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More Adventures in Summit County, Colorado

Our friends from Littleton joined us for some cycling.

We rode the gondola to the top of Keystone and reminisced about our times skiing there.

It looks like we are ready for some Spring skiing! Beautiful view of Lake Dillon.

It is Happy Hour and what a life!

This was our view as the Local Folks played for us.

A few days later we went on a Geology Car Tour of the region by Friends of Dillon Ranger District and learned about how this region of the Rocky Mountains was under the inland ocean and then uplifted.

Our next visitors were my parents – we had a picnic lunch by the lake and then later a poolside BBQ.

The next morning we walked the Dillon Natural Area which is a nice graded dirt road with no bikes. and enormous views. Flax in bloom.

Nice reflections!

These Wild Animals are thinking about our Benjamin and wishing him a Get Well Soon with Lots of Love, Hugs and Smiles!

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Lower Cataract Lake Trail, Eagles Nest Wilderness

Beautiful day for a hike in Eagles Nest Wilderness in the White River National Forest.

The water is very high this Spring – this is a beautiful little mountain lake we are going to walk around.

Flag Iris in bloom!

Taking a break in the shade!

I am not sure if this is a type of Mullen but it reminded me of a Yucca stalk in bloom.

Double checking our route and where we are going – or maybe where we have been!

Could you ask for a better day than this?!!!

Taking a picture of a Marmot sunning himself on the top of this boulder. Good eyes to spot that guy!

White blooms frame the lake from the far end.

That is the large Cataract Falls coming down from the snow covered peak. Unfortunately this trail does not go close to the falls or offer a better view. But you can hear it on much of the trail.

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Greetings from Summit County in Colorado

Taking a break from the Travato, we are staying at a condo with a pleasant view and all the amenities.

On the bike again! It is a 15-mile round trip ride to Lake Dillon Dam along the Snake River.

A fabulous destination to take a break and enjoy the view.

National Trail’s Day 2017 – we volunteered for the White River Forest Service along with about 50 others.

We were separated into teams and given a few safety tips.

Our team leader and our crew of 4 dug this trench to run water off the trail.

The trench is getting deep enough and we are creating a dam along the path to divert the water – we had to dig deeper for mineral soil, not organic top soil as that erodes too fast and turns to mud.

After the work, we met up with Friends of the Dillon Ranger District at the Tiki Bar on Lake Dillon.

To enjoy this fabulous lunch, thanks to Pug Ryans!

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Flying from Ft Collins, Colorado

Meet our pilot. These are our friends that got us the work/camp for the National Forest in Sabino Canyon. We visited them in Ft Collins and decided to take to the air. What a treat!

Longs Peak overlooking the valley.

It is getting smaller and more of the city is visible. Also a touch of Horsetooth Reservoir.

A lot of snow last week as we head towards Curt Gowdy State Park, Wyoming.

Isn’t it beautiful?!

Going over Red Mountain area – looking like a Topo map with the snow outlining the contours.

But you can see the red below the snow and the Cache la Poudre River in the valley.

Well these are just plain fun images of the snow patterns.

Of about 50 photos, these are the best.

I am not quite sure what I am looking at!

But very interesting patterns. A very pleasant ride over the terrain.

 

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Back in Southwestern Colorado

Now we feel like we are back in Colorado! We overnight parked the Travato next to Havelin Lake, a bit north of Durango on the Million Dollar Highway.

We enjoyed relaxing by the lake and enjoying the scenery.

And watched the Sun set and the lake become calm. All kinds of birds were present but we did not see any large animals.

Just north of Ouray we spotted some waterfalls worth stopping the Travato to take a look.

This is the road we just came down the mountain on and then stitched together this vertical panorama of the falls.

We headed to Ridgeway, Montrose and then to a lunch hike at Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area.

But the weather turned and we did not want to get stuck climbing out on the dirt road with the Travato. On we went to Grand Junction.

And met up with our friends to hike this beautiful trail in McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. (our pictures from last September)

Sep

The red tail hawk was waiting to pounce on some school kids! He is a bit stuffed… but was still pleasant to look at.

Oh but this was alive alive Oh… cool

Were we talking too much and not paying attention to where the trail turned?

Photo at the mid point of the Devil’s Canyon trail.

Should we check out this real estate? It is need of some TLC but the views are grand.

Indian paintbrush – isn’t this lovely?!

A full moon over Colorado National Monument after being guest chefs. http://thewesternwagon.blogspot.com/2017/05/colorado-national-monfruita-co-53-517.html

 

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Navajo National Monument

A beautiful day to enjoy this sacred area of the Four Corners region.

We took a picnic lunch to the overlook of the cliff dwelling to enjoy the day.

A cloud passed overhead and we were able to get this photo – there is a private led tour to give a sense of scale.

We were able to get a top spot in he Sunset View campground.

And it lived up to its name!

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Flagstaff to Grand Canyon National Park – South Rim

Last January we went to Sunset Crater and Wupatki NM and we returned again to enjoy the hikes and views.

The Apache Plume was in bloom adding a bit of color to the landscape.

It is so neat to see these ruins and imagine the lives that were lived here.

In case you don’t look at the link to last’s years, this is another of the ruin on a hillside.

This little lizard came out to enjoy the sunshine.

Those are the sacred San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff.

As always, Exit through the Gift Shop! Good thing we can not store much in the van.

Grand Canyon! We dispersed south of Tusayan on FR 302 and took the free NPS shuttle into the park – a 15 minute ride to the new visitor center (at least, we had not seen it before).

Some things never seem to change, like the Hopi House – wonderful Parkitecture!

We did not remember ever seeing the canyon this green. Looking down into Indian Gardens.

And this is the Bright Angle path I did oh so many years ago. WOW!

John Wesley Powell and his expedition – a very nice monument to these early explorers.

We took a ranger led history tour that showed us this heart placed in the wall by a CCC worker. One of the Harvey Girls he was sweet on looked at this part of the wall from her lodging window. Or maybe it was just for his love of the canyon.

Either way, I like that it is in front of the Lookout. Another very cool building. Further on is the Kolb Brothers Studio which has a great little museum about their contribution to tourism.

We took the shuttle bus to Yaki Point for sunset – worth the trip!

Incredible! We stayed on for a star program at the Visitor Center before catching the 9:00 bus back to Tusayan.

Early morning drive to Desert View side of the canyon.

Very peaceful morning.

Nice displays telling about the history like this one about Thomas Moran. He created his own interpretations to make the most of nature.

You can see more of the Colorado River from this eastern end of the south rim.

There are some rafters going around the bend.

Can you see them now?

Desert View Watchtower by Mary Ann Colter is another one of her fabulous parkitecture sites.

Just fun to photograph and appreciate.

I thought I would give you a sense of the scale of the detail.

This is a great viewing deck on the roof of the lower round building.

A fellow traveler took our picture.

We stayed at the campground two nights in site #42 and were able to walk over for some great sunsets.

A few of the cool sunset pictures over the canyon.

A storm was moving in so the virga gave an interesting element to the sunset.

Nice the sun went behind the cloud so you can see more of the Grand Canyon.

The north rim is getting the storm. We did have a snow shower in the afternoon but it did not stick.

Looking in the black mirror inside the Desert View Watch Tower for a polarized look of the canyon. This was a technique to sketch the canyon.

Another sunset with a spectacular vista.

Very interesting light to see the canyon in shades of blue.

A perfectly clear quiet morning for our departure and final view of the south rim.

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