Saturday, 20 September 2014

From Colorado to Utah

The drive from Dillon to Glenwood Springs via Independence Pass at 12,000ft

Well, my head is absolutely spinning with the amount we have done but we made a decision last night that we would come straight here (Bicknell) and have an afternoon taking stock and chilling – I even promised to contribute to the blog if Brian would leave it for another day and let me go to bed.  So now I’m fulfilling my obligations though the other two will have to supplement what I say because I don’t think I’ll remember it all!

And just to prove air pressure falls as height increases, witness this bag of crisps (chips), bought in a shop at 5000ft and carried by us up to Independence Pass at 12000ft. It's about to burst open all on it's own
Scenic stops on the mountain road
Our fabulous creekside cabin near Glenwood Springs
After Dillon we stayed in a lovely cabin by a creek – fairly basic, admittedly, but we all loved it for the setting and Mark, the owner, who couldn’t do enough to make us happy and comfortable. We explored the creek to stretch our legs after a very long but scenic drive; barbecued our supper and then lit a fire in the fire pit – just up B’s street!  Ironically, compared with the climate that has followed we sat round it muffled up in coats!

Jackie on our creekside amble
A dragonfly took a liking to her and didn't want to fly off

An evening glass of wine by the fire pit
But after dark the coats were on, but the night sky was fabulous

Glenwood Canyon and the Colorado River on the Hanging Lake walk
The next day we went to Hanging Lake.  Now when we went to Lily Pad Lake B said I did very well, but not this day, and the walk was much worse; very rocky underfoot and mostly fairly steep.  But there were lots of other grandparents – we formed quite a little support group by the end!  But boy, was it worth it.  It was absolutely fabulous – as the photos will illustrate.  And my goodness, did he take some photos.  (The camera said today that’s  it, I’m tired, and is currently charging)- another excuse for not doing much this pm because he has to be able to record it.  However, going back to the walk, I left my hat somewhere unknown when I shed a layer and B didn’t just go back for it – he ran down and back again!

A brief stop on the walk up. Note: Pauline does not have her hat on, but we didn't notice!
Now it's back on after being retrieved

This was the last really steep bit
But we were rewarded by this, a lake literally hanging on a cliff edge

With clever fish that managed to evade being swept away downhill over the waterfall
This bit was just around the side of the lake

And this was 'Spouting Stream', the water that fed the lower waterfall and Hanging Lake. It just simply came out of the mountain!
And you could walk behind this one

The three of us on the walk back down
Triple Falls at Rifle State Park, our afternoon trip
In the afternoon we went into a local State Park and took a much easier walk where we came upon  more waterfalls and lots of caves into which J, predictably, kept disappearing.  It was a lovely afternoon.

Complete with caves to explore
Except for Pauline who doesn't like caves

One of the Triple Falls that we could walk behind, yes it was a bit wet!
there were great viewpoints. Jackie and Pauline are on a viewpoint near the top left of this picture. We walked behind the big waterfall there and explored the cave just to the left of the fall
Preparing dinner at the creekside cabin using Rogers camping gear that he lent us. If you're reading this Roger: thank you!
A great place to stop for a coffee - in the middle of nowhere!

Complete with mad wolf type dog! we think she was friendly, just energetic and (fortunately) tied up
Another stop off picking out the autumn leaves, high in the mountains on the way to Moab

Arches National Park - we saw arches!
The next day we moved on to Moab and now I’ve seen things that almost defy belief.  Our first day was in The Arches, where time and erosion has weathered the sandstone into arches and pinnacles – many with smaller rocks on top balanced in a way that defies gravity.  It was literally breathtaking.

And arches....
This one is Landscape Arch and is huge and very fragile. Climbing is not allowed!
This is a photograph of bits falling off it in 1991. Surprisingly it survived, but for how long?!
This is Delicate Arch - how many of these do you want to see?

How about this one - Double Arch
And a few little lizards rushing about
And some odd shaped bits of rock. Do you think the left one looks like a monkeys head?
This is Balanced Rock and just seems to defy gravity
The last one in Arches. An amazing place with the largest concentration of natural rock arches in the world, but we were 'arched-out' by the end of the day, very hot and very tired!
Canyonlands. Don't worry, she hadn't fallen!
The next day we went into Canyonlands, which was just the opposite in that it was all below ground and us – complicated canyon formations formed by the Green River (not very aptly named) and the Colorado River.  It was just as breathtaking; almost more so because it was so utterly different from anything I have seen before.

An unbelievably immense and out-of-this-world place. That's the Green River just visible down there. Its junction with the Colorado River is still 20 miles away and we are at an altitude of 6000ft
And in between the two rivers and canyons you just wouldn't know!
But when we came to an edge they were dramatic!
And photogenic - or should that be scary! Down below that's a four wheel drive track...
And this was the access road to it! We didn't do it, we only have a two wheel drive vehicle, but otherwise.....!
Look at these cute chipmunks
And you have to understand that all adventures are a constant animal hunt and we are never totally disappointed because chipmunks and squirrels abound and are such good entertainment.  But we would really have liked something dramatic like a bear, but that was not to be!

Scurrying round Jackie's feet, hoping she'll drop some lunch
On the Rangers guided talk in Canyonlands
What has been very strange, just looking at the pictures for this entry, we’ve gone from wearing layers and huddling round the fire to t-shirts and shorts and having to rush back to the car between short hikes to see various arches or canyons to get the air conditioning on! How much can change in a relatively short distance and altitude!

Brian and I had a quick climb one evening, in Moab, once it had cooled down (though the car still said 86 F – 30C) and we were in the shade which was very enjoyable as long as you ‘believe’. It was more bolted sandstone in which you just had to trust the friction and walk up! Very enjoyable once you’d got your head round it!

Endless fabulous views that no photo can do justice, you just have to go there yourself!
This was Mesa Arch, they even have them in Canyonlands!
We all quite liked Moab though we suddenly felt we were on the tourist trail, lots of rental RV’s rather than American owned ones (we have to assume that you have to live here to have a huge bus with pump out sides and to tow your car or jeep), and the first other British accents, as well as lots of other nationalities. It was also on the expensive side so we resisted the urge to go canyoneering, skydiving, rafting or any of the other things we could have spent our money on! We really have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous, now in Bicknell a town of 300 people with one ‘restaurant’ – the nice looking one next door to here seems to have shut down!
Jackie just taking in those views! She has asked me to point out that, although she is wearing the same clothes as the previous day in Arches NP, they have been washed in the meantime using the washing machine and dryer in our Moab apartment

1 comment:

  1. Have just spent the whole time reading this blog saying "wow". Such fantastic pictures, such amazing places. Loved the thin arches. Love to all xxx