Therapist providing therapeutic equine based services to children with special needs to begin our “horse themed” adventures.

I met several of the therapy horses in the outside areas. There was a group therapeutic session going on in the large indoor barn riding area with most of the horses and I could not take photos there because of client confidentiality. However here are a couple photo of the horses used for therapeutic riding and Laurie helping them get to the hay at the bottom of their feeder:

2018-06-04_11-05-44_2312018-06-04_11-04-16_479

Here is Elvis, who is used for therapeutic interventions but not for riding, as he is a miniature horse:

2018-06-04_11-16-13_058.jpeg

There are also farm animals at Healing Reins that are very tame and used for therapeutic interventions with children. The farm animals include chickens, goats, pigs and a slightly grumpy duck named Michael and his partner:

2018-06-04_11-22-35_8252018-06-04_11-23-43_4542018-06-04_11-24-42_2402018-06-04_11-25-12_404

I had a blast petting the farm animals and got to watch a therapeutic interventions with a pediatric client and the animals:

2018-06-04_11-25-38_025.jpeg

The staff at Healing Reins clearly love animals as evidenced by their current use of a side door to enter their indoor therapy center as there is a robin’s nest on the electrical meter near the front door (and they do not want to disturb the nesting bird!):

2018-06-04_11-31-45_646.jpeg

We kept the horse theme going and left Healing Reins to head to Horse Butte/Arnold Ice Cave Trail for a hike with Luna in tow. Note that on the trail sign below “Horses have the right of way“!

2018-06-04_12-05-45_271.jpeg

While hiking the base of Horse Butte we came across a woman riding one horse and leading another horse (who did not have a saddle). It was like she was taking the second horse “for a walk”. Laurie, who has extensive experience with horses, explained that likely she was acclimating the other horse to the trail.

2018-06-04_12-00-05_897.jpeg

The base of Horse Butte was scenic but we were lured into the possibility of awesome vistas at the top of Horse Butte and decided to climb to the top.

Unfortunately we could not find a suitable path, only sections of loose lava rock (Central Oregon is region formed by ancient volcanoes). But we decided to try it anyway. You will see in the photo below Laurie headed up and I am lagging behind (I’d like to use the excuse that I was lagging behind to take photos but in truth I was just lagging behind!)

2018-06-04_12-18-04_110.jpeg

Even more unfortunately on the way up the loose lava rock gave way and I took a spill and banged my knee, but I was able to continue to the top.

Although I had a sore knee, I got to enjoy some beautiful vistas at the summit:

2018-06-04_12-27-11_8772018-06-04_12-31-02_5182018-06-04_12-31-00_717

Sometimes you have to suffer for beauty.

2018-06-04_12-22-49_777.jpeg

Then it was time to face the scary hike down on the loose lava rocks:

2018-06-04_12-33-30_210

Obviously I made it as I am able to write you about it. My knee is still sore but I will survive.

(There was a funny moment on the trip back down where Laurie, who is very fit and sporty, was trying to guide the clumsy me back down the mountain, so I would not take out my other knee. She would preview where I should try and gain a foothold. At one point she yelled: “walk over here, this is best” and then proceeded to wipe out herself on the loose rocks. We had a good laugh about it!)

Luna, the Bernese Mountain Dog (note the word “Mountain” in her breed name) had no trouble scaling up and down Horse Butte!

2018-06-04_11-58-55_739.jpeg

After the hike we rewarded ourselves with a tasty lunch and microbrew at a new food cart station in the area (there were no horses in the food cart area to continue the day’s theme!)

A Crafter's Life, Creative Inspiration, Outside Adventures!

Return to Hiking with Luna and Laurie

This post is another entry in my series Outside Adventures!, and a follow up to my post The Toe Saga, Library Stack Catch Up, and Your Sacred Nest.

