It seems although winter may not have quite finished with us just yet there has been a slight warming trend. The ravages of all our recent snow storms are done, and for the most part, it has nearly all melted although I shoveled about 4 tons of snow and ice on Monday so that the Safari could be moved to its other slot. The puddles have dried up and many of winter’s potholes around the town have been filled.

The town’s Street Cleaner has been out and about and despite previous Town Manager’s efforts its back to its old problems. Runs out of water!! leaking seals, incorrect brush settings and a badly latching rear door on the debris container!!! It is its own Tornado of dust wherever it goes, but at least you can see the plume and the dust cloud coming.

A busy week after the “would you like to drive full time? question” with a long trip on Saturday to a  new place for me “Hotchkiss”, and then another activity trip on Tuesday to Nucla. A refresher drive on D11, the Horse, both morning and afternoon, and then a surprise trip on Thursday morning when the other interested party goes for a “ride along trip” on the said D11 ? Hopefully there won’t be any “12th hour” changes as I’m driving it Monday as the Sub then full time from Wednesday onwards. Friday and as Dolores has a 4 Day week I’m driving the special needs boy into Cortez morning and afternoon.

Cycling back on the program with some days in the 50’sF and not too much wind and I’m hoping to wrap up the week with 300 miles in the bag. Weight down to an unseen set of numbers at 194.8 from the initial 211.8 starting point.

Friday goes well with the CMS run to Cortez, a quick 5 miles around town and then into Cortez for some more rehab on the shoulder. Home again, lunch, and out for a few more miles before the p.m. run to CMS. All complete and now for the top up for my “20” and a few beers. The beer is most welcome and I finish the ride at 23.30 with only 16 and a bit left for the 300.

Saturday and a return to the pool tables. The skills are still there but just fall short in the final stages. However, another 20.39 on the bike first so the 300 has fallen.


Sunday and today’s mission is to explore a large lake on the NM border but state owned. Still waiting for run off and a bit low due to last year’s drought. Looks good and a few “slots” are earmarked for booking after the end of the School Year on May 23rd.

1st choice would be 130 and then either 136 or 140

We return via Durango and after Brenda trolls her phone we come up with a new place on Main Street, El Moro. A nice bar with a good atmosphere and excellent food ….. we will be back for this one!


Don’t remember this one

Very nice inside

Maybe after the diet!

Pleasant weather on Monday, it almost feels like Spring,  and a few more miles take me to 332.1 but then the temps drop THIRTY DEGREES, yes 30!!! as another huge storm rips through the entire country. Cold, wet, and miserable and with the combination of snow and cold winds riding comes to an end again.

Here we go again

Thursday and Friday still cold with the biting wind but supposed to be back up in the 60’s next week, I hope so, Winter and I are not friends anymore!






Enough, I tell you!

Yesterday, 3/23/19 we decided a treat was in store after yet another bout of rain and snow. Now I love it when its snowing and you can get cozy with a nice roaring fire but after over 4 months of same its becoming more than tedious!

The joy of a REAL log fire

Time to cross the Colorado border and enter New Mexico for a visit to Red Lobster ! It was, as expected, delicious and well worth the drive……. and NO crisis on the Southern Border!!

No problem at the New Mexico border ?

We take on “Lobster Fest” with much gusto!

These just keep on coming…..  Mister Piggy loves them


Sunday and with the melt/thaw in full flight parts of the garden that have been hidden for 4 months start coming into view. With a full determined effort the Waterfall Bed and the Center Bed are finally cleared of Christmas decorations and the last of the frozen in power cables are out of the ground.

Last of the decorations finally removed from “Scuffy” now that the onboard snow and ice have let go of the fixings and cables. Now all that remains is to work my way through all the boxes and get them all back where they should be. With the floor cleared I can get the stuff up in the loft section and perhaps throw out a load of miscellaneous junk that has crept up there.

