Colorado Adventure 2011
Welcome to my Colorado Adventure 2011 page... I live in the middle part of the USA, and this summer the heat finally
got to me... I finally decided I could not take it any longer, so I packed up my camera, camping gear, and ran away from
home.. I headed west looking for cooler air.. I actually found the first of it in the mountains west of Laramie, WY. Spent
some time there exploring and hiking, then moved south into Colorado. Twenty five years ago, in 1986 I think it was, I
was taken on my first backpack trip!!! It was in Colorado and it was in the Rawah Wilderness... When I started digging in
my map box before heading west, I discovered I still had the quad sheets from my first backpack trip, so I packed them
up again and brought them back to Colorado. When I got to the Rawah Wilderness, I loaded up my pack and took off up
the trail, expecting to remember a lot, if not all that I saw.. Wrong.. Was a great backpack trip, beautiful country, and
some neat photos, but I did not remember anything that I saw.. The twenty five years had taken away all memories of the
trail.. How soon we forget... But, I now have new memories and some good photos to help me remember.
As I continue my travels, and while I wait out the hot weather back home, I share photos and short story updates with my
friends and family scattered around the world... Since they seemed to like these messages and these photos, I have
elected to share them here.. If you stumble on to them, I hope you too enjoy checking out my trip.. I will update as often
as I can.. The trip is planned to end around the first of October.... The messages I have been sharing and all new ones
will be shared below...
|A window in Tom's universe.
share photos, adventures, stories, opinions, and
information. I hope you enjoy the time you spend here.
Colorado Update 2011 Number 01
Update for 8-04-2011
A few days ago the heat in STL got to me... I had to go looking for cooler air!!! I finally found it in Colorado and
Wyoming!!! Fifty degree mornings, 77 degree days!!! NICE!!!
So far I have just been driving and camping, but soon I plan to start getting away from the car with my pack and do a
little packing!!! The first area might be Rawah Wilderness, where I did my first backpack trip in 1986!!!!!!!! Will use
the same maps and walk the same trails, provided things are still okay when I get there.. Some roads are still closed
due to snow!!!!!!!!!
Along the way out here, I stopped at friends home in KC area. Caught a ???? in a trap... Had to take it down the road
a ways and let it go.. Then I stopped my the Butterfield Museum.. From there, I stopped by a cemetery that is using
the famous Kansas stone post for the fence around the cemetery!!! Then is was off to the summit of Mt. Sunflower!!!!
The highest point in Kansas.. Was worried about elevation and possible snow conditions, but it all worked out okay!!!
From there, I went through Ward, CO., and north to Wyoming.. Camped two nights in Medicine Bow area... Did a nice
5 mile hike in the snow and around the local lakes!!! Really nice.. But, there is a lot of dead timber here, from bugs of
some kind!! There are signs everywhere, warning people to be careful of falling trees!!!!!! This may also be an issue
where I want to go backpacking... If it is, I may make a big change in my plans!!!!!!!!!! Falling trees are a bigger threat
than wild animals!!!!
Ok, hope you enjoy the images shared with this message.... I stayed at KOA last night.. Was goooood to have a
shower and shave after about a week!!!! This is the only place to get a shower within about 70 plus miles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Click on link below for shared images.
Colorado Update 2011 Number 2
For those of you who have followed my adventures before, another one is in motion... I ran away from home
because it was too hot.... Now, I am sitting at the library Steamboat Springs, where it is a nasty hot day again,
86 degrees outside, when I came into the library to send this message!!! I have to find a cooler place to go!!!
There are some more memory photos attached to this messages. The link will be at the bottom. In the memory
shots you will see some of what I have seen and done since the last update, which I think was in Laramie, WY,
earlier this month. At the KOA campground where I stayed on the 3rd I thing it was, I was camped next to a
really neat couple from California. They were traveling on one of those three wheel bikes, and they were
pulling a trailer that unfolded into a nice size tent! They have traveled approximately 35 miles on it since they
got it.. They have traveled 7000 miles on it this year alone!!! They took the tent down in less than four
After leaving Laramie, I headed south towards the Rawah Wilderness. This is where Bob Pankey brought me
25 years ago, in 1986, I think it was, on my first backpacking trip. When I was looking for maps of Colorado,
while I was still in STL, I found the same USGS maps I had with me 25 years ago when I did my first backpack
trip. So, I brought the maps back and used them again.. The area is beautiful, but my mind is showing its age. I
did not remember any of the areas. I was sure I would, but no, not a thing. It was all new, as if I had never been
In the photos, I show a dance floor I found on the way towards the trailhead. Seesms some fellow years ago
decided to build a dance floor on railroad springs.. It works. People there say it is easy to dance on and is used
regularly still yet!!!!! I had a brew at the bar, took photos, and headed on south. I ended up getting to the
trailhead kinda late, so I stayed at the Tunnel Campground for the night before taking off. Then, on August 05
at around 1100, I set out to redo the hike from 1986. I did most all of the trip the same, but only camped at one
of the same places, Camp Lake, on my last day! What you see in the images is Grassy Pass, my campsite at
Number 3 Lake, then several other lakes I visited as I moved around. I think Number 3 was my favorite lake...
You get to see some of the high country, some flowers, creek crossing, etc... I wore my Chaco sandals for the
whole trip, and this worked out perfect, since there were lots of creek crossings and lots of wet boggy areas!!!!!
And, SKEETERS!!!!!!!! BILLIONS of them!!!!! There is lots of snow still in the high areas, lots of water run off
from the melt, and lots of skeeters being hatched in the mucho wet areas!!!!! I had deet with me and used it a
lot!!! in the evenings and mornings, I had to wear my gloves and raincoat to limit the amount of damage the
skeeters could do to me... There were so many, it was hard to breathe, as they would fly up my nose, in my
eyes, ears, etc!!!!!!!!!!! The air was just full of these things!!!!!! And, they were hungry!!
Aside from the skeeters, there was lots to see. I walked over to McIntrye?? Lake, and planned to camp there,
but there was so much snow and fallen timber that I left and went on to another lake. The timber up in the
mountains is now a real threat to hikers. The timber is falling!!!!! A few years ago, a bug got into the trees and
killed them by the millions, now they are falling!!!!!!!!!! I and everyone else was still up there and still camping
in the middle of the mess, but it was not fun camping with big dead trees all around you.. When the wind came
up, I started watching really close for one of these babies to come slamming down!!!
At Lower Sandbar Lake, I think it was, I watched a fisherman and moose play a cat and mouse game.. Just as I
was approaching the lake, I saw a man fishing, then as I looked closer, I noticed a moose moving toward him.. I
pointed at it, he saw it, did a little hiding behind some bushes, and the moose passed him by. It then started
grazing nearby!!! Both moose and man kept an eye on each other.. Later the moose went back by the man and
moved on, but then there were two moose!!!!!!! When I got to the man, he and his buddy said the moose had
been hanging around for an hour or so, but not causing any real problems!!!! These two guys were from the
Army, doing a little leave time.. The one in the photo is now stationed at FT. Leonard Wood, MO.
I hiked up to Upper Camp Lake, then back down to Camp Lake, where I spent the last night. Then yesterday I
hiked the 7.5 miles out to the car. On the way down, I met some neat people. One group was a family from
Arizona. The father was a math professor at the university, the mom was from Oklahoma City, and was home
schooling their three kids!!! A little further down the trail, I met Holly, a Sierra Club leader who lead national
trips. She was leading a backpack trip in the Rawah this coming week. She is the canoe and kayak manager for
all club activities in the Alaska area, to include the Yukon. She is a retired math teacher from California. She
was great fun to chat with. I got back to the car at 4 PM local time. Then headed out to find a shower. My
book showed a KOA in Gould. I headed for it. Found it, and paid in at about 5:30, just before the office closed
at 6 PM.....
