Saturday, May 5, 2018

Two days in Carbondale, Colorado

Rain followed us from Fruita to Carbondale, Colorado on Thursday.   Beluga is dirty, the Jeep is dirty.    Dave doesn't like dirty vehicles.    We're leaving the Carbondale/Crystal River KOA tomorrow morning and there is rain and/or a thunderstorm in the forecast so I guess they'll stay dirty for a little while longer.

lovely site 6 with Mt. Sopris peeking down at us

 We have a beautiful site right on the fast flowing and beautiful Crystal River.    We hear it all through the night, the sound is so soothing.   

my table view

We're at the foot of snow covered Mt. Sopris so you know that water was ice not so long ago and it is cold!

This is the first weekend the campground is open for the season and things are just beginning to pop.   Birds are singing and flitting from tree to tree, enjoying the tender first buds.    In addition to the singing of the river we're treated to the tapping and calling of a pair of Lewis's Woodpeckers in the tall Cottonwood trees next to our front door.   This is a new bird for us and we're excited.   We follow it around and around the trees, trying to get a decent picture to show you.    This is the best I've been able to manage, but it was enough to positively identify it.

Speaking of Lewis....he just can't understand why we aren't letting him get in for a swim or at least to retrieve a stick.   I can't explain to him just how cold the water is or how fast it is racing by.

We finally convinced him to lie down quietly while we enjoy second cup or happy hour outside beside the river.    He kept feigning the need to "get busy" and slowing inching over to the grass on the shore but we eventually figured it out and stopped his progress.

just a little peeved at having to stay on the pavement......

Don't feel too sorry for him.   This park has a large and very green dog park and he gets to roam around and perhaps play a little ball a couple times a day

On our way here on Thursday, we passed Crystal River fish hatchery and thought about coming back for the self guided tour.   We also noticed a large eagle's nest in a tree hanging over the river.......and right beside the hatchery.  Now that's a smart eagle!    And, evidently, one with well developed sense of style too....

love the red and blue fabric, so very chic this time of year

Further past the campground we discovered an area of informal hot springs on the edge the river.   Actually we noticed a slight sulfur smell before we saw the small chain of pools in the river.   If the pools get too hot, simple rearrange the rocks to let more cold river water in!    Pretty ingenious!

Just across the river from the hot springs was a field full of Bighorn sheep ewes grazing together and in the water we watched a Canada goose and her one little chick.

Between our campground and the tiny town of Marble, Colorado we saw two beautiful waterfalls.

The lure of seeing what is just around the next turn kept us going all the way to the end of the road.

We passed the coke ovens of Redstone, currently being restored with historically accurate materials, and drove down the one street of the sweet little town, population 93.

restoration in progress

loved this statue in front of a home in Redstone
it's made of chrome car bumpers!

We're always fascinated by water and we found a simply beautiful beaver pond along the way.   We stopped and marveled at the little creature's ingenuity and building prowess.   Busy as a beaver......we couldn't believe all the logs, trees and branches cut down surrounding the pond.   The Beaver family must be preparing for a building boom!

Chair mountain reflection

legitimate upstairs tenant or merely a squatter?

We had to wonder, though, if the Beaver family knows they have an upstairs tenant.

A few miles down the road (county rd. 3) the road ended in a tiny town named Marble after a large marble mine in the mountain above.     An unimproved one lane dirt road leads up to the mine but dire warning signs abounded so we decided to forgo further exploration.

Evidently marble is easy to come by in Marble, Colorado.   We saw chunks, large and small simply dumped along the river, piled in the woods and sometimes used in creative ways at private homes.    Don't tell anyone, but I managed to stuff a little piece into my pocket........

Yesterday we drove into Aspen to see what it was all about.    Evidently we're in an off season so we practically had the entire place to ourselves, just the way we like it.    The place is chock a block full of charming little cottages, huge modern homes and historic brick buildings and every high end shop and boutique known to man.    A lovely place to stroll when everyone is somewhere else.


Elks bldg.

are they afraid it will run away?

Lots of sculptures on the brick sidewalks. 

Yes, Dave.....back right into that bear made of nails, that's what I said!

  Lots of the restaurants are closed until June but we managed to score a table at  the historic White House Tavern.    We had what we both felt was one of the best meals we'd almost ever had!  Simple and unpretentious, but oh so knockout.

We ate and drank (just one glass of wine) and laughed and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

he was laughing too hard, but I took his picture anyway

On our way home we decided to try and see the famous Maroon Bells.   We made the turn and drove a few miles down the road before discovering that it was closed.   We parked and walked a half mile or so but gave up and turned back, promising to return another time.

So, that's a summary of our time here in one very long post, I'm sorry.  I was going to stop awhile ago, but with no tv service here, what else do I have to do!

Tomorrow morning we leave for Chatfield State Park for two weeks before heading back to western New York and the lake.


  1. Looks like a lovely short stop. You found so many interesting places. Love the coke ovens! An "interesting" carving in the marble:) Did you remember the one woman from China Bistro lived and worked in Aspen for years. She mentioned the other night while I was waiting for my take out. Poor Lewis boy:( He certainly doesn't look happy being so close yet so far from that river. Smart boy to want to get busy to get close!!!

  2. Don't be sorry for the length...I love all the beautiful shots of this fun stop! All places we have not been to.

  3. What a wonderful stop! And your post is just right with all of the enticing details you included. Beautiful site, wonderful nature surrounding you, hot springs, and a visit to Aspen before the thundering herds arrive. And a great restaurant! This is going on our list, for sure. And we're going to copy everything you did. :-))

  4. So many wonderful things to enjoy here, I went back and looked at all of it a second time. Such a gorgeous site on the water! Love the smartly decorated nest and the shiny yard sculpture. The coke ovens we saw in Colorado were not as beautiful as those, glad they're able to restore them. I agree with Pam about the "interesting" carving :-))) I might like Aspen without the crowds, it's so pretty! Thanks for sharing such a perfect stop in your travels.

  5. Oh my, looks so lovely, peaceful, interesting and inviting! LOVE your spot by the river! We haven’t explored any of that area of Colorado...yet! Next to Utah, Colorado is my favorite place to be! You can never have a post that’s too long!

  6. Your blog is very appropriately named, this is indeed another 'Excellent Adventure' to add to the list.

  7. wahh the water looks fresh and clean,