On May 3rd we left Breckenridge and drove the Sherpa over the pass to Loveland, we were so lucky that it didn’t snow, as the pass was closed a few days later. We arrived at the Loveland RV Resort and are staying here for 4 days while we explore the area north of Denver. Our first venture out was to visit Rocky Mountain National Park for the day. The Park was established on January 26, 1915 by President Woodrow Wilson and the CCC built the automobile route in the 1930s. This Park is one of the most visited in the National Park System, in 2018, 4.5 million people entered the Park. We stopped at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center – a National Historic Landmark designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, to get information about the Park. We were not able to do any hikes because of all the snow, but could drive along Trail Ridge Road, stopping to take photos of the many elk still in their winter coats, and to see the views from the Overlooks of the mountain ranges. Continue reading
April 24th, we arrived in Breckenridge, Colorado, staying at the Tiger Run RV Resort for three days, rated a 10-10-10 RV park by Good Sams. The elevation of Breckenridge is 9,600 feet above sea level, and we felt the altitude as we walked around the town visiting the many shops along Main Street. The historic buildings with their clapboard and log exteriors add to the charm of the town. One morning we took the gondola up to the ski area where they are still skiing now. The ski trails were first cut in 1961, and Breckenridge Ski Resort has made the town a popular destination for skiers. Another day we drove along Interstate 70 to the old town of Idaho Springs. The local legend is that the name of the city derived from annual visits to the radium hot springs made by a Native American chief and his tribe who journeyed from there each year from Idaho to bathe in the magic healing waters. We walked around the historical part of town and stopped for lunch at Tommyknocker Brewery, that has been crafting award winning ales and lagers for over 20 years. We enjoyed some of the freshly brewed beer, the Blood Orange IPA. Idaho Springs was first settled by prospectors back in 1859, during the early days of the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush and today there are still ruins left from those mines. We saw the Charlie Taylor Water Wheel built by miner Charlie Taylor in 1893 to power a stamp mill. It was moved to this site by Bridal Veil Falls in 1948 and restored in 1988. Continue reading
We left Cedar City, Utah, on April 18th and drove to Grand Junction, Colorado, the drive through the mountains along Highway 70 was really beautiful. We checked into the Junction West RV Park for a week. Our first sight to explore was the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, where we saw the steepest cliffs, oldest rocks, and the craggiest spires in North America. The Black Canyon is so named because its steepness makes it difficult for sunlight to penetrate into its depth, and parts of the gorge only receive 33 minutes of sunlight a day. At its narrowest point the canyon is only 40ft wide at the river. However, we were there on a cloudy day so it was mostly grey in color from deep in the gorge to the sky above. The Black Canyon was officially discovered by Captain John Williams Gunnison in 1853, who was leading an expedition to survey a route from Saint Louis to San Francisco. He was killed by the Ute Indians later that year, and the river they named the Grand was renamed in his honor. In 1881, William Jackson Palmer’s DENVER and RIO GRANDE Railroad, (a narrow 3′ gauge rail line) had reached Gunnison from Denver to provide a link to the burgeoning gold and silver mines. And on August 13,1882, the first passenger train passed through the Black Canyon and continued service until the route was finally abandoned in the early 1950s.
“Such a feat of railroad engineering probably can not be found in the world”.
We left Oceanside on April 15th and headed north, our first stop was Cedar City, Utah. We stayed at the KOA in the city for a few days while we went sightseeing. We visited the Perowan Gap Petroglyphs that are thought to be the work of several cultural groups of Native Americans several centuries ago. The meaning of the designs is still unknown. The Gap is nationally recognized as a “superb gallery of Native American rock art.” We saw geometric designs, images of lizards, snakes, mountain sheep, bear claws and human figures; artwork that was pecked into the rock on the smooth canyon walls of the pass. We also stopped at the Dinosaur Tracks where we walked around the rocks looking for the dinosaur raised footprints, not depressions in the stone. On our way back to Cedar City we drove up to Bryan’s Head Ski Resort and they were still skiing.Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading