October in Colorado- orchards and pumpkins and antiques!

Every October when we lived in Colorado we would go down to the Canon City/Penrose area to pick apples and pumpkins and say hello to Fall. It was a fun annual tradition.The weather is usually crisp and Fall-like but not yet cold. Not sure what’s going on down there this year seeing as how the whole state has been on fire or underwater for the past few months, but you could always call some of the orchards down there to find out. Here’s a list of a whole bunch of places all over Colorado. I noticed that our fave (and the one in most of these pictures), Third St. Apples, is closed for the season now. But there are still lots of others.

Penrose, Cañon City, and Florence are three little towns about 30 minutes south of Colorado Springs. Penrose is know for its farms. Cañon City is known for river rafting and the Royal Gorge Bridge. Florence is known for its many prisons, including Colorado’s SuperMax.

We go down there every year because those towns are a great place to experience an oldey-timey farm-ish fall day. We usually pick apples, check out some antique stores, have some lunch, and look at the changing leaves on the little country roads and bridges.

Here are some pictures of the places we always liked to go.

 

There are several good antique stores on Main St. in Forence, CO

There are several good antique stores on Main St. in Florence, CO

Hotel Florence under renovation, Florence, CO

Victorian brick building in Florence, CO

This old church is for sale- it would make a neat  live-work space. Florence, CO

This old church is for sale- it would make a neat live-work space. Florence, CO

One of my favorite farms, Colon Orchards, was on the way. We had the most fabulous apple turnover there one time and wanted to have another one. Alas, they don’t sell the apple turnovers there anymore! They did have my favorite honey, Bizzy Bee, which I was pretty happy about because just the day before I was trying to remember where it came from as I emptied the jar.

This farmhouse and pumpkin patch are for sale, across the street from Colon Orchards, Florence, CO

On to the burger stand which just happened to be across the street from the most awesome antique store around, Uncle Sam’s. Last year we came across a Victorian casket stand that was really cool there. We didn’t buy it but wondered if it they still had it! They have several buildings full of junk and tons of neat old stuff out in their yard, too.

Uncle Sam's Antiques, Canon City, CO

Uncle Sam’s Antiques, Canon City, CO

We decided to eat something at Big Burger World and then go over there.

Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

It’s called BIG Burger World because most of their burgers are huge. Like half a pound or a pound or something insane. They also have a 3 oz. burger, so we got a couple of those and some fries and a blackberry milkshake to share.

3 oz. burger and fries from Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

3 oz. burger and fries from Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

Big Burger World, Canon City, CO


All my apples. I shined them up- there’s no wax or anything on them. I don’t think they’re organic but they’re about as fresh and local as you can get. Picked them myself!

One more chance for discounted river rafting

Did you neglect to buy the Groupon for the Royal Gorge river rafting trip I wrote about awhile back? Do you just love river rafting and want to go as often as possible? Well, here’s another chance.

This coupon is good for a half day trip through Big Horn Sheep Canyon with River Runners. We did this trip with this company our first time rafting, several years ago. It was really fun! It’s not quite as wild as the Royal Gorge trip but it’t pretty and you can check out the bighorn sheep hanging out on the cliffs.

So go on, quit fooling around and buy this coupon! Then let us know what you think of your trip.

River rafting in Big Horn Sheep Canyon with River Runners. The water was really warm in August!

River rafting in Big Horn Sheep Canyon with River Runners. The water was really warm in August!

You don't have to wear a dorky helmet in Bighorn Sheep Canyon.

You don't have to wear a dorky helmet in Bighorn Sheep Canyon.

The rapids aren't too rough in Bighorn Sheep Canyon, so from time to time you can just chill in the boat.

The rapids aren't too rough in Bighorn Sheep Canyon, so from time to time you can just chill in the boat.

Discount River Rafting in the Royal Gorge

We go rafting every year in a different spot in Colorado. Last year we did the Royal Gorge, and while they made us wear dorky helmets, unlike the other locations, it was really fun! It was quite a bit more rough (which explains the helmets) than some of the other places, and we even went in August when the water is lower and ther rapids more mellow! So in June, it’ probably really rocks (har). 

