Road Trip~ Treasure Fall and Lobo Overlook

26 Apr

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


Day 14, September 20, 2017


Tomorrow we would be packing up and heading to the Denver airport, ending the fun week we spent with Rebekah and Pam. Since this was our last day in Pagosa Springs, we decided to stay close to our home base and explore the mountains nearby.

After browsing our accumulated tourist brochures, we decided to visit Treasure Falls, then drive up to Lobo Overlook and have a picnic. There were two trail options to reach the falls. Rebekah and Pam chose one route and husband and I chose the other. Even though it was a very nice trail, it wasn’t a good walking day for my husband. We found a bench where we could rest and enjoy being in nature.



Rebekah and Pam made it to the trail end and shot some pictures of the falls. I read a hiker blog post about viewing the falls in winter. He said it was 70 percent ice and 30 percent flow. I would like to see that!



Next stop, Lobo Overlook. describes the overlook:

Lobo Overlook with a 3 mile dirt/gravel road leading up – Forest Road #402 is an easy, slow drive (4wd not required) that winds about 1.5 miles to the very top of the 11,760 ft unnamed peak north of Wolf Creek Pass. In winter, snowmobilers take this same route to the top. If you want to go on foot, you can hike the road up, or hike the Continental Divide Trail which starts just west of the road and tracks just west of the overlook. By the way, heading south on the Continental Divide Trail lets you head up the ridge to the summit of Alberta Peak, the top of Wolf Creek Ski Area.

Once you get a chance to look around, you’ll find great views of the San Juans all around. There aren’t many places where you can drive to the top of a high elevation mountain on the Continental Divide!


Living in the Western North Carolina mountains, we are accustomed to winding gravel roads.  Although I do have to confess that they still creep me out a bit. As we climbed, Pam wondered if the road might be the one that her son-in-law traveled on horse back with an elk hunting party just weeks earlier. After returning home, she spoke with him and it was indeed the same place. Another similarity is that we didn’t see any elk and they didn’t take down any elk.

The view from  Lobo Overlook gives a spectacular view of the surrounding peaks of the San Juan Mountains and lands that lie within the San Juan National Forest (including Weminuche Wilderness) and Rio Grande National Forest. Near the parking area was a convenient vault toilet. It turned out to be an amusing experience due to the location of the toilet and the swirling winds.



Nearby there were some picnic tables, and a rough fence surrounded the overlook area. The temperature and strong winds made the air dramatically colder prompting us to pull on jackets over our short-sleeved shirts.  I was in my element, high above the valley, embracing the strong winds and chill.




Unfortunately, the altitude of 1,760 feet taxed my husband’s breathing and we made a hasty retreat to the car, foregoing our picnic. On the way down, we saw this interesting bird. Can you tell me what kind of bird it is?



We came across these cuties at one of the pull outs.



Two random pictures taken from road pull outs.



It was a long, but good day. I was thankful my husband’s breathing settled down and he was able to drive us down the winding gravel road. We were sad to be leaving the condo at Pagosa Springs,  beautiful area and beautiful memories.



Green Sea Turtle: Chelonia mydas

24 Apr

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix



One summer morning just before sunrise last year, my friend and I went searching for sea turtles laying eggs on Playalinda Beach in Titusville. At first looking down the beach, I didn’t see anything on the sand. As I walked to the water, I saw in the distance, something tumbling in the surf.


I thought it was debris, but decided to quickly head over to investigate. Much to my delight, it was a pair of mating green sea turtles. Oblivious of me standing there, the surf brought them closer and closer to the beach.


Normally sea turtles mate under the water, but nature was calling and all focus was on procreation as the waves tested their endurance.


Finally they were separated by a large wave and disappeared into the surf. As I turned to go back, another beautiful green sea turtle has just finished laying her eggs. She was very late. Exhausted she was heading back to sea when I noticed her. She was there all the time and I didn’t see her. She was hidden, almost into the dunes.

Here is a wonderful picture I found on the web of what egg laying looks like from inside the hole she dug.



Below are some interesting facts about green sea turtles I researched on the web.

Green turtle mating happens in the water. A bit of an aquatic turtle dance precedes copulation.  Males nip and bump and eventually mount the female. The male turtle hangs on to the front edge of the female’s shell with a pair of large recurved claws.  The male’s tail has another “claw” at the end.  Sexual maturity is reached between the ages of 20 to 50 years old.



The green sea turtle is a marine-dwelling species that can reach a length of 3.2 feet  and a weight up to 400 pounds. The name can be confusing as the green sea turtle carapace (top portion of the shell) is not actually green, the body fat is green. This turtle species has a black carapace and a white plastron (lower shell portion).

