Sunday, June 17, 2018


We did not see today.  We were stuck inside all day by dark clouds and intermittent rain.

Maybe tomorrow.  Meantime Duane worked on our near future travel plans and I started working on another quilt.

If we can't go outside, we can always find something to do inside.

Louise and Duane

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Learning Curve

This is the first time in our 12 years of full time travel that we have spent more than one week without a sewer hookup.  We have to use the campground restrooms and showers or hook up and dump every few days.  Duane sees using the public rooms as the more favorable alternative.  I am learning that I will never be comfortable using them.  Even though I know that they are cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis, I still don't like them. 

I am also learning that we really, really need a stand for our (portable) satellite dish.  It sits on the ground behind our house.  The roads are very tight here and every time a trailer goes by, or even if someone walks right in front of the dish, we lose signal.  Very annoying!

I have learned that rv parks in Colorado during the summer is very expensive.  Today Duane called to check on our next reservation--$300 a week and was told that a new owner had taken over and raised the price to $450  a week!  They also said that they didn't have a record of our reservation and so couldn't give us the previous price.  We found a spot at the local Elks for two weeks, but it has no sewer hookups and no shower house/restrooms!

It could be worse, I guess.  We could have to boondock with no dump station!

Louise and Duane

Friday, June 15, 2018

Before I publish a blog, I do my best to let you see what we are experiencing.  You can ride along with us through a canyon, watching the scenery unfold, listening to the wind and the roar of the bike.

 You can feel the power of water rushing over boulders.

I can capture tiny bits of awesomeness, but what I can't make you feel  is how hot it is down here

and how cold it is up here.

You can't know that my jaw drops when I look waaaaay down on the tops of 30 foot trees,

or how exciting (Duane says hair-raising) to know that there are only tiny pieces of pavement and soft gravel between you and straight down. 

 You can't smell the wonderful scents of warm pine and spruce, whiffs of perfumy wildflowers, refreshing  smells of pure air and  clean water.  I can tell you how sometimes all of these sights, smells and sounds sometimes start songs running through my head--often America The Beautiful or How Great Thou Art, and that sometimes I am so overwhelmed by the grandeur and how lucky I am to experience it that I can't do anything but weep.

All I can do is keep trying and hope that my efforts make one person say,"I want to go there and see that for myself" and that some day they do.

I hope it's you.

Louise and Duane

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Wild Basin

Hiking today was in  the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park.  For a different bike ride to the park we turned south in Lyons on CO 7 

for a ride through the beautiful St. Vrain's Canyon.

Once through the Canyon, 7 turns north and forms the eastern edge of  the National Park.  
We rode north for about 5 miles before we access the Wild Basin area of the park.

The Calypso Cascades trail took us through a beautiful old growth forest of spruce, pine and aspen

up 700' in elevation in 1.8 miles.  The path is  sometimes rocky inclines 

sometimes level gravel, with water running over or through the path.

Along one side St. Vrain Creek cascades downward over whitewater rapids.

Guess who showed up--Creepy Guy!

The trail crossed from one side of the creek to the other via a couple of bridges.
View from the middle of a bridge up creek

down creek.

Besides views of the rushing water, the trail treated us to other beautiful sights such as this little spruce nursery,

and boulder strewn hillsides.

Our turnaround point was this long cascade.

Other trails went on but we headed back to the Ranger Station.
Other interesting things we saw included a twisted pine trunk

a chipmunk looking for crumbs,

and this guy.  Everyone else on this trail carried some type of hiking equipment even if only a water bottle.  This guy appeared behind us at the top of our hike.  He was walking along with nothing but a pair of headphones around his neck and a cell phone in his hand.

After picnicking at the parking lot we continued our ride north on CO 7 for another 15 miles of beautiful scenery,

to Estes Park where we turned east on US 34 for home.

When I said that we rode the entire perimeter of the National Park on Monday (12,183 and Down 7000 blogs) I was a bit misleading.  We rode south to north east of the park, but not along the eastern edge of the park but several miles to the east.  We rode along the eastern edge today.

Louise and Duane

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Nature Walk

St. Vrain State Park just outside Longmont offers 604 acres of recreational with 87 year-round water and electric campsites.  Its 236 acres of ponds host the state's largest rookery of Blue Heron and is home to several other bird species including migrating waterfow., songbirds, and the occasional bald eagle.  Other park activies include year-round fishing and hiking.  

The longest walk is around Pelican Pond.

Along one side we walked along a grassy meadow

with St. Vrain Creek running between us.

As we walked we were treated to wildflowers blooming everywhere,

and lots of birds.

The only drawback to the park is that I 25 borders one entire edge of the park.  The noise is very loud throughout the entire park.  

We enjoyed our walk, but decided that one visit here was enough.

Next, hiking in RMNP

Louise and Duane

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Down 7000'

Our 200 mile ride around Rocky Mountain National Park started in Longmont on CO 66.  From there we accessed US 36 then switched to US 34 which is called the Trail Ridge Road on the north side of the park.  As the road turns south along the west side of the park, it snakes down and up and around several mountain sides.  At one point along the road we saw a line of cars pulled onto the berm.  I hopped off the bike to see what everyone was viewing and saw this young bull moose unconcernedly browsing in the grass.  Since he wasn't alarmed, Duane had time to park and enjoy our first sighting of a moose since our visit to Alaska in 2007.

The road gradually descended as we wound around the mountain sides and along the valleys at the feet of the Never Summer Mountains, with the Colorado River following alongside.

We continued enjoying the park until we exited at Kawuneeche (Arapaho for Coyote River) Visitor Center. 
By the time we reached Grand Lake with a view of Shadow Mountain in the distance, we had dropped down to 8367'.

 We continued to enjoy beautiful scenery as we passed Shadow Mountain Lake and the Arapaho National Recreation Area.  In Granby we connected to US 40 (which runs across the US on and off I70. In addition to US 36, these are two more roads that we have driven extensively when we lived in Ohio.  It was interesting to think about that as we rode along the western end of these roads.

After traveling about 10 miles east, we turned north on CO 119 at Idaho Springs.  Here the scenic route, called the Casino Parkway,  

went up and around another mountain 

then descended into Central City and Blackhawk, two very tourist friendly casino towns.

Along another beautiful valley we rode until we were only a few miles from Boulder.  

 Just when we thought our beautiful views were done, we entered the wonderful Boulder Canyon, 17 beautiful miles of pines, boulders, and the rushing waters of Boulder Creek.

 Exiting Boulder Canyon, we crawled along the "canyon walls" of the city of Boulder,

and north of the city until most people peeled off into a suburban residential area.

119 took us the rest of the way home to the Longmont Fairgrounds.

Next we hike.

Louise and Duane