All of these horsey pics were taken exclusively by my Bride while I cowered in our Urban Assault Vehicle with all the windows closed and the air conditioning turned down to a comfortable 20 degrees below zero in an effort to protect myself from horse dander which, if inhaled, completely shuts down my breathing apparatus.  Like George Bush, the closest I ever get to a horse is behind the windshield of an air conditioned pickup truck.

Speaking of which…

Rocky Mountain Color                                            September 22, 2012

I tried to talk my Bride into donning a hardhat and taking the elevator down a 1,000 foot mine shaft to get some hands on mining experience, and perhaps secure a permanent job, but she just wasn’t going for it.

And so, I took her 4-wheeling instead…

As it happened the Colorado Grand car show was also in full swing at the fairgrounds this weekend and provided some non-horse entertainment for those rare moments when I would poke my beak out through a ceiling vent to scent the air and ensure it was safe to venture forth into the great outdoors…

If you pay very close attention you will notice that “Tex” Bryan is decked out in his entire “cowboy costume” which consists solely of a Stetson hat actually purchased in the great state of Texas.  Your obvious question would be, “Why?”  And the not so obvious answer is that Delta County is hosting the Colorado High School Rodeo competition and we are plum in the middle of all the action…

I suppose that a word of caution is required at this point.  Although we actually search out roads of this caliber, doing so is really not a smart idea if you are not experienced with extreme 4-wheeling and do not have a properly equipped vehicle.  Doing so can lead to some pretty dire consequences…

Like a herd of Elk we are continuing our southern migration toward our winter feeding grounds in Donna, Texas.  Okay, elk don’t really migrate that far because they have nice thick fur coats to keep them warm in something less than bikini weather and, since we do not, Donna is our ultimate destination on this journey.

Thus, we find ourselves in the sleepy little Rocky Mountain town of Hotchkiss, Colorado, camped out at the Delta County Fairgrounds…

This particular “road,” appropriately named the Devil’s Punchbowl  runs between the towns of Marble and Crested Butte and really is “the road less travelled”…

However, if you throw caution to the wind and completely disregard all of the posted warnings, you are rewarded with some really spectacular scenery that you just don’t see by playing it safe…

This accident happened on a flat gravel road near Lake City, Colorado, and was the result of mixing 4-wheeling with alcohol.  Fortunately, neither the driver nor passenger was seriously injured thanks to seat belts, shoulder harness and a roll bar.

And so, with that last cheerful thought, we’ll leave you for the time being and get all of our gear packed up and secured for a day of coaxing our overloaded and under-powered home over the 12,000 foot high passes en-route to our next stop:  Silverton, Colorado.  See y’all in the funny papers!  Hugs, C&K

The Hotchkiss area is home to 3 large coal mines and, like small towns in other coal mining regions, the communities surrounding them are heavily dependent on their continued operation to support the local economy…