Saturday, July 30, 2011


If there's one constant in my life, it's the music...and incredible music it was, last evening.  Peter Frampton on tour for the 35th (35th!) anniversary of the Frampton Comes Alive album.  A little less hair makes for no less of a "Guitar God", by any means!  He's pretty much "aged to perfection".
Under the stars, on the sandy beach of the pool at Mandalay Bay - two (count em, TWO) solid hours of incredible guitar riffs...and the light drizzle of rain held off until the encore.  For those that I called during the concert, it was SO much better in person -wished you were there!

Monday, July 25, 2011


During my recent trip home to CO, I spent a few hours walking a couple of old cemeteries.  At the first, I was on a mission to find the final resting spot of one of CO's most historic couples Horace and Baby Doe Tabor, at Mount Olivet Cemetery, outside Golden, CO (home of the Rocky Mountain Spring Water, Coors).  Wandering about for an hour, afforded some beautifully peaceful sights...including a private Italian marble mausoleum, erected in 1923, and housing the Reed family - and it truly was the size of my own house.  All photos here can be enlarged by clicking on the mosaic (and then clicking again, if you get a little magnifying glass with a + sign).
And yes, being ever fascinated by ghost stories and horror films (I DO watch the ridiculous ghost hunter shows on occasion, and must admit that I take great, silly delight in it all...I do believe, I do believe.  Ahhhh, don't judge - I could have far worse vices), I have to admit the last two photos here, of the massive bronze doors on the place, caused my heart to flutter a bit.  There was no reason for the pinkish/blue streak of light in the middle photo, that moved across to the left side, in the second one (unseen except on the camera when I got back)...that side of the mausoleum was shaded when I stopped to snap those shots.  To you naysayers...let me have my fun here.
A few days later, during my trip with the girls to Central City and Black Hawk, my niece just happened to be at the same hotel, celebrating her birthday with her own set of girlfriends.  A call from them at 11:30 pm, found us grabbing our jackets and heading 2 miles up a long, bumpy, dirt road to a cemetery in the woods, dating back to the mid 1800's.  Ah...youth!  We would have probably just sat around that evening and done adult behavioural things, were it not for the girls.

Bald Mountain Cemetery - the name alone should have probably stopped us, as creepy as the segment from the old Disney movie, "Fantasia", set to the Wagner classic was!  And anything that starts out with one of you looking eerily like the movie trailer from The Blair Witch Project should be a tip off, as well!
 I MUST PREFACE THIS BY SAYING THAT WE WERE VERY RESPECTFUL OF EVERYTHING WE SAW THAT NIGHT!  That being said...orbs...I got ORBS!  Please just indulge my quirky little obsessions - I got orbs in my Day of the Dead photos from a few years back, for those that read along and remember THOSE photos.  All of the photos taken that night were under the same conditions...and I made sure I walked away from the "masses" and any chance of tiny little flashlights, when I was taking photos.  Away from the dirt path, and onto grassed in areas.  Held my camera up into the dark, and just pulled the trigger and waited to see what developed.

We could see nothing unusual, until we got back later.  Some pictures showed nothing, while others had anomalies galore...all under the same conditions, and some snapped within seconds of each other.  Yes, I used my flash when I walked into the dark and pointed the camera - I am not a professional ghost photographer, by any means (not that anyone would confuse me with one, either)...however, same conditions on all photos should have produced same results - in my goofy mind, at least.
For you skeptics who are thinking pollen - riddle me this...why would some of the photos have orbs, and others not - if it was truly pollen, wouldn't it be in all of the photos?  I think so!  Look carefully - I have included both non-orb and orb photos (the upper right photo actually has a beautiful LARGE orb in it but translated poorly here), so you can see what I'm talking about (in fact, the last two cemetery pictures here are of the same spot...see the orb in the center of the last one that was not there a second before).  Look...look with your special eyes!

The last three photos were taken in Nevadaville, an old ghost town that is being brought back to life...just a hop, skip and a jump from the cemetery.  A few old buildings still stand, along with the walls from the old orbs, and the same conditions for the photos.  And yes, we were extremely creeped out by the end of the of us was more than a little carsick!
Which brings me to this.  Our mode of transportation up the mountain that evening was Jessi's SUV...filling up the front and back seats of the vehicle, left us with one spot the back of the back...across the top of the large speakers.  I volunteered (car sick, as I get) the time we arrived at our destination, I was as green as my coat, and stepped out of the totally dark car (believe me, there were no running or brake lights on to light my way) into pitch blackness, landing in a small ditch we had parked atop.

