Where in the World Wednesday: Cedaredge, CO

If you haven’t figured it out by now (as it’s taken me like 20 years to figure it all out), the western slope of Colorado, also known as the Grand Valley, is chock full of agriculture and recreation opportunities.
Olathe, CO: 
 Just an hour drive from Grand Junction on Hwy 50
 Named after Olathe, KS, the town is just outside the Grand Valley, still on the western slope.
 Home to the Olathe Sweet Sweet Corn
    Each August there is a HUGE festival honoring the veggie. The Olathe Sweet Corn Festival. Let me tell you, this corn is worth the wait, the drive and for some of us, the pain  of the eat (many conditions such as Crohn’s, Colitis, Gastroparesis shouldn’t partake in this wonderful veggie). I have yet to go to this festival, from what I hear, it’s a big fun time!
 Home to the Olathe BMX
Palisade, CO:
  A short hop of 20 minutes from Grand Junction, gets you to the home of The Peach Capitol of Colorado and many vineyards and wineries
  Apples, cherries and pears are also in grand supply!
    Another August festival started in the late 1880’s; is the Palisade Peach Festival
       Lots of vendors, wines, peaches, rides for kiddos and food is spread out over three days.
peach 4
The junction where the Gunnison and the Colorado Rivers meet
  great for rafting, fishing, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding
crops of apples, peaches, cherries and honey are in great supply
Home to the Colorado National Monument and the Book Cliffs
Country Jam is four days of live country music, held just outside of Grand Junction in Mack
Fruita, CO:
Just 21 minutes from Grand Junction on Hwy 50
Originally a farming community, it has since become known for its outdoor recreation
   mountain biking, hiking and rafting
Late September brings the three day Fruita Fall Festival
  As with all festivals, it includes: vendors, food and a carnival.
  It also includes; a parade, a talent show, a golf tournament, cooking contests, and even a night street dance
Cedaredge is one of the entrances to the Grand Mesa on CO – 65
a small agricultural town producing, of course, apples, peaches, and beef from cattle.
Home of the Little Britches Rodeo and Parade (the Western Slope chapter)
Don’t miss the Pioneer Town museum and village. Travel back in time to the early 20th century and visit the saloon, the marshall’s office, a bank, jail and much more! You can even hold your wedding there or see a summer concert there.
Out of the Grand Valley and just an hour down Hwy 50 is a great time in Cedaredge where we spent last weekend and their Apple Fest. I have been to the Canon City Apple Blossom festival, Old Colorado City’s Territory Days, Palisade Peach Festival and the Fruita Fall Festival and I have to say, the only thing that comes close to the Apple Fest is Territory Days and Apple Blossom.  The Apple Fest is a four day fest filled with such things as a chili cook off (my aunt says this is a huge event! They always run out of chili and all donations go to the fire department), pancake breakfasts, 5K run, music, arts and tons more! There were so many people, vendors, food and apples, it was impossible to see everything. We HAD to get some apples, one just doesn’t go to a fruit festival and not get the fruit. We started with an apple fritter…YUMMO! at the same booth were apples: I had heard someone in the crowd say, “we need to go to Red Mountain Ranch for our apples.” I looked at the sign on the tent and that’s exactly where we were. The people working the tent were (according to my intel/aunt) were 2-3 generations apple growers. They were very pleasant, friendly and the tent was very clean! I had a taste of the Honey Crisp and it was aMAZING, so we purchased just three.
I don’t like big crowds and this was one of those, but we were able to look around at the vendor booths and saw so many creative people showing off their arts! Even got to see what happens when something gets stuck in a power line. Crowds at the festival are about 15,000,  I have to say, I think there were 15,000 just on the day we were there (although the pictures don’t really reflect that). There were cars parked in every parkable place for miles! I was very impressed with the whole experience and the best thing about it was, it’s FREE; unlike the Palisade Peach Festival or the Olathe Corn Festival!!
Thank you for traveling the Western Slope with me this past summer, we have a long list of ideas for next summer. Let’s see where winter takes us.
It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in the Autumn. B. C. Forbes