As I shared in “The Toe Saga” post, I had a quite careless mishap that led to a broken toe (my sofa and I are in “couples counseling” and working out our issues, ha!). A broken toe meant putting on hold my hiking adventures with my friend Laurie and my favorite Bernese Mountain Dog of all time – Luna.

Well this past Monday, I returned to hiking with “Laurie & Luna”! We did a reasonably easy hike – Farewell Bend Park along the Deschutes River. And as per our routine we had a delicious lunch afterwards in the Old Mill Shopping Center which is also along the Deschutes River.

Here are photos from our hike along the Deschutes River:

2018-05-07_10-17-23_7102018-05-07_10-40-07_3612018-05-07_10-41-47_1382018-05-07_10-22-14_050

I’ve also tagged this post with my category/series “Creative Inspiration” on sources of creative/future art quilt inspiration, as I took a couple photos of trees/vignettes that I thought would make interesting art quilt compositions:

2018-05-07_10-17-32_2522018-05-07_10-18-45_086

I did not take a photo of our lunch but here is Luna at lunch trying to convince Laurie and I that we really need to share our lunches with her:

2018-05-07_11-19-29_766.jpeg

I would not win any hiking competitions but I was quite pleased with myself that according to my Health tracker app on my smartphone I had these statistics for Monday May 7:

2018-05-12_08-00-50_000.png

My toe is not fully healed and I was fairly sore the next day, but it was so wonderful to get outside and hike in my beautiful Central Oregon (with fun companions) again!

 

A Crafter's Life, Creative Inspiration, Outside Adventures!

Hiking the Highlands

No, alas, not the Scottish Highlands. This post is about a hike on the Cascade Highlands Trail in Central Oregon. Not as glorious as hiking in the Scottish Highlands but still quite lovely (and a significantly less expense trip – no airfare or accommodations required!)

2018-04-02_12-04-03_111

I do not work on Mondays and once a month I’ve been going on a hike (followed by a yummy lunch) with my friend Laurie and her Bernese Mountain Dog Luna. I thought about creating a category for these posts called “Adventures with Laurie & Luna” but I decided to create a new blog category called Outside Adventures! which includes my various solo Pilot Butte hikes and any other interesting outdoor adventures.

Laurie who is new-ish to Central Oregon (I think she has lived here between 1 – 2 years) thought it would be a great idea to explore Central Oregon together by going on hikes we have not been on before and trying out restaurants we have not dine at before (or at least one of us has not tried before). We plan one at least once a month.

Hiking the Cascade Highlands

Here are photos from the hike (which were more breathtaking in person than the photos capture):

2018-04-02_11-46-15_8422018-04-02_11-47-18_199

2018-04-02_11-45-03_552
Good smells!

2018-04-02_11-43-42_3912018-04-02_11-47-21_268

I am also adding this post to my blog post category Creative Inspiration as there was much potential art quilt inspiration on this hike!

Bend, Oregon (not that I am encouraging any more people to move to Central, Oregon – ha!) has over 44 miles of urban trails, where you can go hiking without leaving town! Here is a 2005 (when I first moved here!) article from the Bend Bulletin (and I bet there are more than 44 miles of trails now): Get outdoors in town: Bend’s urban trails system allows for hiking without leaving town.

Lunch Time

Laurie and I both enjoy yummy food and finding new places to enjoy yummy food. After the hike we went to a place we’ve never tried before, Chow, and it was quite delicious.

2018-04-02_13-21-25_242

We decided to split a crab cake sandwich and each had our own special sides – I selected the most exquisite tasting sautéed (and finished with truffle oil) Brussels sprouts!

2018-04-02_13-00-45_657.jpeg

A Crafter's Life, Audiobooks and Podcasts, Outside Adventures!

A Beautiful Monday and Audiobook Delights

As it is nearly Monday again, I thought I should share photos from the beautiful Pilot Butte hike I took on Monday. I have shared numerous photos of Pilot Butte, our miniature mountain with a wonderful 360 degree view of Central Oregon and its surrounding Cascade Mountains, in previous posts in my series Pilot Butte Adventures.

