Saturday, 29 December 2012

Hic, Yum and OOOH my head!

Hi everyone, I promised I'd let you know about Christmas with Jack and friends.  We had a fun time as you'll see, but for some reason Alan isn't talking to me.
 On Christmas Eve Jack came over with LT and stayed the night. After Santa came we decided it was time to do some vestigating. "Vestigating?" said Jack. "Yeah, you know, poking around and finding things out." "Ah" said Jack, "nothing to do with clothes or anything.  That's fine, let's get on with it."
 Hey, look what we found! A bear in a stocking. We had to get our photo taken. Don't we all look fine.
 "Oh," siad Jack, "I think I've found LT's stocking. Isn't her name very posh looking.  There's lots of STUFF in here, but maybe we should leave it alone.  Have you found anything Jockie boy?"
 "Who? Oh, me. Yep I think I've found Alan's, but D A D D Y seems to be a funny way to spell Alan. There's lots more STUFF in here too.  Shouldn't we open them?"
 "Better not, those humans can turn nasty you know."  But then they arrived and we helped them. (Ah, is that what you call mayhem?) Oh stop complaining you were just as bad if not worse.
Then we were abandoned!!!
The humans went out for dinner, leaving us in charge. So we had to do more vestigating.
"Hey Jack what's in here do you think?"
 "I dunno, but maybe we ought to have a look."
 "Look, look it's another bear." "great Stuff Jock with three of us we can have a party!!!!  Hello bear, what's your name?"  "Oh hello," came a very growly voice. "My name's Edwood. Help me get out of this bag."
 So, we huffed and we puffed and tried to pull him up, but he's a very weighty bear and we rocked things about so much the whole bag fell over and out came Edwood.  Oh how we giggled.
 Next we opened a box and there was a bear in it.  So we all said in chorus "Hello." and "Who are you?" and he said, "I don't know!" "Oh dear, everybear has a name you know?" "But I don't," he said. So he's just the Bear in the Box for now.  He said in a tiny voice and Carolina accent. "I came from a long way away, from Sebastian's hug." "Whoopee," said Jack, "That's where I came from," and that's the last we saw of both of them for a while as they caught up on all the news.
 We noticed after a while that we were sitting on a book, so we climbed down and sat around it wondering what was inside it.  Then we saw it was the Bear's Own Annual.  So the others asked me to open it, 'cos they wanted to hear all the adventures inside it.
 When we opened it we found it was the very best sort of book - a hollow one filled with biscuits!
 We only ate a couple of those and then we all sat around and some bear said, "What are we going to do now?" Everybear else said, "I don't know. What are we going to do now?"
 Well, we sat and thought and thought and then Jack said, "Hey there are four of us now! Paws up, who wants to have a party?" Well, Edwood put his paw up and I put two paws up and Bear in a Box swung higher and higher saying, "Me too, me too.You cain't leave me out of the purty."
 Next we thought, "What do you need for a good party?" Some food and drink of course and just nearby we found some hunny, and some choclits and some wine and some brandy. "Oh that'll do just fine," said Jack.
 So Jack and I went over to see if we could get into them.  Jack shinned his way up the wine bottle, but after a lot of huffing and puffing he had to admit he couldn't get at the wine never mind sharing it.
 We had a bit of a thunk and Jack whispered in my ear  "Whisper, whisper, whisper." "Oh get on with it Jack! "Sorry, do you think that Edwood might be able to help?"  He's strong enough to do what we need. Maybe you should ask him."  "Me, why me?" "Well," said Jack, " he's from LT's hug like you and you probably speak in the same accent."
 So I went and sat on Edwood's lap and explained to hime what was needed. "Umm," said Edwood, "Dat sounds like a GREAT idea."  I know, aren't we bears clever?
 So Edwood went and sat behind the bottles and rocked them back and forth until...
 Thump, thump down they fell.  "Now we're in business bears!" said Jack
"Me first, 'cos I thought about it." said Jack as he took a long slow slurp of wine.
 "My turn now," I said, "'Cos I got Edwood to do the needful." That's how I got drunk. So it's all Jack's fault really. "Not," "Oh yes it is," "IS NOT," "IS, is, is," "NOT, not, not. You pushed me out of the way to get your share." I aspose he's right. It's really my own fault, but he helped.
 "Now it's me, for I DID the needful," Said Edwood. He fairly craddled the bottle when he'd done.
 "What about me!!!!!" came the plaintive cry from the swing, so we bearhandled the bottle over and Bear in a Box got his share and more.  We'd had so much wine we left the brandy alone - just as well as the bottle looked empty!
 "What comes next?" said Edwood, "I'm hungry." "Ha, thought of that," I said, and I rolled in the hunny.
 "Yeah, well, that's all good, but how are we going to get it out?" said Jack.  Not a problem, 'cos Santa left Ann and Alan some funny spoon things called "Sporks" and I think that one of them will do the trick." And it did.
 By now were were sticky and very merry too, and then I said "I wants shome shocklit." "Shome wha?" said Jack. "You knows, Jack, shome shocklit. 'S over there in the big red box. Edwood bring over the shocklit in tha' red box." "Ohhhkay, here t'is, hic. But how are we going to get any out?"
 "I knows," said Jack in a funny woozy voice,"I can get inside and lob them out."
 And that everybeary is what he did
 We all got at least one.
 Jack and I helped unwrap them by pulling on the ends of the wrappers and soon we were sticky and chocolaty.
 Then we had a bit of rough and tumble as bears do, and we had great fun.
Caught in the act
 Then, disaster, the humans came home.  Alan looked into his box of chocolates and there were NONE LEFT.  He was very upset. Maybe that's why he isn't speaking to us anymore.
 Then LT and Ann came in and were horrified.
 This is what they saw. Four tipsy bears sound asleep in a big heap.
Then we all up with VERY SORE HEADS and quite icky tummies too. But it was all worth it 'cos it was FUN.  (You might say that, but what about my chocs?) Ah, get over it you need to lose weight anyway.


