Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Upper Colorado River Area, CO

Finally, a decent internet signal that will allow me to upload all my photos (taken almost 2 weeks ago!) Enjoy!

A much better campsite along the sparkling Deep Creek. Although we have to park the trailer in the parking area about 20 feet above the creek, a little BLM campsite below allows us to sit or walk by the creek and enjoy the cool shade.
Glenwood Canyon, an unbelievable drive along Interstate 70 between Denver and Grand Junction.
Along the 18-mile Glenwood Canyon hiking & biking trail. That's I-70 above me, so it is a bit noisy, but the interstate follows the Colorado River through the steep canyon and at several points is elevated. A truly amazing feat of engineering.
The Dotsero Crater was formed over 4,000 years ago during a volcanic eruption that left a 3-mile long lava flow and a 2,300-foot wide, 1,300-foot deep crater.
Marilyn overlooking the crater. The lava rock is red and black reminding us of Sunset Crater in Arizona.
Along the 4x4 road that takes us to the top.
Brad checking out the lava rock.
A drive along the Colorado River near our campsite was the perfect thing for a drizzly morning.

Following a loop road west of the river, we drive through open meadow and up into an aspen forest. It reminds us of being "up north" in Ontario, near Bracebridge or Huntsville during the fall colour tour. Even though the sun is not shining, the aspen are so yellow it looks like the sun is lighting them.
The loop road overlooks the Colorado River as it switchbacks down the steep canyon wall. An amazing view of the red rock canyon and the mighty Colorado River only about 100 miles from its source in Rocky Mountain National Park. (Those are raindrops on the lens.)
Mountain Goats or Bighorn Sheep? I can never tell the difference, but Brad caught sight of these guys getting a drink and enjoying the lush vegetation along the river.
Hanging Lake, a very popular hike in Glenwood Canyon, so popular in fact that, during our first attempt to see it, the parking lot is full and numerous vehicles are circling. It is Sunday, so we decide to return on a week day and arrive earlier in the morning (9:30) - and realize success! The trail is a 1.2-mile long, 1,100 foot ascent.
This is Spouting Rock, feeding the creek above Hanging Lake. The water is actually gushing out of a hole in this rock face, fed by underground springs. The sound is quite thunderous.
Atop a small cliff sits Hanging Lake. The aqua colour of the water is provided by the travertine bottom. Hanging gardens absorb some of the water falling over the edge, only to release it moments later.
As the water from Hanging Lake falls over the cliffside, this rapid waterfall is created and visible from the trail.
We visit Rifle Falls for a few hours on our way west, but do not stay overnight in the State Park.
A few hundred feet from the parking area is this lovely triplet that makes for a cool rest on a hot day. A loop trail takes us up and over the top of the falls and back down through the woods to the camping area.

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