Our weather in Central Oregon is all over the place – somedays snowy and cold, other days beautiful Spring weather. Monday was the latter and I went on a solo hike on Pilot Butte and listened to a wonderful audiobook. More on the audiobook and my other recent audiobooks a little later.

Pilot Butte

I’ve shared like a zillion photos of Pilot Butte in previous posts on my hikes, so I will just share a couple more below to give you a little taste of my experience.

2018-03-19_11-35-50_718
Headed up the Butte

2018-03-19_11-53-36_117
Near the top, taking in the panoramic views

2018-03-19_12-25-42_286
Headed down the Butte and of course some really fit Central Oregon Senior Citizen passed me

When I got to the top of the Butte, I took a break at the summit and spent time cloud gazing. While cloud gazing I noticed something I’ve never seen before – a prism of color in the sky (like a little section of rainbow. I captured it as best I could with my smartphone camera:

2018-03-19_12-19-43_3432018-03-19_12-19-52_756

It was quite magical!

Audiobooks

I’ve listened to a lot of audiobooks lately (I borrow them from my local library and download them directly to my smartphone using the Overdrive app).

On Monday’s Pilot Butte hike however I listened to an audiobook I found for free on iTunes podcasts: High Performance Habits with Brendon Burchard by Brendon Burchard.

Here are the 6 habits which the author discusses in depth:

  • Seek Clarity
  • Generate Energy
  • Raise Necessity
  • Increase Productivity
  • Develop Influence
  • Demonstrate Courage

You can Google “High Performance Habits” or “Brendon Burchard” and find lots of information as well as YouTube videos such as the one below:

There are many gems in this book, here is one of them:

“Often, the journey to greatness begins the moment our preferences for comfort and certainty are overruled by a greater purpose that requires challenge and contribution” – Brendon Burchard

Now here is a list of the other audiobooks I have recently listened or am currently listening to:
  • Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks – a collection of short stories written by the actor Tom Hanks. I have listened to two stories so far (narrated by the author!) and so far it is AMAZING! Who knew this awesome actor is also an awesome writer?
  • Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman. This intriguing book is by the Pulitzer Prize winning author who also wrote The World is Flat and Hot, Flat and Crowded which explore the rapid changes to the world in the 21st century. His current book explores the extremely rapid technological changes and how we can survive them. I am only in the first section of the book but the author shares an awesome analogy (paraphased): If a car from the 1960s had advanced in technological development like the computer chip did, then cars of today would get 200,000 miles to the gallon and cost 4 cents.
  • Living an Examined Life: Wisdom for the Second Half of the Journey by James Hollis.  This is a complex but beautiful book and reads like poetry. Here is a nice summary of the book on the Sound True website: Living an Examined Life.
  • Waking Gods, and Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. These two books are part of a trilogy (I think it is a trilogy as I am currently anxiously awaiting the third book due to be released in May 2018). Unusual and exceptional science fiction presented in a very creative method: through a series of interviews. The audiobook performance is exceptional as it is done by a series of actors and they perform it in a way that you feel like you are listening to actual conversations. One of the best audiobook performances I’ve even listened to and a great engaging story!
  • Nine Women, One Dress by Jane Rosen. This was a fun “chick-lit” romantic comedy – predictable but fairly well written. The story is exactly as the title implies but very engaging!

You can follow me on Goodreads (I am “Tierneycreates” on Goodreads) if you want to follow what I am reading.

A Crafter's Life, Creative Inspiration, Outside Adventures!

Creative Inspiration: A Surprisingly Beautiful Monday

We have a break in our Winter weather and I went on a beautiful hike at Shevlin Park this past Monday with my friend and her Bernese Mountain Dog.

I thought I’d share photos from my hike as part ongoing series of posts on my sources of Creative InspirationMy blogging buddy Mary @Zippy Quilts had a recent post about Inspiration from Nature, and her post inspired this post!

