The Chapel on the Rock for the Perfect Wedding

The Chapel on the Rock - Inside
Inside the Chapel on the Rock

The Chapel on the Rock is the perfect setting for the perfect wedding. My earlier post, The Chapel on the Rock – Perfect Setting introduced you to one of the most photographed sites in the country. This article takes you inside and you won’t be disappointed. It truly is the perfect setting for that perfect, quaint wedding. Just ask the multitude of couples who said, “I do” there or check out the wedding in Hidden Bloodlines.

Imagine a wedding where…
Perfect Roses
Imagine a Wedding with Pink Roses
  • flowers adorn the simple stone sanctuary and wooden pews…

    St. Catherine of Sienna Stained Glass
    Stained Glass
  • the soft glow of candlelight illuminates beautiful stained glass …
  • music fills the air….
    Organ in the Chapel on the Rock

    You get the picture.

    The Rocky Mountain National Park
Lily Lake in the Rocky Mountain National Park
Karen at Lily Lake in the Rocky Mountain National Park

The chapel sits in the Rocky Mountain National Park. These mountains attract visitors from all over the world, with good cause. If you haven’t visited yet, put it on your bucket list. When I returned to take photos of the chapel’s interior, my husband and I made a Sunday morning of it. We started with the 8:00 a.m. mass at Our Lady of the Mountains, the beautiful church responsible for scheduling the Chapel’s weddings. Father Joseph Cao began with a joke that made us all laugh.

An angel appeared to a 60 year old couple celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary. He granted them each one wish  — anything that their hearts desired. The wife wanted a cruise around the world. The angel gave her two first class tickets. The husband asked that his wife be 30 years younger than he. The angel made him 90. The moral of the story — Be careful what you wish for.

Places to Eat
Inside the Other Side Restaurante
Inside the Other Side Restaurant

After mass we stopped for breakfast. I normally don’t share places where I dine, but this was our first visit to The Other Side Restaurant and I was impressed. Not only was the food good, but the restaurant was spotless. Each table was cleaned with a new bleached towel between guests, the chef was in a hairnet and gloves, and they appeared to follow safe food handling procedures. Sundays they offer brunch, and although it looked yummy, I had a smaller breakfast. You may want to stop by if you’re in the area.

Sunday Brunch
Sunday Brunch at The Other Side Restaurantand

After breakfast we checked out the chapel. Unless there is a wedding, it will be open every day until the middle of August when they replace the roof. Expect it to reopen in the middle of September. Check with Our Lady of the Mountain for further details. Enjoy the peace, tranquility, and beauty the Chapel on the Rock offers…..We did.

(C) 2016 Karen Van Den Heuvel Fischer

Colorado Rockies
The Chapel on the Rock, set in the Colorado Rockies

Minerals — The Bottom Line

Can you live without minerals? Like vitamins, minerals are required to sustain life. They are needed for the body’s basic life functions at every level starting at the cellular and continuing through to the tissues, organs, and the whole body. The roles each mineral plays and the amounts required to effectively perform their function varies.


For example, some minerals like selenium and copper work as cofactors. In their function as a cofactor, minerals permit enzymes and other proteins to function. Additionally, minerals are key contributors to a variety of body compounds. Examples of such body compounds are red blood cells, of which iron is an important component. Other functions in which minerals such as phosphorus and calcium play a critical role is the development and growth of the body. Water balance also requires minerals. Without calcium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium, there is no water balance causing a life-threatening state. How are minerals categorized, and how readily available are they?

Fishing with Popsy - Enjoying the Water
Salt Water Fishing

The amount of minerals required per day is the method used to categorize minerals. Minerals that require more than 100 milligrams per day, or 1/50th of a teaspoon is categorized as a major mineral. Examples of major minerals include calcium and phosphorus. Those that require less, like zinc and iron are classified as a trace element. But just because a food is rich in a much needed mineral, doesn’t make it useful. Our bodies may not be able to absorb and use them. And, just because a certain mineral content is listed for a particular food on a table, does not mean it is a good source for that mineral. It actually is only a starting point. For example, there is a high concentration of calcium found in spinach. Unfortunately, spinach also contains a high concentration of the calcium-binder, oxalic acid, resulting in the absorption of only about five percent of the calcium consumed.

Jerusalem Shuk - Breads
Jerusalem Shuk – Breads

Generally speaking, as the refinement of a plant food increases, the mineral content decreases, an example of which is refined flour. When a grain product is refined, the only mineral added during the enrichment process is iron. Other minerals, such as copper, selenium, and zinc are lost and not replaced. To answer the question we started with, “Can you live without minerals?”

The answer is clearly NO.

What is your favorite whole grain recipe?

(C) 2016 Karen Van Den Heuvel Fischer

The Chapel on the Rock-Perfect Setting

Colorado Rockies
The Chapel on the Rock, set in the Colorado Rockies

The Chapel on the Rock, formally known as St. Catherine of Sienna Chapel, is the perfect setting for an intimate wedding. Situated in the Colorado Rockies, its beauty is revealed in its simplicity.