Cycling was a bit more pleasant with some half decent days and not too much wind to contend with. Mon-Wed averaged over 20 miles per day and by Tuesday night the total was up to 191.09 while on the weight front the total was down to 199.6 but I’m still pushing for more.

Wednesday and I’m on an Activity trip to Cortez with the Baseball team which is something I’ve never done before as Cortez always sent them in a Mini Bus with a teacher/coach as driver. While I’m doing my pre-trip the Boss man pops over and asks me if I would like to drive full-time? It seems someone is leaving (and I can guess who, but equally it also seems someone else has asked for HER route!) should hear the final outcome of this one next week.

Quick “Sub” drive on Friday afternoon, and then a 15 hour day and 355 mile drive for the Baseball Team on Saturday. The plan for the weekend is to review the weather and decide whether its a Sunday or Monday Ski trip. Weather not so good for Sunday so Monday is the DAY. plan for Sunday, a gentle top-up ride, to hit the 240 mile marker ……..

Yes, the weather really is THAT nasty!

I manage 3.70 of the planned 13.20 that I need before I’m forced to abandon in 34 degrees and blowing wet snow ……… maybe later.

Later …… temps up to 39F, wet roads, wind increasing, equally nasty and very unpleasant but I carry on and I’m very pleased as I see miles getting ever closer to the target and, with numb fingers and lips, but a running nose and watery eyes I make it home with 13.37 on the odometer and 240.17 for March and 2019. The weight is now at this year’s low of 197.0 lbs.







The storm of the Century seems to have passed us by. About 10″ of fresh white stuff and now the next melt begins. Tomorrow the School is closed and then all next week as its Spring Break again.

Hopefully if it melts fast enough I might be able to get some riding in next week as the weather has certainly been keeping me in check this year.

The Ides came and went and after a small shopping expedition to top up with yet more salad veggies (hard work eating like a rabbit on this diet) the afternoon was spent sorting through the ever diminishing woodpile for something that wasn’t wet from the rain or still covered in snow. Three big loads chopped and brought in. A ride was considered but still muddy and the roads have too many puddles. Should be good for Sunday onwards as temps are forecast for the 50’s !!

Saturday morning, 3/16/19, and the scales say 200.0 !  very happy about the Zero! Today Brenda wants to drive up to Telluride and see if her COPD is going to be a problem before she gives skiing another go.

Need a “check run” to see if Brenda can breathe with the COPD

Pleasant drive up  the mountain, and they sure have had a load of snow! Mountain Village and the Gondola ride into Old Town and a drift down the sunny side of Main Street.

Phase II of the ride, on the Telluride side of the slopes, from Mountain Village

Time for a late lunch and from the many bars, bistros, cafes and restaurants we pick “FLORADORA” ….. we think we have been in here before ?

……. in we go

Like the artwork

Menus arrive, and we try “their” Bloody Mary”  …. V nice and pretty spicy ….

Can’t decide ….. I like the Honey baked Brie, and the Duck Eggrolls sound pretty good too! Well we have them both and they are superb

Duck Eggrolls and a plate of the brie in the top left corner

Sunday, the melt continues and its sunny and demi warm, well about 50F, which is a nice change and after a lot of “shall I ? shalln’t I ?” I get out there and knock up 26.80 miles. Monday and Tuesday are much the same and 27.32 and 27.45 are added. Wednesday and I should be getting a new rear cluster and chain on the Roubaix but the day is too nice so after a full blown working morning on the remaining iced in Christmas decorations and lights up the pillars I take another ride as the Thursday/Friday forecasts are awful! The year’s total now stands at 130.71

Thursday morning, a very slight dusting of snow and now some light rain as I set off into town. Very windy! with a strong Easterly. Hardly a sign of any snow as I fight my way through the gusts into Cortez.

Roubaix gets all it’s new bits and an hour later I’m on my way home along with a new cable for the gear changing system and a new dose of handlebar tape. Looking exceedingly BLACK out to the West as yet another storm arrives.

