Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Friday, September 2, 2022

Sharing the Cool Mountains With Friends

 At Palisades RV Park, Gunnison, Colorado...

It has seemed like another world here as we occasionally check the temperature back in Texas and find it sometimes 40 degrees warmer than at our 8,000-ft. elevation. Now that we're into late August/early September, it is getting even cooler, and we run the heater almost every night. 

I have been fulfilling my very enjoyable "gig" playing the piano for park events, including Sunday Bible study and popular old standard tunes as well. I had been wanting a portable keyboard so, in anticipation of this summer's music activity, I purchased a Yamaha P-515, an amazing instrument that has the same keyboard as a Yamaha grand piano. (If you're a pianist, you know the importance of a weighted keyboard complete with wooden keys.) I'll include a short sample video:  

(Sorry for the gross-looking arm boo-boo. Getting clumsy in my old age.)

We occasionally have the honor of meeting some of our blog readers--on this occasion, a couple who, by chance, were staying here in Palisades for a few days. Fellow Texans, we have determined to meet up when we get back home and become better acquainted.  Meet Mike and Lynn. Great folks, these are:

Along with friends Jackie and Steve, who have joined us here--but at another park--we have enjoyed a number of side trips with beautiful scenery. I'm afraid there are many photos included here, but I have many more for which I didn't have room. If only everyone could spend summer in a place like this! 

Looking eastward toward Salida from the summit of Monarch Pass.

Waterfall into a crystal clear pool near Crested Butte. (Photo courtesy of Jackie Thornton)

Yellow flowers abound in a field. (Photo courtesy of Jackie Thornton)

Valley north of Crested Butte (photo courtesy of Jackie Thornton)

Beautiful flowers everywhere. These blue ones are larkspur, I think.

Loved this photo of a bee on one of the larkspur flowers.

A beautiful drive to Lake City, not far from Gunnison.

A view southwest toward Lake City

Cool, crystal clear Cebolla Creek near Lake City.

Downtown Lake City, Colorado

California Poppy planting at Lake City

Dining on the bank of the Gunnison River in Gunnison at Mike's Italian Restaurant.

Flowers in Crested Butte

More flowers in Crested Butte

Downtown Crested Butte with Crested Butte Mountain in the background.

Even more flowers in Crested Butte.

For those who requested, my latest monthly column for my hometown advertiser newspaper is available on page 28 in the following link: .  I also have articles on page 26 in the August and July issues.

We're being joined by friends Bubba and LouAnn and possibly Hank and Shirleen very soon. There will be more adventures in the offing!

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I don't appreciate it as I should every day.

We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing. 
 ---George Bernard Shaw

"I get up every morning, and I just don't let the old man in." ---Clint Eastwood


  1. Hi, Mike! I have several questions. How do we know that's really you on the keyboard? When did you open an Italian restaurant? Now that you're officially a published author, are you still going to remain friends with those of us who are not hoity toity members of the writing community?

    Seriously, I'm happy to hear that you and Sandy are having a wonderful summer and enjoying the delightful Colorado weather. You play beautifully (which I already knew), and your rendition of Misty made me wish you were soon coming to a piano bar near me. These are gorgeous photos - thanks for starting my day off with such enchanting eye candy!

    1. Haha! Well, What can I say? My photographer may have been merciful in not showing my face to avoid scaring children. And I wish I owned Garlic Mike’s. It is a great location. Glad you liked the Tune and thanks for your appreciated comments. Cheers!

  2. You seem to have good intentions but please stop spreading Covid statistical misinformation.

  3. Thank you for your comment. While I researched my article, I am not a doctor, and I am aware that the information, especially these days, is quite fluid. If your information is the indisputed truth, I hope you will offer to share it with the rest of us.

  4. Hi y'all, I really enjoyed sharing your amazing talent on your new keyboard. It sounds awesome... Miss y'all, let us know when you're back in our neck of the woods. Can't wait to visit and hear all about your time there. BIG hug for you and you pass one on to Sandy for Me. Love Y'all, Debi

    1. Well, hopefully, it won't be long. We will be in your area in October and again in December and January; we will be sure to catch up. Thanks for the nice comments; we miss you guys very much.

  5. Really loved the music, it was beautiful. Also, loved the pictures. That is sure beautiful country. Looking forward to your return to Hondo! Safe travels!!!
    Karen and Richard

    1. Well, it won't be long now...just a couple of weeks. Thanks for the kind comments; we miss you guys!

  6. Feeling serious weather envy for real, for real! Was trying to determine whether it seemed as though you were gloating, or not, and determined that you are just way too nice a guy to ever, ever do such a thing.

    This pics are glorious, and bring back wonderful memories of our times in Colorado.

    Thrilled to have finally enjoyed you musical talent. Thanks for sharing.

    Love you guys, hugs and prayers for a safe journey home,
    Janice and Dave

    1. Now you know I would never be so crass as to gloat over our far better weather. (grin). Thank you for your kind comments. We will be in your area soon; can't wait to see you!

  7. Beautiful piano playing. Question, did you ever see written music of Misty or was that all by ear from the beginning. When you begin a new song, do you have to figure out the right notes or does that just flow out of your brain. I sure wish I had that talent.

    1. What a nice thing to say; thank you! I've never seen the music to 'Misty.' Although I read music, I really don't need it for tunes that I have heard often--especially ones that I like. I can't explain being able to play in this way; to me, it doesn't strike me as a special talent; I've just always been able to do it, assuming early on that everyone else could, too. I know better now, and it's something for which I thank God daily. Thank you again for writing.

    2. Now I'm really impressed. One more question. Do you have perfect pitch?

    3. I'm not sure. Although it may seem odd, I have never really checked it out. However, I intend to do that now that you mention it. I'm sure I have relative pitch, otherwise I don't know how one would play by ear. I do know that I can determine instantly if a piano, voice or instrument sound is out of tune, and it drives me crazy. I'll update this when I get back to the piano.


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