Updated: Dec 31, 2020
The year is off to a cold start here in Colorado. I'm really
looking forward to heading to the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico to
get warm again.
Ahh... this is better:
Just me, hanging out at the pool, pondering what to do
Another lovely day in this sweet paradise. Here's the view
looking along the Puerto Morelos coastline:
The view from my hotel balcony is somewhat different than
what it looks like at home in Colorado!
This silly iguana seemed to be demanding to have his picture
taken, so I did:
The people in Puerto Morelos have been protesting against a
plan to tear down the delightful little central plaza and
replace it with a new 19 million peso plaza, while most locals
would prefer the money be spent on more pressing matters such as
a hospital, or better police security, or better schools.
It makes me sad to see what "progress" is bringing to this
lovely little town. At the moment, there are none of the huge
hotels or over-priced tourist shopping malls that one finds in
Cancun or Playa del Carmen, and that is exactly why I enjoy
being here. This little town is just a simple Mexican community,
not some sort of tourist trap. But that is about to
change, and this new town plaza is one step in that process.
I hate to leave this wonderful place! The beach is so
full of delights. This is the splendid view as I'm having lunch at a
little beach-side restaurant:
I suddenly got very sick at the start of my last week in
Mexico. I suspect that it was COVID-19, although there's no way
I'll ever know for certain what it was. The dry cough got so
severe that my abdominal muscles ached, and caused all that coughing to
be painful. I had a high fever, no energy, persistent dry cough,
and I even slept all day instead of going to the beach. Whatever
it was, it was certainly unlike any illness that I have ever had
before. By the end of the week all that was left of the mystery
illness was an occasional dry cough and sudden bouts of
Oh my, this is not my beautiful ocean! Apparently I'm back
The mountains are beautiful too, in their own way, but not
nearly as warm as the Yucatan beach. Lovely sunset over the
snow-covered mountains, as viewed from my kitchen window:
I'm still having bouts of the dry cough and severe fatigue
which I first encountered in Mexico in mid-February.
Yea! A Spring Beauty flower opening up along a hiking trail
near Boulder. A splendid sign that winter is departing and spring
is on it's way:
And now the Crocus flowers are popping up in my front yard.
This winter is surely coming to a close:
The bouts of dry cough and sudden fatigue which I first
encountered in Mexico in February are still cropping up from
time to time. I don't know if it was Covid-19 or something else,
but thankfully these lingering annoyances are gradually
Here in Colorado we're in the midst of a lockdown to try to reduce the spread
of the SARS-COV-2 virus. Schools are closed. Many businesses are
closed. I really want to hop in the car and go exploring
somewhere, but if we don't cooperate to try to limit the spread
of this disease, a lot of people may die. So, here I sit. At
Fortunately, its a little easier to hang around the house
when it is cold and snowy outdoors:
It seems safe to go out hiking while trying to stay as far
as possible from other people, and wearing a mask in places where
significant distancing is
Yea! These are some more of my favorite spring flowers, the
delightfully soft and fuzzy Pasque flowers. What delightful
relief from the stay-at-home blues.
And this graceful little Sand Lily is a treat for these
winter-weary eyes too:
A few blocks from my house is a nice little lake which is
quite enjoyable to walk around. The scenery is magnificent. One
lap around the lake is about 5 km (3 miles):
Every year I'm amazed when a few dozen pelicans return to
the lake. They hang around until the weather gets hot, and then
the head off to somewhere cooler:
I guess I'm just very easily amused, but nonetheless this
silly sign made me laugh. Basically, its a marker which is
warning that there is a natural gas pipeline somewhere, and then
the sign says: But it's not here.
Oh great, so there's a
dangerous high pressure natural gas pipeline somewhere, but not
here! Is this supposed to be helpful information??
This little bunny has been hanging out in my yard for
several days. If he doesn't do a better job of hiding, the
neighborhood coyotes will likely invite him to dinner:
Hiking south of Boulder on a beautiful spring day:
And this lovely iris was joyfully blooming along the trail.
What a splendid study in both symmetry and asymmetry, all at once:
Colorful Blanket Flower:
Yellow/orange Wallflowers and blue Penstemons:
The theme here today seems to be yellow!
A wide view of the countryside in Rocky Mountain National
With Covid causing nearly all normal social events to be cancelled, or moved to
Zoom, hiking and running are my primary sources of worldly
amusement. I'm trying to go on at least one 5 to 8 mile hike in
the mountains each week, and go running at least 3 times a week.