One amongst us snapped this photo while I was still on the ground, and laughing about it (at that point).  The hardhat that came out with me found it's way onto my head for the cemetery crawl.  That aside, my niece and her friends had told us the main reason for going up there was they had been before, and had encountered a small boy ghost on two separate occasions.  We asked her if he had ever shown up in their photos, and they claimed that he had, indeed...AS A RED FLASH.

You be the judge...try not to burst my bubble orbs!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Continuing with a precedence we set three years ago this month, my friend Jackie and I (Charlie got drug into the mix, too) enjoyed a beautiful summer evening of music with Chris Isaak...the second time we've seen him in an outdoor setting - this time on the sandy beach of the wave pool at Mandalay Bay.  Beautiful music from a great performer...I've got an outdoor setting in mind for him, myself!  Enjoy (sadly, no beautiful, flashy rockabilly suits on this one...just his standard issue surfer look).  More travelogue in a day or so...Happy Tuesday!
Yeah, I went back for the suit video.........

Sunday, July 17, 2011


A second bout of bronchitis has had me neglecting my tour guide duties this past week, but I think I am finally, sufficiently, on the mend...
Over the past few years I have been fortunate to have forged a couple of very dear Internet friendships (I know, GASP!...and no, not Internet dating).  I started out selling on eBay and was asked to join a, now defunct, selling group called TLOFA (The Ladies of Folk Art).  One of the other sellers and I formed a computer friendship, due to the CO link, that blossomed from emails to phone calls; to birthdays and holidays; and through a serious illness her little one went through two years ago.  There was an ease in the friendship, right from the start, that usually takes years and hard work to achieve and keep.  Joleen drove to Denver last year, when I went home for vacation, and we met up for the first time, face to face...I was right.  It was the easiest friendship I had ever fallen we were old childhood friends.  She will be hard pressed to get rid of me from here on out.

When she found out I was coming out again this summer, not only did she let me know she would make the trek in from the eastern CO plains of Sterling, but another TLOFA friend said there was nothing we could do to stop her and her sister from driving in from Missouri to join us, and boy were we glad they did!  I think we both felt we had that kind of instant connection with Chris and Angie, again...and now we are four.  To quote a recent movie, "Wait a second, could it be? And now I know for sure, I just added two more guys gals to my wolf pack!"

This is what happens when you get your hair cut two days before leaving on a trip, and tell your hairdresser, "I trust you completely".  Being "hair challenged", and meeting up with three friends with fabulous hair and cuts - priceless!  Standing in front of the icy cold Clear Creek on the way to Black Hawk, CO, left to right:  Joleen Locke; Angie Kempker; Chris Schenewerk; me
Our morning meetup including getting Angie and Chris checked out of a questionable choice of motels the night before, and a two hour trip through the Brass Armadillo antique mall, where treasures were found by all...Angie was a little "put out" with the fact that Chris had schmoozed her way across Missouri and Kansas, garnering "free stuff from little old men at antique stores", as she went.  I did have to laugh at lunch, when I asked the sisters why exactly Missouri license plates sport the phrase "The Show-Me State" (I lived in MO for 3-1/2 yrs.)?  Without hesitation, I was met with a resounding chorus of "Because, we'll SHOW you our boobies!"  I don't think that was how Chris was getting her free stuff, and can say for certain that she got nothing for free while Joleen and I were with her.
My folks offered up too good of a deal to turn down at the beautiful new Ameristar casino, getting us two nights in the little mining town of Black Hawk, about 45 minutes west of Denver.  CO legalized gambling in the old mining towns a few years back, and this little town has witnessed a rebirth, of sorts.  The Central City/Black Hawk National Historic District is an historic mining settlement founded in 1859 during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush - Central City came to be known as the "Richest Square Mile on Earth." 
On May 6, 1859, during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush, John H. Gregory found a gold-bearing vein (the Gregory Lode) in Gregory Gulch between Black Hawk and Central City (these two towns are separated by mere city blocks!). By 1860 as many as 10,000 prospectors had flocked to the town, but most soon left, many returning back east.  The 1900 census showed 3,114 people - those figures are probably somewhere between 200-500 now.
The old buildings have been refurbished, and stand alongside the new casinos - gold mine tailings are plentiful still, on the hillsides surrounding town.  We thought we had found Easy Street, for sure, when we walked into a tiny bar, with swinging saloon doors, that had dollar bills, seemingly, floating on the ceiling?!  The casino houses Colorado's oldest bar, The Gold Coin.  The bartenders are evidently skilled at adding a tack to a dollar bill and tossing it, along with a quarter, to the high ceiling – the quarter comes back down, to be returned to the visitor, and the bill stays on the ceiling.
Our adventures in town continued later that evening, with a midnight trip through one of the local "haunts"...stay tuned - there WILL be orbs!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop to look around every once in a while, you might miss it."...Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Back from my own three week, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", HOME in CO...not sure where to start, but lots of updates and photos to post.  Take in a museum this summer...our first few days in Denver included a trip, with my folks and daughter, to a fabulous new exhibit (only landing in 10 cities) at the Denver Museum of Natural History:  Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah, from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship.  See it, if you get the chance..."organized by National Geographic, Arts and Exhibitions International, and AEG Exhibitions, Real Pirates examines the rich history of Caribbean trade routes during the 18th century and the link between the slave trade and piracy. You'll encounter compelling true stories of those who lived aboard the Whydah and learn about the forces that shaped their world.

