Leaving Provo we decided to take a route we had not traveled before – Highway 40 through Vernal, UT and to the Dinosaur National Monument, which actually straddles the state line between Utah and Colorado.
The National Monument turned out to be a great little side trip!
The “Y” on the hill above the BYU campus in Provo bids us farewell
Driving out of Provo, the mountains are so beautiful
Our route took us up Provo Canyon past this waterfall
All sorts of interesting prehistoric creatures were lurking both indoors and outdoors at the museum!
Dave tickles a diplodocus
Once we got to the National Park we hiked the trail up to the Dinosaur Quarry – in spite of the 90 degree+ heat!
Nice views on the hike
Roberta investigates one of the many fossilized bones at the quarry
The view of the Quarry building from the parking lot
Some pictographs we stopped to see on the drive around the Park
A woman named Josie Morris homesteaded this land beginning in 1914. She lived here, most of the time alone, until her death at age 89 in the early 1960s. This is the last of several cabins she built, this one constructed in 1935.
Josie provided for herself by raising and butchering cattle, pigs, chickens and geese. She canned the harvest from her large vegetable garden. Her heat came from a wood-burning fireplace, her water from the nearby spring and her light from an oil lamp. The cabin had no electricity. Josie lived a 19th century life well into the 20th century, but she loved the solitude and beauty of the place.
Dave hikes up one of the trails in Box Canyon near Josie’s cabin
The canyon was truly beautiful – no wonder Josie like it here!
The drive around the Park was so lovely
Leaving the Park
As the saying goes, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.” Well that is exactly what happened to us on our way to Fort Collins. We had a serious, and mysterious, electrical problem so we decided it would be safer to go directly to Roberta’s brother’s home in Boulder.
On the way to Boulder we saw Juniper Hot Springs on the map and thought it would be a great respite along the way. We called and they said it was only $5 to use the hot springs for the day…When we arrived we decided maybe not!
One of the first trips we ever took together was to Boulder in Dave’s truck, shortly after we met. Along the way we had stopped in a little town off I-70 near Vail called Georgetown. And here we found ourselves again – passing by the picturesque little town of Georgetown, Colorado, nestled in the mountains just off the highway.
Shortly after passing Georgetown we cut onto Highway 6 for a more direct route to Boulder and found it to be a beautiful drive. We stopped to take some pictures and were shocked when we looked up to see……
…slackliners, HIGH above us!!
Up ahead you can see the tunnel we are about to go through, and our RV parked on the right side of the road
We arrived in Boulder and spent several days getting the RV taken care of. Like they say, “When it rains, it pours!” After the electrical problem was solved, the brake repair light told us it was finally time to replace the brake pads. We had been anticipating this for a while, but the real surprise came when we found out the rotors needed replacing also….then the coach step stopped working….then on top of everything we finally (after more than 2 years on the road!) made a rookie mistake – pulled out of a campground while still plugged in!! Back to the RV electrician….Boulder turned out to be much more expensive than we had expected…..& did we mention the coach water pump went out also ?? Ugh!
But there’s always an up side….we got to spend lots of quality time with Roberta’s mom & brother’s family. We shuttled between the two homes both on bikes and in the RV. Boulder is a really cool place – a bicyclist’s heaven to say the least!! In spite of a few cold rainy days, we mostly had gorgeous weather.
Along one of the many bike paths that criss-cross Boulder there is an area full of prairie dogs. Roberta’s brother told us that he sometimes takes his daughter Sophie out “hunting” them with super soakers, just for fun!
Roberta and her mom
We spent the day in Estes Park, near the Rocky Mountain National Park, for a day of “Beer, Brats & Bands”. It is a beautiful little town nestled in the mountains, and we listened to a great band (Wendy Woo & Her Crew). We thought we might get into the National Park to do some hiking, but instead kicked back at the festival and just enjoyed the music…..next time we’ll probably explore more of the Park.
First place we stopped was St. Vrain’s River
Next we stopped to look at Long’s Peak
This schoolhouse, Historic Bunce Schoolhouse, was built in 1888 and is now a museum. It was closed though, so this was all we could see of it.
(This road is called Peak to Peak for obvious reasons!)
Outside the Festival the local Rotary Club was giving “free” rides in vintage cars (for a small donation)
We thoroughly enjoyed the music of “Wendy Woo & Her Crew”
Estes Park is a darling little community nestled alongside the Rocky Mountains
The Stanley Hotel reminded us of Potola Palace in Tibet!
We soon realized that September was rapidly slipping away and we wanted to be sure to visit our friends in the Fort Collins area, so this was the time to go. They live in a fairly remote place in Poudre Canyon that our GPS could not locate, so Carl met us at Ted’s Place and we followed him up the road to his driveway – the narrowest, steepest driveway we’d ever seen!
At the time it was built (1922) Ted’s Place was in a grassy field at the intersection of two dusty roads – one heading north to Wyoming and the other west to the Rockies.
This is the view from the back deck of their home
Chloe poses in front of the wood-burning stove in the living room
Looking up at the loft from the living room
The master bedroom has a most interesting ceiling!
The view from the master bathroom is spectacular too
The driveway was very narrow and steep – glad we don’t have to drive up it in the snow!
The morning after we arrived it rained, but by the afternoon it had cleared up and Carl’s wife, Gwen, suggested we go for a hike in Hewlett Gulch. It was a beautiful place to hike – in spite of the muddy trail!
During July there were two major fires in this area of Colorado. Our friend Carl is the chief of the volunteer fire department where the fires were so he told us all about them. Because of the fires and the recent rains, the rivers in the area are full of black ash, which looks more like black mud.
Here we are starting on our hike – Carl & Dave are out in front, with Gwen & Roberta following not far behind
Carl & Gwen were lucky their house was unharmed in the fire, but much of the devastation was visible as we walked along the trail.
Along this trail was once several homesteads, many of which have left behind remnants of themselves, like this fireplace
Gwen & Carl’s dog, Chloe, enjoyed the hike with us, mud and all
Dave inspects the wall of the one of the old homesteads
We saw this cougar paw print on the trail
Dave couldn’t resist collecting the insulators off this fallen pole
This is a carving of a black bear on display in a yard – pretty realistic, isn’t it?
The time finally came that we had to leave Boulder, so off we went, east through Kansas as we continued our journey.