Estes Park, CO
Saturday was our last day in Durango with friends Hans and Lisa, so we invited them to join us for an early dinner at Serious Texas BBQ Restaurant. There are two of these in Durango. The one near the RV park has a nice view of the highway from the patio. The other is south of town with a patio overlooking the Animus River. We sometimes enjoy looking at highways during our meal, but opted for the river view this time.
Hans and Lisa live and travel in the west while we are soon headed east, so we don’t know when we will see them next, but we enjoyed our brief visit with them here in Durango.
The next morning we left the park at about 9:00 AM and headed east on Rt. 160. No matter the route, if you travel from one side of Colorado to the other you’re going to go over a high mountain pass or two. Rt. 160 is the southern route across the state and the highest point is over Wolf Creek Pass (10,857 ft.). The road winds upward through a series of switchbacks for eight miles as it approaches the summit.
As we made our way down the other side of the pass, we came upon a sign that said there was a snow shed ahead. Wonder what a snow shed is? As we rounded the next bend, we quickly found out. Apparently avalanches so frequently covered the highway, they built a roof so the snow would slide over, instead of onto, the road.
At the base of the pass, the road went easily along Wolfe Creek for a number of miles.
On the east side of Colorado we turned north on to I-25 and finished the day in Pueblo, CO, where a nice spot in a Wal-Mart parking lot beckoned. We don’t often stay in a Wal-Mart, but there are no decent RV parks in the area and this store was in a nice section of town. So we found a spot along the edge of the large lot, unhooked the jeep, and headed for a nearby Starbucks.
Early the next morning we continued north on I-25. Pike’s Peak dominated the clear blue sky as we passed through Colorado Springs.
Just south of Denver, we made a stop at an outlet mall near Castle Rock. We both have lost a bit of weight lately and one of us felt she deserved some clothing that fit properly. So a visit to the Columbia Store and the Under Armor Store seemed to be a necessity.
Back on the highway, we enjoyed the view of the mountains in the west as we passed through Denver.
Near the downtown a stadium appeared on our left that gave the illusion it was melting in the sun.
Turns out it is Sports Authority Field at Mile High, home of the Denver Broncos. The stadium looks a bit strange from the outside, but pictures show it is beautiful on the inside, just like John!
About forty miles north of Denver, we exited the interstate and headed west on Rte. 66 (a Colorado road, not the famous US Rte. 66).
At the small town of Lyons we turned on to Rte. 7 and made the slow climb up into the mountains.
As we climbed up to about 8,000 feet, the mountains continued to provide spectacular views.
We finally reached our home for the next twelve days at Mary’s Lake Campground, just south of Estes Park. It’s not the nicest place we’ve stayed at but it has good utilities and a friendly camp host.
After settling in at the park, we headed into Estes Park to make a stop at the visitor’s center. As we left we found a herd of Elk enjoying a meal behind one of the greens at a nearby golf course.
With school ending in a couple of days, our daughter, Jessica, will be flying out on Friday to spend a week with us hiking and exploring in nearby Rocky Mountain National Park.
More on that later . . .