Plesums Family Pictures

Summary of the year 2003

2003 was a year largely at home. The economy was bad, so business travel was sparse, and Jenny and Charlie focused on woodworking... until Jenny got her new sewing machine in late September. The woodworking pictures are not here but in a separate woodworking section.

Charlie turns 60

Early in the year Charlie turned 60, with the obligatory roasting by his "over 60" co-workers, including fake thick glasses. (His eyes aren't THAT bad)

The best part of the actual birthday was a surprise visit by Charlie's sister Rita, on the right - totally a surprise. The primary guilty party hasn't been identified, but it was a conspiracy involving at least two.

Rita was intrigued by the workshop, or at least put on a good show. And she still had all her fingers when she left.

Jenny's 40th Class reunion

We used Jenny's high school 40th class reunion to schedule a pilgrimage to Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin in July. The reunion dinner party was held at a restaurant developed from a train depot, with a very dead passenger train outside

We spent time with Jenny's brother, Jim Ott (the one who gave up a perfectly good career in computing to become a physician and take up practice in Decorah, Iowa), his wife Sue (the one who gave up a perfectly good career in computing to make the three kids here, and get Jim through medical school). Jenny is holding our godchild Jackie, Katie is in the middle, and the young pesterizer is Daniel, probably shooting the cameraman.

Decorah has some remarkably pretty hiking areas in the parks that are right in town.

Colorado in August

Jenny won the use of a condo in Mount Crested Butte, Colorado for a week. And it didn't include a sales pitch for a time share. We don't ski or enjoy the cold, so we chose to use the condo in August. Mark joined Jenny and Charlie for a week of hiking and fine dining.

Not far from the condo, this main road went through a birch forest. A friend who had been there in late June warned us that in June this road was still closed with snow

The hiking trails were great. These were in the ghost town of Gothic, (a population of only a few people) several miles from the condo in Mount Crested Butte.

Mark may stand at the edge of the ravine, but you can be sure Jenny didn't.

These bison were basically wild, although fenced by the park service because of a cranky attitude towards two legged tourists.

The Grand Canyon is in Arizona, but don't tell the Gunnison River. We spent a day at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison national park in Colorado. As the guides say, most Southwest canyons are formed in soft rock, and thus are wide as well as deep. With harder rock, the walls are steeper. One of the steepest, darkest and most rugged of such canyons is formed by the Gunnison river as it flows through the western edge of the Rocky Mountains, on its way to joining the Colorado river at Grand Junction. The gorge reaches depths of over 2,000 feet while often being only 1500 feet across, so sunlight illuminates the dark stone walls only briefly, hence the name 'Black Canyon'.

It is hard to believe that a narrow gauge train ran along the base of the canyon until parts of the canyon were damed for flood control and electric power.

The bluffs were stunning, with varied rock formations - this isn't paint or light!

One day we rented a jeep to explore some of the higher, rougher, farther trails.

Look closely at this picture. At the bottom of the valley is the road we traveled a few minutes before. On the side of the hill you can see the road ahead. Somebody forgot the guard rails. So Jenny volunteered not to drive. Sometime you could use the phrase "cowered in the back seat." It was great!

Ok, when we reach the stop light ... er, traffic circle ... ah, junction ahead, do we turn right or left? No we can't stop and ask someone! Answer: Turn right.

A sign. Must be an interstate highway. Note that we are at 11,250 feet altitude (about 3,500 meters for our metric-oriented friends).

And only two miles away we go over Schofield Pass, at a mere 10,707 feet.

The mountain tops are impressive from this close. And that is snow on the mountains, in late August.

Not to mention this snow (and wildflowers) well below us.

At one point we climbed over 13,000 feet (with the Jeep) and finally found a place flat enough to relax and take a picture.

We enjoyed both the hills and streams. Don't tell Jenny, but it was near here where Charlie had a business conference call on his cell phone!

Jenny's family reunion

In November Jenny and her brothers and sisters (and many of the spouses and kids and grandkids) converged on Minnesota for her mother's 80th birthday (and an early celebration of the baby sister's 40th birthday)

Left to right, Kid #5, Mary from California, #6 Jim from Iowa, #2 John from Pennsylvania, #3 Cathy from Central Wisconsin

#7 DeAnn from Southwest Wisconsin, #1 Jenny from Texas, #4 Joe from Northern Minnesota

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