Used to be a ‘new’ Jersey Girl   : now A Colorado Girl

Monday, August 06, 2012

Weekend (sort of) in Connecticut: Part 1

Not quite Christmas in Connecticut*! We sweltered in the heat and humidity. I say “sort of” a weekend because it was really Thursday evening and all of Friday and Saturday. We could have stayed Saturday night but we really wanted to pick the dogs up on Sunday and the only way we could pick them up at the Sunday pick-up time of 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. was to come home after Rick’s driving class wrapped up. It saved us another meal out and the cost of our fairly expensive hotel room for another night. So, it worked out fine.

Like I said in my previous post, the state lines are drawn pretty finely between New York and Connecticut. The architecture changed immediately and weathervanes started to appear on houses. Sprawling estates and big private schools which I am assuming were some kind of prep schools were nearly everywhere we looked. You could almost hear the money rubbing together. But more about that in another post.

We stayed at the Interlaken Inn which was close to Lime Rock Park. It was pretty nice. Although not right on the lake, all you had to do was walk across the road and down to the lake. I walked down there by myself the first day early in the morning before all the little kids arrived to splash around. It was very peaceful. The lawn chairs were all lined up and waiting.

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The canoes that were provided by the hotel free of charge still rested peacefully at the dock.

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After our dinner on Friday night Rick and I walked down to the lake and sat there watching the sun set and listening to the cicadas. The hotel was setting up a ring of chairs around a bonfire for a family reunion. It had a kind of throw-back feel to it, like something from the era of the 50’s and early 60’s when families flocked to just these kind of resorts in the summer. Like in the movie Dirty Dancing, you know?

To amuse myself while Rick was in class I drove in to Millerton, New York which was just a few miles from our hotel and over the border. Millerton has a special appeal to me since my father used to drive up to Millerton when he owned the town newspaper to get it printed. At least that’s what I think he was doing, or maybe it was special off-set press work that this man did for him.

We used to go on a road that my sister and I called the “roller coaster” road because it had so many hills and turns. I remember holding on to the back of the front seats and squealing for joy, pretending I was on a ride. I was on a mission to find that road.

I asked the man in the local book store and we got out a map and talked about the choices. He didn’t really know which road I was talking about, but he pointed out a couple that he thought might be it.

Millerton has changed a lot since those days. It’s still an old-homey kind of town though. The stores all have what look like the original wood floors. The kind that creak and groan when you walk on them.

We saw quite a few defunct old railroad station buildings, both in New York and Connecticut. They preserved them which was nice. This is a peek at Millerton’s. It looked like it was now a real estate office.

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You could see where the railroad used to be, and across the street they have made the old railroad bed into a hike and bike trail which I thought was pure genius.

I also drove to this covered bridge in West Cornwall, CT. As you can see it is still a working bridge with one-way traffic. (For more info on the bridge follow the link!)

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If you look closely in this photo you can see the fisherman standing in the river.

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And that, my friends, concludes Part 1 of our Weekend in Connecticut.

*One of my favorite Christmas movies: the old 1945 version with Barbara Stanwyck. Classic!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Where have I been this past week?  and Fireworks in the night

Good question! I guess I had nothing to say in the early part of last week, but the latter part of the week was spent in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Sounds like a lot but they are all within three corners of each other.

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Reflections of the sun in windows at the church in Great Barrington, MA. Taken during daylight hours.

Rick was attending the Skip Barber driving school (Lime Rock, CT) and I was along for the ride, so to speak. We left on Thursday and arrived home last night. It was interesting for sure, and in some ways unanticipatedly interesting. Who knew borders of states were so finely drawn?

As for the fireworks part of this entry, we were rudely awakened multiple times in the night from 11:30 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. by fireworks. Someone in our neighborhood (we could never figure out who) was shooting off very loud fireworks about once per hour. So, it seemed like the moment we got back to sleep from the last one, we were abruptly and rudely awakened by another one. Sam, who was sleeping curled up by my side, jumped every time one went off. So did I! These were no little firecrackers, but arial displays that I happened to glimpse as I opened the window and looked out. What the? Who in their right mind is awake on our block at that hour, and why are they shooting off one or two fireworks every 45 minutes to an hour? We finally called the local police and asked them to please drive up the street. The fireworks seemed to stop after that, either from the police intervention or the people in charge of setting them off finally went to bed. So, I am a bit sleep deprived today and not thinking clearly enough for a proper blog entry.