Groupon is selling a deal today for rafting in the Royal Gorge with Echo Canyon River Expeditions. It’s a good deal because rafting is kind of expensive.

Since a wetsuit is included in this deal, and you need one in June, we’ll probably try to go in June this year. You should, too!

River Rafting in The Royal Gorge, Colorado

River Rafting in The Royal Gorge, Colorado

A nice fall day in Penrose, Cañon City, and Florence

Penrose, Cañon City, and Florence are three little towns about 30 minutes south of Colorado Springs. Penrose is know for its farms. Cañon City is known for river rafting and the Royal Gorge Bridge. Florence is known for its many prisons, including Colorado’s SuperMax.

We go down there every year because those towns are a great place to experience an oldey-timey farm-ish fall day. We usually pick apples, check out some antique stores, have some lunch, and look at the changing leaves on the little country roads and bridges.

We had some weird luck this year, tho.

First off, we went a week or two earlier than we usually do so none of the leaves were really changing yet. Then, we started the day sort of late and got down to Florence when all the cafes were already closed (apparently they all close at 2:00). So we wandered around and rummaged thru a couple of antique stores on Main Street before becoming insanely starving.

There are several good antique stores on Main St. in Forence, CO

There are several good antique stores on Main St. in Florence, CO

Hotel Florence under renovation, Florence, CO

Hotel Florence under renovation, Florence, CO

Victorian brick building in Florence, CO

Victorian brick building in Florence, CO

This old church is for sale- it would make a neat  live-work space. Florence, CO

This old church is for sale- it would make a neat live-work space. Florence, CO

Since there was nothing open in Florence for lunch, we headed over to Canon City to a burger stand we heard about. We realized that one of my favorite farms, Colon Orchards, was on the way. We had the most fabulous apple turnover there one time and wanted to have another one. Alas, they don’t sell the apple turnovers there anymore! They did have my favorite honey, Bizzy Bee, which I was pretty happy about because just the day before I was trying to remember where it came from as I emptied the jar.

This farmhouse and pumpkin patch are for sale, across the street from Colon Orchards, Florence, CO

This farmhouse and pumpkin patch are for sale, across the street from Colon Orchards, Florence, CO

On to the burger stand which just happened to be across the street from the most awesome antique store around, Uncle Sam’s. Last year we came across a Victorian casket stand that was really cool there. We didn’t buy it but wondered if it they still had it! They have several buildings full of junk and tons of neat old stuff out in their yard, too.

Uncle Sam's Antiques, Canon City, CO

Uncle Sam's Antiques, Canon City, CO

We decided to eat something at Big Burger World and then go over there.

Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

It’s called BIG Burger World because most of their burgers are huge. Like half a pound or a pound or something insane. They also have a 3 oz. burger, so we got a couple of those and some fries and a blackberry milkshake to share.

3 oz. burger and fries from Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

3 oz. burger and fries from Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

We finished lunch at 4:00 and went over to Uncle Sam’s. Just as the guy was leaving. But the sign says it closes at 5:00, not 4:00! Whatever, Uncle Sam!  We might go back down there this weekend to check it out and to go to this other antique store in Canon City, Trails End Antiques, where they had a really cool old rusted out railroad crossing sign we think might look perfect on the wall in the pool room.

After Trails End we went up to 3rd St. Apples in Penrose. Alas, they close at 5:00 and it was 10 minutes till 5. That’s not enough time to pick apples! The people are super nice there and probably would have let us stay out there for longer but we didn’t want to put them out.

Anyhow, even tho we didn’t see any fall leaves, didn’t get to eat in a junky small town diner, didn’t buy any antiques, didn’t get to have an apple turnover, or pick any apples, it was still a very nice day and we discovered a great burger place and a fab new antique store.

Check out our posts from years past for more pictures of the area and all the stuff to do down there: 2007 , 2008 , 2009.

Serenity Springs, Penrose Apples, Motel Dun Rovin’

I forgot to post this one last week. I thought it was cute. It was really cold so we had a fire. More on the cold later.

A junky motel near our old house in junkytown. They tore down the motel and we’re hoping they don’t destroy the sign. Got some shots of it just in case.

