As it stands right now, it looks like we will get to take a week and go to Colorado the last of August for a vacation. When the year began, it looked like 2011 would be another year without getting to go up for anything less than a quick trip. Our last trip to Colorado was actually a week’s vacation to visit relatives in western Kansas.
Richard, our brother-in-law, has had a love of the area around Canon City, Colorado for some time. Back in July of 2010, we were with them and all four of us took about three days to go into Colorado, initially to Canon City and then around some from there. That trip included some sightseeing and going up around Aspen, back through Hotchkiss (where I used to have relatives many years ago), back by the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, then back to Canon City and back to Kansas.
On that occasion, I had the good fortune to see my first, live-in-person sighting of Bighorn sheep. In all the years of vacationing in Colorado, I had never had the luck to see any at all. On our trip back to Canon City toward the end of the 3 day excursion, we got to see four of them along the road. Thanks to the eagle-eye of my sister-in-law, they were spotted and we turned around to go back and get photos.
We were returning along Highway 50 which runs parallel with the Arkansas River. At one point, we stopped so I could get some pictures from a little overlook area on the river. We were treated to another sight that I had never seen before. While I’ve seen lots of geese, I’d never seen them floating in a somewhat rushing river.
This evening, Jo and I called Mountaindale RV Park, which is located between Canon City and Colorado Springs, and made reservations. We are scheduled to be arriving there the afternoon of August 27 and leave out the morning of September 2. This will be our first time of staying at Mountaindale, although I’ve read of several others saying it is a nice RV park.
What we like about it is that it is located so that we can see Roxie and Richard (the relatives) who live in Canon City now and a friend of ours (more so of Jo) who lives in Colorado Springs. Also, this will be kind of a “scouting trip.” With the consolidation of all Oklahoma state agency IT departments that is coming up, Jo is hoping to be able to retire within about a year and a half. If that happens, she would try to get work near Colorado Springs (possibly with the help of her friend), and we could consider moving to Colorado Springs.
We will also be taking our youngest son, Eric, along with us. Eric loves going to the mountains and has developed a liking to photography as well. He doesn’t get to go to Colorado much. In fact, I don’t know that he has ever gone unless he was with us. As a blessing to us, Eric likes to do things with us. So it will be great to be able to get him back to the mountains after so many years.
While Jo and I were in the Colorado Springs area back in 2008, I don’t know if Eric has ever been there. So, we will likely go see all the attractions (mostly natural ones) that the area has to offer. I’ll have to get back online and see what else there is to see there. We were only there for a couple of days in 2008, so we didn’t see much more than Garden of the Gods and Seven Falls.
As an added bonus, it looks like we will also still be able to go to the SOITC (Suites Owners International Travel Club) rally in Grove in October. So, this year will prove to end up letting us go to three different places with the RV. The first was Red Rock Canyon State Park back in April, when we thought that might very well be our only vacation for this year. At that time we had no idea that our house would be sold in May.
So, all of us are officially excited about going to Colorado. Eric for his first trip to the mountains in several years, Jo to see our relatives and our friend in Colorado Springs, and me…well….I just always get rejuvenated by going to the mountains. I’m not saying that Jo doesn’t like the mountains, but even after 42 ½ years, I’m not sure that they attract her as much as they do me.
Richard Secor (RV PAINTER) on RV Dreams forums recently told me to leave him alone and go take some pictures. (I had been picking on him about his paintings.) Now, it looks like I will get to follow his advice.
Should any of my readers know about the area around Mountaindale RV Park and can make recommendations about sights to see, especially natural ones, kindly leave a comment and let me know. I can use a search engine and find all the normal tourist places, but I also like to know of little known places as well.
Speaking of which, here is an opportunity for me to mention another place for others. If anyone is ever going to Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, on your way out there is a road going off to Zapata Falls. Zapata Falls is actually located back inside of a sort of a cave. My first trip there, I didn’t get pictures of the falls themselves. One has to wade in the water to get back to the falls and the water was just too cold for that.
A few years later, we were there and I had some wading boots. I also use those wading boots to walk up and down streams, taking pictures along them that wouldn’t be seen otherwise. Try it sometime, but be careful. Wet rocks are slippery. Yep….I found out the hard way.