There was internet service there, along with the great showers!!!!!!!!! I did some internet, ate a freeze dried
meal, then showered.. When I came out of the woods, I looked bad, smelled bad, but felt great!! I felt even
more great when I got out of the shower!!!!!!!!! I had to drive up the road aways to get cell service to make a
couple calls, then it was off to bed.... Most stories would end there, but not this one.. At around 3:30 in the
morning, I heard something near my camp walking around and making woofing sounds as it walked.. Was not
sure what it was, but suspected it to be a bear... Later, the woofing sounds got near to my tent, then I started
hearing ruffling sounds at the zipper of my tent!!!! Something was messing around the entrance to my tent!!!!!!!!
Then there was the woofing sounds again, this time they were next to my zipper!!!!!!! Damn, its here!!!!! Then it
came around on my left side, sniffing, woofing, and smelling under the edge of the tent.. I decided I had had
enough, and I slapped the side of the then and hollered at it to get out of here!~ It did..... It walked off through
the grass near my tent, and left.. I wanted to get out and see it with a light, but my light would not have been
strong enough!!!!!!! I went back to sleep... This morning, at 0700, I went to the office to get the free coffee. I
asked the manager about bear being around camp and near tents. He said it could be, he had seen a big black
bear in the yard last night when he came in kinda late. I told him that the bear came to my tent, but did not
cause problems. He said they usually don't!!!!!! Go figure!!!!! I got my coffee, did some internet stuff and left..
Now, I am in Steamboat Springs, where there is hot weather, again!!!!!!!!!! I am told there is a campground in the
hills above here.. I might go there tonight, or head towards the Flattops, where there is dispersed camping, or
what we would call free camping in the national forest... Will decide later!
Ok, I think that just about does it.. I am working my way south.. So, stay tuned and see what I do next. I am
looking to do more backpacking, but may not do it until I get to higher country down near Aspen, then Creede,
etc..... It is now 4:30 PM, local time.
The link to the memory photos is:
Colorado Update 2011 Number 3
Thanks for following along on my adventures and vacations.. I understand from your emails that
many of you have been here and seen the area I am in, some have even lived in Colorado at some
time in their life!!! It is a neat state, to be sure.. Of course, you do have to like what Colorado
has to offer to like being here!!!!! Cool air, fresh air, big mountains, clear mountain streams,
mountain flowers, lots of hiking trails to some beautiful lakes, big meadows, big blue skies, and
the list goes on!!!! But, like I said, you have to like these sorts of things and be willing to get out
and enjoy them... One of the big reasons I came here this year was to find cooler weather, and to
get off my butt!!!! I was sitting around way too much and putting on way too many pounds of
useless flab!!!!! So, here I am, enjoying retirement, cool air, and hopefully getting my belly in
better shape!!!!!!! Too much good food is not a good thing!!!!
Ok, as I write this, the flickr loadr is uploading some images I chose to share with ya since the
last update, which I think was from Steamboat Springs...
After I sent out the last update, I had to go back the way I came for about 15 miles to find a
campsite.. There is not much available close to Steamboat!! The forest service sent me to the
campground I used, but they forgot to tell me there was no water there!!!!!!! But, I had plenty with
me, however, the office people knew there was no water and should have shared the info!!!!! You
will notice in the photos that I chose to have a very healthy dinner this night, beans and beer!!!!!!!!
Can it get any better!!!!!!! From this area I drifted on down south and chose to do dispersed
camping in a area north of Winter Park. Dispersed camping is free camping we can do on forest
service land.. Most times this is more fun than being in a campground!!!!!!!! Was a nice place to
camp, next to a country road, but the real surprise came the next morning, when I woke to ice all
over my tent. Then when I got out of the tent, I saw the heavy frost on the roof of the car!!!!!!
When I got around to checking the temp, it was 34 degrees or a bit below!!!!!!
From this campsite I headed south again, but noticed that there was an arts fair going on in Winter
Park. Not being in a hurry, I stopped at Subway for an extra breakfast!! I had already eaten at the
campsite!!! Now I am eating again!! Mostly to get the coffee!!! After the breakfast, I headed over
to the park to tour the art fair.. Met two people who were doing really great photo work and
paintings on feathers!!!!!!!!!!!!! Was very impressive!!!!!!!!! After the fair, it was back on the road,
but I did not get far when I discovered there was a big slide at the ski slope! I stopped to check it
out and ended up doing a one ride slide on the thing!!!!!!!! Was 15 dollars and lasted about 3
minutes, maybe! The whole thing took about 25 minutes from start to finish.. There was the
chairlift up, the waiting in line, the ride, etc..... Was fun!!! But, I goofed off here in this area so
long that I decided to spend another night camping in the area!!!! While I was there, I first saw a
DVD of some super bicycle stunt riders, or whatever they are called, while I was enjoying my ice
cream.... Later, at my camp this night, I met some of the guys who ride these things and saw their
bikes. They told me the ones I saw in the DVD cost upwards of 20-30 thousand dollars!!!!!!!!!!
The ones they had with them, five bikes, were 6-8 thousand each!!!!!!!!!!!! Nothing like the bikes
we had as kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When I left the Winter Park area, I discovered the Georgetown Loop Railroad ride!!! The visitor
center was handing out discounts, so I elected to give it a try.. I think that the train ride and the
mine tour was supposed to be 32 dollars.. With my discount, I got these for about 29 dollars...
There was a 14 percent chance of rain this day.. It rained! Not as bad as Alaska, but!!!!!!!!!!!!
Was a cute little thing to do!! Ride was nice, but mostly a ride for kids... The little steam train is
too small to pull all the cars, so there is a big train that pushes it up the hill. The little steam train
can then get you back down by itself, but, it has to do it backwards!!!!!!!! Then there is the mine
tour. It is little, short, and sweet... If you have never been in a mine, this will be okay, but it is
not a real mine tour... The story teller/leader did a nice job of telling us what a crappy job it was
to be a miner!!!!! Average life of a miner was about 30 years of age!!!!
From Georgetown, I was off to Leadville. There I went to the library, caught up on some email,
etc, and toured the mining district. I have been here many times, but it is still fun to drive the old
mining area and try to image what life was like here when everyone was going nuts trying to get
rich, at any price!!!!!!!!! Found some signs that had given their life for their country!! See the
images.. It is hard to believe that people claim to be God Fearing Americans, then they will
destroy anything they can touch or shoot!!!!!!! I guess that if you blow up and destroy enough
stuff while you are here on earth, you too will get 77 virgins when you get to heaven!!!!