More to come. Just wanted to check back in case anyone was wondering why I haven’t posted.

Here’s to a night without any fireworks!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Packed and ready to go!

We’re packed and ready to head out on our cross-country adventure first thing tomorrow morning. I had thought to snap a photo of the fully loaded truck with dog crates, etc., but I forgot and now it’s dark. So, no pic.

The dogs are not yet sure if this trip includes them or not. They see things happening and are hopeful that it includes them too and that they are not just going to the kennel for a stay. It’s odd because they usually know. Even Alex is left wondering. Will they take us or not? eBay the cat already knows and can be seen skulking around the house looking for a place to hide. Sorry, eBay: everybody goes on this road trip!

We are looking forward to being there and not necessarily the getting there, but the getting there aspect of it is really part of it. We already know where we will stop each day so I’ve made reservations in advance. Only one hotel is new to us because the one we’ve stayed at for the past four years has really gone downhill and not a great place to stay anymore. Otherwise, it’s the same dog-friendly hotels each time. Nothing wrong with what you know!

I hope to blog from the road but it’s not a guarantee. Hopefully our internet will be up and running at the cabin when we arrive but again, it’s not a given. One year we had to work things out and have out service shifted from one satellite to another. Fingers crossed that things go according to plan.

So, I’ll see you not the flip side! My cowboy hat that my mother-in-law bought for my birthday is packed. Cowboy Country here we come!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


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For those of you who might be new to the blog, I am going to fill you in a little on our cabin in Colorado since for the next two weeks+ I’ll be blogging from there. For everyone else who already is familiar with the cabin, well, ho-hum for you! But why not read on anyway and you might learn something you didn’t know about it, okay?

We first bought the land in 1988 right before we moved to Holland. Seventy acres (or thereabout) of high sage covered prairie, deep gullies with mixed forests of aspen and pine, a beaver pond (which then had a beaver), a little creek that runs in the spring with snow runoff, and an absolutely perfect meadow for a cabin.

Rick standing by one of our property markers high above the cabin. The trees you see in front of him are on our land.

We didn’t get to enjoy it much before we moved, but while living in Europe for five years we always made a point when we were back on home leave to at least picnic on the property.

After our return in the summer of 1993 at first we camped on our land (tent style). A few years later we camped in the RV. We visited at all times of the year to take note of where the snow lay deepest and what parts were accessible in the winter and which were not so we were sure we were putting the cabin in the right spot. Sometimes in the winter we could make it in and sometimes the roads were drifted over and impassable.

We finally built the cabin in 2000. Rick kept a journal of it’s “birth” and if you’re interested you can read about it here. We had originally thought we would harvest the wood from our own lodgepole pines on the land and build it log by log ourselves, but thank goodness we came to our senses and tossed that romantic notion out.

After the cabin was built we spent every available weekend there. It was a two hour drive from our house in Ft. Collins. We also spent a full week in spring and one week again in the fall. Our spring week was always when my mom was visiting. She loved the cabin so! Here we are in 2004 with Sailor and puppy Hailey. (I personally love this pic!)


Our land lies just shy of the border between northern Colorado and southern Wyoming. The closest city (town) is Laramie. From Laramie it’s about a 45 minute drive on dirt roads which are sometimes not in the best of shape, depending upon when they were last graded. There is a cattle guard at the border and from that point on the roads are not plowed by the state of Colorado. Beyond here there be dragons. Travel at your own risk!


We are off the grid, providing our own services. The cabin is mainly powered by batteries that store energy from our solar panels on the roof. We have a propane tank for the furnace and propane fridge and stove. We also have a big wind turbine that has been left dismantled in our absence but when it’s in operation we get most of our electricity from the wind.

The wind blows here. A lot. When it snows the roads drift over. Even when it’s not snowing you can encounter white-out conditions due to the dry top layer of snow being whipped by the wind. We’ve been in one of these and trust me, it was not fun.

