July 30, 2014
We are currently in Golden, CO. We are “snug as a bug in a rug” in our RV, while it storms outside. I find that I am hopelessly behind on my RV Travel Blog. I attribute this to several reasons: there just aren’t enough hours in the day to explore, take pictures, download photos from my camera and process them, upload photos to several sites, work on travel blog, do RV chores, read the history of our current area, and watch news/weather on the TV and/or watch a couple episodes of a TV series on DVD with John; We have experienced a lack of wi-fi in our recent campgrounds, and limited data on our Verizon hotspot. (It’s amazing how much more one gb costs after the first 20 gbs per month!) We will be leaving for the east coast and Atlanta on Friday, and I want to be all caught up by then! (And, have plenty of time to explore Rocky Mountain NP, weather permitting. And, then, there is the weather, which is not cooperating. But, we have managed to do some exploring….
July 16, 2014
We visited Chimney Rock National Monument. This site was made a National Monument two years ago… Chimney Rock’s twin spires are in the San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado which includes an archaeological site. This area is located in Archuleta County, Colorado, between Durango and Pagosa Springs. The twin pinnacles that give Chimney Rock its name, frame multiple astronomical alignments. The Ancestral Puebloans incorporated their knowledge of astronomy into the design of their community. Today Chimney Rock is one of the best recognized archaeo-astronomical resources in North America, with alignments with the northern lunar standstill, summer solstice, equinoxes and Crab Nebula.
It turns out our National Park and Federal Lands Senior Lifetime Pass didn’t cover driving a few miles to the ruins… We decided to opt out driving to the top @ $7 each. We had a picnic lunch, and enjoyed a multitude of hummingbirds feeding at the three feeders placed by the visitor center. We left as it started to rain.
We moved base camp to Montrose, CO on July 21st. I wanted to visit a national park that I hadn’t been to and I knew little about Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park fit the bill perfectly! It is located in Western Colorado and has been a National Park since 1999.
Montrose is a couple thousand feet lower in elevation than places we have camped at lately and it is HOT, mid 90s! I never thought of checking the elevation when I picked a campsite (something to add to my checklist!).
We packed lunch and headed out on a bright, sunny day, with little available shade anywhere… The Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP, is known for the deep, dark canyon formed by the Gunnison River. The Park contains 12 miles of the 48-mile long canyon with some of the steepest walls. Some parts of the canyon only receive 33 minutes of sunlight a day, hence the name Black Canyon. Some of the cliff walls are over 2000 feet from river to canyon rim. There is a road running along the rim with pullouts and trails leading to overlooks. We saw some amazing views… But, it was hot walking in the bright sun, and I was as wilted as the vegetation.