Friday, August 5, 2022

7/31 & 8/1 Drives to Denver over Bethoud Pass and to Gunnison, CO

I did not take a lot of photos of these two drives because I was focusing on the curving and steep roads, so I am combing them into a single posting of just some gorgeous views.  Note, however, that it was pretty rainy both days I drove.  

July 31, 2022 - Headed to Denver Over Berthoud Pass

This photo shows arrival in the Denver area looking at the plains in the distance.

August 1, 2022 - Headed to Gunnison, CO

The next few photos are interesting because while it was not raining where I was driving, you could see the rain turning into snow on the distant mountains.  You could also see occasional lightning, but I could not capture that with my camera.

Just after I took these photos, I turned east a couple of miles and found a Walmart Superstore and picked up some groceries to last me a few days.  

I drove over Monarch Pass on my way to Gunnison, but never took a single photo because I was too busy driving!!

Thursday, August 4, 2022

7/27 Stillwater Campground, Granby, CO

This is a US Forest Service Campground located in the Arapaho National Forest.  It is at 8,300 ' in elevation, which made the temperature cool, and near the town of Granby, which is focused on ranches, summer lake activities, and winter skiing.  Just north of the big Lake Granby is the site of the Troublesome Fire, which occurred in 2020 and was the second largest fire in Colorado history.  I drove through it on the way here and noticed that they are still removing dead trees and mulching areas so that water runoff does not cause damage.  Some of the area burned is forest service land, but some of it also was in the western part of Rocky Mountain National Park. 

It was a pleasant campground with good views of the western side of the Rocky Mountains and lots of wildflowers.  My only complaint is that campsites would be a bit small for any vehicles larger than mine.  Also, some of the sites, such as mine, had substantial drop-offs at the rear and picnic tables were accessed via stairs downhill.

I stayed her for six days, but will be heading to Denver soon to get my wheels checked at Camping World and to see if they can solve my problems with my grey tank not emptying completely.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

7/25 Drive to Granby via Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park

 Today, I headed back through Rocky Mountain National Park to head west to my next campground in Granby, Colorado, which is on the opposite side of the park.  The road is called Trail  Ridge Road, and it goes through the northern parts of the park and then circles back south on the opposite side of the biggest mountains.  

The first trick, however, is to get back into the park.  You have to have a day-permit reservation, which is checked at the entrance booth.   This is the line ahead of me.  The line behind was even longer. 


This road is not as popular as the southern and eastern parts of the national park because it is a long and very steep two-lane road.  It is well worth the trip, however, in spite of the drop-offs and lack of guard rails.  Gorgeous scenery, and this is just the start.

It was hard to find a pullover with enough space for my rig because of the crowds.  In addition, I really like a flat place to park.  In this case, it was fairly flat, but I put my super-chocks behind my rear wheels, just in case.   

For many of the following photos, there were parking areas available, but most of them were on a slope and I did not trust to park and leave my vehicle in them because I envisioned it rolling down a mountain or two.  So, I took photos from my windshield or from a side window without actually parking. 

This is the view near the pullover above.  It is looking backward towards the entrance, Moraine Campground, and the town of Estes Park. 

I used my telephone lens for this photo.  It shows the YMCA campus near Estes Park.  Apparently, this is huge facility owned and heavily used by the worldwide YMCA organization. There are hotels, conference centers, and large cabins that can house more than a thousand people at one time. 

Heading toward the tree line.

And above the tree line. 

This pullover area at least had a stone wall, but I took the photo from my side window with my foot on the brake!!

A distance view of the the Alpine Visitor Center at the top of the pass. 

I don't know where they would add extra parking here, but at least there were a few spaces on the far left for big vehicles.  After a bit of wait, I was able to pull into one of these and could then walk around.  The parking lot was nice and level, as well.

Any one in my immediate family recognize this stairway to the top?  I was here with kids and grandkids a few years ago, but I and youngest grandchild waited at the bottom. 

This is one of the views from the top.

I would have missed these elk had someone not pointed them out.  Without a telephoto lens, they looks like small brown spots in the grass. 

Some wildflowers.  It is amazing how many there are up here.

After a few photos and walking around for about an hour, I continued on Trail Ridge Road to the west and south.  The first 3-4 miles were very steep, but afterwards, it was an easier drive than coming up from the east.  Also, flatter pullover spots.

A moose in the distance.

As I got closer to the town of Granby, I noticed a lot of area that had been burned in the past.  I found out later that this was the location of the East Troublesome fire in October 2020. 

More photos in a couple of days of the campground I am staying at on Lake Granby and this area.