Nothing But Blue Skies Do I See

In November 2014, Colorado’s temperature dropped by 77 degrees in just a couple of days. On November 10, the state was experiencing a lovely fall day with the temperature reaching 65 degrees. On November 13, sprinkler systems were exploding and furnaces were coughing and sputtering as they tried to battle the 13-degrees-below-zero temperature. Bill and I were in Arizona when this weather event took place, but I remember that we were eating lunch al fresco as we called our daughter-in-law and asked if she could perhaps, just maybe, go over to our house and turn on the heater which we had optimistically  left off. She didn’t seem too bitter.

I remember it also because all of the beautiful bushes in our front yard were brown and straggly when we got home, having died from the sudden and drastic temperature change. It took a full two years before they came back and now once again look like this…..

All this is to say that wild weather changes are not uncommon in Colorado, and after 44 years of living here, I should be aware of this fact. That, and the reality that in the mountains of Colorado – especially during June – there is an afternoon thunder storm almost daily. But last week Bec – who was visiting for a few days before embarking on a trip to China — and I took a day trip to Estes Park so that she would have a chance to get a bit acclimated to high altitude before visiting Nepal, being a low-lander and all.

I didn’t even bother to check the weather. The sky was blue and the temperature was warm when we set off towards Estes Park. We headed directly to Rocky Mountain National Park when we arrived in this small mountain community we both love so much, and happily handed the park ranger our Senior National Park Pass. This pass, my friends, is about the only thing good about turning 62 – a lifetime pass to all national parks for a one-time fee of ten bucks. (The cost of the senior pass is allegedly going to increase to 80 bucks by the end of the year, so all you elderly folks should grab your walkers and go buy your passes NOW!)

We had stopped at King Soopers before leaving Denver to pick up a Gloor family traditional picnic sandwich made of salami and swiss cheese. As an aside, when we make ourselves a salami sandwich, we might put on three or four pieces of salami and a slice of swiss cheese; we were therefore astounded when we pulled our sandwiches out of the cooler and saw this…..

My sodium level must have peaked so much following my lunch that I’m surprised my heart didn’t simply stop beating. But it was good, my friends; it was very good.

Anyhoo, after lunch, we made our traditional drive through the park, making our way to Bear Lake, flipping around and going out the Beaver Creek exit…..

A few clouds had appeared by this time, but we didn’t give them a second thought, or frankly, even a first thought…..

We drove back to town, parked our car, stopped at our favorite taffy shop and bought 30 or 40 pounds of taffy (well, maybe not quite that much) before making a decision to have a drink at the new (at least new to us) outdoor bar.

A few more clouds had appeared.

We had just gotten our beverages when we heard the rumbling of thunder (and nothing sounds more beautiful than thunder echoing off the mountains). And then we began to feel a few drops of rain. We weren’t worried, however, because though the bar was outdoors, we were sitting under an overhang, small but certainly sufficient.

Until the few drops of rain became hail….

and then became heavy hail….

We weren’t the only ones who had by that time become cold and drenched, seeings as the overhang wasn’t quite as big as we’d thought…..

The dogs eyes tell it all, friends. You could practically see him thinking about his comfortable doggie bed at home, and wondering just why his master thinks it’s such a great idea to take him everywhere he goes. What the photo can’t show is just how much the dog was shivering. As were we.

Once the hail stopped and the rain became manageable, we scurried to the car and drove to Longmont to meet Jen for dinner. Following delicious pizza, salad, and wine, and lots of conversation and laughter, we drove home to Denver. Our capri pants, ladies and gentlemen, were still wet when we arrived home.

Welcome to colorful Colorado.

This post linked to Grand Social.


3 thoughts on “Nothing But Blue Skies Do I See

  1. your experience brought back memories of a hike we took with our son who was working one summer at a ranch resort in Wyoming. He had a few hours off in the afternoon and we headed for a trail he liked. We had our rain gear in our backpack and he told us to leave it in the car. It hadn’t rained all summer. Gorgeous sunshine all the way up but half way back. Kaboom.Thunder storm, we sat under a fronded tree for some protection. but then we got cold and, with the thunder no longer sounding–just rain–we slogged our wet way back down. full sunshine by the time we got to the car. mountain weather is something else.

    • Mountain weather is very unpredictable, that’s for sure. It’s really scary when you get caught up in the mountains when it’s lightning. Yikes.

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