While in the Leadville area, you can see the tallest point in Colorado, Mt. Elbert, at 14, 433 feet,
I think it is.. I have hiked up there.. Nice hike.. Takes a full day to do the round trip! Also, while
in the Leadville area, I ended up driving south towards Buena Vista, camping, then hiking up to a
local lake named Ptarmigan Lake.. Nice lake.. Took three hours to get up to it, and two hours to
hike back down.. See the images. It is neat!!!!!! I got back late and headed back north, stopping at
another forest service area and camping for the night... The next morning, yesterday, I headed for
Independence Pass.. On the way I collected a few roadside images.. I have seen all these areas
when the Aspens are changing, but never while the Aspens are still green.. Looks so much
different!!! On the west side of the pass, I saw a lot of cars parked. Decided to stop and see what
the point of interest was.. Turns out there is some neat hikes in the area.. I chose to the one up to
Linkins Lake!!! Neat hike, neat lake.. Took about 45 minutes to get up to it.... Had a snack and
came back to the car. Drove on through Aspen, which is really a town to stay out of.. No
parking, no nothing.... The property there must be sold by the square inch!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you live
there and can walk everywhere, you might be okay, but driving is not recommended... I just
breezed through and was gone!
Leaving Aspen, I headed for Gunnison, where I am now. I did not quite make it, but found a
campsite at the lake outside of town. I had camped there several times before, and this time I was
able to get my old campsite back. It is close to the bathroom and the water faucet!!!!!!!!! Cost 12
Today, I called my friend in Lake City to see if he and his wife would be interested in doing
lunch with me tomorrow. He said yes, so I am headed there in the morning... After I left the
campground, I came into town, went to the local KOA campground, where I have stayed before,
and asked for a campsite... Nothing open!!! A big bike ride is taking place here this weekend..
Campgrounds are full... However, it was suggested I try the Tall Texan Campground on the north
side of town. I drove out here. Found that there was a tent site open, and I took it, for about 20
dollars... This is an RV park, but they let a few tent people in... Truth is, this place is much
better for me that the KOA would have been... Linda and Mike own the place, they are neat
people and they keep this place in top shape.. I parked my car, set up my tent, took a much
needed shower, did a load of laundry, and then came to the game room where I have access to
high speed internet, to send you the images I am sharing with this note!!!!!!! I had planned to clean
up, go into town, use the internet at the library, but as it turns out, I did not have to !!! Here I have
my own special table, a great view by the window, and a cool breeze to keep me comfy!!!!!!!
Ok, I think that just about does it.. Guess I will send this out, then go socialize with the other
campers, eat dinner, and get ready for breakfast!!! They have breakfast here in the morning for
three dollars... Not sure what all you get, but it does include coffee and waffles, so I am set!!!!!
I think I am headed towards the Telluride area next... There are some areas there that I have
never explored.. Guess it is about time to explore the area!!!! :-)))
Its a little after 6 PM here in cool Gunnison!!!! :-)))
To see the images shared this time, click on the link below...
Colorado Update 2011 Number 4
For those that are having a bit of fun following along with me on my latest adventure, here is a bit
of an update... Right now it is after midnight here in Pagosa Springs where I am visiting with an ole
backpacking buddy who lives in Loveland, Colorado, but is using a time share here in one of the
Pagosa Resorts.. He learned that I was in the area, contacted me, and invited me to come visit.. I
did.. This afternoon, after I arrived, we sat on the patio, visited, and watched golf carts go by..
What a life!!! :-))) Later, both being photographers of sorts, we grabbed our cameras, climbed in his
BMW convertible and went out in search of a good fishing spot and something to take photos of..
We found a barn etc to take photos of, but did not find a place to go fishing... We are going to go
try again tomorrow, if the weather is in our favor...
I think the last time I wrote, I was in Gunnison.. I stayed at the Tall Texan Campground.. Really
nice place, by my standards... Sunday morning, I was up early, showered, went to the office area,
got coffee, ate some breakfast, talked to Bob Gestel on the phone about his trip out to join me
later, etc, then I headed for Lake City, where I have friends who retired there back in the 80's...
Mary and Bob Stigall, in case any of you remember them from our days with the federal. Bob is a
well known photographer in the area now, and his wife Mary started a theater/arts council in the
town. Now the theater is named after her.. Due to health issues, she has had to retire from doing
the stage shows, but new people are taking over and doing a nice job, so she says. I arrived before
lunch, so I invited them to do lunch with me downtown, which they did. Was great fun.. Then they
invited me to stay the night at their new condo. I accepted.. I had stayed with them when they had
the big house on the mountain, but they sold it and moved to new digs in town.. Really nice place.
I spent the night with my buds in Lake City, ate breakfast with them, then headed for Pagosa
Springs Sunday morning....
On the way out of town, I stopped for a few photos... Well, maybe more than a few, but you know
what I mean!!!! And, just above the lake view point, on the right side of the road, I found Bob's
moose!!! He had heard there was one in the area, and he had been looking for it, but had not seen
it.. We actually went for a drive after I arrived, to see if we could find it!!!!!! As for the moose I
saw, actually someone else found it, I saw this person taking photos, I stopped to see what was
getting the attention, and there it was, the moose!! Too far away for my lens, but I took a few
About 10 miles out of Pagosa Springs, I came upon a motorcycle accident!!! I and all the others
had to wait for the helicopter to come get one person and take them away before we could get on
down the road.. The chopper landed in the highway!!
In town, I went to my buddies time-share.. Really nice... We visited, then went for a drive.. Found
an old barn to shoot at.. He is a photo guy as well!!!!! After the photo trip, we went to the Hogs
Breath to eat!! Was good.. Keep it in mind if you are ever in Pagosa....
Now, I am uploading some of the memories I collected over the last couple of days. You will find
the link to these images at the bottom of this message...... Hope you enjoy browsing through them...
Ok, I better finish the image upload thing, send out the link, then get some sleep!!! My buddy and I
are planning to go for a drive tomorrow, looking for more things to take photos of.. Plus, he has a
fishing pole with him, so I think he wants to try out a few of the new flys he tied yesterday....
More later.. OH, and the temps are staying in the 50-73 range!!! No heat issues here! :-))
Colorado Update 2011 Number 05
Colorado Adventure Update
WOW, the time has been flying by.. If I remember correctly it has been a month now since I ran
away from home to escape the heat. I think it was 107 degrees the day I left... As I write this, I am
sitting in the car on a bluff above Telluride. My tent is still set up behind the car where I camped last
night. I am watching the sun rise from one of the best places I have camped in my life. It is 51
degrees!!!!!!!! Maybe I will get to include a couple of photos of the sunrise in this update.
Speaking of updates, quite a lot has happened since I last sent out a note and some shared images.
And speaking of images and updates, I came into Telluride yesterday, went to the library to write an
update note, then share it and some images, but the internet service was having real problems, and
they were not able to fix it before I left.. I may go back there today to see if it is fixed so I can send
this.. If not, I will hope to find another place to work. Sharing the writing part is not so hard, but
uploading the images is the challenge!!
Ok, my notes tell me it was around the end of the day on the 21 when I sent out my last note... So, I
will start there for this one.... On the morning of the 22, my buddy Rich and I packed some lunch
items and headed out with our cameras to do some exploring. Our map showed that there was a nice
lake up above Pagosa Springs, which might offer some neat photos and a bit of fly fishing for him...
With map in hand, and a couple of GPS units, off we went.. Sure enough, found several neat places
to stop and take photos.. And as we neared the lake, Williams Reservoir I think it is called, we ran
on to another of our friends, walking along the road with their friend. We stopped, chatted, then gave
then a lift to their camp, ate lunch with them, did a little hiking around the lake, Rich tried some
fishing, then the rain ended our outdoor adventure! Rich and I said goodbye to our camping friend,
and we headed back to town. This night we went to Subway for dinner!! McDonalds is really taking
a beating this year... Last year I ate at a McDonalds a lot, and I consumed a lot of Doritos!!! I also
grew a couple of inches around the middle... This year, I have stayed away from McDonalds and
Doritos!!! My pants are fitting much better now!!!!!!!!!
