Saturday, August 20, 2016

Pagosa Springs….Saying Goodbye!

 

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San Juan River…downtown Pagosa Springs

We have sat in the cool shade of Ponderosa pines and blue spruces for over a week. It’s time to go to town and find a hot spring (and shower.)  This is a first for us, been in a few hot springs out in the wilds but no citified pools!  Noticing that there is an eight dollar rate for senior citizens we choose a place right across the street from the Pagosa Springs Visitor Center.  It is a bit on the run down side but we just want the experience.  There are several pools to choose from.  (Sorry, no photos.) The sulfur smell is not too strong and it’s truly an enjoyable time.

And we could barely drag ourselves out of the hot water.

There’s a path in the East Fork campground that leads to the river.  It’s kind of scary….part of it goes straight down over a bluff….but I have been wanting to hike it before we leave.

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The short walk leads to the rushing East Fork of the San Juan, another world away from the campground.  Just the river and me.  There’s evidence that others have been enjoying the space.

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We have fallen in love with this place.

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Sylvester loves it also!  There are chipmunks everywhere….aggressive little boogers….who have even jumped on Sylvester’s carrier.

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There’s one well at the campground that proves to be quite a work out!

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Former campers leave us a present…..a tiny hummingbird feeder!  I borrow sugar and spend an afternoon watching three hummingbirds and two yellow jackets bombard each other.

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Taking naps is another important part of the day.

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And eating!

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We decide to attend the Wednesday night Parelli Ranch barbecue…David missed it a few weeks earlier.

There’s good food, beautiful horses with a lovely view and a wonderful guitar picking singer.

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There’s only one thing left on our Pagosa Springs to do list…go to the Chimney  Rock ruins. (Next blog).

Our time in the mountains is running out….just over a week left!

(Gotta get this published and hit the road!)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Alone in the Forest---East Fork Camp

 

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The title here is a bit misleading.  We are camping alone, now, but we are not way out in the boondocks alone…..but by ourselves in a forest campground, East Fork.

Since arriving almost three weeks ago we have been with friends and new friends.  First week we were at a fiberglass rally, then shared a campsite with a new friend from the rally.  Then we relocated to property close to Pagosa Springs where an impromptu Kansas rally was happening.

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We found a lovely, heavily shaded campground east of Pagosa Springs six days ago and have not been motivated to leave.  We have been sight-seeing, relaxing and doing chores……there are pit toilets and one well with a huge handle on the pump.  A real workout to get a few gallons of water!

Not much to say but the Nikon is being used and I’m finally getting away from the S5 phone photos.

Our first site…had to move after three days due to reservations….is on a bluff overlooking the East Fork of the San Juan River…(first photo above.)

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There’s a water falls, Silver Falls, way up the gravel road that runs by the campground.  The above photos were taken of the East Fork while searching for the falls……turned around after about 5 miles…got tired of the bumpy road!

Treasure Falls is on the main road of 160. We  manage to climb up for a proper view.

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Wolf Creek Pass is a granddaddy of mountain passes…..at least someone told me that.  No history of driving in big mountains.  We drove up in the Tundra to check it out.

 

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Our only other big mountain pass was on our way to Alaska.  I need to pull the Escape up and over to get over my nervousness.  (This has not happened yet!)

Views from the overlook returning back to camp.

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Another day we drove back up and over the mountain to have lunch with friends who are camping in South Fork.  We stopped at Big Meadow campground to check it out.

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If we get motivated to leave East Fork, Big Meadow may get a visit and the Escape will get to cross over the Continental Divide. Oh, joy!

Overall, life is good!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Sun and Rain…. Week Two in Southern CO

 

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The most perfect campsite is secured early Friday morn with absolutely no hassle! We leave the rally early enough to run 5 miles up the mountain to dump and return back to the nearby forest campground of Haviland Lake.  Uh, oh!  Another egg camper is parked right in front of registration, hoping to get one of the few sites open on a Friday. 

But it’s one of the full timers that we camped with during the rally.  The camp host says there is a premium electric, lake view, double site coming open and we grab it!

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Camping with electricity is an unexpected luxury.  Very grateful that we are easing into this new world of Colorado mountain camping.

Diane, our new camp mate, helps me back into the site. (It’s nice to get directions from another woman….she seems to know how to help me maneuver the wheel.)

We set up the baby Clam between our trailers and it becomes our new hangout. My solar powered butterflies soon decorate the ceiling.

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Sylvester is enjoying the new quiet…away from the multitude of dogs at the rally.  He meets and tolerates Houdi, Diane’s beautiful cat…..which I neglect to photograph!

David and I decide to ride up the mountain to Silverton.  He keeps bumping and running into things and his blood thinner keeps him bleeding.  During the rally a retired RN gave me lessons in wrapping  bandages.  It is time to buy more first aid supplies.

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Silverton, Colorado

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The narrow gauge rail train arrives from Durango to Silverton.  We keep thinking about taking the trip…maybe soon?

 

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David enjoying the view.

Diane and I decide to take a little hike to a nearby lake.  It is the first real exercise my body has experienced since arriving at 8,000 feet.  I am huffing and puffing at every little rise.  So sad!

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The lakes are lovely…but it’s difficult to get the right shot.

The days are warm, the nights are nice and cool.  We get a few showers but mostly it’s sunny….highs in the mid 80’s.  This is the sun part of this post.

We stay four nights at Lake Haviland….just unable to part with such a great camp.

Tuesday we say our goodbyes and head toward Pagosa Springs. A friend has emailed us and invited us to an impromptu gathering on his lot in the mountains.  Four trailers are there to greet us as we arrive late in the afternoon.

We have one pretty day before the monsoon rains begin.

David at Robb's place

We spend our time exploring and visiting with friends……think I just said that about the last campsite!

Pagosa Springs is known for it’s hot springs….going for a dip is on our to do list.

We watch kids surf the San Juan River at the Visitors’ Center.

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Our group decides to attend a barbeque at the Parelli Ranch.

It starts raining hard just as we arrive (and continues off and on for the next three days). But we are in a huge enclosure with room for eating and watching a horse show at the same time.  There’s also live music….excellent entertainment!

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This ranch is the world wide headquarters of the Parelli School of Natural Horse training. It’s fascinating to hear about their techniques. The horses follow their trainers around like pets with no bridles or gear.

We are content at the moment.  No current thoughts of heading home soon.  If it gets hot again, we plan to head higher into the mountains.