Camping in the Snowies

Camping in the Snowies

Monday, July 25, 2016

2016 Summer Camping Odyssey: Part I

The day we left Surprise, June 20th, the temperature was 118 degrees. We had planned to stay the first night in Show Low AZ but wildfires near there changed our plans. Canyon Point Forest Service campground near Heber AZ fit the bill for a nice change of elevation and temperature.
We stopped in Payson for a break to take in the Rim Country Museum and Zane Gray cabin and to enjoy the lake and green space that surrounds it. 

     A cormorant poses on the bank of the Payson lake at the Rim Country Museum

            Mother coot and fledgling dabbling in the reeds. 

On up the road and into the high country, our campsite in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forrest is surrounded by tall pines. 

             Dave relaxes in the cool mountain air at the Canyon Point campground. 

An Abert's squirrel, cousin of the Kaibab squirrel that inhabits the north rim of the Grand Canyon. 
This one was habituated to humans and came begging for handouts. I had dropped a pretzel piece which he quickly found. 

We had another change of plans--this time due to hot weather and no hook ups at the Chinle AZ campground. A visit to Canyon de Chelly will have to wait. 
On up through the reservation through Shiprock, the scenery is otherworldly. 

      Desert rock formations, neither of which is the famed Shiprock. 

The destination for the next three nights was Junction Creek, another Forest Service campground a few miles west of Durango CO. All the campsites were well separated. As with most forest camps there were pit toilets and water but no electricity. Junction Creek and the Colorado Trail were nearby. 

          Our secluded camp for three nights. 

Durango is a busy place with a fun Main Street that features lots of shopping and places to eat. We parked in the high school parking lot and took the shuttle downtown. A fruit vendor near the parking lot caught our eye. We bought sweet cherries and apricots. 

Up and over the high pass we skirt Silverton on our way to an RV park in Ouray CO. 

A mine with tailings was featured at an overlook where we stopped on the road to Ouray. 

Our campsite in Ouray had full hookups plus a nice laundry and a restaurant. It was located on the outskirts of the town along the Uncompahgre River. The famous hot springs pool was nearby and was a nice relief after a jeep ride up into the San Juan National Forest. 

               A cascade through the narrow valley and under the bridge into Ouray. 

One of the three red mountains our jeep driver pointed out to us. He does jeep tours in the summer and drives a snow cat at the Purgatory Ski Resort in winter. 

We visited an abandoned mining town at the end of the jeep tour. 

Taking advantage of the amenities at the RV park, we did laundry and refreshed Luci the Airstream. On the road again we detoured to see the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. It is a stunning canyon and so different looking than the rest of the canyon/gorges that we have seen. 

Dave posing on a Black Canyon rock. We toured the rim of the canyon and continued on our way to Laramie WY. 

      Glenwood Canyon CO
We were meeting friends for lunch in Walden CO and were surprised to have to slow and stop for two moose who jumped a fence and crossed the highway in front of us. 

    Back in Wyoming 

Marilyn and Tom Bryan graciously offered us a berth on their acerage near Laramie. They host a yearly 4th of July jam. We were happy to see them and many friends at their nearly finished home and to play music, eat pot luck and socialize. 

Dave jamming with Tom Wilhelm and Julie and Ron Lynam. 

       Pete and Judy Ellsworth enjoy the music at the Bryan's jam. He got busy and organized a benefit concert for a Hospice of Laramie project. It was held at the Woods Landing Resort. 

Getting the microphones set up. 
Warrie Means, Bill McKay, Brian Peel
                 Tom Bryan, Tom Wilhelm
              Dave and unnamed elk
In spite of a few electrical difficulties, a nice sum was raised for Hospice and a good time was had by all.
Laramie hosts a July 4th celebration in Washington park with music, food, entertainment, games and free water, watermelon and ice cream! We took it in, setting our folding chairs up in the shade. 
      Bill McKay, myself and Warrie Means enjoying the day. 

             Picking at Bill's house. 
        Dave and Mae (Bill McKay's grandaughter) play a tune. 
    Brian Peel keeps the rhythm. A fun 4th of July.

The Luci relocated for a few days respite to the Means ranch. We petted Taz and Lucie cat, helped Sherri replant her garden after a disastrous rain and hailstorm, did our laundry and took care of some other business in Laramie. Now we are ready for the next leg of our summer journey. 

1 comment:

  1. Great photos of the Black Canyon--what a neat place! (neat rocks)