New cluster and chain for no more clacking

No sooner home and ready to take over dogs as Brenda is off for a lunch trip with Carol. She departs, I take the dogs out and get peppered with hail which then turns over to snow, and heavy resort style snow at that! 30 minutes later Brenda is back, lunch project has been cancelled! Too slippery and zero visibility and within the hour we have nearly 2″ on the rail. Just as quickly it all melts and now we are back to light rain.

The forecast is less than 1/2″ overnight and the same for Friday. However I awake to 6″ on the rail and it has finally stopped at 1030. Now its relatively warm, bright blue skies, and the melt begins again!!










Its wet, very wet!

But it is melting

No changes with constant showers and blizzard type snow bursts. The temps are still up there so the melt continues and the mud stays just as deep as the water struggles to find a way to seep down.

The snow continues to melt and more and more hidden Christmas decorations come into view. Another few days and I should be able to start harvesting all that is left.

Finally some progress on the weight front as 201.0 pops up for the first time …. I’m  hoping this will continue. It could also be mild enough for a ride but, the winds are starting to increase again so I’ll stay on hold until I see a green light.

Time for the duty “Spring Forward” so next up all the joys of changing clocks. No problems today getting my watch to move to the new time, just an expected battery change to come in April.

At last I stop wimping and get out there and battle against the wind and manage 13.54 before the cold gets to me, but at least I got some done even if I’m a long way behind this year by about 600 miles!

Monday morning and the snow (non forecast) is coming down in buckets and about an inch on the rail and its still dark with the time change. Dreary and miserable at dawn and now its a mix of snow and rain and looks like its here for the next few days.

My shoulder has been so sore that the rehab exercises have been out of the question as the pain is too much. Today at Rehab it was just heat treatment and muscle therapy, and don’t do the exercises unless it doesn’t hurt.

Today’s snow has now melted and interestingly going into Cortez this morning ALL signs of winter snow had gone!! Back here they are changing the forecast AGAIN and we are now looking at ANOTHER 2-4″ of snow Tuesday night.

Tuesday and now raining but I can see grass in some places out front and with impending doom in the forecast I have to get out there this morning, despite the rain, and pick up buried cables and lights.

Across the road there are emergency vehicles, fire engines, police, ambulances, a giant tow truck and all manner (3) power pole trucks and a host of pickups and walking supervisors. Out with the camera and see what’s happening.

The white slab side truck (under the yellow arm) ran off the road and hit the power pole

Uncle Tom Cobley and friends

Despite the pouring rain I manage to get most of the cables and lights out of the front beds and from around Scuffy. Finishing about 1800, still raining, my hat, boots, and gloves are all soaked as the snow is still 10″ in places and there are still some areas where the cables and lights are still frozen in.


More changes to the forecast again and now 3-5″ for overnight Tuesday followed by another 4-6″ for Wednesday daytime! Up around 0700 this morning and surprise, surprise 6″ on the rail and an even bigger surprise when I see one of our School buses go rolling by …… although I did see Curt’s bus running about 30 minutes late!

Good Morning!

Solid 6″ on the rail

Looking at “Scuffy” this morning I’m well pleased I got those lights, cables and the last of the Santakins cleaned up yesterday!











Becoming a yukky mess

About sums it up!

With temperatures not dipping below freezing and a week of near constant rain the snow pack in and around our dwelling is melting and turning everything into a very muddy swamp. Can’t complain as maybe I can get to the buried Christmas decoration cables and the last of the display items.

I’m sure we are not fully done with the snow but a “clean up break” would be appreciated. Might also be nice to start racking up the miles for this year and shedding those last 7lbs that seem to be plateauing backwards and forwards and can be soul destroying when you are staying on their plan.

Despite all the rain of the last couple of days this morning awoke to yet another 5″ on the rail while the forecast was showing “less than 1/2″ total overnight”.  Melting like crazy with mega sunshine and clear skies with temps forecast to be around 50F all week.

