To be thankful

I realize I’m a little late as Thanksgiving was a couple of weeks ago but I had to share my wonderful day.  Zion’s Lutheran Church, for the 25th year, fed those individuals in Trinidad who were in need and those just wanting the fellowship of friends and neighbors. No other charity location is open on Thanksgiving.  Just our little church.  With a wonderful group of volunteers, 390 meals were delivered and another almost 400 were served, on china and real silverware, their Thanksgiving dinner.  The dinner and fixings are prepared and served by volunteers made up of the church members and the Trinidad community.  It is truly a labor of love.

Last year was the first time I participated in the event.  Once again this year I am overwhelmed at the appreciation from those down on their luck, those just wanting to leave the cooking to us, and the amazing feeling at the end of the day for having participated. There is no doubt that I’ll be cooking multiple turkeys and boat loads of stuffing again next year.


Now on to other things – the wildlife has been plentiful of late.  The deer rut season has just ended.  Many does wandering around glassy eyed and bucks needing, well, a nap by now.  Here is one of the bucks, having just emerged from the forest looking rather glassy eyed himself.  See how big his neck is?  That’s a sign it’s that time of year.  As I rounded the corner there was a pretty little doe just standing there looking at me.  I believe she was saying, what the heck just happened!  lol.  Ahhhhhh, the forest.


Yesterday I saw two huge bull elk just on the ridge by my house.  Unfortunately my little phone camera wasn’t powerful enough to get a photo but I know I’ll see them again soon and I’ll try to be more prepared.

Lets jump into a bit more history about this area …

Less than an hour from Trinidad is the Capulin Volcano.  It is an interesting place to visit.  Here is what the National Park Service wrote about it –

From the National Park Service:[1]

“ Capulin Volcano National Monument is a well-preserved, relatively young (58,000 to 62,000 years old), symmetrical cinder cone. It rises steeply from the surrounding grassland plains to an elevation of 8,182 feet above sea level. The irregular rim of the crater is about a mile in circumference and the crater about 400 feet deep.
Capulin Volcano is one of the outstanding landmarks located in the northeast corner of New Mexico, where the rolling grasslands meet the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Capulin Volcano’s highest point provides unobstructed, panoramic views of the volcanic field, distant snow-capped mountains, and portions of four states (New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado).

Capulin Volcano also offers visitors excellent opportunities for observing and understanding volcanic formation. The large volcanic field surrounding the monument contains at least 100 recognizable volcanoes, and aids visitors in gaining insights into 10 million years of the geological history of northern New Mexico.

And finally from the forest.


Happy Fall Y’All

Greetings from the very colorful forest

We all know with fall comes colors, animals come out from hiding from the heat and we await the first snow.  I heard today from someone who checks the Farmers Almanac that here in the Trinidad area the first snow is expected November 10th.  That’s so very exciting.  But in the meantime here are some colorful pictures as well as some animals:


Now the other day on my way into town I saw this –


Yes it is turkey mating season.  Yes those are all turkeys, male and female, hanging around.  A turkey orgy I believe was about to ensue so I snapped my photo and moved on down the road.  I wouldn’t want to interrupt nor be accused of taking turkey porn photos!

I would like to share some history about the Spanish Peaks.  The Ute Indians name these two mountains Huajatolla meaning two breasts or breasts of the earth.  The west peak is 13, 626 feet and the east peak is 12,683 feet.  They are part of the Sangre de Cristo mountains.

They were an important landmark on the Santa Fe Trail. The mountains can be seen as far north as Colorado Springs (133 miles), as far west as Alamosa (85 miles), points south to Raton, New Mexico (65 miles), and points east of Trinidad (up to 15 miles).

Spanish Peaks.jpg

And as I bid you a wonderful day from our forest to yours…..


History Surrounds Us

Greetings from the Forest

Growing up and living in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area in Arizona there was little history other than a building here and there along with the history class in school.  What I find here, in southern Colorado, is the abundance of history and it’s so enlightening.

Take for instance the church I attend.  Zion’s German Lutheran Church was built in 1889 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties in 2006. As Trinidad grew with the railroad and pioneers were making their way west, the German Lutherans came and found themselves in a strange new land with unfamiliar customs.  It was instinctive for these immigrants to congregate around their faith.  Although the Presbyterians asked the Lutherans to join them, eventually the German’s realized they needed their own church.  So in September 1889 the excavation commenced.g1-2149-1

The building ended up an eclectic mix of Romanesque, Gothic, German Renaissance, and Tudor architectural styles.  It is a beautiful, peaceful work of art and a church family of such welcoming love.  I am grateful to God to be a part of such a wonderful congregation.

Moving on, did you know Masterson was appointed city marshal of Trinidad, Colorado on April 17, 1882. He had hardly settled into his $75 a month marshal’s job when Wyatt Earp needed Masterson’s help to prevent the extradition of John Henry “Doc” Holliday from Colorado to Arizona.


Masterson took his case directly to Colorado Governor Frederick W. Pitkin, who listened to Masterson’s appeal and finally refused to grant Holliday’s extradition. Masterson’s rescue of Doc Holliday, and his nightly “moonlighting” as a faro dealer spelled doom for his career as city marshal of Trinidad, Colorado. On March 28, 1883 a local paper noted that: “There are now two ‘bankers’ running for city offices – Mr. Taylor of the Las Animas County Bank, and Mr. Masterson of the bank of ‘Fair O.’ Both have a large number of depositors – one of time depositors and the other receives his deposits for keeps.” The voters of Trinidad got the message. On April 3, 1883, Masterson was defeated by a lopsided vote of 637 to 248.

And that’s it for todays history blog.

One last thing –

Fall has arrived!

Greetings from the Forest

So the first day of fall was Thursday, September 22nd. It was a crisp and clear morning. You could almost smell the change in the air. The oak brush is turning a golden yellow and orange. The aspens are quaking and changing to a brilliant yellow. The pinecones are falling from the trees faster than you can pick them up. They make great fire starters in the wood stove as well as craft projects! I love this time of year. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and we wait for the first snow.


Many of the locals as well as visitors, travel up Highway 12, the Highway of Legends, to the Cucharas Pass area to see the aspens changing colors. A sure sign fall has arrived and winter is just around the corner. It is a beautiful drive and one I had no clue about before I moved here. In the Phoenix area we didn’t experience a true change of seasons so I love to see it happening here.

The forest animals are working on getting their winter fur and the bears are chowing down getting ready for hibernation. I wonder if the baby bears know they’re going to have a nice long nap. It’s probably instinctual or maybe mama has explained it. Can’t you just imagine mama bear with her babies around her and mama explaining snow, cold, winter, napping in the den and the anticipation of spring. Ok, so maybe I just have that image in my head but it could happen, maybe.




Ok that Highway of Legends (State Highway 12) – what is it? It goes from Trinidad to La Veta Colorado through the San Isabel National Forest. Established in 1920 it was designated a Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway in 1989. The highway passes through several historic little towns such as Segundo, Stonewall and Cuchara where the pass is 9,938 feet in elevation to the west you can see the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It is a beautiful and historic drive and highly recommended.


So happy fall from the forest and of course it wouldn’t be my blog without….

The boys –