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September 25, 1999
a year ago
two years ago

Jones' Pass II

A really busy day today. Lots of things packed in, not the least of which was the food. The night before I'd managed to get a double batch of flour and water on the sourdough in the refrigerator. I think that I have neglected my sourdough significantly, possibly going for months without feeding it or anything; but it seems to have figured out what to do anyway, and it bubbled happily into the warm water and new flour; and after an overnight stay in the incubator, it came out as sour as ever and bubbling happily. I got up around 8 to pull a couple cups of the starter out of the bowl and then add a mass of eggs, dried milk, honey, oil, and a bit of whole wheat flour to give it the right consistency. Then I stuck it back in the incubator and stuck myself back into my warm bed.

John actually woke up during that, and so he got up, as did his parents, while I napped for the hour until the pancake/waffle batter was done. When I got up, John had the stuff already baking in the waffle iron and it smelled wonderful. The batch made plenty of waffles for everyone and we had 'em with syrup, fruit of all kinds, and yogurt. Yum. It's funny, but yogurt always makes me think of the waffles as an ice cream cone. Yummy for breakfast!

So after breakfast we all scattered to our rooms and packed for the day, including the possibility of a cold time up at Jones' Pass. The wind was pretty brisk even down at our level, but it was also pretty warm at home because the sun was full out and I guess the mountains blocked at least part of the wind speed.

We all piled into Borax and zoomed south and west. I fell deeply asleep until we got up into the mountains, and when I woke up we were coming on vibrantly yellow stands of aspen blowing in the wind on hillsides that were going up in all directions. This was the same place we went to with Paul in the spring, and we went past the same mine, and then all the way up. This time, however, the road wasn't covered in three feet of snow in sections, so we were able to get all the way up to the Pass! Hoorah!

Once up there, it was almost the top of the world. We could see all of the nearby Rocky Mountains just laid out as far as the eye could see to the West and we could see all the mountains we'd just come up to our East with Kansas in the far, far long view. The ground there was covered with tundra. Right in the Pass the wind was just howling. It was blowing so hard that when Isabel and I started up the slope to the nearest peak, I was blown nearly off my feet, and Isabel stumbled a few steps to the side. Further up the walk, that would have been really bad as the path was fairly narrow. So the two of us decided we'd stay in the car rather than battle that insane wind all the way up that peak. All that with a starting point that was at 14,500 feet, so we were both breathless to start. John and his dad decided to go up anyway. They stayed some of the time on the leeward side of the path, when they could. When it got too narrow, they had to get on the path and lean into the wind and just battle it up.

Isabel and I sat in the truck and, at the Pass, the view was just gorgeous anyway. So we really enjoyed what we could see and we talked some. That was very good. One of the lessons that, it seems, both of us learned has been that neither of us has to keep up with our husbands when they want to do something we're not sure of doing. It was really good to know that it wasn't just me or that I was too much of a wimp.

In the truck the sunshine was a good, warm gift. The wind outside, however, was buffeting the truck so hard that it shook with each blast and we could hear it howling around us. The contrast, alone, was striking. The combination of wind, altitude and sunshine just leeched the water from us, so we were drinking a lot of bottled water from simple thirst. We'd both seen George take water with him, but when John got back, he drank most of a water bottle right then and there.

The two of them made it up to the peak and could see even further than we had and they both took pictures. So even in the truck, I could see the pics on the digital camera right then and there. That was nice. Every once in a while, someone would come up the long winding path we went up and then go down the other way, eventhough there really wasn't a way out of the area along that path. Someone happened by when John and George had made it down, so we asked them to take a group picture of us. It was funny to watch him have to brace in the wind to take our pictures and I imagine that things on us were flying wildly in all direction. George spoke about the hood of his coat flapping as hard as a flag caught in a hard wind.

We then wound our way down and with all the water we drunk, the whole group of us was looking for a restroom. We stopped at the Dairy King in the little town that was just a few miles from where we were. The little stop had really marvelous food as well as two very clean bathrooms. We took care of necessities first, and then ordered milk shakes and french fries. I'd seen the fries someone else was eating and they still had the skins on them and they looked hot and fresh and crisp and the order that I got backed up the impression. John also got bagels and bananas out of the car and we sat out in the sunshine and ate. The wind here wasn't nearly as bad as at the top as all the bulk of the mountains kept most of it away from us. That was very nice. My chocolate peanut butter shake was delicious and the salt in the fries helped some internal craving greatly.

From there we headed back down on the freeways that we'd come up on, I-70 to I-25 and we stopped at Bigg's just to show the elder Rostyki the huge market. We shopped for the things we needed that night, as John wanted Roadkill chicken for dinner. I figured chicken, bread, the vegetables we had in the fridge, a salad and dessert would take care of itself if we wanted to do that. Simple enough.

So on getting back home, John and George went out again to get some film to the Target up in Longmont, while I flattened the chicken and then did a dry marinade by combining whatever herbs smelled good to me at that moment with some paprika and salt. Rubbed it on, stuck it in a pan in the fridge. A box had arrived for me during the day, and, sure enough, it was my oil sprayer for cheap from John was great and bought me some regular olive oil from Target, and so that went into the sprayer. Both Isabel and I cut up vegetables for roasting, and when we had a big bowlful I sprayed my new half-sheet pan with olive oil with the new sprayer and then spread the veggies everywhere, sprayed 'em again and then sprinkled a large amount of chopped chives and basil all over. Then stuck it all into a 350 degree oven. It was going to take 40 minutes.

So 15 minutes later I had John put the chicken on the grills outside. Another 10 minutes later the salad was started by Isabel while John prepped a loaf of garlic bread. I put it under the broiler and got it good and crisp and then sliced it into big slices under a towel. When that was all done the veggies went into a big bowl, the chicken reached the right temperature so John put it onto a cutting board, and the salad went onto the table. I parted the chicken at the joints, and we all sat down to eat. Yum. It all turned out really well.

Dessert did take care of itself. There were still the lychee and mango jellies from recently. So I just got those out and we shared the last of them out. It made for a very refreshing and light dessert. Hoorah!

Much more cool talking, but the long walks and exercise and work of the day really took its tolls and we all got to bed before 10. That was good.

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