2018-03-05_11-27-07_2662018-03-05_11-59-00_1892018-03-05_11-54-38_7732018-03-05_11-55-09_2802018-03-05_12-18-41_2082018-03-05_11-59-14_8692018-03-05_12-17-00_3782018-03-05_12-21-20_2362018-03-05_12-06-57_6142018-03-05_12-25-05_5062018-03-05_12-17-09_8272018-03-05_11-57-01_585

I think several of the photos above would make awesome art quilt compositions! Especially the one of Luna the Bernese Mountain Dog!


Postscript

After our hike we went to a lovely bakery for lunch (salad and sandwiches, not pastries for lunch!) and then wandered a well curated small indie bookstore nearby, Roundabout Books.

I have an old post about the joy of spending time in an Indie bookstore Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe – Independent Bookstores; Wonderful & Magical Places, and I also enjoyed wandering around Roundabout Books.

Here are a couple photos from my visit:

Like Dudley’s, Roundabout Books has an antique typewriter on display:

2018-03-05_13-25-44_697.jpeg

They have a wreath made from recycled book pages:

2018-03-05_13-28-38_278.jpeg

The entire shop is peppered with Staff Suggestions of great books to read (I did purchase the science fiction book The Fifth Season to read after discussing with one of the staff):

2018-03-05_13-29-24_153.jpeg

Their counter was made from books (I did not want to bother the patron to move so I could take the photo):

2018-03-05_13-42-56_089.jpeg

And they had a great quote above their backdoor:

2018-03-05_13-28-29_612.jpeg

Outside Adventures!

A Beautiful Monday

I meant to post this yesterday but the day got away from me (where does time go? do the minutes slip away to the same place missing socks go?).

I do not work on Mondays and this past Monday I went for a lovely hike with my friend Laurie and her Bernese Mountain Dog, Luna along the Deschutes River Trail off of Farewell Bend Park.

2018-02-05_11-46-38_505

We are having “Sprinter” (Spring-like Winter, yes I totally made that up) in Central Oregon. Monday was in the late 50s to early 60s degrees F (14 – 15 degrees C for my blogging friends outside the US).  It was truly like a sunny blue sky Spring day (minus the Spring foliage).

We had a wonderful hike along the Deschutes River. Luna got to play in the river so she really happy and as a bonus for her and the humans, we ran in the puppy/”mini-me” version of Luna – an adorable Bernese Mountain Dog puppy named Willow.

Well, instead of me telling you about the hike, why don’t I just share photos and let the photos speak for themselves!

2018-02-05_11-13-04_3532018-02-05_12-28-49_8562018-02-05_12-31-07_3792018-02-05_12-01-19_4292018-02-05_11-44-57_9632018-02-05_11-39-36_3152018-02-05_11-19-59_7992018-02-05_11-19-50_3572018-02-05_10-58-07_7862018-02-05_11-01-04_7352018-02-05_11-08-21_5732018-02-05_12-33-28_3362018-02-05_11-11-00_9742018-02-05_12-40-03_090

The Deschutes River Trail and Farewell Bend Park connect you back into the Old Mill District, an outdoor shopping and dining area built around an old lumbar mill, hence the name (www.oldmilldistrict.com/about/history/).

Laurie and I got a kick out of the app-based rental bikes parked at the Old Mill. You sign up and pay for the rental using a smartphone app!

2018-02-05_13-52-43_4962018-02-05_13-52-44_663

We plan to rent them someday to explore the surrounding area by bike without having to haul our bikes down to the area!

Actually we are planning monthly hikes to explore our town. I have lived in Central Oregon 12 years and there is so much I have not yet explored, or I just want to explore again!


Postscript

I so appreciate the comments, insights and encouragement on my 02/04/18 post Art & Fear, etc..

