Friday, September 28, 2012

Fall is the Best Time of Year

The crush of summer guests has moderated now that it's almost October, but the work is no less intense. We are looking for a new housekeeper; anybody want a job?

The aspen color is past its peak now, but there's still a lot of beauty to be seen. Just this morning during breakfast, I looked out the dining room windows to the west, and light from the rising sun hitting the trees on the far side of the road made the leaves positively glow. Annie Dillard, in her spectacular book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, wrote a chapter on "the tree with the lights in it." I read it in college; in spite of her splendid prose, I didn't understand what she meant until I moved to Colorado and saw the aspens.

It's as if the sunshine hitting the leaves all summer was somehow sequestered in them. Now that the chlorophyll has faded, the slightest bit of light hitting them makes them explode with color.

It's quiet at the High Mountain Lodge right now. Instead of ten or more couples on a weekend, we have two or three. This makes for a lot of cooking fun. Just this morning, I made herb scrambled eggs stuffed in popovers and roasted asparagus with lime-chipotle hollandaise because one of the couples staying with us were repeat guests who had had that dish before and specifically requested it. I was happy to oblige. We don't have the staff to accommodate table service if we have more than six or eight people staying with us, so it's nice to be able to cook for just a few people.

If there is one thing that doesn't change with the seasons at the High Mountain Lodge, it's the quiet. We have little traffic noise regardless of the season, but in fall, it seems as if the peace just doubles down. We're far enough from the train tracks that on the rare occasion when we here the train horn, it sounds romantic instead of something that "makes you want to stick an ice pick in your ear"--as a Trip Advisor review of one of our competitors--who have the train tracks running virtually through their back yard--noted.

This is a quiet and peaceful time. There's not much going on. It's a perfect time for hiking in the Indian Peaks Wilderness and Rocky Mountain National Park, for fishing in the Fraser and Colorado Rivers, for horseback riding, for a last few rounds of golf on fairways surrounded by snow-dusted peaks. The winter ski season is a few months away (please, God, send us good snow!)

Lots of "locals" leave town for a quick vacation before the ski season gets busy.We prefer to stick around. We're getting additional rooms ready for winter, as well as fixing the hot tub (yet again!). But it's all good.

Come visit us during this magical season.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Fall Color

Golly, has it been a year since my last blog post? Uh, I guess so. Only excuse: we've been busy!

After a disappointingly snowless winter and a very dry spring, mid-summer saw the weather turn around and the pasture green up quite nicely. In spite of the "bad" weather, we have enjoyed a flood of wonderful people to the High Mountain Lodge recently.

We also had an amazing summer for hummingbirds. The little guys went through a fifty-pound bag of COSTCO sugar in July and August, alone:

Improvements to the High Mountain Lodge include a pergola on the upper deck, replacement of the deteriorating deck railings, and the renovation of another room at the Lodge.

But that's beside the point. The aspen are turning early this year, and we want to see some friends visit us.

Of course, if the early aspens are any indication, then we're expecting an epic winter. Make your reservations soon.