I stayed at Rich's place on the 22nd, then on the 23rd I got back on the road, headed for Durango. Of
course I was not out of the parking lot before I found something to take a photo of, a hot air balloon.
Was a really neat color. Actually I had to drive several miles down the road before I was close
enough to it to get a fair photo, and when I got close to it, I discovered it was going to land. So, I
pulled over, watched it land, and watched the people deflate it, or whatever it is called.. Then, I
moved on.. From what I could tell, the balloon was part of a balloon-ride business.. Maybe I should
try that while I am out this way, as it looked to be good fun!!!!!!!!!!
I did stop in Durango for supplies at Walmart, and info at the visitor center, then it was back on the
road again, in the rain!!!!!!! The first part of my trip was dry, but now I am getting a lot more rain
each day... As I continued my trip, I stopped off in Delores to see if I could find a couple of people I
knew there, but when I drove by their home, it looked vacant, and had a for-sale sign in the yard. I
will assume they moved to a larger home. This one was small. Also, as I was coming into Pagosa
Springs, I arrived at a place about 10 miles from town where a motorcycle had wreaked. Traffic was
stopped while the helicopter took one of the people to the hospital. While I was waiting, I talked to
another bike rider who told me he lived in Delores and knew my friends, and said they were teachers
who taught his daughter.. So, I know they have not left town..
As my travels continued, I found some free roadside camping just south of Rico, I think it was. Nice
place with some neat aspens near my camp.. Spent the night there, and headed north on the next day,
which I think would be the 24th. In Rico I slowed down long enough to take a few photos of some of
the old buildings. Even had the local cop following me around in his truck.. Guess he was having a
slow day!!!!!!! About a mile up the road, I stopped at the forest service info center to ask about free
camping further up this way. Turns out the people working there were volunteers from Florida. The
man was a retired Air Force pilot, and his wife was a retired federal employee. Of course when he
mentioned flying, I wanted to chat, and so did he.. He flew C130s???? for the AF for about 30 years,
then built two planes after he retired. I think he called them VPs!!! Whatever that is. He build the
first one with a fixed pitch prop. Decided he did not like that, so he sold it and built a new one with a
variable pitch prop, which he really likes!!! Does not fly as much as he used to, but continues to fly
some.... Most of the time he and the wife are exploring in their 5th wheel or whatever they are
using... While I was there, they told me about some to the neat things in the area I should see, and
places I should go. One of the places they told me about is this camping spot!!!!! The main thing they
told me that day, was that I should go back down the road to Rico and go in the old bar there. It is
called the Enterprise and remains nearly the same since it was built. I stayed at the visitor center for
over two hours, then went back to Rico and to the Enterprise.. Sure enough, the inside was nearly the
same as the days when it was built!!! I was greeted by a beautiful young land named Lena, who was
here from Ukraine to work for the summer. She gave me a tour of the place, including the basement
where a lot of old stuff was stored!!! Back at the bar I ordered dinner. While was eating, I started
talking to two other neat ladies who were just passing though. They were actually college students
from California and were out for a few days of travel before going back to school. They were very
friendly and fun to chat with until they had to get back on the road.... They were named Jordan and
Sary. You will see them in the photos.
After a short walk around the town, I headed back up the road, and I stopped back into the visitor
center to tell John and Lynn, the couple from Florida, that I really enjoyed Rico and appreciated the
info they gave me. While I was there I also met a lady, Nancy, who was getting info. She was just
leaving, was in a motor home and said she was camping in a campground just up the road. I went to
look for a roadside campsite, but stopped to check out the campground she had mentioned. As I was
leaving, she drove in in her motor home. After a short chat, she invited me to pitch my tent on her
site near her motor home. I did. Turns out we had so much fun talking and visiting that I stayed that
night and the next. I guess that would have been the nights of the 24th and 25th. Then on the morning
of the 26th, yesterday, I packed up and got back on the road. But, late the day before, on the 25th, I
went for a short drive to see Lizard Head Pass, Trout Lake, and Ophir. Was a nice drive, and got a
few nice memory images.. On my way out yesterday, I revisited Trout Lake, the old trestle at the
end of the lake,etc....
From Trout Lake, I came to Telluride, and tried to ride the gondola system they have there, which
offers some photo ops, but again, it was raining, so I went to the visitor center, then the food store,
got some lunch, ate outside, went to the library, paid some bills via computer, when the internet
would work. Then I headed out of town, but again, the cops must have been bored, as two of then
followed me for two miles as I left town. The speed limit was 35, I drove 30. There must have been
20 cars behind me by the time I got to the turn off for this road, which is the Last Dollar Road.. Lots
of high dollar houses on the way up here!!!!!!!! But, that all ends here.. From here on it is 4x4 road, I
OK, that is what has happened so far. Today I will try to get this sent out, and then I will be on my
way. I plan to do another of these mountain roads to get over towards Ridgeway where there is more
mountain roads and possibly a trailhead where I can leave the car and do some backpacking.. Will
see when I get here.. Owl Creek Pass is my next big point of reference. From there it will be on
towards Silvertown, some hiking there, then back towards Denver. In Denver I will pick up my
buddy Bob who will join me for the rest of this adventure. If all goes well, we should be back in STL
on Oct 2.
OK, off I go. There should be several set of images at the bottom of this message... Check them out.
They are divided into groups because of the way they were taken and the way they are stored on my
More later!!!!! Time for me to fix breakfast, get back down the mountain, to the library, then back on
2:30 PM Special note!!!
After I wrote the first part of this update, while I was at my campsite, I then headed down the
mountain to Telluride where I planned to upload the share images, plus this note and send it from the
public library.. On the way down the mountain, I found some more images to share!!! Actually some
from last evening and this morning.... The internet at the library was SLOW last night and I could not
send anything, then today, it was even worse... So, I left..... But I finally had lunch, went back to the
visitor center, told them of my issue, and they sent me here, to the Steaming Bean!!! A coffee shop
with internet that works!!! So, I am now uploading images from the last few days and will put the
links to them at the end of this message.... The order of them may not make sense to you, but you
will get to share some of what I have seen on this trip!!!!! I am having coffee, uploading photos,
listening to jazz music at a temp of about 70 degrees!!! When I get this message sent out, I will be
headed for places further up the road... I expect to drive by the Ralph Lauren Ranch later today or in
the morning.. I hear it is really nice!!!!!!!!!!!!
Have fun with the photos and stay tuned.. There is lots more ahead!!!!!!!!!
You are invited to share these updates with family and friends if you think they might be
interested.... Fun for all!!!
Colorado Update 2011 Number 06
Greetings again from Colorado.. This time I am in Montrose.. Did not expect to be here today, but
I am, and I am clean!!! On my way into town this morning, I stopped at a gas station and asked
where there was a shower for sale, the man said this was the place, so for 4 dollars, I had a super
shower.. First I had since the 23 in Pagosa!!! :-)))
After I left Telluride, I headed for Owl Creek Pass, and to get there I took a scenic back road that
came out near the famous Double RL ranch, Ralph Lauren's get-away... It has the famous log fence
that goes for miles!!!!!!
On the road to Owl Creek Pass, I started seeing some of the neatest parts of Colorado I have ever
seen.. How this area has gotten past me is a mystery!!! The drive is awesome... On the way to the
pass, I met and chatted with Jeff, a forest service employee... Told him I planned to start packing
at a certain trail head in the area. I showed him where it was on the map.. He said I should be able
to get there in the car without a problem!! Remember this statement!