Pope John Paul II was one of a number of dignitaries who visited

Hidden Bloodlines
Hidden Bloodlines

this chapel and it still attracts visitors both near and far. The Chapel on the Rock is the only real place in my novel, Hidden Bloodlines, which will be released on July, 22, 2016 … just 6 days away. And yes, it is the setting for a wedding.

This chapel, built on a rock is reflective of scripture — “[O]n this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18). And Hell did try to overcome it — twice.

The Perfect Setting
The Chapel on the Rock 2016

The first time was with a fire in 2011 which destroyed the 60,000 square foot St. Malo retreat center. With the exception of an old stone fireplace, there was nothing much left of the lodge and guest wing. The chapel was untouched despite the fact it sits on the same 160 acre property. The second time was with the devastating Colorado flood of 2013. A five-mile landslide started on top of neighboring Mount Meeker causing tons of debris made up of soil, rock, and trees to surge onto this same church property. In some places, the debris was 15 feet deep. Although this landslide destroyed the beautiful, serene Cabin Creek Trail walked on by the Pontiff during his 1993 visit for World Youth Day, the wave of debris ended at the base of the chapel. Miraculously, the Chapel on the Rock was unharmed.

Chapel on the Rock
St. Malo Retreat Center

Prior to the “100 Year Flood” of 2013, plans were in place to rebuild Camp St. Malo. Unfortunately, with estimated costs of $4.4 million to rebuild and a determination that the future sediment and water flow was uncertain, rebuilding St. Malo on that site is indefinitely on hold. However, the untouched Chapel on the Rock is still open to the public.

Built in the 1930’s, Boulder County designated the Chapel on the Rock as an historical landmark. Weddings and masses are still held at this beautiful chapel. For anyone interested in reserving this chapel for a wedding, contact Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church in Estes Park, Colorado. It is available as the perfect setting. This chapel is not to be missed, if not in person, than in Hidden Bloodlines.

(C) 2016 Karen Van Den Heuvel Fischer

Vitamins – Storage In the Body and Out

Was it the naturalists or those who believe in laboratory created supplements who won the debate? You be the judge. Historically humans were meant to consume vitamins the natural way. Prior to the industrial age, fruits, vegetables, legumes and other foods were consumed immediately. They went from the farm to the table. But with the advent of refrigerators, freezers, canning, and other methods of preserving food, we now have a choice. Those choices affect the nutritional quality of the food we eat and therefore the amount of

Farmer's Market Fresh
Fresh from the Farmer’s Market

vitamins we actually consume the natural way. First, we’ll take a look at how vitamins are stored in the body, or not. Then we will explore the best methods to preserve the integrity of the fruits and vegetables we consume.

How Your Body Stores Vitamins – or Not

Fat-soluble vitamins, with the exception of vitamin K, are not excreted readily from the human body. They are stored. The opposite is true of the water-soluble vitamins. Generally, excess amounts of these vitamins are quickly lost from the body resulting in expensive urine. The exception is the water-soluble vitamins B-6 and B-12 which are stored more readily

Farmer's Market - Fruit
Farmer’s Market – Fruit

than vitamin C and the other B vitamins.

Due to the body’s limited ability to store a good deal of these vitamins, they need to be consumed on a daily basis. However, you should not be harmed by a periodic lapse in your daily intake, even if the lapse includes water-soluble vitamins. Vitamin deficiency becomes evident when it is not consumed and the person’s body stores are depleted. As an example, it will take an average individual 20-40 days without consuming vitamin C before the first symptoms of deficiency becomes evident.


Significant amounts of vitamins can be lost between the time a vegetable

Karen in Cornfield
Karen in Cornfield

or fruit is picked and it is eaten. This is especially the case with the water-soluble vitamins (in particular folate, thiamin, and vitamin C) which can be destroyed with excessive cooking and incorrect storage. There are a number of factors that can destroy vitamins, including light, heat, alkalinity, cooking in water, and exposure to air. To minimize the risk of nutrient loss, it is best to eat a food soon after its harvest.

Generally, freezing the food is the best method of preservation to retain nutrients if the food is not eaten within a few days. Because frozen vegetables and fruits are usually frozen immediately after harvesting, they are as rich in nutrients as the freshly harvested ones. Additionally, vegetables are immersed quickly in boiling water (blanched) as part of the freezing process destroying those enzymes that would effectively break down the vitamins.

Farmer's Market
Farmer’s Market

With summer upon us don’t forget to visit your local farmer’s market! Not only will you support local businesses, but you can enjoy vitamin rich foods. Just remember, eat or freeze within a few days — the longer they sit, the lower the vitamin content. What’s your favorite summer fresh veggie recipe?

(C) 2016 Karen Van Den Heuvel Fischer