I got less stuck (or got over my “inertia” an awesome word my blogging buddy Claire of knitNkwilt commented) and mapped out the required dimensions of one of the art quilts with a looming deadline:

2018-02-06_17-31-42_393.jpeg

I also pulled out my recycled materials stash to start playing with fabrics based on the design I have sketched!

2018-02-06_19-50-19_768.jpeg

Moving forward! Unstuck! (for now…)

 

A Crafter's Life, Outside Adventures!, Special Events

Pilot Butte Posts

As part of the 4th year Blog Anniversary Celebration for tierneycreates, I am re-posting some favorite blog posts over the past 4 years throughout the month of October. Originally I was going to post just those with the most views or the most comments but I have decided to also randomly repost and that just totally cracked me up while I wrote them.

Yesterday I went hiking up Pilot Butte with a friend and her adorable Bernese Mountain Dog. 

Central Oregon is a geological wonderland and one of its marvels is Pilot Butte. It is like having a “mini mountain” to hike in the middle of Bend, Oregon. At its summit is a splendid 360-degree view of nearly the entire Central Oregon region.

IMG_4416IMG_4471

Yesterday while hiking Pilot Butte I thought of my series of posts from 2015 – 2017 on my Pilot Butte hikes (Pilot Butte Adventures). Then at the end of our yesterday’s hike, a visit to the Pilot Butte Challenge Board made me think of a post from April 2016 (that cracked me up while I wrote it) on how my time up and down Pilot Butte, at my top pace, is still slower then the 95 year old’s record! (In case you did not know, I am quite younger than 95 years old)


MONDAY, AGAIN (original post 04/25/16)

I walked/climbed/hiked Pilot Butte (see previous post “Monday“) for the 3rd Monday in a row today.  I was fairly pleased with myself, as I again went up and back down Pilot Butte in 45 minutes.

However, on the way back to my car, I passed by the Pilot Butte Challenge board and noticed the records, by age group, of the fastest ascent/descent of Pilot Butte. I see in the 95 & up age range, someone walked up and down Pilot Butte in 26.51 minutes.

Yes, 95 & up. Now, my new goal is to be able to at least walk up and back down Pilot Butte in 26:51 minutes. Maybe I can even walk faster than that “95 & up” year old person someday and beat their record! Maybe someday I can even beat the time of the record holder in the “90 – 94” age group! (If I am going to dream, I might as well dream big! Ha!)

pilot-butte-challenge-registration-logo-4108

 

IMG_3410 (1)

Here are some photos from my Pilot Butte hike today to distract you from the fact that my time was nearly 20 minutes slower than someone “95 & up” (maybe they were a retired Olympian or something; or maybe a space alien…).

IMG_3411IMG_3406IMG_3408IMG_3407

Fabric Scraps Obsession, Outside Adventures!, Studio

Basket of Challenges

One the years I’ve grown to appreciate fabric scraps, especially coordinated fabrics scraps shared from other quilters’ projects.

I have gathered a collection of coordinated fabric scraps donated by quilting friends.

Each collection of scraps is organized in a plastic bag, which I call a “challenge bag“. Each bag is a challenge to create something from a fabric scrap collection otherwise destined for the trash.

I had these challenge bags stored in two storage containers:

2017-04-11_22-15-30_247.jpeg

I decided to move them into a large basket in my studio where I could see them all the time and be reminded of the fun challenges to work on:

2017-05-08_07-02-24_533

While going through the challenge bags to move them from the storage containers to the open basket, I figured it was time to work on one of them.

My friend gave me a collection of brown batik scraps and partial fat quarters that she had started making little wallets out of – she also gave me the pattern and the templates she had cut. I think she thought I would just use the fabrics/scraps as part of a scrappy quilt. Instead I used nearly all the fabric/scraps she gave me to make a collection of little wallets:

2017-05-08_06-59-24_892
Little Wallets, pattern by Valori Wells

2017-05-08_07-00-17_678
Perfect size to hold business cards

I am looking forward in the future playing with another “challenge bag”. We’ll see what I make next…


Postscript

Yesterday I hiked Pilot Butte (miniature mountain with 360 degree views of Central Oregon and surrounding region) and nearing the summit I took a photo of a controlled burn off in the distance. The US Department of Agriculture Forest Service has to do controlled burns in the Deschutes National Forest to control forest fires.