Jock, Jack, Edwood and Bear in a Box

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Up a Huge High Mounting

Merry Christmas everyone - Jack and I will be showing you our Chrimble Day in another post.

Just for the monument you'll just have to catch up with Colorado.  Life - his not mine - got in the way of getting around to this - no priorities I aspose. (Sorry bear, I'll try to keep up honest.) Humph, just see that you do.

Well ANYWAY we reached our lovely bed and breakfast in Colorado Springs late on Thursday and wondered what to do.  We thought about going up Pike's Peak on the Friday or the Saturday, until Alan noticed that Saturday would mean the "Santa Special" whatever that means, but that sounded fine to me.  Somehow the humans thought that a bad idea 'cos it only goes half way up the hill and they wanted to go all the way up. So Santa was ditched and we went on the Friday instead.

Before we went we had to look at the mounting from the end of the street.  It looked high, and even higher when he said that we were already at over 6000ft (1900m) and the top is at 14110ft (4328m).  So I said, "Hey that's a LONG way up, how do we get there? What's this special and the not special."  "Well," he said,"we could walk." Now, I thought, "How long have we got?" and, "My wee legs would be worn to stumps." So I folded my paws, looked him straight in the eye and said, "You have to be joking." He laughed and admitted that he was, and said that the special and not specials were trains.  Phew what a relief, though he says he does want to walk up it sometime.
Here are the trains, they're pretty red carriages, though as we were about to leave our kind conductor, Darrell said that the journey lasted over an hour and there were "NO BATHROOMS" and that somehow caused a stampede among the humans. It was a sedate journey up and good fun with Darrell telling us all about things on the way.
Here I am at the top with Colorado Springs way down below.  This was the first of some COLD, no BLOOMING FREEZING BOT moments. It was -18C or -1F in old money and pretty chilly though very pretty looking.
Here I am just plonked down beside the snow with all the other hills and the Black Forest behind me.  That's funny, I thought that the Black Forest was in Germany, but apparently they've got one in Colorado too.

Nothing would do but he had to get in the picture.  You can see that he was well wrapped up. (You bet. I had a long sleeved merino base-layer, two fleeces and a windproof jacket on and I was still quite chilly.  I don't have your fur I'm afraid.) Well I can tell you I wished I had some of those on, but I did get to snuggle down in his front pocket and that was quite good. Can you see me sitting there beside that big lump. (Excuse me?) Well, you are MUCH bigger than me so you must be a lump.

I think that this is the highest I've ever been without a nairyplane, and I liked the pretty sign with the snow on the top.

Soon we got called back to the train and before we went down I went and met our friend Darrell the conductor. Isn't he a very nice man.

 Here is the view from the train on the way back.  Way in the distance is Kansas and we could see other states from up at the top, but he's forgotten which ones.
At the bottom was Manitou Springs, a lovely wee town and we said we'd be back, but you'll just have to watch out for the next instalment for that.



