Friday, September 2, 2016

We're back!

Hi from Heaton Bay Campground, site 43

Tonight we're at Chatfield State Park, just a bit south of  Denver, Colorado.   We'll be in this area until the end of September and are really looking forward to spending time with Jesse and Erin in their new house.

We spent last night at Heaton Bay campground on Dillon Reservoir in Frisco, Colorado.   The campground is at 9,000 feet, with wonderful separation between sites and surrounded on all sides by mountains.

I wish I had planned more days there, we'll surely be back.   It rained most of the night and then again this morning but let up by the time we were ready to hook up and leave.    The birds were out in full force after the night's rain.   Two hummingbirds were taking turns having their way with the tiny pink blooms on my cactus garden!   Soaking wet Robins were cruising for worms and little Brewer's sparrows were working in and out of the low bushes looking for whatever they look for.....

Many of the trees in this National Forest campground were killed by the terribly invasive pine beetle but we saw evidence of reforestation with trees that are not susceptible to this tiny predator.

We left Salt Lake City last Friday morning and moved east to Steinaker State Park, near Dinosaur National Monument and the Flaming Gorge.     We had beautiful weather in Salt Lake city, on the way to Steinaker we noticed a touch of fall beginning on the hillsides.

 We also noticed clouds building ahead.    We remarked how beautiful they were.....

In a matter of minutes the sky opened and heavy rain began.   The further we went, the harder it rained.   And then it hailed.   Dave rarely pulls off the road because of weather, but he did that day.   He was afraid the hail would break Beluga's windshield!

As quickly as it came, it moved away and we continued on our way.   With the bad came the good.....

We enjoyed our site at Steinaker State Park very much.  We had originally reserved a pull through spot on the shores of the reservoir....I was looking forward to a view of the water through the shady of cottonwoods.    When we arrived, however, we found that the site (#16)  didn't have a sewer connection and that the level of the reservoir had dropped so that there was no view!

Beluga snuggles into site 5

The ranger at the entrance booth suggested we try site #5 and we were so happy we did.   It was at the top of a hill with beautiful, rocky views all around.   It was so private that Lewis could be out with us with no leash.   He enjoyed the freedom, although he seldom strayed more than a few feet away.    He dearly loves helping Dave set up and tear down.     He trots around at Dave's heel, peering into each compartment and carefully sniffing the hose and electric cable, Dave's gloves, the ladder, etc.  

We slept well in the cool air and silence of a relatively empty campground far from roads or towns.  

We were only there five nights and four full days but we made the most of our time.    That being said, we felt we only scratched the surface of the area and have put it on our "list" to return.

We visited Dinosaur National Monument, hiked up to Moonshine Arch, took an 18 mile gravel road through nothing but oil and natural gas wells to discover insanely cool Fantasy Canyon,  explored the southern end end of Flaming Gorge and drove Sheep Creek Canyon Road.

I'll save pictures of those places for another blog, its late.


  1. I have missed you...night after night of checking the blog, only to see "great salt lake" posting yet again. I love it when you are in wifi land. I think I am addicted. Bet you can't wait to see the kids! Me too!

  2. Welcome back:) Glad you had a nice site in Steinaker. It is a rather tight small park. Nice that Lew was able to have some freedom:) Enjoy your time with Jesse and Erin:)

  3. Steinaker definitely has a few very sweet spots...especially when the campground is not very full!

    Isn't this taste of fall wonderful!

  4. I'm making a note of this state park. I wanted to visit Dinosaur and Flaming Gorge on our way south, but chose an easier route (less grade) entering CO through Craig and staying at Rifle SP. Love Chatfield... enjoy your stay! Hopefully you'll share some photos of Jesse and Erin's place.

  5. Heaton Bay and Chatfield are our go to places when in the areas visiting family. We will have to check out Dinosaur soon. Glad you didn't lose a windshield in the rain.

  6. What a great site—and looks like you have lots of adventures to share with us! This is an area we've yet to explore, so I'm ready to take notes. We're finally coming back into the land of internet after two and a half months with mostly none. Yay!!!

  7. Now that we too have returned to Internetville I can get caught up with where you've been as well. I'm already envious as Vernal was one of the stops we had to cancel reservations when we re-routed to Roswell in May. The humidity is once again so bad, I wish it would just dump some rain and get it over with!!