Mountain Get Away

This morning I drove up the mountain to Estes Park, Colorado. It was a sad journey as I began.  The night before we found out our brother in-law was told he had two months to live due to cancer.  We love him so much. A good deal of the drive up was spent thinking about him and my sister in-law and praying for some answers. I knew I needed to pull myself together. I was meeting with a friend and then a shop keeper who is selling my books.  My day was going to move from sad to putting on a happy face…. life is that way you know. .. and sometimes those emotions are within minutes of each other.

This picture seems to say it best.  As I approached the scenic overlook leading down to the valley in Estes Park a thick cloud covered the road. I was hoping it would not get so thick that I would not be able to see.  Thankfully, the skies opened, letting in the sun before I got into town.

The rest of the day was filled with warm conversations and beautiful views.  I cannot describe it any better than peace being poured out into my heart.

My meeting in Estes Park was with a wonderful woman named Cynthia.  She is the owner of Life’s Bear Necessities.  It is a beautiful little gift shop in town that specializes in gifts made in America.  A portion of the items made are by people in Colorado.  She must be my biggest supporter of Peepsqueak books.  Her last order was for 50 books which I gladly signed today.  We had such a nice visit and found we had much in common.  The people coming into the store were just as kind.  A woman came into the shop and told a story of whispering to a freaked out elk just yesterday. Evidently, the giant buck was trapped in an area of town where he could not escape. She was only a few feet from him and began whispering to calm him down!  It worked! She was so excited to tell me her story.  Another woman that came in was a retired singer. One more couple had ties to a small town In Iowa where my grandparents lived.  The whole day was peaceful, sprinkled with friendly faces.

Leslie Ann Clark – Signing 50 copies of Peepsqueak for “Life’s Bear Necessities”

Cynthia at Life’s Bear Necessities – Estes Park, CO

Another delight in my day was the last-minute coffee date with my artist friend Teresa Maria!  We met before the shop opened at the “Be Kind Coffee Shop”. It is always good for the soul to meet someone for coffee. I don’t exactly know why, but I have had some “laugh till you cry” moments in coffee shops, serious” heart-felt” meetings in coffee shops and amazing and inspiring meetings in coffee shops.  I guess it is the laid back atmosphere. The Be Kind Coffee Shop has the most beautiful view.  What a treat.  I am sad I did not get a picture of Teresa Maria!

The Be Kind Coffee Shop

I hope all of you had a peace filled day.  Thank you for sharing mine.  And if you think about it, say a prayer for our loved ones.

The Colorado First Snowfall

Yesterday my husband and I drove into the mountains to hike with some old college friends. With plummeting temperatures and wind, the fall colors in Colorado don’t hang around very long. I am told that the day before we went on our hike, they were fantastic.  Alas, there is beauty in everything if you look for it, even on the cold gray days like this one.  We saw just a few brave aspen trees with tiny bits of color.

Don’t you think these trees look like they have been dusted with powdered sugar?

This is where we turned off the highway. This road looks like something out of a story book.  It’s the road to “somewhere!”  In fact, it is part of someone’s every day life.  There were a lot of mountain homes on both sides of the road.  My thoughts always go to what is inside of each home and what life must be like living in the mountains.

The snow is always deeper off the main road.  There weren’t many cars on this cold weekend.  I think everyone must have been tucked away in their homes drinking cocoa!

I LOVED this fun  “FORK in the road”  … and yes, we took a wrong turn anyway!   Not to worry, wrong turns happen a lot.  Its all a part of the adventure!

Our friends have a lovely home and the crackling wood stove was calling us inside!!   After a short visit we headed out to the trail head. Thankful for warm boots and just the right amount of layers, we wandered through the trees for a couple of hours.  Our friend’s dog, Oscar, ran through the snow with ease! After our hike we drove to the Sundance Cafe for some yummy red chili!  The day was wonderful! Getting “Outta Dodge” is always a good idea!

Rocky Mountain High

I simply love Colorado, with its mountains and the W I D E open spaces. There is something about the vast blue sky that gives me a boost. I find that the breaks I take in my day are just as important as working hard in the studio. When I return to my studio I see things differently. My mind has rested and my body is more relaxed.  Yep, I am HIGH on life!!  Even my little cartoons are glad I left and have come back with a good attitude and the ideas begin to flow!