Two days ago (Friday) we moved the camper close to Leadville. Although we
enjoyed the campground at Clear Creek Reservoir, we were putting a lot
of miles on the truck to get into town and go to trail heads. That
camping area is about eighteen miles from Leadville.
This is the fourth year we've had the opportunity to park our camper
near our friend Jack Saunders' home building office at the end of Sixth
Street West (photo farther down in this entry). This may be the last time he'll have room for us, as he's
trying to get his seven acres of woods and meadow rezoned for several
If you're in need of a new house in the Leadville-Twin Lakes
vicinity, check with Jack. He designs and builds very beautiful homes
from cozy bungalows to large, open structures.
Jack's almost finished with the large solar home below, located a
couple miles down The
Boulevard. Runners go by the
driveway near the beginning and end of the LT100 race but the house is
too far off the road to see it from there.
We drove out to see it this afternoon.
The house is dried-in but not quite finished yet.
The south side of the roof, above, is completely covered in solar
The inside is spacious and airy, with beautiful wood floors and
cabinetry. Jack's houses are constructed with
high-quality materials and the workmanship is superb. We toured another
nearly-finished home he built last summer near Twin Lakes that was of
similar size and quality.
Jim was talking to Jack about the energy-saving features of the house after we got back from our little excursion
down The Boulevard. When Jack told
this is the second home of a family from Alexandria, VA, Jim shook his
head in amazement. He pointed to our
camper and joked, "That's our second home!" We couldn't
afford this place as our main house. Don't kid yourself about the
cost of housing in the Leadville area -- it's higher than you might
We're happy to have electricity and running water from Jack's house
now. Jim's been getting 50 gallons of water in our mobile tank about
every other day and draining it into the camper tanks. This will save him a lot of time.
We won't need to run the generator while we're here, either. We still
use our solar panels to power certain items, and propane for the stove,
oven, and furnace (it gets into the 40s at night everywhere we've been
this summer). We'll use electricity mainly for the microwave and coffee pot.
We have a TV signal for the first time since we got to Silverton.
When I asked Jim how many channels we can get he quipped, "One and a
half." Jim's happy because he's already watched all the
shows he taped last spring for the VCR, knowing we wouldn't have
reception when we're boondocking. I have mixed feelings. It doesn't
bother me to play ostrich all summer and ignore what's going on in the
world. About all I've paid attention to is the stock market this summer.
Now I have to listen to politics, bad news, and weather reports (Grand
Junction) that are totally irrelevant to where we are living.
We have a stronger cell phone signal (four bars instead of one)
and are closer to the library, where we can get WiFi. Those are good
Our views are of Mt. Massive (above) and the mountains north of
Leadville. We're close to the road that goes to Turquoise Lake, where
there are several very nice lakeside campgrounds. It's fun to watch all
the campers drive by. There were lots of campers and tents along Halfmoon Road yesterday. I'm happy to see so many people out enjoying
the woods and trails around here.
While we were running errands today in Frisco and Leadville I caught
several glimpses of Mt. Elbert. It's visible on the other side of Jack's
house, from his driveway, from many places in town, and even up Hwy. 91
north. It's so cool to look at that pointed summit and know I was up
there just yesterday! This photo of Mt. Elbert is from last year:
The view of Leadville is less prominent from the top of the mountain
than the view of Elbert from town.
Perspective. Might be because I'd rather be on a mountain summit than
in any town!
COYOTES FOR NEIGHBORS
When we arrived on Friday we saw a coyote sauntering down the middle
of the road about a hundred feet from our camper. We hadn't noticed them
here before. Last evening a young one, probably not even a year old,
cautiously traipsed back and forth through the grassy field and
edge of the pine-aspen woods only fifteen to twenty feet from our camper. Every few
feet (s)he'd either tense up or jump a little bit when the dogs barked or
whined at him/her. They don't miss a thing.
Who are these intruders on my land? the coyote pup was
probably thinking. And what are those four-legged
creatures that look similar to me but sound different??
Isn't (s)he cute?
Cody and Tater were equally curious. I wonder if they know that's not
a dog? I'll have to be very careful
when I'm walking them around to do their business in the woods or they
might chase the little fella. All they'd really want to do is play, but the
coyote wouldn't know that.
When we were at the Clear Creek Reservoir we noticed several campers
and RVs that had hummingbird feeders above windows where the occupants
could watch the hyper little birds zoom in and out to feed. What a great
idea! We have a hummingbird feeder at home that Jim maintains, but we've
never thought about taking it with us on our camping trips.
Jim bought one today in hopes of attracting the birds to our new
location and he's busy right now rigging it up outside one of the
windows surrounding the computer desk. I can see the wheels turning in
his head as
he peers at the top of the camper, figuring out where to place the feeder
and narrow board that will hold it. He's rigging up a pulley system so
he can lower the feeder to fill it. Busy mind, busy hands. I used to be
like that, too . . .
[Follow-up the next morning: the hummers have found the
feeder! What fun it is to watch them hovering and flitting in and out. Now the challenge is getting a good picture of them.]
UP AND DOWN THE BOULEVARD
Jim has no desire to run The Boulevard, a dirt road on
the LT100 course near the beginning and end of the race, but we drove it
today to see the house Jack's building. Here are some photos on the way
out and back, for the benefit of folks who are running the race. They
are more in my "windshield series," so there is a bit of glare:
If you're in the race and walking back up this road on Sunday
morning, trying desperately to beat the 10 AM finish cut-off a few miles
away, try to remember how beautiful this #$%&@ road really is!
At least two of our friends are here in town acclimating and training
for the race now, Joe Lugiano and Pete Stringer. We're looking forward
to more of our friends' arrivals in town next week. Kathy Lang and Jim
Ballard from Oregon will get here before the bike race (lots of cyclists
in town this weekend to train for the 100-miler in two weeks) and Brent
Craven from Utah is expected one of these days.
With almost 600 men and women allowed into this year's 25th
anniversary run (and about a thousand in the bike race), we'll get to
see many friends from all over the country. It's a major reason we enjoy
coming here so often -- socializing. It will be fun to make more new friends, too. We'll be working the
bike and run packet pick-ups, so please say hi to us and introduce
yourself if we don't already know who you are.
Next entry: who knows? I can always find something to write
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody, and
© 2007 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil