I planned the days on this weekend adventure, and my wife planned the nights. She booked us at the Cedaredge Lodge, a mom-and-pop motel that has great ratings.


The young woman who checked us in spent about 20 minutes explaining all the place had to offer—benches and swings along the creek, indoor and outdoor patios, an arcade, bocce ball and horseshoes, a hot tub, a fire pit …


She took us to our room and showed us every inch of it. Her dad had purchased an old motor court built in the 1940’s and did his own upgrade. He turned our room into a “suite” by building a wall across the room and cramming a refrigerator, stove, and sink into the space, which left very little moving-around space.


We drove up the road a piece and ate supper at a local diner. We sat on a patio along the creek and made a very pleasant meal of mediocre hamburgers.

When we got back to the motel, I wandered around out back.

Eurasian Collared-Dove


I spotted a pair of Mule Deer in a field. The buck wandered into a neighboring yard out of sight. I tried to get a photo of the doe in front of an old barn, but my camera wouldn’t focus. I gave up and turned around to find the buck about 20 feet away and headed toward me.


When I took the photo, the camera noise startled him and he ran off a short way. I also spotted a Yellow-bellied Marmot in a farmyard. It was huge. There was a second, much-smaller one nearby, but just before I took this photo it took off running down the road as if its mother had just said, “Yes, if you’ve eaten all your vegetables, you can have two cookies.”


A White-lined Sphinx Moth was doing a great impression of a hummingbird around the flower pots.



I wandered until the sun set behind Grand Mesa.


I had never heard of Grand Mesa. The woman who checked us in told us “you can throw a rock in any direction up there and hit a lake.” She also said it used to be a mountain higher than Everest until it blew its top.

We didn’t use the hot tub or the fire pit or the arcade, and the mom and pop who own it weren’t there to cook us supper. But it was pleasant and comfortable and clean, if very tight. Should we ever find ourselves in Cedaredge again, we’d go back.

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