Just past the pass, I took the West Branch Road.. Finally got too ruff for me and I turned back, and
on the return I found a great spot to camp, and did.... After dinner, the rains set in!!!!!! Then the
lightening and the thunder.. WOW, what a show that was, and it was right on top of me, almost!!!!!
This morning, I has some water in the tent, but was seep through the fabric, I think... And, I found a
broken piece of plastic that I could figure out from where it came.. Later I would find that it was
part of the crank handle for my crank flashlight that I have carried all over North America with
me.. Somehow it got under me in my tent and got broken! Was a sad moment!!! My favorite light..
I was able to patch it with duct tape for now, and may be able to do a real repair later! Here in
town I found an bought a new one just like it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I left camp this morning and headed to the trailhead.. Did not go far until I came to a big washout
in the road!!!!!! I looked at it, turned the car around and started to leave, but then walked back and
looked it over closer.. It is was not good, but others had gone through it and there was good road
on the other side.. So, I tried it!!! I scrapped.... Further up the road, another washout.. I got across
it.. Further up the road, another washout, but this one was really nasty and had water in it... I
turned back... I was doing good until I got to the first washout.. When I tried to get back across it, I
heard a big scrap!!! On the other side I looked under the car as best I could.. It would see a rock
got one of my mufflers.. Now there is a dent in it.. I think it is mostly a cosmetic thing, but will
have it checked later!!!!!!!!! Guess the time has come to me to finally move up to a 4x4 if I am
going to keep playing out here.. I am thinking a Toyota Tacoma is just about my size, with a
camper shell on it.... There are lots of them out here!!!!!!
Ok, looks like the share images have uploaded, and it is after 6 PM.. Time for me to go find a
home for the evening.. Think I will go back up on the pass for this night, then on to ??????
Stay tuned!!! Lots of days left.... But, I have to find a new way to do some backpacking!!!!!!!! May
have to leave the car and backpack past the washouts in the road to get to the trail head!!!!!!!
Here is the link to the share images:
Colorado Update 2011 Number 07
2011-08-30, Colorado Update, for area around Owl Creek Pass
While I still have working internet service, I am in Ridgeway, I figured it best to send a few more
images so you would have something to look at while you have your favorite beverage...
Yesterday, after I left Montrose, I was not sure where I was headed, but ended up driving back up
on the mountain and camping in the same spot as the night before, only this time I did not get there
until it was near dark.... Grabbed a few images on the way in. Then, this morning I used the last of
my waterproof spray on my tent, let it dry a bit, packed it and headed out.. Ended up going up
another of the backroads.. This one was a challenge for the car, but made it to the trailhead on the
East Fork, I think it is called... Thought about taking a pack and heading for Uncompahgre Peak,
but the sign said it was 14.4 miles or so, away! I elected to walk up the trail about a mile, take
some photos of the mountians, then head out.. At a later time, I will come back and do it with a
better plan.. When I got to the car, I met a lady named Shelly who had just been dropped off there
with two packs, by her husband to be.. I say this cause they hiked up to top of Uncompahgre
yesterday, where he asked her to marry him.. She said yes!!!! Romantic little mountain story!!! He
took their 4x4 over to where I had the washout issues, left the auto and was riding his bike back to
her location.. They would hike over the mountain, get the auto, return to get the bike, then head
out!!! I should remember this trick!!!!
After leaving Shelly, I headed this way.. Stopped for lunch, chatted with other tourist at the pass,
then came to Ridgeway where I called the Forest Service and got suggestions for places to sleep
tonight.. Tomorrow, I hope to play around Silverton... From there, I am not sure where I will go..
Ok, here are the images from today.. Hope you enjoy seeing some of what I saw this day!!
Stay tuned. It is now 5 PM... Have to hurry!!!!!!
2011-09-03, Colorado Update 2011 Number 08
Hello Again from Colorado!!!
The heat index was 42 degrees here this morning when I woke up near Little Molas Lake!
It is near 1:30 PM here in the Avalance Cafe where I have found some lunch, coffee, and internet
service that works!!! The people said I was OK to sit here as long as I wanted.. Closing time is 10
PM!!! I will be long gone by then... When I get this update out, I am headed north towards the dinosaur
park area.. I hear there are some photo ops up that way!!!! Will go see...
I think the last time I sent out an update I was in Ridgeway.... After sending that note, etc, I headed
here to Silverton where I have been several days.. Found a free campground just outside town, went
there, found a neat spot, grabbed it and called it home for three nights... I left there yesterday, came
into town to take care of business on the internet, on the cell, etc... Then I headed to a new
campground at Little Molas Lake.. Got a GREAT site there, and it was free... The forest service has
some really neat free campgrounds.. I think I have only paid for 5 campgrounds since I left in July!!!!
At the campground outside of Silverton I met a really neat couple from north of St. Paul, MN. Had
coffee and great conversation with them two days in a row.. Terry and Tammy are both retired now,
but have been coming here during the summer for many years, to avoid the flies back home at this
time of year!!!!!! Tammy is a retired OBGYN? Terry is a retired PHD in the electronics business...
Lots of fun to chat with them!!!
Aside from the visiting I finally did a hike up to the Highland Lakes, just outside of Silverton.. Nice
area, but a bit of a climb to get up to them.... I got to one of the lakes where I sat down to do lunch,
but about the time I sat down, a storm moved in and I moved out, headed back to the car at a fast
pace!!!! But, when I parked the car at the trail head, I met a neat young couple with a dog.. The lady
was driving and she owned the Toyota Tacoma that they were in.. Of course I had to ask her about
she liked it.. Said she loved it and added more desire for me to have one... I am gathering more info
on these things.. I think one with a camper is going to be a birthday present to me!!!!!! At the end of
the hike, as I was about a half mile from my car, I met a couple about my age who were also returning
from the area I had come from.. Turns out they are super interesting world travelers.. They almost
insisted that I get the books, study the material, and head to Nepal to do hikes there, plus some other
places they had been and loved the experience!!!!!!! Now I have new places to go, if I live long
Yesterday afternoon, after my last visit with Tammy and Terry, I left the campground, came to town,
then went to Little Molas Lake for the night.. At the campsite I had last night, I met a fellow who told
me there was a great hike on the Colorado Trail, just above up that would be a great hike for me to do
this morning.. When I got up, it was 42 degrees!!!!! Was a little cold and a little early for breakfast, so
I had a food bar, moved the car to the trail head and headed out.. Was really neat.. I did a short hike..
Left at 0830, got back at 1000.... Back at the parking lot, I met three people who were heading out on
another leg of the Colorado Trail... They were leaving this lot and headed to Durango, where their car
would be waiting for them.. It would be shuttled there by some other people they had met earlier on
the Colorado Trail....
Ok, there is a lot more I could probably say, but time to get back on the road!!!! The images I am
sharing will be in the links below... There are not a lot of labels on them, but hope you can get the gist
of what I am seeing from looking at them...
And, as always, stay tuned.. On the tenth of this month I will be joined by one of my other outdoor
buddies.. And as I understand it, we will take this adventure to Utah for the rest of the month,
maybe... So, watch for that as well....
2011-09-05, Colorado Update 2011 Number 09
Colorado Update from Grand Junction...