The year that stands out in my memory was when we had our neighbor down the road (about two miles) plow a path in the road to our cabin. One morning he called us and asked us how the weather was at our place. Our cabin is so sheltered by trees that we had no idea a white-out was happening. He was coming to get us. We packed up quickly and thought to meet him outside our driveway. The snow was about three feet deep. When we started out we could not tell where it had been plowed at all. We also got stuck up to our bumper. We were sitting ducks until our savior, Larry, could be seen in his big John Deere with the huge snowblower attachment blowing snow like crazy. He blew us a path to follow him out on while behind us the snow filled in almost immediately like some hungry monster gobbling up the space. It took forever to make that trip and it was terrifying to see the sheer brutality of winter up there.

Several people now live up here year round and it causes some problems. One person likes to plow his way out, thereby causing the roads to drift over worse than they would have if left alone because he doesn’t plow them correctly. The secret is to go over the snow instead of through it so most people have an all terrain vehicle with tracks and park their cars over the border at a friend’s house.

What people don’t realize is that this land is untamable. Wild. It’s always been that way. It lets you know, albeit subtly, that it is in charge; not you. You need to live with the land up here and not against it’s natural flow.

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Some people are trying to tame it and make it more like a subdivision in town. We’re hoping the land takes charge and it never happens.

There’s a very good book that’s been written about the land surrounding our cabin. It’s called “The Meadow” and is written by a man whose family homesteaded here. It was a rough life and a good read. It’s still available at Amazon.


One of the old homesteads along the road (but not the one featured in the book!).


There is just something about the whole area that gets in your blood. I can’t explain it. It’s just there.

On and off we’ve toyed with the idea of selling it since we are so far away and unable to get there more than once a year, but we just can’t quite bring ourselves to do it. It is still Rick’s dream to live there for one entire year, winter and all, and I have agreed to see how it goes. Until then I can’t see us giving up our 70 acres of paradise.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Looking backward and forward

Looking back several years on my blog in the month of May we have always been traveling. Some of it due to it being the time of year when Rick’s company has training for salespeople in various places/countries and some was just for fun. It’s fun to look back and see what I was doing on a particular day years ago. Do you ever look at the sidebar on the blog under “On This Day …?” Lately our trip to San Miguel, Mexico and Lyon, France have been showing up. Last year this time we were in Panama.

This year however there has been no travel. Rick’s company decided to do the training right here in New Jersey so all the salespeople could see the factory where the cameras are made and since their hotel was just over the river from Manhattan in Weehawken they got to sample the city as well.

It feels strange not to be going somewhere. But, that changes at the end of this month.

We decided that after always taking our Colorado cabin vacation in the fall, this year we would switch it up and go in June instead. So, on the 26th you will find us all packed into our Suburban heading west. Hopefully this way we will get to see some moose and the wildflowers in bloom. Here too! Hopefully we won’t be too early for the flowers but since everything is ahead of schedule there (and here) this year it should work out.

Did I just say we were leaving on the 26th? Ack! Today is the 10th! Must. start. planning. NOW. I just finished up the cabin laundry. I had all the clothes done as soon as we got back last year but I just left all the linens and towels in the spare room. You know how is. You have the best of intentions to do them soon but then you forget. Or at least I do. Out of sight, out of mind.

Last weekend we made this tasty asparagus tart. It was easy: puff pastry, gruyere cheese, asparagus spears. Next time I might try spreading the puff pastry with a little dijon mustard under the cheese like I do with my tomato tart.

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We also enjoyed a fire in our little outdoor fire pit after dinner.

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And in case you’ve been wondering about Bella’s adorable but quirky little “do” you’ll be glad to know it’s been kept due to popular demand. Somehow it just suits her silly persona. No matter what we do it doesn’t stay down for long!

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Looking forward to the weekend we have no set plans as yet. Well, maybe one thing is on our agenda: the Warwick Farmer’s Market has its opening day on Sunday. I’m sure we’ll hop into Mia and take a look at what goods are available. Even if the offerings are sparse at this time of year it’s a lovely drive and always enjoyable.


Welcome, I'm Lynne. You know me better as a 'new' Jersey Girl. But now I've moved back to my 'home' state and I am living in NoCo (Northern Colorado).This blog will be about my thoughts, good food, and of course, dogs.

© 2006-2018 Lynne Robinson All photography and text on this blog is copyright. For use or reproduction please ask me first.

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