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Part of the view from our deck while we spent a year in Frisco, Colorado. Still takes my breath away!
I'm blissfully ignoring a pile of dirty laundry and sitting here with the old music in my ears and my heart in Frisco, Colorado, September 2006. Forgive me if you've already read this combination of old journals that I posted here about a year ago. The memories are still so fresh and they still tug me back to a sweet retro condo just off the main street in Frisco. If you need a visual to go with these words you can click on MY PHOTOS and find my album of Frisco, CO. Or you can watch my "Colorado Christmas" video because many of those pictures were taken in and around Frisco. I walked every inch of that little mountain town for nearly every day of a year. So many memories of one enchanted mountain space that will forever hold my heart.
MOUNTAIN MAMA'S HINTS FOR HIGH ALTITUDE LIVING
24 September 2008
The first few weeks of our 17 month sojourn in the mountains were full of learning experiences. I had a ball posting missives from our mountain home high in Summit County. I’m sure my cousins thought I had a bad case of altitude sickness but I thought I was perfectly sane when I wrote these words to them during the fall of 2006.
LESSON NUMBER ONE
A bag of potato chips that is manufactured in Plano, Texas and distributed in Denver, Colorado is unsuitable for high altitude use. Such a bag will open itself with a loud explosion at 12,477 feet. If you are lucky this explosion will merely scare the tar out of you. If you are not so lucky you will be picking potato chip dust out of your hair for approximately 5 days.
LESSON NUMBER TWO
Water boils at 212 degrees at sea level. At 9,300 feet water boils at approximately 10 ½ degrees. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT leave water unattended at 9,300 feet. Water that is merely sitting on a cold stove will simmer, boil, and evaporate in less than two minutes. A cup of Instant Soup will reach alarming temperatures before you even touch the stove.
LESSON NUMBER THREE
Oxygen may or may not be available at 9,300 feet. Tourists to high altitudes are particularly affected by oxygen starvation. Mountain Mama was panting her way back from a long walk when two young boys on bikes approached. “Let’s go back down that hill and catch some air.” Mountain Mama told them not to bother because there was no air on that side of the mountain. One good deed for today.
LESSON NUMBER FOUR
High altitude living doesn’t have to be expensive. You can pinch pennies in many different ways and live on a very frugal budget. For example: A health club membership is unnecessary. Any exercise counts double because your body has to wring some oxygen out of every panting breath. The treadmill in the clubhouse flashes “1 mph. 2 mph.” and “You’ve got to be kidding!” Along with no oxygen, high altitude air does not include any moisture, this saves on laundry costs as it becomes unnecessary to towel dry after a shower. A body is flash dried before you turn the water off. Another frugal tip: One bottle of good red wine will last a very long time. HIGH ALTITUDE WARNING - DO NOT drive or operate heavy machinery after one glass of good red wine at 9,300 feet!
LESSON NUMBER FIVE
When traveling in high altitudes pay attention to the weather which can change in a heartbeat. High altitude sun can broil a Maine lobster in twenty seconds flat. Thunder clouds mean that it’s already raining up there and you’d better find a good place to hide while the thunder rolls over you in echoing waves. Lightning is particularly frightening at this altitude as it brings that infernal thunder. A gentle breeze means that a big blow is on the way. And a five foot fire hydrant with a three foot flag on top means the snowplow driver doesn’t want to knock that baby over. Mountain Mama hopes that flag was just a joke.
August ~ Breckenridge, Colorado
Mountain Mama is moving down in the world, about 200 feet down. We’ll be moving our 5th wheel back to Denver and moving into a cozy condo in Frisco, CO for the duration of the BIG FREEZE. We toyed with the idea of settling in for the long haul in our RV but those 5 ft. fire hydrants reminded us that this is BIG SNOW country. We are surrounded on all sides by ski resorts, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Keystone and the legendary Arapahoe Basin which is often open till July. Jim remembers skiing A Basin when he was a child and remembers it was cold even then (back in the time of the dinosaurs).
So, we’ll be cuddled up in a nice little home in the cozy mountain town of Frisco. Mountain Mama looks forward to settling in and making home before the snow flies, and flies and flies some more.
September ~ Frisco, Colorado
We are settled into our nice cozy little home in Frisco. Gosh, what a beautiful place! Weather has been a little unsettled but the sunny days still outnumber the rainy ones. I've been watching autumn come to the mountains, what a glorious spectacle here at the base of two towering peaks! The aspen color just a little more every day and the early morning sun throws the mountains into high relief. The high peaks were shrouded in clouds on Saturday morning and under the cloud cover was a new dusting of snow. It is so beautiful here in this mountain bowl! My morning walks include a view of Dillon Reservoir, part of the Tenmile Range and the stunning Mt. Royal. Incredible, unbelievable scenery!
October ~ Frisco, Colorado
Beautiful day here in the mountains! It's been windy the last few days and I figured we were in for more of that white stuff...we get LOTS of that white stuff. But the wind has calmed down and it was a balmy 30 degrees when I set out for my walk this morning. Bright blue skies and sunshine all around.
I got my Halloween scare yesterday. I was hiking one of the numerous "People Paths" around town and listening to a local radio station. They play some of the greatest memories! So I was trekking along to some Neil Young, some Eagles and lots of other great old tunes when I started down a steep hill. I could just make out a fella who was standing at the bottom of the hill with his Husky. The dog was wearing a bandana, and my view of the guy included long legs, boots and the greatest head of beautiful hair that hung halfway down his back.
It must have been the music but I was daydreaming about some handsome, long-haired young men of my youth. When I caught up with the guy he turned to say hello and I had to cover my surprise. Lots of wrinkles, lots of gray in that pretty hair and he was obviously pushing 65. SCARY!
Oh, my where does the time go?