spent one night at Highline Lake State Park outside of Grand
Junction. It was a nice enough place and had laundry as
well as showers. Next morning we broke camp and headed
into Grand Junction for a stop at Cabela's. We were hoping
that they would have ammunition, but were dismayed to discover
that was not the case. Most of the handgun ammo was sold
out (as it is at most stores). It seems that Mr. Obama has
been good for ammunition sales. Once we completed lunch
and a fuel stop, we headed east over the Rocky Mountains.
The photos below are what we saw.
outside of Grand Junction we passed the Book Cliffs. There
were many hoodoos on the cliff faces.
Grand Junction is Glenwood Springs and an awesome canyon that is
shared by interstate-70 and the BNSF railroad main line.
Above, we encountered an oncoming train emerging from a tunnel.
were many sets of tunnels on the interstate within Glenwood
several points within the canyon one of the paths of the
interstate had to be stacked to fit within the available space.
passed Vail, CO and there was still a small amount of packed
snow at the bottom of one of the runs.
struggled with Vail Pass. The combination of steep grades
and high altitude made for slow going.
passes over the continental divide at Loveland Pass. In
the old days, the final grade was steep, slow and dangerous in
the winter. At 12,500 feet, it was one of the highest
commonly-traveled auto routes. In the winter, it was a
white-knuckle ride. Now, the pass has been circumvented by
Eisenhower Tunnel. The entrance to the tunnel is a tad
over 11,000 feet, so it is still high in an absolute sense.
a place to stay in Golden, CO and we spotted this biker with his
girlfriend on the back. We called her Biker Barbie.
lucky enough to get a spot at the RV park on Clear Creek.
The park was owned by the City of Golden and was small but clean
and well run.
was part of a whitewater park run by the city. There were
plenty of kayakers on the water.
were some tubers on the creek and they did not fare well in the
rapids. The rear fellow was dumped shortly after this
photo was taken.
were watching the whitewater action, this nice rig came by, but
I was not fast enough to get a shot of the front of the car.
turned around, this fellow had rolled in his kayak.
fellow recovered using a technique called "the eskimo roll".
walked into old-town Golden and had a nice dinner. Next
morning it was clear and calm and there a number of hang gliders
and paragliders enjoying the calm air. The "M" on the
mountain is for Mines, as in Colorado School of Mines where I
went to school in my early college days.
the night with Peter and Becky outside of Colorado
Springs. She is my niece.
We had a
great visit with Becky and Peter and it shows in the smiles.
Colorado Springs area had just suffered the so-called "Black
Forest" fire. The fire burned hundreds of homes in the
area and Becky and Peter were force-evacuated during the height
of the fire. They suffered some angst, inconvenience and
spoiled food. The folks above lost everything.
vehicle did not make it out of the fire zone and was burned.
the homes we passed had a woman sitting on a pile of burned
rubble wearing a face mask. She had the "thousand yard
stare" and it was clear that it was the remains of her home she
was sitting on. I did not get a photo of her because I was
unprepared. And, I have to admit that even though we were
just driving through this area on our way to the highway, it
felt ghoulish to even look at the aftermath. Only the
foundation and chimney of this home remain.
the burned car is obvious, the signs at the side of the road
tell the local sentiment. We saw many of these signs, most
were hand done using spray paint on white sheets.
The fire did a clean sweep across many of the neighborhoods in this area.
The local sheriff had a command center at the boundary of the burned zone.
travel to La Junta was thankfully uneventful. We stopped
for lunch in Rocky Ford and spotted this red-eared turtle at the
local Mexican restaurant.
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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2013,
all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.