Hello there, fearlesss followers of our blog. Hasn’t Larry been doing a great job with the last few posts? I needed a little break but am now ready to write. We left off at Dinosaur National Park at number 7 on the map. From there we headed east to # 8 Steamboat Springs for our second trip there. We were looking forward to meeting up with our fellow full time RVing friends, Judy and Donn. We were so lucky to have met them and to have met their friends Terry and Kathy who graciously let us park at their ranch.
It was nice to hang out in familiar territory and to have access to a ladder so we could check up on Shiny’s roof and clean the sky lights. I made it up there fairly well but I have to say that I am not as agile as I was in the day. That stands to reason of course but it did give me a little tap on my shoulder. It was like the Reaper was there reminding me that everyone’s days are numbered and that we had better make the most of life while we have it. Please sing a few verses of ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’ by Blue Oyster Cult to get into the groove.
Judy and Donn spent much of their lives in Steamboat Springs so they are great tour guides of the area. Donn got us tickets to our very first rodeo. At one point in his life, Donn worked the out gates for timed events such as roping and steer wrestling. That must have been an interesting job! The rodeo was a great experience from the athleticisim of the riders and the horses, to the enthusiam of the crowd, to the hilarity of seeing 500 children chasing after a sheep to be the one who got the ribbon off of the sheep!
Next, our friends took us up to Clark, Colorado to a dispersed camping area near the south fork of the Elk River where we camped for a few days off of Seedhouse Road. There was no electricity or other ammenities. There was a clear stream about 10 yards away from where we parked and I enjoyed some very quick baths!
We were lucky to be there during peak wild flower time and so I was in heaven. Here’s a few of the flowers that I saw there.
About a week after we were in Clark, there was a large forest fire caused by lightning that came within a half mile of where we had camped. The fire burned down much of the mountain side. Luckily, the little camp site where Donn and Judy had been coming for years, was spared. The extensive droughts in the West have created the perfect setting for such fires.
Donn took us on a tour on back roads north on up to Wyoming. I can’t do justice to the beauty of this area. We had to wait for flocks of sheep to pass as we wound our way through the hills. And, we got to see the campers that the shepards live in. I was surprised that this way of life still existed.
We heard interesting stories about the sheep herders. Many are from Spain, Greece or Latin America. The story goes that many shepards carved pictures and stories into the aspen trees. We never found any of these but I did find some examples on line. This is an interesting article about the history of the Colorado shepards
Next stop was #9 at Westcliffe, Colorado for an Airstream Rally that was held at the High Mountain Hay Fever Bluegrass Festival. The festival has been going on every year (except 2020) for over 20 years. We got to meet new Airstream friends and, as usual, got to learn a lot about what to do in the area. It’s a beautiful town with tall mountains in the distance and the long stretch of the high plains ahead of us. Westcliffe is a fun place with lots of restaurants and very cool art galleries. Larry had fun jamming with a rock and roll guitar player. I think he’s smiling!
Our last stop at #10 on this leg of our journey was Sargents, Colorado, home of our nephew AJ and his now wife, Chelsea. We were joined there by our son, Sam which was a really big treat. Larry’s sister and her partner, Mary Lou and Arthur, were great fun to hang out with as was our neice, Allison. And it was great to be reacquainted with AJ’s aunt and uncle, Betsy and Jeff.
AJ and Chelsea live along the edge of the Gunnison National Forest and it is a very beautfiful place. From their porch you can see across to a large marshy area which is frequented by many types of wildlife including elk. We got to see them wallowing in the waters. They were all lazing around for quite a while when all of a sudden, they got up, formed as a herd, and bolted up the mountain. It was due to pure luck (and a bit of patience) that I was able to get a few pictures.
The wedding was a joyous occasion complete with steady rain stopping just before the event and a rainbow appearing just after. A mighty good omen I would say! And, I had the honor of officiating at this very special event.
Well, that’s all for now. In our next post, we will be heading back east to visit with family and friends.