After bumbling about on dirt roads, we finally found, well sort of found, Brush Hollow Reservoir.
During the last week it seemed that almost every day we passed a sign for the Reservoir, so Tuesday we decided to go see. The first road we took was long and dusty and didn't seem to be going anywhere despite the small sign pointing towards the boat lunch. So....we turned around and continued looking.
We came to another sign telling us we were entering the Brush Hollow Reservoir State Wildlife Area. We followed this long, dusty road leading to a few picnic shelters, a bathroom and several beautiful overlooks but no access to the water itself. I guess we were tired of long and dusty. We saw the reservoir, it was lovely, sparkling in the sun, so we left well enough alone and....left.
From there we picked our way to the small town of Florence, which was the beginning of the old narrow gauge railroad that ran up Phantom Canyon to the gold mining town of Cripple Creek. Nice old downtown with lots of fancy brick buildings housing almost exclusively antique and junque shops. No pictures, but a nice blueberry turnover to show from our stroll there.
The next day, Wednesday, we pinned all our awnings and slide toppers, packed up and pulled out of Mountaindale RV and Cabins heading for Trinidad State Park. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and look forward to going back and continuing our explorations.
From experience we knew that the stretch of I-25 south ahead of us, between Pueblo and Walsenburg, was always very very windy. In the past we have had to pull over on the busy interstate, with traffic flying by and gale force winds buffeting Beluga, to try and roll up and secure either an awning, slide topper or front bra so this time we took preventative measures. It was a much more pleasant ride knowing all was secure.
|Spanish Peaks in the distance|
We stopped at exit 74, near Colorado City, Colorado, for fuel for Beluga and fuel for us. We love Obie's BBQ at that exit so while Dave pumped diesel I walked next door and picked up a couple plates for lunch. Mmmmmm.
Full and happy we drove the 65 or so remaining miles to our destination at Trinidad State Park.
Our site doesn't face the lake, but it does have great privacy and a full hookup along with perfect cell service and blazing fast internet with our unboosted verizon jetpack.
The clouds were spectacular, even before sunset. We had the best seat for the following sunset too.
This morning was a bit cool for second cup, but the sun soon warmed us up and we were able to shed our fleece vests.
Since we only had one day here and couldn't possibly see everything we decided to just take it easy in the morning warmth and then see what we could find in the immediate area. We took Lewis along.
|Trinidad Lake from above|
Once again we came to the lake from on high but we could see places where we could get ourselves to the water's edge in the distance. We drove across the earthen dam and found some fishing access paths down to the water.
|and from water level|
Lewis was very happy we persevered and he raced about with various sticks trying to entice Dave to throw them. He knows a sucker when he sees one....
|he has such beautiful movement......|
I won't bore you with lots of pictures of a stick carrying poodle coming out of the lake, but here's one of my favorites.
Once Lewis was thoroughly waterlogged we loaded him back in the car and followed route 12 into the mountains. We had no plan, we just drove until we felt like stopping.
After about 30 miles we saw a huge herd of elk at the edge of a large meadow. Dave turned off the highway onto a narrow dirt track to get a closer look. This herd was very alert and the minute we turned the Jeep's nose toward them they began to run into the woods. I suppose this extreme caution will suit them well in the upcoming hunting season. We got within 1000 yards. It was fantastic to see the whole herd turn, as one, and begin to move away from us.
They were following the orders of one big male and he slowly brought up the rear.
After the last one disappeared we turned around and headed home. There were a couple dirt road detours before we reached Beluga, we couldn't resist.
We'll break camp in the morning and continue south to Albuquerque for a week's stay.