Greetings from Grand Junction, Colorado!! This is where I spent the night, last night... Right now, I am
feeling good, looking fairly good and smelling a lot better than I have in days, or so I am sure people
around me would say... Showers are not real hard to come by when you are a camper, but being on the
run like I am and not wanting to take the time to stop and do the wash thing, both for body and for
clothes, one tends to forget or just overlook the small details, and move on... I suppose one can justify
the decision by telling ones self that they are not going to be around people very much anyway, and
they would just get dirty again in a short period of time, so why bother, until it has to be done or
something brings them to an easy place to get it done.. And that is the case now..
Right now I am sitting in the laundry room of the Grand Junction KOA.. Nice place... I think I had to
pay 25 dollars to spend the night here.. Got in here about 6:30 PM last night, after I stopped at City
Market for fuel, and at Subway for a big meal... Was really thinking of trying to get back to an open
area to camp for the night, but realized it was getting late, I needed a shower and I needed to do laundry,
and I had driven past this place on the way into town.. It all added up to a fairly easy decision!! I got a
great tent site that had electric hookup, under a rain shed that had an overhead light to work by after it
got dark.. There was also a picnic table under the shelter, so I was all set to do computer work, charge
batteries, etc... So, by bedtime at around 10 PM, I was showered, had photos downloaded and some
This morning I was up at 0700, back in the shower to reshave, reshower, etc, to make sure I was clean
and had cleaned any spots I had missed last night!!!!!!! I am almost ready for the last segment of my solo
trip.. This coming Saturday my buddy Bob will fly into Denver and join me for the rest of this seasons
As I type this, the images I plan to share are uploading to FLICKR, or so I hope.. I have said this before,
the internet service here in Colorado is the worst I have run into anywhere in my travels.. I do not have
a clue what is going on.. Maybe there are just so many people getting on the system these days that the
system is starting to bog down!!!! Some place do have really good service, others have service that is
sooooo slow it hurts to watch it move!!!!!! What I will say about the set of images I am working on for
this update is that the set is very large, and if you are short on time, you might want to save looking at
the images until you have plenty of time..
The story behind the large image set goes something like this.. I left Silverton after my last update, but
right away I started finding things of interest to me.. Transportation has certainly changed over the
years. As I was leaving Silverton, I found some examples of the old way of getting around, then I found
a funny example of the latest way of getting around.. Be sure to notice this when you see the images...
After I left Silverton, I headed for a scenic drive that Tammy had told me about several days earlier..
The drive I speak of starts around the Telluride area and loops around to the west and ends up in the
Grand Junction area.. I was not sure what I would find, but I heard it was good.. It was more than that, it
was SUPER GREAT. One of the best drives I have been on in ages!!!!! You have to plan to see it, if
you have not already!!!!!!!! I have been through the bottom of the Grand Canyon, and this drive is nearly
the same sensation, but is in a car instead of a boat!!!!!! I hope the images give you a fair impression of
what is there.. I had a lot of problems trying to get good photos of the area due to the difficult lighting..
The type of light or something in this area drives my light meter crazy.. And I have to take a lot of
images at different settings, then get to a dark area to semi-edit the images, make changes, etc, then re-
shoot.... And, there are not enough pullover places in the canyon to take as many images as I wanted, so
I had to shoot a lot of them through the front windshield as I driving!!! Takes some practice to do that
trick!!!!!!! Some people ask how many images I shoot vs how many I keep.. On average, I only get about
10 percent good images from all that I shoot!!!!! In the set, you will see my campsite the night before I
started the drive.. There are a few free camping areas between Telluride and Norwood.. I got one of
them.. Am not sure yet how a person finds all these areas. Might be in a data base on the internet. Some
I luck on to, some I found on a map I have. But, it would seem there area a fair number of these places
in the state and a fair number of people know where they are... I need to find the sort that lists all of
them.. If anyone reading this knows how to find these spots, please let me know.. I have gotten some of
them from the local public land office, but this is limited because these people only know about their
area... I need a larger information source!
Earlier, I said this set is rather long, and it is.. I could have shortened it a lot, but some of my readers
are also photographers and they like to see things from different angles and different settings, etc.. For
those that are just looking, sorry for the repeats, and similar images!!! For those people who have not
take this drive, I hope you will.. And for those that have already been there, I hope the images bring
back good memories of your visit to the canyons....
The clothes are in the dryer now, but the image upload is soooo slow that I am not sure I will be able to
send this update today.. If so, I have to find a faster internet connection!!!!!!!!!!!!
OH, There is a couple of comments to add.. The little town of Norwood used to be my mailing address
when I was preschool age, or so my family tells me.. It would seem that while my dad was in the timber
business, there was a summer that his work brought him to Colorado, and we lived in a logging shack
somewhere in the hills above Norwood for the summer.. Then there is the little town of Naturita. This is
the little town where the really good canyon viewing starts, but, this town has to be the jumk capital of
the United States!!!! I think everything in this town is junk.. They have junk everything, and it is
everywhere.. I hope you get the idea from the sample images in the set.. Check out the town welcome
sign, it says “Naturita, Stop and enjoy a little nature”.....
2:30 PM, Extra note!!!! I tried all over town, so it would seem, to find wifi that would work fast enough
to get this update out.. No luck, until I was leaving town.. I stopped at the visitor center here in Fruita, I
think it is.. Asked if these people knew of a wifi that would do the job for me.. The people said I could
get it done here, and I did.. !!!!! The images are loaded and ready to share... So, it looks like that you
will see images today after all... Two people who were watching my Spot track yesterday knew I was in
a neat area and was super ready to see the memory shots from the area.. I hope they like the ones I am
Once this is sent out, I am headed north to explore!!! I came here to enjoy cool air, but yesterday it was
near 96 degrees in this area, and I expect it will be that again today.. Will be ready to get back to the
2011-09-08, Update number 10
Greetings from Meeker, Colorado. I just found out the town of Meeker is having the Meeker
Sheepdog Trials. Started talking to another person here in the library and found out this lady and her
husband are sponsors of two dogs in the contest.. Susan and Mark Michie, the sponsors, are from
Redstone, Colorado and are here the trials! Susan gets free admission passes for being a sponsor.. She
shared one of them with me!! So, when I finish here, I am off to watch the sheepdog contests!!!! Should
be great fun...
Ok, back to the adventure... Right now, the last set of images are uploading... Soon as they are
complete, I will add them to this note and away I will go to see the sheepdogs work!!!
I have changed the name of this adventure to the Colorado/Utah Update... I do this because I on the
6th, I think it was, I ended up in Utah.. Did not plan to go there this soon, but it happened... After my
last update, I went driving around and at one of the visitor centers, someone said I should consider
going to Rangley and maybe even Dinosaur National Monument.. So, I headed that way!!! I ended up
spending the night in the Rangley Camper Park in town.. For 15 dollars, I got to sleep under a bright
night light!! Did not know it was there until things got dark!!! And, it rained... People back home need
rain, well, we got it here.. Where I go there is rain.. Anyone want to hire me???? One thing lead to
another and before long I had crossed the Utah state line and was headed to the west side of DNM..
When I got to the entrance point, I learned that I had just missed the last tour bus of the day, at 1:15
PM!!!!!!!! But, for 50 cents I could buy a guide for a driving tour of the park, on the west side.. I
bought it, and headed out.. Ended up being good fun, but, it started raining and I had to sit through it
and then continue on.. Also, I meed very interesting people.. At one point I met Don. Don writes
computer programs for the a meat packing plant so they will know how to cut each animal up to the
best and most our of each animal!!! Who knew they were using computers to butcher cows!!!!!!! At the
end of the road was the Josie Morris Cabin.. This lady lived out here in the boonies fro 50 years, by
herself.. Was married about 4 times, had some kids, had a lot of divorces, etc... She lived in this cabin
until 1964, when at the age of 90 she fell and broke a hip.. She died from complications the hip!!!