Lets hope if the melt goes well I’ll be able to find a decent surface to ride on without getting plastered with slush and spray.

Not quite


Here we are, Wednesday 3/6/19,and all that 5″ melted and now its rain, and more rain for the rest of the week although the temps are up around the 50F mark, but its doesn’t feel like it as its very damp and muddy and of course the snow has changed color with all the mud and slop!

Up at the bus barn two of our lady drivers are off, one has been sick since last Thursday and the other is away all week tending to her brood who got sent home with the Flu. So 3 days driving the D3 Mouse bus to wrap up the pay period.

Friday morning and still raining, muddy and melting! The last of the Christmas Decorations are down to about 6″ cover so perhaps by Sunday they can be rescued after “66th Night”. New LOW on the weight front of 202.2 this morning …… I want to see the 190’s!!!









Need to find some snow free roads

I think I can safely say that even here, up in the mountains, we have now had enough snow and, much as we love it, it will be nice to return to some warm, wind free, weather and glorious sunshine. The temps are now showing 57F on the outside Weather Station and that is confirmed by the secondary equipment of the standard old fashioned thermometer. Its so warm in fact that I’m THINKING of a gentle break-in ride for yours truly!

Time to open the 2019 account

But first, some more snow and ice clearing as there has just been another massive fall off the roof. Then I think I should change that other battery on the fork leg of the Roubaix to keep the speedo and odometer in a state of union.

New battery in the sender unit

Wednesday and the snow was cleared, and the other battery was changed during yesterday afternoon. Can’t see any reason not to go for the FIRST RIDE OF THE YEAR, the bike is ready, I have all the kit, the weather is much better and there is NO WIND !

With all the excuses pushed to one side the Roubaix was carried out to the road over the ice, slush and snow and for the first time since  11/24/18 the wheels went round again. Double set of thermals, no wind, and 11.18 miles are in the book to open the account for 2019.

Thursday 2/28/19 and although the forecast is warmish there is no sign of the sun. I’ll give it one hour and see how it looks. An extra trip this afternoon on D30. It didn’t warm up, the sun didn’t break through so I chopped wood and cleaned the Roubaix after my ride from yesterday ….. it was pretty mucky!

Here we are on a dismal Sunday morning 3/3/19 and the memory banks tell me it was 55years ago yesterday when  the boy child, having achieved the “magic” 17.5 years of age started his Officer Training at RAF South Cerney  and onward air force career.

Yesterday the next storm system arrived and its been RAINING ever since and looks like continuing most of this week. The long period of permafrost is abating and the huge puddles and lakes from all the melt run off are beginning to seep into the mud.

I’ll wait !

With wet roads, rain and mud everywhere, any thoughts of riding have been cancelled until there is a positive change in the weather.





Here it comes!

President’s Day on Monday, no schools, banks or post ……. but it does start snowing again and turns into a real mess. It snows most of the day and then blizzard conditions overnight ….. yuk!

Yesterday I ring in to see if my trip to Durango is still on but find its been cancelled but there are 2 more on Friday and Saturday so I elect to take the Friday one as I’m scheduled for the ski trip on Sunday.

More rehab this morning and down to 204.4 so some progress at last. Back from rehab and the weather forecast is turning crap again and the warnings begin. Snowfall predictions keep changing and by Tuesday evening we now have a Winter Storm Advisory.

Doom and gloom for the 4 Corners and we live under the Crab’s right claw.

Wednesday morning and it has now become a Winter Storm Warning until 1700 on Friday and the highest snowfalls are Rico and Durango with 20″ each and ourselves (Dolores) and Mancos at 14″ Chances of the Durango trip? slim me thinks!

Next one moving in

No surprises so another 6″ on the rail on Thursday morning and no school buses to be seen. Facebook tells me there is a “snow day” for Dolores and after my trip into Cortez my Physio tells me Cortez are also closed.

Rico enjoying winter!

Rico and Durango are getting hammered and I see NO HOPE for Friday’s trip! Better get a load more wood upstairs as its looking awful.

