Sunday, September 2, 2012

Rocky Mountain High

We arrived in Estes Park, Colorado yesterday afternoon, tired, but glad to be in one spot for a few days!  And what a beautiful spot it is.  Mr. Squash's group rented a lodge at the YMCA Camp of the Rockies.  We are high above Estes Park in an incredible setting.  The town itself is at 7,522 feet.  We are closer to 8,000 where we are staying.  It isn't easy getting used to the high altitude, but well worth a mild bit of inconvenience.
We drove in one entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park and out the other this morning just to say "hello" to the gorgeous surroundings.  I lived here when I was much younger and never tire of returning!  Here is a view of Horseshoe Park looking at several mountain peaks.
Another view.  We have much the same views from where we are staying!
This are is called Beaver Meadows.  Over the years the beavers have made the river zig zag around and around because of all their dams.  It is also a place where the Elk "do their thing" each year and there are places to park and watch.  If you click on the photo you can get a better look.  There are no elk anywhere in town right now.  Usually one has to avoid them around every bend, including the Safeway parking lot!
This is Long's Peak at over 14,000 feet.  In another lifetime I actually climbed it!
We are mainly here for Mr. Squash's Nepal 11 Peace Corps reunion.  40 years ago he and a group of young men went to Nepal for two years to help the local villagers establish better methods of agriculture.  I am continually amazed at how this experience affected everyone and has stayed with them all their lives.  This group of fellows are so nice, intelligent and just downright great to be around!  I also enjoy the company of all the wives - some of whom are also quilters!  My blog has been circulated among everyone and they are all having a great time kidding Mr. Squash about his moniker!
Here is Mr. Squash with one of his friends.  Clark's wife is also a quilter!  Almost all of them have been back to Nepal since they left - some many, many times, and some have also taken their wives.  We have yet to go.
Their is a local Nepali restaurant here which is catering our dinner both nights.  We've eaten there on previous visits.  They are quite impressed with this group as most still speak the language!  Here we are enjoying a wonderful meal.
On the left is bastmati rice (bhat), dal (lentils), and a chicken and perhaps goat or beef dish.  I may not be correct about the beef as Mr. Squash tells me it was forbidden to eat beef in Nepal.
But wait - there is even more!  
This is dessert.  It's called jalebi and I just had to indulge in one!  Very sweet, but oh, so good!  I was told if you had this in Nepal it would be dripping with melted sugar.
Nice looking plate!  To the right of the salad is Naan which true Nepalis eat with only the right hand - never the left.
This is Phil and Polly Arnold who were Peace Corps volunteers in Nepal prior to Mr. Squash's group.  They were invited back to set up his group, stayed on during the entire two years as the groups "boss", and have remained close to them all this time.  They left our meeting room for a bit and came back in their Nepali garb!  When you greet someone you hold your hands in that position and say "Namaste".  We actually have very nice little garden sign at the front door of the Squash House which says namaste.
Phil told some great stories about how they came to organize the Nepal 11 group.  And even better they announced that they were also celebrating their 49th wedding anniversary!  Congratulations Phil and Polly!
Their son-in-law is a renowned  chocolatier and they brought some samples to share!  What a wonderful treat!

We meet with the group again tonight then everyone goes home tomorrow.  Stay tuned for more from the road!


Florida Farm Girl said...

What a unique and wonderful experience. And, oh that chocolate!!!!

Carrie P. said...

Looks and sounds like you two are having a great time. Love those views.

Stephanie said...

Gorgeous mountain views. I hope you get adjusted to the altitude before you leave. :o) The food looks delicious. What a wonderful experience for you both. Enjoy the rest of your stay.

AnnieO said...

We had family reunions twice at Estes Park and it was memorable both times. Neither time did I see any elk! It got too hard on the older folks due to the elevation and the reunions got moved to Pismo Beach. Sounds like the Nepali reunion is well attended, much anticipated, and always a great time!

Mary said...

The landscape, the food and the old friends looks to have made a wonderful vacation!

Stephanie D said...

What a great reunion!

Are you going to swing by and see the hotel the book/movie "The Shining" was based on? I ate there many years ago--it's fantastic and creepy at the same time!

Kaaren said...

What a cool read.

I came oh so cose to joining the Peace Corps after I graduated from college in the 60's but decided to tour Europe first. Then I got a job and my dream was never realized.

Can't wait to read more. Safe travels.

Houseelf said...

What a wonderful group! Mr Squash has certainly lived an interesting life. I hope you get to visit Nepal.

I hope the altitude isn't too sapping for you. When I was used to living "hugh" I went on a plane. I think they turned off the oxygen at one stage as everyone just dropped like flies. I felt like I was on the Marie Celeste! I think it takes a while to get used to less oxygen. Drink plenty, and go slowly.

pratima said...

Hi Candace :) thank you for sharing pictures of beautiful locations you are visiting. It's like taking a virtual tour. It is very interesting to read your notes on each place and find out more about them.
How awesome that you had a memorable reunion with old friends. It is also mouthwatering to see Jalebi & yummy dishes here. Jalebi used to be our most fav sweet as kids for its color and extra sweetness ;)

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