Adult green sea turtles are herbivores. The jaw is serrated to help the turtle easily chew its primary food source—sea grasses and algae. Juvenile green sea turtles are omnivores. They eat a wide variety of plant and animal life, including insects, crustaceans, sea grasses, and worms.

During the breeding season, late spring and early summer, male sea turtles will migrate to off-shore waters to mate with females. Nesting seasons vary in the different geographical areas of their range; however, the Florida population nests between the months of June and September.

Female green sea turtles come onshore at night to deposit eggs, a process that can take up to two hours to finish. The average clutch size is 110-115 eggs.

Green sea turtles can nest up to seven times per season. 

Once the female lays the eggs and buries them in the sand, she returns to the ocean leaving her young to safeguard themselves. The incubation time for the eggs is two months. Hatchlings will migrate to the ocean after emerging from the nest. During migration, juveniles face an array of problems including predation and losing their way to the ocean.

The green sea turtle faces many threats both on land and in the water. The main threat to green sea turtles at sea is entanglement in fishing gear such as long lines, monofilament fishing line, nets, and crab trap lines. When entangled in marine debris, the green sea turtle cannot escape and usually drowns.

Green sea turtles are also harvested illegally in some countries for their meat and eggs.

On land, increased beach development is an ongoing threat for sea turtles as development can lead to degradation of the habitat, and limit the amount of nesting sites available. Coastal development also increases artificial lighting which can cause hatchlings to migrate towards the lights instead of the ocean. Other threats include increased predation on eggs, hits by watercraft, and habitat degradation from contaminants and pollutants (ex. oil spills).

The green sea turtle is protected as an Endangered species by the Federal Endangered Species Act and as a Federally-designated Endangered species by Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species Rule , and by Florida’s Marine Turtle Protection Act (379.2431, Florida Statutes) 




I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.

Bridgette’s Mustang

23 Apr

My Take

DiVoran Lites



Horse trader come down the draw
In a boil of red-powder dust.
I saw he had a stallion,
And own one that I must.



“You keep an eye on him.” the trader says.
“He’s mustang through and through,
A wild one from the range.
I’ve got a deal for you.

“You have fine boys and pups,” he said.
The trader wasn’t done.
You need to jaw around these parts.
It’s all that makes life fun.

“My little `un,” says I, “he’s four.”
Two boys are twins you see.
They won’t stay clean at all, at all
They are too much for me.

Them pups ain’t dogs, I say
They’re wolf cubs, as you see,
They’re cute right now, I calculate
But later might not be.

The Cross

22 Apr


Judy Wills




Within the past few months, we had noticed some construction going on not too far from our house. There is a Methodist church quite near us, and their property extends right up to a “loop” around Orlando.

For the longest time, we couldn’t figure out just what was going up – the structure was pretty far away from the church itself, while still on their property. We thought it might be a “staging area” for some road construction.



And then, one day – it was just….there. And what to our amazed eyes did we see, but an enormous CROSS – right there by the busy highway! It is white, and looks to be made of metal. Fred says that it is probably 80′ or 90′ tall.



As we drive toward Disney (or back to our house from Disney) that cross is so large it just “pops” up in our line of sight! It’s amazing! Especially if the sky is the brilliant, bright blue that it can be.



And because it’s on the church’s property, no one can complain about it. Well, they might complain, but that’s all that will happen. The church owns the property, after all, and they can pretty much do what they want with it.

When we told some friends about it, someone suggested that it might also double as a cell-tower. Come to find out – that is exactly what it is! So the Methodist church not only gets to tell the world rushing by about the cross of Christ – but they get paid to do it! We are sure the people who need the cell-tower pay the church for use of the tower. That’s a win-win situation if I’ve ever heard of one!

So, what do you think of it? We think it’s amazing and wonderful, and we are so glad the church wanted to proclaim to the world about the Cross of Christ. It’s beautiful!



The perfect guide to peace

21 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles




The perfect guide to peace.

Reblogged April 21, 2018


Guide to the Appalachian Trail

I settled in the back seat of an Uber car the other day, folded my white cane, and stuffed it in my bag. As I usually do, I began a conversation with the driver.

As expected, we became friends. That’s because I ask questions that prompt them to share and keep sharing about their lives.

This last driver told me about his brother who wrote the guide for the Appalachian Hike. I learned this adventure can take from 5 months to 10 years to complete. Gulp.