Friday, 14 December 2012

HIgh Living - Colorado

Well hello again - it's MEEE! No correspondent, just me. Himself actually remembered me as off we went to Colorado.

First stop was Denver, speaking of which he was humming and singing to himself - it quite put me off - something about Rocky Mountain High. (Sorry bear, I couldn't help it, good old John D.) I survived the experience, snuggled down in the camera bag as is my right. Manchester to London at crack of dawn was followed by a leisurely 9 hours to Denver, where we stayed out in the middle of nowhere near the airport.

We did that strange un-American thing of going for a walk next morning. On the edge of the hotel area there were some fields and so first I sat on a pole and then a much more comfortable wooden fence to have my photies taken.  Can you see the mountains in the second picture? They're the Rockies and we were going to the top of one Rocky a few days later.

Soon we were picked up by a nice lady and man. They were Sue and Andy and they took us everywhere in the car they'd hired.  Andy thought I was funny - not very nice of him, and even funnier when he heard I had a blog - that's even less nice. He thought that Alan was writing a children's book involving me and came up with all sorts of scenarios, so I'm just going to steal a few of them for my blog. So are you going to turn me into a book Alan? (No I don't think so, not yet anyway. I have to finish my photobook on India first.) 
We drove and drove for quite a while until we reached Pueblo. The land round there is very flat and very dry so there wasn't much to see, though on the way we saw the mountings a lot, and they were very high.  We were quite high up all the time 'cos Denver is the Mile High City and Pueblo is even higher.

 Three days later
The next few days were pretty boring really. I sat in our hotel room while he went to meetings and dinners and stuff. Finally the right day dawned and off we set for our adventures.

We were aiming for Colorado Springs, but on the way we went west to a place called Royal Gorge. On the way we spotted a winery - as you do - and nothing would do but we should visit it.  I thought, "Boring!!" but then I met this chap. He looks quite severe, but I liked his santa hat. He told me that Colorado is bear country.  I like that, a whole country owned by bears. I think it's only right. We looked and looked and looked for a real live bear, but all we could see were wooden ones. (They're all hibernating so if we want to see one we'll have to go back again.  I'm up for that if you are.) You betcha, I'm up for it.

So the wine was tasted and a bottle bought for another time, plus some peach and lavender jam for Ann.  She get nice apricot and lavender in France but it's all done so we thought, "Just the thing."

Royal Gorge is a great big deep valley with the Arkansas river running through it. It's very deep indeed and it has a bridge to nowhere going over it.  We walked across the bridge and the space below is 1053ft. That makes it the highest suspension bridge anywhere.  You can see it behind me in the photo above and in this one I'm perching on the fence. Coo, it was a LOOOONNGG way down. Just behind me you can see the river and just beside it is a railway track, though we didn't see any trains.

In the Rockies there are some very old and gnarly trees, and I thought I be like Sebastian and sit in one. The bark is very rough, but I'm a big (?) brave bear and I found it really quite comfortable.
There were some animals in pens for us to see and I really liked this fellow. He's a Bighorn Sheep, he's certainly got big horns.  There were some beefalos there too, but they seemed to be sleeping so they didn't even say' "Hello," so they aren't getting their photos on here.
Next I perched on another fence while we waited for the cable car to come and collect us.  That's it in the background.  It was a long way down behind me, so wasn't I brave?  (Well, it was a few feet that's for sure, but you weren't in danger of falling down the gorge, I made sure of that.) That's what YOU say, but I wasn't so sure and it was a very long way down to the bottom for a small bear. (Aren't you a "Big brave bear"?) Of course I am, just reduced in stature, stupid. (Ah, OK just so long as I know which one of you I'm talking to.)
I was really quite worried about getting into a red box and swinging over a HUGE drop, but I tomembered that I was a brave bear and on I got. Despite the height I sat there nonchalantly whistling and kicking my heels as we went about 2000ft across the gorge.
 He ran about and kanga'd and stuff to get as many photos as he could, but I just sat and enjoyed the view. This is what you see from the cable car. It might be a bit scary for some of you, so if you don't like heights, I suggest you shut you're eyes when you're reading this.
 Oh my that was quite an adventure, though it was quite cold.  When we'd had enough oohing and aahing over the gorge we got back into the snuggly car and went all the way to Colorado Springs.

To-day was just the start of it. In my next two posts I'll tell you about a super high mounting and cliff dwellings and gardens and cakes.

Bye for now,