Strange Ducks

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Gator Farm October 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — chrisandamy @ 11:13 pm

The second mission we had while we were in Alamosa was to visit Gator Farm. (follow that link if you dare, their site is terrible)

It was very cool. Essentially, its a tilapia farm, where they grow the fish (and over 400 alligators) in natural geothermal pools. The tilapia also act as food for the gators, and the waste water is filtered through an amazing collection of tropical plants and irrigates the plants that they grow to feed the herbivorous reptiles in residence. It’s incredibly eco-friendly, and from what we could tell, basically a closed system. They’re also right across the street from an 80-acre solar farm, which is really kind of creepy in a way.

Anyway…….GATORS!

RAWR!

RAWR!

A sad thing about the alligators here is that almost 1/3 of them were, at some point, pets that people could no longer care for. Fortunately, they found a home at Gator Farm, where they are well taken care of.

Don't fall in!

Don't fall in!

They also have some scary ostriches, and one lonely wallaby…..

Mean, scary ostrich

Mean, scary ostrich

Zen Wallaby

Zen Wallaby

There are several greenhouses that house fish, plants, and smaller gators and reptiles:

Pools of tilapia

Pools of tilapia

Well, that about sums it up. All in all it was an awesome weekend 🙂

 

Great Sand Dunes National Park!

Filed under: Uncategorized — chrisandamy @ 9:48 pm

This weekend we went hiking in the Great Sand Dunes National Park! We took a 6 or 7 mile loop around to the summits of the two highest dunes, High Dune and Star Dune. Star Dune is actually the highest dune in North America. 7 miles may not sound like a lot, but it’s hard work walking up one side and down the other in loose sand!

Another couple walking the rim of one of the many "bowls". We're right behind them!

Another couple walking the rim of one of the many "bowls". We're right behind them!

There are a lot of people in the park up until the summit of the first dune.

Amy on the summit of High Dune

Amy on the summit of High Dune

Then….it gets kind of desolate.

Chris, cresting a dune.

Chris, cresting a dune.

There’s not a WHOLE lot to say about the park. It’s sand. A LOT of sand, in really big piles. But it is beautiful, so we’ll just get on with the pics 🙂

The Sangre de Christo Mountains make an amazing and surreal backdrop to the dunes.

The Sangre de Christo Mountains make an amazing and surreal backdrop to the dunes.

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Taking a break

Taking a break

Star Dune, if you look really close, you can see Chris at the top. Amy declined to climb this one in favor of hiding from the high winds (full of blowing sand) for a little while.

Star Dune: if you look really close, you can see Chris at the top. Amy declined to climb this one in favor of hiding from the high winds (full of blowing sand) for a little while.

Our shadows on the next dune over.

Our shadows on the next dune over.

Almost back to the start, we are SO tired at this point!

Almost back to the start, we are SO tired at this point!

And that’s about it for Saturday! When we got back to the hotel, we were literally covered in sand. It was in our eyes, ears, noses and mouths. It coated our skin. It had gotten into all of our pockets. Chris dumped his boots out while we were still at the park, but Amy did hers at the hotel, and probably had about 3/4 cup of sand in her shoes. We had a great time hiking this amazing and unique natural wonder. Stay tuned for GATOR FARM!

 

Cara’s first hike July 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — chrisandamy @ 1:20 pm

Yesterday, Chris took Cara to Williams Canyon for her first real trail day.  It turns out she hikes really well when there aren’t any other people around to distract her!

Cara likes to jump up on things for a better view

Cara likes to jump up on things for a better view

We spent 2.5 hours on the trail, and walked approximately the same number of miles.  She seemed to have a really great time exploring everything.

Cara walking like a good girl

Cara walking like a good girl

We saw 3 other people and 2 other puppies.  Cara greeted them nicely and even seemed to want to play with a 1-year-old puppy.  Later, Cara dug her first big hole and got all dirty.

Sitting happily in her hole

Sitting happily in her hole

Eventually, we sat down and had a quick lunch, then headed back home.  We only walked about half of the trail, but I didn’t want to over-do it!  On the way back we climbed up to a small cave I saw earlier.

Cara didn't want to leave the nice, cool cave

Cara didn't want to leave the nice, cool cave

After that, we made our way back to the Jeep.  Cara is going to be a fantastic hiking partner!  All we have to do is work our way up to 6-mile trails (Chris’ typical length for a hike)  🙂

 

Meet Cara! July 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — chrisandamy @ 2:38 pm

Aka: Cara-bou, Cara-Bear, Cara-biner, etc, etc 🙂  She is a 14 week old (mostly) Australian Shepard.