It was late when I finished this part of the tour, so I ended up taking a campsite in the park. While
there I noticed someone had a really neat trailer that they were pulling behind a car.. Later I met the
fellow who had it, learned about it and him.. Nice fellow to chat with.. He too was on vacation from a
job in Oklahoma.. He works for a company that services the big windmills that are going up around
the country.. Yesterday morning, he and I ended up taking the same tour bus to see the dinosaur digs..
Actually the digs are off limits right now as there is some major construction work going on there but
they will be open later this year.. What one gets now is just a sample of the real thing... After the tour
was over we each head off in opposite directions. He was headed to Yellowstone....
Having seen the west side of he park, now I was ready for the east side.. So, off I went.. Made a
couple of wrong turns getting there, but managed to arrive.. There are no fossils on the east side, just a
huge canyon, which is really neat to see. But, one should be there at noon to see it.. I got there late
and the shadows were an issue for photos!!! The one thing I did do that was super neat was to take the
Harper Point Trail at the end of the drive.. This one mile(two for round trip) is really neat. It is a must
do! And, if I had 4x4 transportation, I could have done the Echo Canyon road.. You can see part of it
in the images!!! After the hike, which ended at 6:30 PM, I headed east.. Ended up sleeping on a BLM
road for the night then came here to Meeker to do the updates etc...
In the images, and there should be three sets, you will see the trip I took.. There is not a lot to say
about it, just images to look at... So, if you have the time, browse through the images and see if you
can image being with me..
Now it is time to go watch the sheepdogs work!!
2011-09-08, Later afternoon update.. Meeker Classic, Sheepdog Trials.
For those who read this mornings update, you will know that I met a really neat lady and her
husband here at the Meeker library... They invited me to go see the sheepdog trials, and they
gave me a free pass to get in.. I went, and it was great fun.... Too bad I will not be staying for the
finals this coming Sunday!!! I met people from all over the USA... And, I mean all over... These
people travel long distances to compete in these events!!!!!! And the real fun is watching the
dogs.. They are so alert all the time.. When you watch this set, notice the expression on the dogs
faces as they watch the other dogs compete!!! It is amazing!!!!
In the set you will notice one lady who has on a jacket that has her dogs image painted on the
back.. I understand the ladies son-in-law painted it and shipped it to her to wear at this event!!!!!!!!
The images set is rather long, so consider that before watching the slideshow!!! It aimed at people
who like this sort of thing!!!!!!!
Ok, back on the road!! Have a lot of miles still to go!!!!!!!!!
Many Thanks to Susan and Mark for getting me to the show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2011-09-13, Colorado Update Number 11
Greetings from Estes Park, Colorado!! Once again I am in one of my favorite offices, McDonalds!!! I
went by the library this morning to use the wifi there, but I got there too early, so I ended up here, where
I uploading the images I will be sharing with this update, provided the wifi here continues to carry me..
Sometimes the amount of bandwidth I use causes me to have issues, but I think this is going to work out
okay, if not, I have to pack up and head to a new location!!!!
I think the last time I sent out an update was back in Meeker, after the sheepdog show... So, I will start
there.. I left the library there, ate a burger at a local place then headed out... My goal was to get to a
camping area near Leadville that I had been to before... Somewhere along the way, I elected to take a
shortcut through the back country, on some dirt roads!! I made it, but it got a little hairy a few times, but
got to see some new country!!!!!!! A few things that I ran on to that got my attention was the number of
deer hunters that were moving into the mountains for the hunting season.. I think each animal they kill
will cost them about 50,000 dollars, judging from the big rigs I saw!!!!! Looking at my map, I saw that I
was to be driving along the West Muddy Creek.. When I got there, I understood why is was named as
such... The image will show that the creek really is muddy!!! On one of the dirt road that goes through
Kebler Pass, I found my first yellow aspen leaf!!!
I drove though Crested Butte, then headed for Cottonwood Pass. To get there, I had to pass by Taylor
Reservoir... It is just a lake, but it is in a neat setting!! I drove over Cottonwood Pass, and up to Clear
Creek Reservoir, where I spent the night!!! The next morning, the 10th, I had to do some serious car
cleaning, so I could get my buddy Bob in the car with me!!! I was to pick him up at the Denver Airport
later this day!! When the car was repacked, I headed into Leadville, went to the local laundry mat where
there is showers for sale!!! For 5 dollars I was able to get cleaned up and ready to be seen in the public
again!!!! At 12 noon, I left Leadville and headed for the airport.. Along the way I called the airline to get
parking instructions.. I got the info, plus I learned Bob was coming in early, which would be good for
both of us..
At about 3:30 PM, Bob arrived at the baggage claim, where we picked up his bag and off we went!! We
had been invited to spend the night at our friends home in Loveland, and that is here we headed!!! At
about 5:30 PM, we arrived there, and were welcomed in by Rich and Nancy Krebs who have a beautiful
home!!! We were wined and dined and given the run of the home.. Was great fun!!!
Sunday morning, the 11th, Bob, Rich, and I, packed up and headed towards Rocky Mountain National
Park, where we planned to spend the day doing photo stuff... Rich had brought his BMW convertible, so
using this as our photo car, we let the top down and headed out to find elk.. Bob and Rich had telephoto
lens to do such things.. I did not have a long lens, so I was the background guy!!! But, with that said, we
got lucky!! We happened on to a herd of elk that were close to the road, so a telephoto lens was not all
that necessary.. However, a lot of people got toooo close to the elk, as you can see in the images...
Nobody got hurt, but the potential was there!!! I thing everyone got carried away with the photo thing,
including me, but it was fun!! I have included a lot of elk photos in this update!!!
Rich went home at the end of the day. Bob had rented a campsite for two days, so when Rich left, Bob
and I head to camp... On the 12th, Bob and I drove the Fall Creek Road, and then returned on the Trail
Ridge Road.. We got a few good images along the way, and a few are in the image set... The interesting
part of this day was that at the falls, I saw a photographer using some big equipment to take images of
the falls. I went over to visit and found out he was one of my photo buddies from back home!! He too
was out running around doing the same thing we were... His name is Jim Kyle, and the produces some
really neat images as he travels... I learned to use the histogram on my camera from talking to him at the
club meetings!! Jim then camped across the road from us last night, then brought us coffee this
morning!! Real coffee, not the instant stuff I often use!!!!!
It is now near 10 AM, the images are uploaded, Bob is sitting outside doing coffee and waiting for me
to finish this, mail it, and then get back on the road.. I think we are headed for Moab, UT. Note, in the
image set, you will see Bob doing what he does best, take naps at the end of a long day!!! He looks
dead, but a little nap gives him a new lease on life and he is ready to go again!!
OK, I will end here, get this set out, then get back on the road.. The image set shared is long, so be
warned... Several days are included....
Stayed tuned.. We have about two more weeks to go!!!!!!! To see the shared images for this update, use
Colorado Adventure 2012, Update 11.
2011-09-16..... Colorado/Utah Update Number 12......
THE NIKON DIED TODAY!!!!!!!!!!
This ends the photo adventure for this trip.. From here on out, nothing.