We went apple picking in Penrose again this year. We went to this farm- Third Street Apples– two years ago so it may look familiar. The people who run it are super nice. The lady was afraid that the crazy freeze we had last week had ruined the apples that were still on the trees so she was selling them for .50 a pound- pick them yourself. She said we could taste them first, which we did and determined they were still delish- not ruined at all. So we bought like 5 pounds of them. I made apple crisp out of some of them and I might make a pie later this week if I have time. If you live nearby you should for sure go down there. Check their website for hours.


They also had chickens and this rooster who wouldn’t shut up. He’s cool looking, tho!

They also have a great pumpkin patch but we don’t need any pumpkins.

Couldn’t resist taking DMs picture with this crazy shaped one, tho.

We passed by an alpaca farm with the cuuuutest alpacas! I got out of the car to take their picture and they ran right over to me. They are super tame and totally adorable! As it turns out, the lady who owns it is the sister of the apple lady.



“You are one weird alpaca”

All my apples. I shined them up- there’s no wax or anything on them. I don’t think they’re organic but they’re about as fresh and local as you can get. Picked them myself!

That day we went to Coyote Coffee. DM wrote a post about that below. It was good. He had an Italian panini and I had a bowl of tortilla soup. We went there a couple weeks ago on our way to Phantom Canyon Road so I could get a coffee and it was so good and cute I wanted to go back.

We also went to Cy’s Drive In again. DM’s throat was sore cuz he has swine flu, so he wanted a milkshake. He has a review about it below, too.


Fall is definitely here (haha well, sorta). Everything is dead and full of leaves.


There was a nasty frost last week. It was actually an ice storm. We haven’t had an ice storm here since I’ve been here (we’re coming up on my fourth winter here) so I wasn’t really sure what it was all about or what was going on till it was too late. I brought my tomato plants under the covered porch and covered them with two layers of plastic which probably would have worked in normal cold conditions, but there was a freeze so they didn’t make it. Which bummed me out cuz they were doing so well!

The catnip made it, tho!

Not that I had a huge bounty of tomatoes or anything, but it would have been nice to actually be able to taste these.

I brought one of the plants in the house cuz it was small and fit on top of the fridge, so maybe I can get a few from it.

DM hung my shelves for me- the shelves are from a salvage place in Denver and the brackets are from the place we went to in Fort Worth last month. We hung one over the sink. This is lettuce, so we’ll see how it goes.

The rosemary isn’t doing so well.

The basil is dead and I have no idea why. The cat grass is doing great, of course. I even have a couple of cilantro sprouts.

This is a columbine plant that never flowered outside., In fact, none of them ever flowered but they’re still alive despite the frost. Interesting. We’ll see.

We hung the other shelf in front of the other window. This is basil, thyme, mint, dill, and oregano (volunteer oregano!).


This morning we worked on cleaning up some of the leaves, getting rid of the dead plants, and putting the pots away. Not very pretty but it’s not planting season. There are some plants that will live thru the winter but I’m going to LA for all of November and December. DM is coming with me for most of that time, too so there won’t be anyone to take care of them. I’ll just start my summer plants eariler next year!



Our apartment is decent sized- about 900 sq feet. But this room (the largest room in the house) is pretty much useless. The pool table is fun, but we hardly ever play it. I use it for laying out my samples, and outfits and stuff for my photo shoots, and as you can see, all the photo shoot stuff fits great underneath it. I just keep thinking there’s a better use for this space. I mostly posted this so I could think about it some more. Or maybe other people might have ideas. I don’t want to have to by a bunch of furniture for it and I don’t want to have to find a place for all the photo shoot stuff, tho!


Just a couple of random kitchen shots. I sure have managed to clutter it up!


It was 80 degrees yesterday so we went to see the Big Cats Of Serenity Springs aka The Serenity Springs Wildlife Center. You’re not allowed to post pictures or use them for commercial purposes, which I don’t think I’m doing here. I guess if I am they’ll let me know! Some of these were taken by DM and some by me. His came out way better than mine did.




Anyone who has a house cat will recognize this pose.



Cute huh?