We leave behind our wonderful stays on the eastern side of the Rockies and head to western Colorado, careful as we are to remain high up in elevation as long as possible. We will always remember our stay in Estes Park and the companionship of Joy and Glenn as we beheld the wonders there.
I suppose our future visits to Estes Park will always be short ones, as I just have a hard time accepting the usurious rates charged by the RV parks. Any time I have to pay more than $2000 a month to park Phannie, I expect luxury, not tiny, dusty dirt sites like those at Elk Meadow. I have since learned that the city will not abide the building of any new RV parks there, so the rates have no where to go but up, I suppose. Of course, this represents the law of supply and demand, so I guess I need to get over it.
As is our custom, we try to facilitate getting under way on departure day by omitting breakfast and stopping on the road somewhere for an early lunch. This usually consists of a sandwich as we are parked at a roadside turnout of some sort. On this departure day, we had the pleasure of enjoying our lunch beside a clear stream that flows along highway 7 southeast of Estes Park:
Notice that Sandy has a death grip on her iced tea glass, which is never far away. I think if she were to fall in, she would ask rescuers to save the tea first.
We had an almost uneventful trip westward on I-70, except for an hour's delay at Glenwood Springs while firefighters battled a grass fire. This has been another disappointing summer in many places in the mountains due to the smoke from the California forest fires; I hope they will be under control soon.
We made an overnight stop in Grand Junction where we stayed at a very nice KOA, and it was there that we got our first taste of really hot weather again at the lower elevation. Daytime temperatures soared to nearly 100 degrees, and we were reminded of what it would be like when we return to Texas. Ugh!
We made our escape from Grand Junction down Highway 50 toward Ouray and the relief that would be provided by its 7700-foot elevation; we weren't disappointed as its surrounding mountains came into view as we passed through Ridgway:
Here we are, finally parked at the Ouray RV Park (below) in the little town that bills itself as the 'Switzerland of America:'
Here are some photos of this historic old mining town:
After enjoying the sights around Ouray for a few days, we headed out toward Durango, where we were to meet up with Bubba and his clan. We love the drive from here through Telluride and southwestward on highways 62 and 145, part of the San Juan Skyway. It is almost as scenic as Colorado 550, the Million-Dollar Highway, and much less arduous for a motorhome pulling a toad. Here's a great view from the San Juan Skyway:
Once we reached Durango, we parked at the Sky Ute Casino RV Park in nearby Ignacio, a beautiful park that is a favorite of ours. Here's a photo from a previous stay and yes, this park is listed on our 'Best of the Best' page:
A Passport America park, the $19.50 per night charge here is an amazing bargain!
We had a great cookout with Bubba and most of his clan at Priest Gulch Campground (I forgot to get a photo), and we will bid them goodbye in a few days. We will be hanging around here for as long as possible before beginning the trek back to Texas at the end of August. We're trying to get prepared for the summer heat there to greet us. But seeing the kids again will soon make us forget that minor discomfort. It has been a great summer for sure, and we're looking forward to more adventures in the fall.
Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life;
please forgive me if I don't appreciate it each day as I should.
You don't stop playing when you get old; you get old when you stop playing.