For the past 40 years, one of my favorite activities has been
running. I've never been a fast runner, but I've run at least
25,000 miles on the local streets, sidewalks and trails, mostly at a
of 9 to 10 minutes per mile.
For most of these years, running 5 miles at a 9 to 10 minute
pace was very relaxing and energizing. I would run 5 miles
during my lunch hour, back in the days when I was working, and I
would be so refreshed after my run that it was like a
meditation. My mind was clearer, and I could more effectively
But now, in my mid 70's, this old body is starting to rebel
against the running. My anaerobic threshold has plummeted, so it is now challenging to run at
even a constant
12 minute per mile pace. And that slow pace hardly qualifies as
"running". So I mostly run intervals. I just run a few blocks at a 9 or 10
minute pace, and then I walk a block or two at a 15 minute pace,
and then take off running again, doing those intervals over and
over for 3 to 5 miles. It's the best I can do nowadays. Heavy sigh. It
makes me sad to watch this body lose its vitality.
When I complained to my doctor, he simply said that birthdays
were the cause. So then I told my cardiologist of my woes, and
he kindly told me that he has a hundred patients who would
gladly trade problems with me. Yes, I am blessed to have such a
Rocky Mountain National Park is such a beautiful place:
This area is called Lumpy Ridge in Rocky Mountain
National Park. It's a lovely place to hike, and rock climbers
enjoy scaling the rocky formations:
Hiking south of Boulder on a another lovely day!
Encountered this butterfly as she busily probed the hundreds of
tiny flowers in this Blanket Flower composite:
Hiking up the trail toward Cub Lake in Rocky Mountain National
A big ol' goofy moose having a snack in Cub Lake:
A shaggy Blue Heron looking for a place to go fishing:
The North St Vrain Creek flowing over the dam at Longmont Reservoir, near Button Rock.
This is such a
Western Tanager investigating who is tromping through her
forest. Good looking redhead!
North St Vrain Creek in the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park:
West Creek Falls in the Comanche Peaks Wilderness Area,
just north of Rocky mountain National Park:
Hiking at Caribou Ranch Open Space, north of Nederland,
This hawk in my backyard, seems to be wondering who is
interrupting her happy hunting along the irrigation ditch.
Snakes seem to be her afternoon snack of choice.
Looking across Upper Beaver Meadows in Rocky Mountain
National Park, from the Ute Trail:
Another view from the Ute Trail:
This was amusing! Elk wandered into Estes Park, Colorado
and began munching on the flowers:
Even worse, apparently they're color-blind. Two more just walked through the
intersection on a red light! No respect for the law! Naughty
Goofy old man hiking on the Ypsilon Trail in Rocky Mountain
National Park... yes, that's me:
Elk in Lake Estes, just outside of Estes Park, Colorado:
This hike around Button Rock Reservoir started out with
sky sunshine, but as the winds shifted the sky was filled with
smoke from the Cameron Peak forest fire about 20 miles away.
These are not clouds, this is entirely a smoke plume, blotting
out the sun and suddenly dropping the temperature:
At first glance, I thought it was a bird. But it's just a
tree root. Very tricky, these roots. The gray sky in the
background is forest fire smoke.
Miles and miles of brilliantly glowing Aspen trees along the
Peak-to-Peak Highway north of Nederland:
Delightful patch of fall colors along the trail to Cub Lake in
Rocky Mountain National Park:
And more colors along the Cub Lake trail:
Another lovely (but rather cold) sunset, as viewed from my backyard:
She's planning to eat something:
Sometimes this happens, and there are no birds in the bird
bath in my back yard:
And then it melts, and this is what I see from my kitchen
Quite an unusual sunset, or perhaps a neon-outlined flying
saucer hovering above the mountains, as viewed from my backyard... sadly a camera just doesn't do justice to the vivid
colors, but you get the idea:
A lovely day to be out meandering about in the foothills west of Lyons, Colorado for
my birthday. A beautiful blue sky, and no snow at the moment. What
a wonderful place to live! Although I'm really not a fan of
On one hand, it's wonderful to be able to have another
birthday. They're available only in a limited quantity. Yet,
somehow as I
get older, it feels kinda like this:
This difficult year is drawing to a close tomorrow, and I
certainly wish that this Covid mess was also ending tomorrow.
A chilly day here, around 34 deg (1 deg C), but nary a cloud in the
pristine blue sky. A nice day for a hike:
Here I am playing King of the Mountain in the wide open
countryside of Hall Ranch, west of Lyons.
That's it for 2020. Hopefully there will be more adventures in