Colorado/Utah Update, The Final Update
Greetings from the Tri-County Library in Bicknell, Utah.. It is 2:45 PM, as I start this
note... For days now I have been traveling without a place to connect to the internet and
share my latest and last update!! Later in this message I will tell you more, but at the
moment, Bob is taking his nap back at the Sunglow Campground about a mile from here,
while I upload the last images, and type up the this last note... I looked everywhere for an
internet connection, but could find none that would support what I needed to do here..
Then, by chance I drove into Bicknell, saw a sign for the library, drove around until I
found it, came in, talked to the nice lady at the front desk, and asked if wifi was available
here.. She said it sure was and invited me to come in and do whatever I needed to do.. So,
here I am in a really neat little hometown library with what seems to be really good
internet service and a great place to sit and work.. Nice surprises are always a treat.. This
is one of those!!!!!!!!
On the 16th of this month, my photo/note updates to friends and family, more or less came
to an end, thanks to Nikon. At about 3:00 PM, I was in Canyonlands National Park, taking
photos with my friend Bob Gestel, when all of a sudden my camera stopped working. On
the image monitor, there was a message that said I had an error. I had never seen this
before, but had the manual with me, so back to the car I went to see what I had to do to get
rid of this message, and get on with my photos... When I checked the manual, it said that
for this error, I had to call Nikon!!!!!! Later that evening, back at our campsite in Moab, I
called Nikon.. Leo, the service rep, walked me through several “reset” functions to try and
get rid of the error.. Nothing worked.. He then told me he had bad news for me.. The
camera had to go back to Nikon to correct the issue!!!!!!!!!! NO, this cannot be.. I still have
places to go and images to record and share!!!!!!!!! I told him I had traveled all this way,
and the second day in Utah, the Nikon had died!!! I mentioned that I was traveling with a
friend that had a DSLR.. Leo suggested that I share photos with my buddy.. I told him I
guessed I would, and that my buddy had a CANON, which never gave him problems!!!!!!!!
I am not sure Leo wanted to hear this... Bottom line, my photo thing was over for this
trip... The camera had to go back to NIKON. This all happened on the 16th.. On the 17th,
I wrote a letter to NIKON, explained the situation, then went to the local UPS office, and
for 20 dollars, I mailed the body back to Nikon... From friends and family, there were
suggestions of getting another camera here and continue shooting, but there are no camera
shops within 200 miles, as far as I know!!!!!! I have a couple of small pocket cameras with
me, but neither take very good images.. Certainly not good enough to share...
An image set will included with this message, but before you start to look at it, be warned,
it is a long one, so do not start it unless you have plenty of time to watch it... This set is
the combination of Arches National Monument, Dead Horse State Park, and some of
Canyonlands National Park. I suppose I could have broken the set up into smaller sets,
and may do so later, but as things are, this seemed the best thing to do for now.
Speaking of warnings, I would like to admit to you that some of the images from Arches
are a little bland at first, as when were having some really nasty weather at the time we
visited the park.. Also, you will find when you look at the image set, that there is what
will appear to some as a lot of duplication. This is true and it is on purpose.. Some of my
followers and readers are photographers and ask to see several views of the same thing..
This gives up a chance to discuss what image would be the better of the bunch.. You too
can decide which one you think is best.. Also, my photo buddies like to talk about lighting
and image cropping, so you will see where I offered similar images of the same thing, for
their entertainment about lighting and cropping, etc.. If you are not a photo person, you
might be a bit bored... But, after a few images, the topic will change, so hang in
I am monitoring the uploading of the images and looks like they are about to finish, if all
goes well... So while they finish, I will tell you a little about our travels... Bob and I
arrived in Moab in a fairly heavy rain, once camped, we drove back up hwy 128 and tried
to get a few share images.. We did, and you saw those in the last update... The day after
we arrived, we chose to visit Arches NP.. Super neat park, but the rainy weather was still
in the area and presented a lot of challenges for us, in terms of being able to get the type
of images we wanted... The lighting was really flat.. Dull might be a better word.. That
said, it did get better in the day!! For our visit to the park, we stopped at all the popular
points.. It goes without saying that there are millions of photos taken in this park every
year, and many of them will be great, but, where would you see them??? Most people do
not share their images.. So, of the millions taken here and at the other parks, you are
getting to see the small number that are shared.. Hope you like them...
I have to say that one of the neatest parts of adventure trips like this one, is the people
you meet.. At Arches NP, Bob and one met one of those special people.. Her name was
Kristina. She was very, very, attractive and had one of those beautiful personalities you
wish everyone had... We met her, because she saw Bob I and I taking turns taking photos
of each other, so she offered to take a photo of Bob and I together. The she offered to let
Bob be in the photo I took of her with her camera.. Well one thing lead to another, and
before long she was in all of our photos!!!! Great lady, beautiful, and was just a treat to be
around.. She told us she was from New York, but had moved to Denver for a new job..
She was in in the park just being a tourist like us, while she waited for her job to start in
Denver the next week...
Bob and finished out visit to Arches, went back and camped again in the same
campground we had the night before.. The next day we were off to Dead Horse and
Canyonlands.. Once again, not only did we see beautiful country, but we met more neat
people.. This time we met May and Jackie, from Nashville, TN, I think they said... They
too were out being tourist.. Oddly enough, I remembered seeing them at Arches, then when
Bob and I got to Capitol Reef, we met them again in the visitor center... Small world , full
of neat people...
On the 16th, in Canyonlands, Bob and I were doing what we do, when all of a sudden, for
no reason that I could think of, my Nikon died.. Well actually, it stopped working and an
error message appeared on the monitor. From there you know the story... Back to car,
read the manual, it said call Nikon, I did, they said it had to be returned, and on the 17th, I
mailed it from Moab... Now, I am just riding around being a tourist without a camera..
Actually, I have two small Canon cameras, but neither are large enough to produce the
quality I like to share...
On the 17th, I think it was, Bob and I arrived in Capitol Reef. We signed up for three
nights of camping. There are AWESOME photo possibilities here!!!!!! But!!!!! And then
then yesterday we really got a treat when we drove the Burr Trail, out of Boulder, UT..
There were some awesome places there that would have made for neat photos!!!
Today, the 19th, Bob has been hiking and doing photos, and I have been trying to get the
images ready for this update. And, once again, I met one of those super neat people that
seems to keep showing up while I am traveling.. Today that super person is Faund
Jackson. She is the librarian here at the library where I am.. As it turns out, when I gave
her one of my social cards, she saw the photo website I have and then she tells me she too
is into photgraphy.. WOW, is she ever.. After we talked awhile, she showed me the blog
where she shares some of her work.. In my opinion, her work is just the best I have seen in
ages.. It is awesome.. You have to check it out when you have time... Her blog address is
http://faundimages.blogspot.com/.. And, she is an artist, in several media. She did the art
work on the walls in this library. She does publishing, work, etc, etc, etc.. I was lucky to
have been able to visit with her and see her work while she had some free time here at the
library.... When you see her work, I know you will be as impressed as I was!!!!!!!!!!!!
OK, it is near 4:30 PM... I need to wrap this up, get it sent out, update my website, then
get back to camp and check on Bob.. He was taking a nap when I left.. Said I would not
be gone long, but I lied!! That happens when I meet neat people and start visiting!!!!!!!!!
The shared images are in the link below.. This will be the last share for this trip, I think...
Hope you enjoy them....
Tom Ballard Photography