Where in the World Wednesday: Colorado National Monument

As the summer is coming to an end, I look back at where we have been. We visited the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Rifle Falls, The Grand Mesa and finally Colorado National Monument. We visited it last year and it was HOT!! I don’t remember much of anything else than it was HOT, so when we went back this year, it was like it was all new! B and I went this time, after he and his brother went earlier in the week. The brother had never been here, so it was a great time for B to show him the sights.
The National Monument includes geological formations ranging from 1.5 billion years old, of the Precambrian area to Lower Cretaceous at 140 million years old (that’s OLD). So you know the sights would be amazing. With 31 miles of paved roads and plenty of pull offs, you can experience awesome views of the deep canyons and the sandstone towers with the Colorado River below. Activities in the park include: biking, hiking (in fact there are 13 backcounty trails ranging from 4,700 to 7,000+ feet), camping. Bird and animal watching along with some great geology and flowers to study. B and his brother were lucky when they went up there. The brother told B it would be awesome to see some sheep and around the next corner there were several big horn sheep munching on some goodies. Animals include; coyotes, mountain lions and lizards. I did get to see a chipmunk and once again, I wasn’t able to take a photo of him, they are quick little guys. Birds include: golden eagles, red-tailed hawks and turkey vultures along with some swifts, swallows and blue jays!

Cold Shivers Point look out is NOT for the faint of heart, one of the Monument’s most dramatic and spectacular overlooks, is just a mere 300 ft down. The viewing place on Wingate Sandstone Cliff is located above the Columbus Canyon. It does have wheel chair accessibility and does have a safety fence. However, just to the north of it, the landing is not fenced in and does have loose rocks, making a slip very easy for anyone.

It seems many folks don’t have respect for Mother Nature. There is a saying for the outdoors “Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints.  Which means, no tree carving, no rock graffiti, no rock carving etc. This is NOT OK
John Otto, the expert trail builder and first caretaker of Colorado National Monument,  scrambled up Independence Monument on July 4, 1911, which started the tradition the park still honors. Each July 4th, the Mesa County Search & Rescue team, climb the tower and plant a flag on top, honoring Mr Otto.
rocks 2
Independence Monument
Ute Canyon is a small trip to the edge of the canyon, it is fenced and also straight down. The history of the water forming the canyon is placed on an information board so you can see the beauty of how nature works.
After this walk to and from the rim, this old lady was done in. I didn’t have enough water, which is a HUGE mistake (note to self, even if you are just doing a daily road trip, take plenty of water), with the lack of water and the heat a small migraine ended our day.
Now, I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is probably not the best idea to do.
 (oh the wildlife you see)
A perfect day would be to get into the car, drive out to Yosemite and go camping. Michael Steger

Where in the World Wednesday: Glenwood Springs, CO

This week we loaded up the car with just B and myself, grabbed some much needed breakfast, coffee and headed east, yes, along I-70. We were headed to Glenwood Springs, CO, just a mere 90 minute drive from the house and a whole lot cooler. We were in search of the new Doc Holliday museum which had just opened up. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical as the “museum” is located in the basement of Bullards; located in what remains of the Hotel Glenwood and is also a clothing/furniture store along with the story of  Doc Holliday dying there from Tuberculocis or Consumption. B is a huge Tombstone fan, the Earp brothers, Doc and such. He’s watched the movie at least 100 times, he has visited the actual town of Tombstone and is versed on what happened back then. So, he was so excited when Glenwood Springs announced the opening of this new “museum”.
If you remember a few Where in the World Wednesday’s ago, I introduced you to the Colorado summer sport of road construction. It was announced the day we were headed into Glenwood Springs, the main bridge would be torn down and to expect delays of 60 – 90 minutes getting through the detours. At least we knew what we were up against. It was a beautiful day, traffic was light and I got to nap on the way. You put me in a car and within 30 minutes I can be asleep. True to Colorado form, the road construction detours where very well displayed on the Interstate, once off the Interstate though, it was rough knowing where to go, where you couldn’t go and it seemed like all side roads were closed. CDOT had people positioned at almost every street closing and main intersection directing traffic: we still got lost. (We have just learned the bridge collapsed prematurely onto the railroad tracks and no one was injured) Once we found our way into and the street we were looking for, we were able to score a pretty good parking spot under a shade tree. Dark clouds looming overhead. It’s not going to rain, is it?
Glenwood Springs formerly known as “Defiance” was established in 1883 and was like most western camps of the time; tents, saloons, brothels and included gamblers, gunfighters and prostitutes. However, Defiance was also growing with cabins and hotels. Located on the railroad it was becoming easier to increase revenue. President Teddy Roosevelt became one of the city’s most famous residents when he spent an entire summer living out of the Hotel Colorado. Doc Holliday was said to have spent his final months of life in Glenwood Springs and is also to believed to be buried in the town’s original Pioneer Cemetery where Kid Curry is said to also be buried. Then there is the notorious Ted Bundy; a serial killer who had been incarcerated at the jail in Glenwood Springs, that is until he escaped December 30, 1977 and spent 17 hours on the lamb. 
Hotel Glenwood is where Doc Holliday is said to have died in 1887 and is the site of the new “museum”. The hotel opened in 1884, the investors of the hotel were anticipating new businesses to come from the railroad which was expected to arrive in Glenwood Springs in 1887. Over the years, The Hotel Glenwood became a lavish three-story resort located at 8th and Grand; it also was known to attract famous guests like H.A.W. Tabor and his wife Baby Doe and, of course, John “Doc” Holliday. Unfortunately, Hotel Glenwood was completely destroyed by a fire in 1945, leaving only a single exposed beam. Which is now on display at the “museum”. 

