Friday, October 13, 2017

Colorado - 2017 Part 5

Great Sand Dune National Park
Day 14-16 – 10/4/2017 – 10/6/2017

Along NFS Road 667, East of Pagosa Springs, CO

San Juan River, along NFS Road 667.  We were provided information on Quartz Meadow by Durango.  Unfortunately Colorado had had lots of rain turning the NFS road into a muddy mess.  It was washboard with pot holes and several areas appeared to have been repaired by grading and it was nothing but mud and rocks.  We had to use 4 wheel low.  After the turn-off for Quartz Meadow we were stopped at a San Juan River crossing that was 3' - 4' deep and moving at better than 2,400 cubic feet per second.  We were forced to back out and head back the way we came.  We found a dispersed site for the night along the river.  What had been planned as 2 days of fishing ended up being one night and an early morning departure.  More rain was forecast and we need sun for solar.  Next time we will try again.

Falls along the San Juan byway

San Juan River

San Juan River

Sand Dunes & Sangre De Cristo Mountains

Cave to Zapata Falls.  You had to drive approximately 3 miles up to the base of the mountains and then hike a quarter of a mile to the mountain stream.  Once there you had to walk in the cold fast moving water 200 feet upstream and make your way into the cave.  At the back of the cave were the falls.

The trail to the falls

Sunset over the Dunes

Pork Chops for dinner

Harvest Full moon setting over the Dunes

U.S. Highway 50 along the Arkansas River Canyon on our way home

We made it to Dodge City, KS were we stayed at the Gunsmoke RV Campground.  Pretty noisy with the train horns, traffic, barking dogs on the farm, and other farm animals.  From there we drove to Eldon Hazlet State Park in Illinois.  No office open, and the host was closed for the day so we had a free night. We were gone for eighteen (18) days and drove over 4,000 miles during our trip.  We had temperatures in the mid 90's for the first two days and a drop of 50 degrees when we arrive at Rocky Mountain National Park.  It was a great trip and we are looking forward to a return to Colorado in the near future.

Colorado - 2017 Part 4

Telluride, CO
Day 11-13 – 10/1/2017 – 10/3/2017

Telluride, CO

Along Lost Dollar Road.  It started raining and with another 2-1/2 hours to complete the drive, we ended up turning back.  We will drive this road next time.  We had scheduled to rent a jeep for a day, but with the repeated heavy snow in the mountains, the passes were closed in and Colorado 145 decided to close their Telluride operation for the season.

Along Last Dollar Road

Sarah didn't like getting in our out of the Gondola.  I had to lift her up each time

Looking back to the town of Telluride.  The gondola is free transportation.

Telluride, CO

More pictures from Last Dollar Road

While in Telluride we camped at Town Park.  We met Brad Garland, a professional photographer from Prescott, AZ.  He has one of four Kimberly Karavans in the United States, a hardside pop-up.  An amazing camper.  I got a tour of the inside and out. 

I believe the cost is in Australian Dollars which are higher than the US Dollar. 
Brad was on a photo shoot and gave me permission to post a link to  his site.  
Brad Garlands Fall Colors
San Miguel River

Alta Ghost Town


Alta Lake (Photo furnished by Brad Garland).  We drove up to Alta, but there was a steep muddy section with snow and narrow area with trees that I didn't want to risk damage to the truck and camper.  Brand told me there were deep pot holes and scars on the trees indicated people hit the trees trying to navigate through the tight area.

Moon rising over the mountains

Enchalada Dinner

Bear Creek Falls in Town Park

Red Mountain Mountain Mining District along San Juan Byway