But with his guide’s help, the hike is doable. In it, he details all the challenges, the best gear to bring, places to avoid, potential dangers, list of easier routes, best places to eat, how to find laundry mats, lodging, etc.

Whew! Sounds like more than I can handle.

The long hike called life.

But whether we like it or not, we’re all indeed, on a long hike called life. And the path is often filled with challenges, unexpected turns and obstacles.

The good news is that much like the guide for the Appalachian trail hike, God wrote the guide for us to follow and reach the destination called peace.

Not sure where you are on that hike? Or maybe peace is a foreign word in the midst of this world’s chaos?

Good news; the guide to find that peace is free, available and in the language any hiker can understand.

Let’s conquer obstacles.

With that guide in our hearts, we’re ready to conquer obstacles of any kind.

  1. We need a companion. We need encouragement. We need a comforting word. And desperately need someone to tell us that all will be okay. That’s why God’s peace comes through this truth: “For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted that have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death.” (Psalm 72:12-13)
  2. Oh, those difficult and unexpected turns of heartache that barge in. Most are out of our control. Some crash in because of other’s sins. Yet, God knows the oppression against our soul, and right when we cry out for help “He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight. The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” (Psalm 9:9)
  3. Fear visits. We fear we won’t make it to the finish line. When we grumble about the sorry turn of events and the unfairness, when we long for His presence, peace fills us because “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” (Psalm 46:1-3)
  4. Gloom hovers over. When no one understands. When most cannot help, peace conquers sadness. “You are sad, I’m listening, and I will save you from your troubles.” (Psalm 34:6)
  5. Helplessness invades. But God offers His peace through this invitation: “hen clouds of grief try to overtake you, ask Me for consolation and relief. Cry out to Me in your times of trouble, and I will save you from your distress.” (paraphrased from Psalm 107:19).
  6. Frustration won’t let up. When we walk in circles around the same mountain of adversity, tears blur our vision; the path looks crooked and rough. That’s when His guide instructs to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Better days are coming, hang on to the guide; The One who wrote it is with you. He never abandons or leaves you. And with Him by your side, there is no fear. There’s only strength for each step. Reassurance for every turn. And He ushers the peace that carries power.

Let’s pray.

Father, how often, with a restless heart, I’ve embarked on the hike with my own plans and my own map in hand. Forgive my prideful ways and grant me a heart of humility. Show me how to follow your steps, to allow your guide to lead me. And find peace as I learn to walk on the path you prepared for me. In Jesus name.

What guide are you using for your hike today?



Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.



All of God’s Creatures

17 Apr

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix


I am blessed to have Gopher Tortoise live in my yard. They come and go seasonally. I experienced an amazing sight last year that sadly I didn’t have my camera with me, but I must tell the story.

The young female tortoise in the video had just discovered an area in my yard that was full of edible delights. When she was finished eating and returning to her burrow, another tortoise over twice her size had wandered in the yard. When the young tortoise saw the stranger, it immediately ran over to it, lunged and started biting its neck and head, trying to protect her newly discovered food source.



The larger tortoise got a little irritated and pushed her over on her back, then righted her back up again. Still the little female aggressively attacked. So the larger tortoise pushed her over and righted her repeatedly, about 5 times. Then the larger one saw me and ran away leaving the little female on her back. I righted her and sent her home.

I don’t believe she would have been left that way had I not been there. It was only a display of power and not death.  It was an amazing sight for me. I enjoy their presence in my yard. They are ancient gentle souls and so vulnerable in our busy and dangerous world. Below is a video of one of the female tortoises laying eggs in my yard.



Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature. Pope Francis



Apprehend God in all things, for God is in all things. Every single creature is full of God and is a book about God. Every creature is a word of God. Meistes Echhart

Jesus says of the birds of the air that not one of them is forgotten before God. How then can we possibly mistreat them or cause them harm?  Pope Francis



We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.  Immanuel Kant

Our task must be to free ourselves…. by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.  Albert Einstein

Perhaps there is a soul hidden in everything and it can always speak, without even making a sound, to another soul.  Frances Hodgson Burnett



Creatures will praise God on Earth … I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, and on the sea. Every creature in those places was singling, “To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise, honor, glory, and power forever and ever.”  Revelation 5:13

God has given human beings all the other creatures for our benefit. We are entrusted to care for the earth and everything that lives on it. We must respect every creature’s goodness and place in the order of creation.

Walk gently upon this earth.


Painting by DiVoran Lites




I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.

In The Care Of God

16 Apr

My Take

DiVoran Lites


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