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On the road to Kansas – revisiting sights we enjoy

Looking back at Wolf Creek Pass from Del Norte – we had rainy weather but managed to miss the snow storm.

We found a nice spot to park near Penitente Canyon to enjoy the cooler weather.

The La Garita supervolcanic eruption, along with 17 other volcanic eruptions, millions of years ago left these special rock formations.

There were little details like these lichen to enjoy as well.

The Travato is in the rear view of the MINI – it is usually the other way around! The miles feel longer when we are each driving.

Our same campsite at Sand Dunes National Park – but now with fresh snow on the mountains!

And fall color! But the snow has refreshed Medano Creek so it is flowing this late in the year.

Picturesque to walk along the creek.

Especially at sunset.

Enjoying the storm clouds build from our camp spot. Here is the link to other pictures from our last visit http://tealsky.com/2016/06/12/travato-is-welcomed-to-colorful-colorado/

Revisiting Picketwire Canyon, we hiked to the Dinosaur Tracks again in Comanche National Grassland but didn’t stay at the same wonderful camp because of the threatening rain.

The site is looking more like this today than a desert, but we didn’t see any dinosaurs!

The tracks were not so visible as we saw last year. http://tealsky.com/2016/11/05/eastern-colorado-plains/

The raging river kept us from crossing to the other side.

But the tarantulas were crossing the roads. There were lots and lots of them: It is mating season!

You want to cross the road: What is the magic word?

We enjoyed a beautiful full harvest moon rise from our camp site.

We went back for a morning hike in historic Vogel Canyon.

The fog and full ponds of water made it different than last time – a real change from the dust bowl era.

On the road again across the eastern plains to Kansas, under more threatening skies.

 

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Enjoying more of Pagosa Lakes area

We met new friends at Pagosa 100%, a group encouraging sustainability and diversified energy sources. We were invited to stay in their new guest cabin.

There was daily wildlife sightings!

And gorgeous sunsets to enjoy!

Where is the mariachi band? We found a Mexican restaurant that we enjoyed.

Coyote Canyon hike in San Juan National Forest north of Hatches Reservoir.

Another NF hike closer to Forest Lake with a view of Pagosa Peak.

Looking back at Pagosa on a visit south to Santa Fe to visit our friends for the weekend.

Beautiful Village Lake looking southeast.

Another view of Village Lake looking west. We will be back…

 

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Hot Air Balloons in Pagosa Springs, CO

A gorgeous Saturday morning in Pagosa Springs!

It is fun being on the field before the balloons go up to see some silhouettes, the gas flames, and the baskets up close.

Beautiful colors! Oh – they are calling it The Color Fest.

Makes you want to sing ” Up, Up, and Away in my beautiful balloon”.

Even the Jester was smiling and having a good time.

We wandered over to the river walk.

And watched some balloons do a touch and go in the San Juan River.

Or just take a break and people watch the people watching!

Fun to also watch from the ramada next to the deepest hot springs in the world.

Oh – we got them to line up: one, two, three, four!

We returned in the evening for a band, a sunset, and a glow from the gas flames on a countdown from 10.

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San Juan National Forest – Pagosa Springs, CO

After crossing Wolf Creek Pass, we drove down Mill Creek Road with this view of Nipple Mountains.

We found this cozy little spot to set up a dispersed camp site.

We had some visitors – one morning one of these lovelies was licking the van – never thought of a cow as curious!

We enjoyed a few sunsets silhouetted by the trees.

Lots of brief monsoon type rains gave us lots of interesting clouds along with the moisture.

We even got to see the rainbow!

Which of course leads to beautiful wildflowers in the nearby meadow.

We took a short hike to Treasure Falls

One of those collared lizards – they are hard to photograph as they are quite fast!

We spent the afternoon at the Archuleta County Fair, watching the Rodeo.

They had to separate a specific cow from the herd, rope it and then ‘Brand’ it.

Of course we got right into the action and tried our city slicker hand at roping!

Another day we hiked into Weminuche Wilderness, North of Pagosa Springs.

We had this hiking companion.

The fireweed was in full bloom – a very nice magenta!

Our destination was Fourmile Falls for a picnic lunch!

The cliffs are actually large conglomerate rocks that were part of the ancient seabed.

 

Posted in Colorado, Hiking, National Forests | 1 Comment

Chimney Rock National Monument and Navajo Reservoir Area

Chimney Rocks is a new national Monument in San Juan National Forest.

It is on the Ancient road to Chaco Canyon.

The sun shines between the chimney rocks on a neighboring hill at equinox.

We had an excellent guided tour where we learned all bits and pieces of the native American history.

Plus it was an awesome day to just be on the hilltop.

The original wall is closest to the camera with the most texture while the rebuilt wall has less protruding rocks.

Details, details, details.

Mostly sandstone construction.

This is the large kiva at the base of the chimney rocks.

Nice to meet some other travelers – we had a great group.

Storage rooms around the kiva with the orientation to the chimney’s.

This is as close to them as we can venture as the sandstone is a bit fragile for too many visitors.

There are faces looking north – perhaps the clouds have outlined them enough for you to see.

A bit further south at Navajo Reservoir, we learned that the Dominguez – Escalante Expedition crossed the San Juan river here near Arboles, CO.

This was a water tower that serviced the narrow gauge railroad – of which the Durango – Silverton portion is still operating.

You can still see the Rio Grande name on this part of the tank.

An old coal car of the Denver and Rio Grande Rail Road. And I realized we have taken no pictures of the Navajo Reservoir!

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Rio Grande National Forest, South Fork, Colorado

A ranger recommended this meadow and we were thrilled with the view!

Perhaps this rock outcropping had a name.

We realized we were sharing the home of these wild turkeys – we saw the same group every day.

They are not exactly cute but they are interesting.

Even though the rain clouds were moving in, we still had a nice sunset.

We decided we should explore that rock outcropping.

Great views – and of the Travato in its camp spot also!

We drove to see this site by the reservoir.

This gorgeous Douglas Fir is the biggest tree found in the Rio Grande National Forest .

Everything about it is large!

We took another near by hike and enjoyed some wild flowers like this pretty rose.

Words to remember!

Back to camp with time to enjoy another nice sunset.

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Poncha Pass and Salida, Colorado

There is the Travato on a hill on Poncha Pass – it is a level spot with a great view and the MINI Cooper is sitting behind it.

We walked a mile or so to O’Haver Lake which is quite pleasant. We hung out at the day use picnic tables but there is also a campground.

This aspen grove was quite dense and interesting.

This is the stone bridge for the turnoff to Marshall Pass road – 7 miles to the pass is a bit much for us to hike with the looming storm clouds.

Salida Fly In – a gorgeous morning and some very fine planes.

Some fun Russian nose art that we had not seen before.

The propellor is polished to such perfection that there are reflections!

Super Bee tail art – the nose looked like a cute smiling bumblebee.

Take off – we thought they were going to fly around in formation.

And maybe give us a bit of an airshow – but we didn’t see it.

There were also some beautiful old cars – this 1940 Buick in from Wyoming.

This was an original Colorado State truck that delivered the fish to stock the lakes – very nicely restored.

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