Hi!!

Hi!!

She was adopted one week ago from the Fremont County Humane Society, and even though you wouldnt know it now, she was super shy when we first brought her home. The people at the shelter said that they didnt think that she had been abused, just not socialized. She’s still a little unsure in new situations, but she’ll let anybody pet her, and she seems to love to go hiking!

IMG00026-20090627-1613

She’s also very friendly with other dogs, not aggressive at all, and has been *pretty* good with the cats so far. Even though Dusty and Lilly don’t seem to care for her. Dusty has been much more accepting. We got a gate for the door to the office, which really only kind-of works right now, because our big puppy can easily fit herself through the tiny door.

We had to try to make the cat-door smaller, since our dog apparently has no bones...

We had to try to make the cat-door smaller, since our dog apparently has no bones...

Cara also likes to go for car rides!

IMG00028-20090628-1124And playing dress-up!

Eve 6 T-Shirt and headphones. Rock on Puppy!

Eve 6 T-Shirt and headphones. Rock on Puppy!

And even though there are lots of cozy cushy things to sleep on, her favorite bed seems to be the bricks in front of the fireplace…

Lazy dog!

Lazy dog!

As you can see, its been a busy week, but we couldn’t be happier. Cara is wonderful, mellow, and sweet. Puppy kindergarten starts next week, the ultimate goal being the Canine Good Citizen Award!

See you later!

See you later!

 

As Promised…. May 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — chrisandamy @ 12:40 am

My IV Line from last week 😦

Morphine goes in here :D

Morphine goes in here 😀

Feeling better, not 100% though…..

 

Wine Country Weekend!

Filed under: Uncategorized — chrisandamy @ 12:18 am

For Memorial Day weekend, we took a drive out to wine country, specifically Palisade, Co. We left friday night and drove most of the way there (it’s about a 5 hour drive, total) and spent the night in Rifle, Co. Saturday morning we finished driving and arrived at the Wine Country Inn, a new, beautiful hotel surrounded by grape vines. From our window, we had a nice view of the pool/hot tub, and the amazing table mountains behind the hotels main building.

Wine & Where it came from :)

A glass of Merlot & Some of the grape vines that made it!

(View from our room)

(View from our room)

Chris with a goofy face in front of the mesa

Chris with a goofy face in front of the mesa

We had a great time tasing wines, and we went to 10 different winerys! We ended up coming home with 20 bottles of wine 🙂 We also got to taste some locally made vodka, and brandy, which arent exactly Amy’s cup of tea, but Chris seemed to think the peach brandy (100% peaches!) was okay.

All of our new wine!

All of our new wine!

So, all too soon the weekend was over and it was time to head home, but (as usual) we stopped a few times.

Baby-ffalo

Baby-ffalo

We saw a herd of buffalo, and Buffalo Bill’s grave……

Some guy is buried here.....

Some guy is buried here.....

Well, thats about it! We had a lot of fun and bought (and drank, lol) a lot of wine 😀 Now we just have to find that perfect wine rack!!!

 

Camping Weekend! May 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — chrisandamy @ 1:37 am

After deciding that hiking 4 miles (uphill!) through 2 feet of snow was not a fun idea, we went to Golden Gate Canyon State Park for some weekend camping, which turned out to be excellent 🙂  We had a really good time, check out our bear bag!

Bear Bag

Bear Bag

(it’s that blue thing hanging in the tree.)

We also saw a herd of elk in the park, on our way to the trail head 😮

Elk

Elk

The backcountry sites at this park are really nice, they’re far apart, and well maintained, you can see how there’s a nice framed-in flat spot on which to pitch the tent….

Campsite

Campsite

We also hiked up to see one of the shelters that you can camp in that don’t require a tent, they’re very nice, and i think that next time we go to this park we’ll stay in one 🙂

Shelter

Shelter

Last, but not least, here’s a picture of Boulder Creek that runs along the road to our original destination….

Boulder Creek

Boulder Creek

Well, thats our weekend! Stay tuned for pictures of Amy’s IV line from her ER visit on Monday night…excitement!!

P.S. Just realized its been exactly a year since our last post….that’s pretty sad….we’ll try to do better!