1600 and its moving into the 4 Corners for round 3

Fire burning, and watch it coming down. Only 15 minutes and the roads are covered and its looking like it won’t stop all night. Around 1730 Larry rings to say a Snow Day has already been declared for tomorrow and the trip is cancelled. It continues snowing and getting thicker by bedtime.

Thursday morning, about 5″ overnight

0700 and I’m up and looking at my “crisis” on my Southern Border as I survey the load …….. clearly the “Clown President” has got his way and the wall has been built!!

A solid 14″ on the rail!

The Met Office has been shut down (Gov workers) …. no reports from the corner of the balcony

Time to dig out

Friday becomes a “rescue day” as I have to shovel enough of the snow out of the way so that the dogs can go outside. Fill the feral cat bowl for Rocky Racoon and dig a pathway out to the Workshop where he has made his home.

Plowing begins after cars are cleaned off and moved and I set about clearing snow and ice out to the men’s bathroom. Next two loads of slightly damp wood from the storm are hauled in. Now time to shovel off all the new snow from the balcony and uncover the Met station.

No sooner finished snow clearing and taking first sips of hot choc when it starts Snowing Again and drops another 2″ just to rub it in.





Not a planned scenario or venue for this normally festive and romantic day but one of great necessity this year!

Since the end of January Brenda has been on various anti-biotics, steroids, and inhalers as she has been finding it hard to breathe. Finally after a semi sleepless night, by midday she had had enough and we drive into Cortez for a visit to the ER …… and yes, it is Valentine’s Day.

No sooner in the hospital and they rush her into the ER and some high speed work begins with doctors and nurses plugging her in to all manner of monitors and electrical devices.

More and more cables are connected and very soon she is looking like a human generator. First dose of nebulizers are smoking away as the mobile x-ray machine and team arrive.

With initial diagnostics complete, an armful of blood taken, the wait begins as more and more specialists arrive and depart with their findings.

More Doctors and equipment, best guess scenarios, and more nebulizers as we await the x-ray results. All good on the x-rays and now a steroid drip goes in while yet another nebulizer gets sucked .

Senior nurse returns and says its most likely COPD which really doesn’t come as any big surprise although she did give up smoking 3 years ago. He also states ” these steroids can kick in and YOU might fly off the handle over nothing!”

With breathing restored, panic over, and after 4 hours of excellent care and medicine we are free to go.

Drip complete they cut Brenda free and we are out and on the way home, Cards and Flowers yes, but NO chocolates as Brenda is now  on a low sugar intake and I’m on Nutrisystem.

Well no chocolates anyway.

A lack luster pool session on Saturday and home we go and settle down to the roaring log fire  …….. when suddenly those steroids kick in and I’m accused of everything in the LOG department and its MY fault for making her cough as I’m deliberately using the wrong wood!!!!!!!

FIREWOOD , firewood , firewood!!!!!

Well, at least I was warned, so ………….

Follow the Doctor’s advice











After a good weekend at pool and a no hassle Ski trip to Telluride without any hitches there is a chance of 1-2″ tonight starting after 0400. I get up at 0230 and nothing yet.

0600 and up for some coffee and this is what greets me! Its coming down in buckets, big buckets, and there is 6″on the rail in less than 4 hours!!!!

A lot more than the forecast 1-2″

So much it has STOPPED the weather station and the rotation of the anemometer

No school buses this morning and the plows are everywhere. It stops around 1000 and I venture up to the bus barn and fill in the activity forms that we had run out of. My next trip to Ouray has already been cancelled because someone had the dates wrong (again) and I did this trip a short while ago.

Wednesday now, most of the 6″ has gone and the next deluge, which was promised to be HUGE has diminished and it now seems it could be mainly rain as the temps are in the low 40’s F

Looking grim!

Home from another session of physio on the shoulder and the Director has been calling. Seems Patty, the D11 Horse driver, has damaged her foot. Can I drive this afternoon? “Of course”, and this might be for a few days depending on what she has done ….. we will see when we get to the bus barn this afternoon.

