It’s Fall Fall Fall…

22 09 2008

The few trees with leaves started to change around here about 1-2 weeks ago, but now it certainly is Fall.  Funny since today is the official beginning of Fall, I’m used to a late October-November type situation.  It gets up into the 80s here on a daily basis but at night it drops down into the 40s and sometimes even 30s…it’s September so you’ll excuse me if I look to the coming months with a sense of dread.

For a few days there was an invasion of crickets in our house.  Maybe 3 or 4 of those inch long, thick-bodied, freak you out crickets.  It seems to have passed though, a healthy dose of bug killer probably helped. The worst is that they seem to have a little spike that sticks out of their rear which makes them resemble roaches.  Imagine my shrieks when I first discovered what I thought was a roach in my kitchen (GROSS) and then it jumped (JUMPED!!!) about a foot in the air in my direction. The scream must’ve been ear-splitting. Thankfully only a cricket, which I have no problem catching with my hands and tossing out the front door.


First REAL thunderstorm

16 08 2008

Okay, so a clear theme on this blog is the weather. i can’t help it, it is so different here. Last night was what I consider our first REAL thunderstorm in Colorado. There was even a Severe Thunderstorm Warning…exciting!!! At 4am we woke up (I almost always sleep through thunderstorms) to the tap-tap-tttap of hail on the windows and roof. The hail actually lasted for over 2 minutes, long enough to lay in bed, realize what that noise was, marvel at its intensity, get freaked out by the increased intensity, get out of bed and look out the windows and then discover our ceiling leaking on the carpet. NICE…so a perfunctory call to the landlord was made, because HELLO leaking ceiling!!! Don’t worry though, based on the charming water damage spots in the ceiling I knew it was only a matter of time before the ceiling collapsed on us and placed furniture away from the offending spots. One day I will post about all the problems we have had with this house. Thank god for renter’s insurance.

There was enough hail to pile up in places so that it almost looked like snow…in August, shoot me now. The hail was only pea-sized, maybe two peas-sized, coupled with an actual downpour and sufficient lightning. Sorry no photo, I was pretty much focused on making sure we weren’t going to die or suffer property damage, and getting back into bed.

One of the major differences here, is the after-effects of 1-2 inches of rain. Actually even a much lower amount. Because there is no grass, trees, etc. There is a real problem with flash-flooding. Now of course we have that back home, with the occasional creek over-topping its banks, maybe your basement gets flooded or a low lying road is blocked. But out here it is a lot faster, and seem a lot more dangerous. The other day a very small rainstorm washed out an entire roadway near here. Every open field has deep ditch/canyons called arroyos that snake across the land, heck we even have a mini-ditch that runs though our front yard. It’s just that water comes fast and doesn’t have anywhere to go. Plus all the mountains…that too. I will take pictures next time I get a chance.

Tunnel Drive: Trip includes REAL Tunnels

8 08 2008
Tunnel Drive has cacti

Tunnel Drive has cacti, this one stuck out over the trail, it is probably the most common type of cactus in this area.

unnel Drive is actually not a “drive” but a hiking trail. It overlooks the Arkansas River and railroad tracks from the entrance of the Gorge at the west edge of Cañon City to about the 1.1 mile marker into the Royal Gorge. It is a narrow trail, originally constructed as an irrigation ditch that winds its way among the foothills and through three tunnels of solid granite west of the city.

Yesterday I decided to go check it out during the afternoon and take some pictures. Later I took Webb up there to check out some of the scenery. Below is the sign placed at the entrance to the trail head.

I’m intrigued by the rule which states “alcoholic beverages allowed by special permit only.” A little further up the trail you come across this lovely welcome.

There are lots of warnings for this trail

There are lots of warnings for this trail, this one at the entrance was a little disconcerting. "Trail Subject to the Following Hazards, Cave-ins or Land Slides" WHAT?!?!?!

The trail offered scenic views of the river and railroad tracks

The trail offered scenic views, this one is right past the entrance to the trail.

The river and railway

The river and railway, considering the surrounding area, the river area is so green

Grape Creek meets the Arkansas River

Grape Creek meets the Arkansas River

These are the first two MUCH smaller tunnels

These are the first two MUCH smaller tunnels

Tunnel Drive has real tunnels!!!

Tunnel Drive has real tunnels!!! There are no lights in there, it gets pretty dark and windy inside.

Do not throw or roll rocks over the side of trail

Do not throw or roll rocks over the side of trail, entrance to the longest of the three tunnels

Once you get inside the tunnel you walk maybe 150 feet to the exit. Very dark, the following is a photo from about 20 feet inside the tunnel entrance.

Inside the largest tunnel

Inside the largest tunnel

This is a view up the side of the trail.  Dont let the picture fool you its really really far to the top!

This is a view up the side of the trail. Don't let the picture fool you it's really really far to the top!

After all that WHINING…

6 08 2008

So yesterday I complained about how we never get rain here in the High Desert region of S. Colorado. Today there are actually rainclouds showing up on doppler and a flood warning…

August 6, 2008 Doppler.  Canon makes a triangle with Pueblo and Colorado Springs.

August 6, 2008 Doppler. Canon makes a triangle with Pueblo and Colorado Springs.

A flood statement

A flood statement - The urban and small stream flood advisory for minor flooding due to heavy runoff and ponding of water remains in effect until 4:15pm MDT for East Central Fremont County.

Don’t be fooled, around here there can be a flash flood and no rain. Of course, the Ohio River can do this as well, but usually you get a bit of an advance warning. Now, 4:15 is only 2 hours away, and I haven’t seen any rain or indication of rain (we’ll see what happens).

Rain: Such a Tease

5 08 2008

Today while waiting in the lobby of the Driver’s License office I had a conversation with a rancher from east of town. We started talking about the weather here and how it never rains. Apparently, though not surprisingly, there’s been a drought here for the last nine years. NINE YEARS!!!

Which brings me to the fact that…it never really rains here. One of the most frustrating things about living here is rain. There is lots of lightning and thunder and the occasional sprinkle, but serious ground soaking rains just never seem to happen.

The worst is when you can SMELL the rain, you can see the thunderclouds and the rain coming down off in the distance. It’s coming right for you, and then somehow it doesn’t rain. Or even better, it just rains a few sprinkles on the sidewalk that evaporate immediately and then speeds on out of town.

It has heartlessly threatened to rain here for several days, but still nothing…it actually started to rain here about 10 minutes ago and it’s already stopped. The areas under the trees aren’t even wet and it’s already over. The flip side of this whole complaint is that it is VERY sunny here most of the time and the evenings are enjoyable. Last night after the sun went down we went to get ice cream at Baskin Robbins and sat outside. It was the perfect temperature.

Since I haven’t put up pictures in awhile, here’s a view as you come into town…the big hill/mountain that you see is where Skyline Drive is located.