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Rocky Mtn Trip & HP 1003: The Perfect Traveling Jacket

My new uniform! Enough room for multiple layers and sweaters but style enough for just a cami underneath. Easy to slide into and out of, those huge sleeves make perfect sense. And the pockets, Oh My Gosh, made keeping keys and necessaries so easy.

The New Uniform

Seriously, I wore this jacket last week almost constantly on a driving trip to the Rockies. That is 4 days in the truck and 3 days in Estes Park, going with the flow from hot weather to snow.

We rented a tiny cabin

Miner's Cabin

with a fantastic view


and explored the local surrounds after making breakfast, packing lunches and cleaning the cabin


while David Lee showed his Hello Wood Products Montessori materials and furniture to a wonderful group of teachers attending the Montessori in the Mountains conference put on by the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies.

It’s the time of year when elk come down from the high mountain to graze the lower meadows


and they wandered everywhere through the grounds of the site of the conference, the fabulous YMCA of the Rockies.

Gaely GoLightly kept vigilant watch for smaller things she could understand, like squirrels and and chipmunks.  She’s 14 now and her eyesight is poor enough that she doesn’t wander far from my side.  She’s a much more prudent dog than she was as a wild Westie youngster when nothing could stop her


We dined out only one night and mostly ate in the cabin which had a tiny kitchen. We were able to keep costs down and avoid the rich foods served in restaurants. These sales trips can be plenty fattening if we have to eat out all the time.

Dave had originally planned to pack up quickly and return to Tennessee ASAP to get back to work but Jane, a very wise woman who owns Montessori Services convinced me to plead for a quick trip through the National Park.


You can see the trip photos here on my Flikr set  I must apologize (even tho some will tell me not to apologize, this I already know) in advance for the darkness of the photos. It was difficult to use a point and shoot camera, even with amazing telephoto lens, to shoot across such light and dark and deep landscape. The colors were amazing, changing constantly with the snow storm and then clear mountain light in the afternoon.

I wish we had more time to spend in Rocky Mountain National Park. Maybe some day I can go back and hike and camp and do all the things that I wish to do.

I am reading A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains by Isabella L. Bird. You can read it online here or download an audio version here I highly recommend getting to know her life and work.

What a delightful time this has been and is continuing to be, thanks to the book. More access to it is available at LibriVox

I was scheduled to join Dave on this weekend’s travel to South Carolina Montessori Alliance conference in Columbia tonight and Saturday, but I reneged on my driver’s responsibilities in order to stay home and process the jalapenos and bell peppers which are bending their bushes to the ground. The Santa Ana pole bean plants are still producing as are some of the heirloom tomato plants and okra. The fall plantings of sugar snaps and sweet peas are coming in and the cole crops are being enjoyed by caterpillars that I mercilessly pick off and smash under my toe. For the first time in my gardening life I used Sevin, sprayed before our trip, to protect the plants from aphids and those caterpillars while I was gone. I really don’t know if I’ll do that again. While it helped the Brassicas to thrive (except for one row that was being munched when I got home and I can’t explain why) I am afraid I’ve done more damage than good. My wasps are gone and aphids have invaded the okra. Oh dear, I do hope I didn’t upset the balance of nature there! Ah, well the okra is over 12′ tall now and slowing down it’s production of pods in the cooling Fall temps.

One beet has been pulled by me (yay!) and a number of carrots have been pulled by what I suspect are voles tunneling under the row! That’s a funny thing to see: the carrot tops slowly disappearing into the ground. Yeah, I’m easily amused. 🙂

By Wednesday I’ll be on the road again, this time to Sarasota, Florida’s beautiful beaches and perhaps a dinner with the Hot Pattern crew if we can match up our schedules. Sadly, Patch won’t be with us this trip but it’s fun to see the pictures of him and Gaely enjoying the Beach from our Nov 8, 2009 trip.  Click this link, to see my fav shot of Patch on the Beach, looking so happy after such a long life at the end of a short chain.  Ah, that was a grand trip, too!

Isn’t it great to be able to sew and have a wardrobe that will work in all these different climates? What a luxury, I couldn’t have matched it back when I worked in a corporate environment and had to travel.

After Sarasota, Florida, we will be in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From the warm beach to the cold beach. Ahhhhhh! I will have my new jacket with me for sure


100_1186 Dog & Jacket

I clearly wasn’t ready for this last shot, LOL!


About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

9 responses »

  1. I am envious. What beauty.

  2. Wow, what incredible scenery!! You are a busy lady- good that you have a jacket that can keep up with you.

  3. Gorgeous jacket….the perfect garment for changing weather…I think I could use one here.
    Looks like a beautiful place to visit and it is so nice to see that you bring your dog with you 🙂

  4. What a beautiful jacket and scenery!

  5. Your pictures are fine, however I’m not ready to think about snow, even if it is in the Rockies. One thing I’ve found with my point and shoot is to aim at a dark spot in the shot, hold the button down just until the camera does it’s focus magic, the holding the button as it is, re-frame the shot. The down-side is that the light areas might be too light. That’s one thing I do love about digital cameras, you can play around and see the results right away instead of trying to remember what you did when you get the film developed weeks later.

    It’s great to have such a versatile jacket, and even better when it’s your own creation!

  6. Great pictures – what can be better than hiking in the mountains?
    (although, seeing the snow was quite a shock – here we still have temps in the 90’s in the afternoon, which is actually a bit strange, and a bit much!)

  7. We honeymooned in the Canadian Rockies almost 20 years ago at just this time of year, too! It is grand scenery! I think that the tiny cabin is the bet way to do it … that is what we did, too! We had a couple of elk encounters on the roads where they decided to do a herd crossing just as we go to a dark spot on the road, too. Very eerie sounding, when you have hundreds of elk int he woods and then on tarmac and then in the woods again. Never forget it!

  8. Amazingly beautiful. Thank you so much for all the pictures. Wonderfully tempting to visit this corner of Colorado. The cabin is so cute and with a vavavoom view !!!

    Your jacket is super interesting. You seamed to have used a colourfull lining. I want to see more of it.


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