Drive the route and back to the barn where Larry tells me she will be in tomorrow morning ….. hardy or foolhardy?   anyhooo  pool tonight of the 9 Ball variety and once again there are a mass of hopefuls for tonight’s comp. I start well with three wins of the needed 5 and should have won round 4 when I had everything going on a long 9 and playing off the cushion it was straight as an arrow and I needed a  little angle to ensure “no follow on” but after sinking the 9 the bloody table, which is not true, allowed the cue ball to curl in!!! Now in the loser’s bracket I win two more games and I’m playing in “3rd or Better” with the ever grumpy and argumentative Michael who is contesting my first win when he shot the 9 in a pocket that he didn’t nominate. 3rd was good enough and with Brenda suffering it was time to go home at 2300 and another long session on the tables.

The big weather picture is getting WORSE in my opinion but they say only 1/2″ in each of the 3 reporting periods. Judge for yourself,

Slap bang over us, snowing like hell, and beginning to settle!

For the last 3 weeks Brenda has been suffering from an inability to breathe and has been on different anti-biotics and various inhalers all to no real improvement. A very disturbed night for everybody and this morning (Valentines Day) the decision is made for a visit to the Cortez Hospital ER. It snows nearly all the way into Cortez turning over to rain and sleet as we approach the hospital. More on this saga in the next article.

In my vast experience as an aviator I have found these latest weather radar pictures somewhat unbelievable as I have had more MET briefings than most people have had hot breakfasts and as I explained to Brenda from these images we are in for some SERIOUS snow when the temps drop this evening.

Really nasty!!!

……. and so it is! Continuous wet snow piling up and since we got home amazingly the weather service has changed it’s mind, issued various winter storm advisories and winter storm warnings. The daytime and nighttime predictions have gone up from a 1/2″ for each to 1-2″ for the afternoon and 3-5″ overnight.

However, enough is rapidly becoming enough.

please !
















Thursday 7th Feb and finally the snow has stopped and we are back to blue skies for a few days but very cold in the aftermath of the current bout of winter storms.

Needless to say any thoughts of cycling and knocking miles off the 4000 target are ONLY thoughts as today the roads are snow covered and the temps are well below freezing with an overnight forecast of -1F.

To go with the theme the Director rang me late yesterday afternoon with a request for me to take this Sunday’s ski trip which is fine by me. Just a shame you are not allowed to ski yourself.

Instructor, or not, NO SKIING in case you can’t drive home

You can watch, …….. on top of “See Forever”

No true parallel demos for YOU!

Saturday morning, cold, very windy, but no snow in the forecast so all looks good for the Activity ski trip tomorrow. Pool this afternoon and I’m taking a couple of extra sticks as someone is thinking of buying them …… we will see how that goes.

Who will be King today ?

One of the many “Michaels” arrives and announces to one and all he is paying for everyone’s entry as he won a LARGE sum of money on last week’s Superbowl. It seems the news has got out and we are treated to our biggest entry EVER with 32 players! With today’s numbers you need four consecutive wins to get in the money and then if you win round five you are either first or second. Should you lose then you will play for 3rd and better. For me after last week’s 3rd place overall, despite my first round loss, I sail through all 5 games without a loss and meet Juan in the final! We started at 1400 and its now gone 2100 !!! I miss the black in game 1 and this sets up Juan perfectly. Round 2 of the final and this time I don’t make any mistakes and victory is mine! Not only a very satisfying win for that 1st place but a pretty good payout of $77.50 due to the number of players. I also get $5.00 from Andy who took a side bet on me, and I sold one stick to Ernesto for $40.00 so overall a very pleasant day on the tables.

Mr Shark for me!

Rehab exercises done, weight down a smidge this morning, lets hope that continues after a few days “plateauing” which is never a good feeling as you feel as though you are achieving nothing even though you are following the program.