Exposed BeamHotel Glenwood Photo

The cost of the “museum” is $7 per person and is good all day long, although, I’m not sure why you would need to go back. Like I stated before, it’s in the basement of the store and is just 20′ x 20′. Yes, it’s small. We purchased our tickets from the clerk in the clothing part and headed downstairs where the museum is located. We when entered the basement, it was 1/4 full of Colorado/Glenwood Springs tourist clothing, two empty bed frames and a whole lot of open space. The three clerks who were downstairs were far more interested in figuring out their schedule than greeting us (the only other people in the store), checking our tickets and showing us where the museum was, even though we “shopped” the clothing for about five minutes (which felt more like 30 minutes). When we attempted to go into the museum, we were abruptly told we could not go in there. We showed her our tickets and thanked her for ignoring us and we were off. I have to say the $15.20 we paid for this experience was extremely overpriced.

We ended up having a great time. We had lunch outside at the Hotel Colorado and then took a small tour inside. OK, we poked around the bottom level (next week’s Where in the World Wednesday). We only found a few rain drops and we did lots of walking. My calves were not exactly happy about that either. One thing about these WITWW posts, I am getting out, getting some Vitamin D, some exercise and some great time with B.

But if I had to choose a single destination where I’d be held captive for the rest of my time in New York, I’d choose the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Tim Gunn




Where in the World Wednesday: Palisade, CO

I’m not a farmer, don’t know I would ever want to be one. However, I have found one of the most peaceful places is Palisade, CO. and I love driving through, stopping at the produce stands, walking through the weekly farmer’s market and driving past the local orchards. We were on another mission for Peaches. Tomatoes. Zucchini. Anything good looking. When you stop at the stands you may be faced with several dilemmas: will you purchase local honey and jams? Will you find the right looking fruit and veggies you are looking for? What else will you find?
Driving to Palisade, just a mere 8ish miles from the house, we decided we should take some pictures of the fruit trees lining the road. We found lots of peaches, some pears, some apples and lots of grape vines for the many wineries here. We will take a tour of the wine country another day, but it’s hard one to take when you don’t drink at all, let alone wine.
One stop we found dried beans and peas, bunches and bunches of them. Pinto, green and yellow split peas, chickpeas, navy beans, kidney beans, you know what this means, right? Have to go back and get some for soups! We also found cucumbers, tomatoes, beets and lots lots more! Which makes going to farmer’s markets during the week more fun! I’m like a kid in a candy store! Oh wait, that’s down on Main St! A good old fashioned candy store!
Back to the Peaches and Palisade 
Palisade was named for the cliffs near the town and is known for its peach orchards and wine vineyards. With a 182-day growing season and 78 % sunshine, Palisade has been named “The Peach Capital of Colorado”
Located just off of Interstate 70, Palisade, has a friendly, small-town atmosphere and is within minutes from world-class medical services, shopping, dining and entertainment. It is also just a short drive from the Grand Mesa, where you can find year round activities. Palisade is situated along the Colorado River and sets in between the mountains and vistas where you can enjoy the views from every direction.
We were in search of  Indian Blood Cling peaches, only we called them blood peaches, not very appetizing sounding for sure. However, it is beautiful!
Photo from Willis Orchard Company https://www.willisorchards.com/
We found the people who ran the little stops don’t know a whole lot about what varieties are in the store, which was a little disheartening, but we also found out there are a TON of peach varieties! So, we just did our best to find which ones we wanted to try out. We found a new variety called, Content, brand new this year and it was darling! We had to get some of those. I fell in love with the Red Globe peaches purely on the size of these bad boys! Mom found her tomatoes and we were off, there’s only so much fresh smelling veggies and fruits one can handle, it’s kind of a pleasing foreign scent, but nothing like this city slicker is used to.
With our fruit in hand we decided to call it a day and head back to the ole homestead. We will be back, Sunday’s for farmer’s market and August 17- 20, 2017 for the Palisade Peach Festival, maybe then we can find the ever elusive Indian Blood Cling peaches.
“Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring, and because it has fresh peaches in it.”
― Alice Walker, Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology