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Sep 4
nolan lake journey

Life & Love, Photography, Travel
Nolan Lake“The longest journey begins with a single step, not with a turn of the ignition key. That’s the best thing about a walking, the journey itself. It doesn’t much matter whether you get where your going or not. You’ll get there anyway. Every good hike brings you eventually back home. Right were you started.”   →Edward Abbey  

Yes, the journey for us always begins with a single step! While I believe every season is a great one to enjoy Colorado, summertime days are the perfect excuse to hit the trail. The Nolan Lake Trail is almost entirely uphill in order to reach the lake. Leaving from the Town of Fulford the trail is three miles long… did I mention it is uphill!? Oh and don’t forget the fun elevation factor. The trail itself is easy with few obstacles and no big water crossings. Nolan Creek flows adjacent to the trail at various sections, some offering picturesque views of waterfalls. The lake is well worth the hike.  It is nestled within a mountainous basin, seemingly hanging above the valley below. For the Mooseboy’s 9th birthday it was the perfect hike since the trail is an out-and-back, ending at the original trail head in Fulford. The views were splendid and the company was truly memorable! Have you ever hiked to Nolan Lake, we would love to hear about your Journey. Do you have a favorite hike?

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Sep 28
:: hats off to you ::

Life & Love, Travel
Peruvian hat Saving some of my favorite hats until last. Hats. Don’t you love the colors! The soul of Lake Titicaca lies on the unique Taquile Island that is blessed with the natural backdrop of Bolivia’s Mountain Range and a hilly landscape. The people of Taquile island have their distinct dress, influenced by Catalunyas’ Sadarnas (Spanish traditional wear). We were lucky enough to have lunch on the island, where they shared with us their local food and costume. I found that the hats are always colorful with long tassels in all the colors of the rainbow. Also, in Peru, you can identify each man’s community by the colors and designs in his knitted woolen hat. You can also distinguish if he is married or single and what position he holds in the community by his hat. This young man was single …. tassel on the right!  I say use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words … What do you think? I would love to hear about a favorite photograph that you have taken.

Sep 20
:: the people & hats::

Life & Love, Travel
Peru GoldenNow that our website seems to be working again it is back to posting some of my favorite photos from the Peru Adventure, yippeee! I noticed Peru had a lot of female Law Enforcement Officers and was told by our guide that “woman are much more trustworthy and do not take bribes”, interesting. It just seems natural that one should always respect the Law Personnel (Police Officers). In Peru, the most common word to call a police officer is “Jefe” (which means boss). I tried my hardest to respect this team of Officers, but …. I could not do it! Those of you wondering if this is Moose’s Peruvian cousin, I will leave you guessing. I will tell you his (the Golden Retriever) job was “Drug Dog”. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA While in Peru, whether it was visiting the Inca archeological site of Sacsayhuaman (Socksie Human – or as the men would say “Sexy Woman”), climbing the pathways of Machu Picchu, or roaming the streets and markets everyone seemed to be doing something to earn a living. The most prominent way I noticed (because I became obsessed with taking photos of hats), to get a nice photo with (semi) smiling faces was for me to ask to have their picture taken and then pay a small amount. Otherwise I got a lot of photos of the back of heads – remember I mentioned I took over 1500 photos, now you know why! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA One thing that always interested me was the fact that all the women wore hats, especially in the open markets and streets. This photo proves the point. It was taken in the open market when we visited Pisac in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. These are beautiful people with lovely hats. This woman is selling the local corn. Peru grows something like 300 different varieties of corn and they have the largest kernels anywhere. Have you ever had salted corn nuts which are sold in the candy department of convenience stores? If not, go take a look at them some time and see how large the kernels are. The corn may come from Peru. 

Aug 30
:: the colours and my pattern addiction ::

Life & Love, Travel
color_collage

“Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this?
No. Just as one can never learn how to paint.” ― Pablo Picasso

Thanks to everyone for hanging in there these last few weeks during the awful malware disruption to our website. A huge hug & thank-you goes out to Ghostly Ferns for coming to our rescue! Now continuing on with more photos from Peru … These are truly some of my favorites. I have a weakness for colour, natural fiber and of course Alpacas & Llamas. The Andes are filled with a great diversity of plant life and the Andean people have a rich knowledge of the use of these plants for medicines, and for dying their cloth. The demand created by foreign tourists {me} for ‘natural’ handmade products, has meant that the Peruvian people are now placing much greater importance on the use of natural dyes, and the preservation of their ancient traditional skills. Red is a very important colour to the Andean people. Since ancient times, red has been the brightest and most highly-saturated colour that could be produced with natural dyes. This fact, coupled with the peoples’ innate love for bright colour, has led to red playing a dominant role in the palate of traditional Andean cloth. Cochineal is the most commonly used substance for the production of red dye. It is a scale insect {relative of the aphid} found on the prickly pear cactus, which is common to the Sacred Valley. The insect is ground using stones or mortar and pestle to release the deep red pigment, which is then added to water and boiled as the basis of the dying process. Additives are used in with cochineal to adjust the hue. I learned that lemon salt is commonly added to change the red to shades of pink, purple and more, it is amazing to watch! There are other substances that are used to produce red such as, Achancaray, and the roots of Chapi-Chapi (a relative of Old World Madder), which was used in ancient Peru I was told.  I was lucky enough to bring some natural dyes home with me and hope to use them soon for some “pops” of color in future design projects, stay tuned. What are your favorite colour combinations in nature?


Aug 20
:: the markets ::

Life & Love, Travel

chocolate I was on a quest for chocolate and coffee beans. Something that is so very plentiful here in Colorado! I wanted the “real” thing and luckily I found it. I absolutely loved the short time I spent at the San Pedro Market. I happened to stumble upon this huge market near downtown Cusco, and what a find! Row after row of textiles, followed by rows of butchers market_collage

(Not being a meat eater, I, as with most Americans are certainly not used to seeing pigs heads, entrails, and organ meats prominently displayed!), then fruits & vegetables, cheeses, chocolates, coffee, and in the back were dozens of restaurants.  I never did figure out what that brush was for by the pigs heads, hummmm….. The vendors greeted me like we were long lost friends and I did not even speak the native language, but am a good smiler + pointer!  What a wonderful experience. Think of it as the ultimate farmers market. Meat, veggies, fruits, herbs with a huge fresh juice section as well as a massive section in the rear where vendors cook and sell food. Great opportunity to get amongst the locals, finally.  Some fantastic photo opportunities. They also have wonderful, dirt cheap 100% cocoa chocolate. My mission was complete and I found some beautifully packaged chocolate with stunning hand illustrated labels, a designers dream! I also came to find out coffee beans were rare due to the fact that most people do not own a coffee grinder. Not far from the Plaza de Armas, across the street from San Pedro church and San Pedro train station. The mercado was certainly a fantastic place to spend an hour, I wish I had the entire day, but I was so nervous I would not remember how to get back to the hotel + my entire group would continue on without me. It was a great adventure! What is your favorite “home” or “abroad” market?