A View from Sierra County

Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros

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Location: In the Sierra Nevadas, United States

I blog about rural living and social issues, and the creativity that comes from knitting, as well as post random pictures of the Sierras and my burros. "In order to be an artist, one must be deeply rooted in the society" - Simone de Beauvoir


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Road Trip

These words have always been music to my ears. Maybe it's from growing up in the West, where there are big expanses to be covered if you are even going to be able to say you've been to another state. I just love throwing a few necessities in the car and taking off to see what lies ahead. For the past twenty years or so, I have preferred the backcountry to the interstate, but either way, driving into other peoples' towns, getting to peek into their back yards, see different kinds of skies, and watch for rivers and wildlife has given me some of my peak moments. As an environmentalist, I have had a bit of guilt here and there; I have been working on a little piece of writing entitled "The Conundrum of Travel" which will appear later, but for now, let me share my travels to Estes Park and back with you.

My journey started with a two hour drive to the Reno airport and a short flight to Salt Lake City. The elderly gentleman seated next to me was totally fascinated by the two circs knitting socks, and couldn't figure out what I was making. We conversed much of the journey, and it turned out he had been a paratrooper in World War II, making 17 jumps into Germany near the end of the war. He also had lived in Salt Lake City many years and was returning for a family reunion, so proved to be a great tour guide as we descended to the airport.

It was much more hectic there than in Reno, and I phoned Margene, who told me where to meet her and Carole, who had arrived about 45 minutes ahead of me.... I wasn't sure I would be able to find them, but there they were, smiling and waiting at the bottom of the stairs to baggage claim. One of the great things about bloggers is that they can recognize each other and don't need to stand, looking embarassed holding stiff cardboard signs saying "Sundstrom" or some other such nonsense... instead we were all hugging instantly.

Our first stop was The Wool Cabin, where Margene had promised I would be able to get some Trekking yarn, not available near me, so that I and my sock could trek together to Estes Park and back.

I was starved, having missed lunch, and got to have a snack at Margene's, but she had arranged for a dinner with Susan, Margene's husband Smith and friend Camille (a photo is here). Of course, we dressed for the occasion, with me wearing my Mountain Stream for Susan to see, Carole wearing her just-off-the-needles Flower Basket Shawl, and Margene wearing...

We all got up before the crack of dawn (really, it wasn't as hard as it sounds - we were pretty excited), rounded up Anne, then met a carload of the Utah grrls... Mim, who bounded out to hug us all, Laurie, Michaele who was behind the wheel, and Karen (blogless but found at Sleeping Dragon). We were transferring luggage and that was the last we saw of them until evening, as they made much better time and didn't get caught in a huge snarl of bad directions and roadwork adventures in Loveland, where we met Cathy, who stole Anne away, to meet up with us on Saturday.

The other knit bloggers sharing the lodgings that Margene had located for us (right downtown, in spite of the cruddy MapQuest directions) were greatly relieved to see us - more hugs all around and lots of laughing and knitting before walking downtown for dinner.

Margene, Stephanie and Carole trying to decide what to order.

Michaele takes a photo of the Mile High grrls...

It was great fun getting the forty or so bloggers who showed for the meet-up together for photos... kinda like herding cats!

Margene will have to tell you who this knitblogger is... I didn't catch most peoples' names!

One of my highlights from the meet-up was meeting Imbrium, who won the yarn for these socks in a contest I had hosted a few months back... she said that they were still a bit damp from their initial blocking when she donned them to head out Saturday morning. Great job!

Of course you have to see the gorgeous sky at 7500 feet in the Rockies... I never had before and was awed by the beauty of the place.

It's all about the haul, as Stephanie and Carole discuss. Carole fell for this beautiful Corriedale fleece and Steph found more spinning supplies.

A tour of the animal barns let us meet the sources of fiber up close.. I liked this colorful alpaca, but she was wary of us. Did you know that alpacas hum when they are nervous?

Stephanie took a two-day spinning workshop before the rest of us arrived, and so she headed home to Laramie late Saturday afternoon. We were sad to see her go... from left to right, Margene, me, Carole and Stephanie. Do ya think I'm tired?

Chatting and knitting while Jen (Bakerina) prepares a feast for us.

Those in our car called it a night pretty early, as we needed to depart by 6:oo AM for the long drive (Carole kept saying how brown Wyoming is). We were sad to have to say good-bye to everyone, but Kristi (Fiber Fool) got a ride back to Loveland with us, where we traded her back to her husband and took in Anne for the journey to Salt Lake City.

On the way out of Estes we met up with this guy. While not the only elk we saw, he was certainly the grandest. He is employed by the city of Estes Park to provide photo ops to tourists like us, turning his massive, antler-clad head from side to side in response to camera flashes.

Trekking across the Continental Divide - Carole and I pose with our socks.

This post has been all about the people and the journey, and tomorrow's will be about the stash enhancement, learning and projects in store.... stay tuned.


Anonymous michaele said...

It's so fun to read everyone's stories about that weekend!

Btw - the woman with Margene in the photo is Wanda of WandaWomanKnits!

8:50 AM  
Blogger Vicki Knitorious said...

The people... you can't beat 'em.

8:53 AM  
Anonymous Imbrium said...

Woohoo! My socks are famous!

9:09 AM  
Anonymous susan said...

Oh, how funny to see a photo of Paula from the Wool Cabin on your blog!

9:52 AM  
Blogger Carole said...

You did a great job summing up the journey! I loved reading it from your perspective and the photos are terrific.

9:55 AM  
Blogger margene said...

First off, I miss you! It's so strange to be together for four days and then be alone. It was more fun than I imagined!

10:20 AM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

looks like you had a great time. Hope all is well!

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Kristi aka Fiber Fool said...

You said it all so well in words and pictures! I feel so alone now with everyone scattered back to thier homes. Though it only started to hit today as I've recovered from all the busyness, LOL!

1:22 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

What fun you had!

2:08 PM  
Blogger taelixev said...

well check me out...there i am in a blog...with my sock :)


7:40 PM  
Blogger Stacie said...

Looks like a knittin good time!

7:44 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

It's nice to read another bloggers impressions of the weekend. Nice to have met you altho briefly.

8:05 PM  
Blogger SheKnits said...

This looks like too much fun. I wish we had things like this close to meeeee!!!

I'm glad everyone had so much fun! Smiles everywhere!

8:36 PM  
Blogger green-eyed grrl said...

well said, Birdsong

8:47 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...


I loved hearing about your trip. Action packed I'd say. I'm afraid if other bloggers met me, they would leave me in the dust, nappiing!

Cannot wait to see your haul. Great photos as always

6:51 AM  

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