Prescribed Fire in Central Oregon

I used the zoom on my iPhone and although it is not the clearest photo it gives you a sense of the scope of the controlled burn:

IMG_7646.JPG

If you are new to my blog and wanted to read more about my Pilot Butte adventures, check out this link: Pilot Butte Adventures.

For those of you who have followed me for a while – yes, on my hike yesterday, another Senior Citizen dusted me on Pilot Butte. At least the 80+ year old (maybe even 90) was kind enough to wish me a “good day” as he effortlessly walked around me on the hike back down the Butte!

Audiobooks and Podcasts, Creative Inspiration, Outside Adventures!

Creative Inspiration: Pilot Butte Hike

This post is a continuation of two series of posts:

Monday, I went on my first 2017 Pilot Butte hike! Nearly a year ago, last Spring, I started back hiking our local “mini mountain”, Pilot Butte.

Every Pilot Butte hike I take photos, it is like I cannot control myself, even if I am taking the same photos over and over again!

Monday’s hike I experimented with taking both color and B&W photos of the same scenes. I shared one of my B&W photos with some friends, and my friend Lisa mentioned the photo below would be a great inspiration for a quilt:

2017-04-03_12-08-01_287
The steps to the viewpoint at the summit of Pilot Butte.

A light bulb appeared above my head: my Pilot Butte photos could serve as inspiration for a future art quilt.

So I thought I would share some of the photos from Monday’s hike that I would consider “creative inspiration”:

2017-04-03_11-59-44_1782017-04-03_12-00-58_2132017-04-03_12-01-02_0492017-04-03_12-02-30_3642017-04-03_12-02-45_8762017-04-03_12-02-49_5462017-04-03_12-07-08_055

You likely noticed, except for the photos of the steps, the photos above feature trees.

Hiking up Pilot Butte affords 360 degrees views of Central Oregon; and I took many photos that looked like this featuring the wonderful Cascade Mountain Range:

2017-04-03_11-50-46_496.jpeg

However I am not attracted to mountain landscape scenes for art quilting inspiration as I am to structures such as trees. I think trees are among the most magical organic structures on earth! (Check out previous posts featuring trees such as Creative Inspiration: Winter Trees and Creative Inspiration: Fall Foliage).

As much as I love the trees, I will likely give the steps photo priority as creative inspiration for a future art quilt, I love the composition:

2017-04-03_12-08-01_287

To see more photos of the Pilot Butte hike in B&W check out my post from 09/04/16 – Friday at the ‘Butte’ in B&W.

Postscript

Listen While I Walk

I always listen to an audiobook or podcast while I hike Pilot Butte.

On Monday I finished the last two episodes of a six-episode podcast – Missing Richard Simmons. This podcast explores the story behind the fitness guru and eccentric celebrity Richard Simmons’ disappearance in 2014. It is very interesting, I was completely drawn into the story by the middle of the first podcast.

Richard Simmons, whether you loved or hated him, helped and inspired a lot of people. This podcast gives you insight into his world from interviews from clients and friends.

“No tricks, gimmicks, special pills, special potions, special equipment. All it takes is desire and will.”  — Richard Simmons

I love podcasts, I cannot believe how many free podcasts there are to download off of iTunes – on so many topics!

Watch for the Wildlife

One more photo to close out this post – I love this sign at the base of Pilot Butte:

2017-04-03_11-29-50_022.jpeg

I have hiked Pilot Butte for nearly 12 years and luckily no cougar sightings for me. I hope my record of 0 cougar sightings stands.

I wonder if any new hiker to Pilot Butte sees this sign, turns around and gets back in the car!