You'll discover the perils and privileges of pirate life as you explore more than 200 artifacts recovered from the wreck of the Whydah -- the first fully authenticated pirate ship ever to be discovered in U.S. waters.

One of the most technologically advanced vessels of her day, the Whydah was captured on her maiden voyage as a slave ship by legendary pirate Sam Bellamy and his crew. After a few alterations and a quick hoist of the Jolly Roger, the Whydah became the flagship of Bellamy's flotilla, leading raids throughout Caribbean waters and up the Atlantic coastline.

Then on April 26, 1717, the perfect storm put an end to her pirating days, and the Whydah sank with most of her crew aboard-as well as the bounty from more than 50 captured ships. Almost 300 years later, underwater explorer Barry Clifford and his team managed to locate the wreck of the Whydah and painstakingly unearthed her treasures from the ocean floor."

IF IT SOUNDS LIKE A TRAVEL BROCHURE, IT IS...TAKEN FROM THE Denver Museum of Natural History website.  Check it out and find a city near you, for the upcoming tour.  In the meantime, Jaci had a little fun with her Captain Morgan pose (has anyone else seen that new commercial?!!!!!), a pirate "stiff", and my Mom, before we moved on to the bony dinosaur mayhem and madness division of the museum.
A visit with long lost relatives (my Mom's maiden name was Rhyno); smiling reptilians (the dinosaurs at the museum are outstanding, if you ever get the chance...they have also discovered a new hotbed of mastodon bones in Colorado recently, which I am sure will be added once they are recovered); rediscovering childhood fun with moving, interactive screens and her inner self, Jaci amused herself in the body exhibit.  A fabulous day, all in all, finished off with Mexican food and margaritas.
Take in a ball game this in Vegas, and not being surrounded by sports teams due to betting regulations, it's not something we get to do often.  My sister-in-law, her kids, my son, and I rode the RTD downtown (always a interesting experience), to the game, where we met up with the "not so brave" souls that drove their own cars.  Walk down a dark alley afterwards, to GET to those cars, and take in the sights there!  We did!
Enjoy time with niece, Jessi, had a 24th birthday - we've missed all the other ones by being away.  Wear a princess tiara (or BUY a big, honkin' princess tiara party pinata...fill it with "shooters", if you're 24).  HAVE A DRINK WITH AN UMBRELLA!
Try not to get crushed in the heat!  More to follow...I gained two new "sisters" from Missouri this summer, along with meeting up with the one acquired last summer, from Sterling, CO; traveled the SW again, with my folks, and wound up back here at my computer, with more pictures (and memories) than I know what to do with.  For those that already know that we did the graveyard with my niece at midnight, the orb pictures are outstanding and up next, in a day or so.  Do something out of the norm...

"We've seen everything good.  We've seen the whole city!  We went to a museum, we saw priceless works of art!  We ate pancreas!"...Ferris Bueller's Day Off