Sunday, May 5, 2019


Wednesday dawned clear and beautiful so we were on the road, headed east.

leaving Grand Junction

Our destination was Rifle Gap State Park, about half way between Moab and Denver.

Rifle Gap

This route is very familiar to us, we've driven it many times in the past.   Rifle Gap is always our first night.   It's quiet and beautiful and gives us a good night's sleep before tackling the rest of our drive on I-70.

The Rockies have had more than their fair share of snow this year and we were hoping the highway would be clear.    The closer we got to Vail Pass (10,660 ft.), the snowier the landscape became.

The lane we are restricted to (us and all the tractor trailers) is rutted and full of pot holes and broken pavement.    It's not a fun drive for Dave, keeping Beluga moving along with traffic and between the lines while dodging holes and ruts, avoiding guard rails and large trucks.     At least there was no snow on the road.

Dave was happy with Beluga's performance on the long grades this year.   Her new turbo charger made traveling up and down the mountain passes much easier.   

avalanche waiting to happen!

It was a relatively short drive that took a relatively long time.    As I check on the road conditions while we're driving, I noted three - three - truck fires along our route.    All with road closures.   One was in the west bound lane and did not affect our travel.    One had just cleared as we approached the Loveland Pass and Eisenhower tunnels (near 12,000 ft.) but one stopped us cold near Georgetown.   I received notice of this fire about an hour before we actually reached it, and it was still burning brightly as we were finally routed around.

Needless to say, we were tired when we arrived at Chatfield State Park.   We'll be here for 11 or 12 days so we found our site, set up and then headed out for a favorite restaurant in nearby Littleton.   We were looking forward to a great meal and a good night's sleep.

my very tired and very full driver

Friday night we met Jesse and Erin at Mizuna in Denver for a lovely Beef Wellington dinner.   Saturday we took dinner to their house and today, Sunday, they came down to Chatfield for a little happy hour in the sun and then a left over dinner and a strawberry/rhubarb pie.   I took no pictures, I will next time.   It's so nice to see them again, I totally forget the camera.

This State Park is under construction at the moment and there is a lot of disruption.    Our site, however, is lovely and green and quiet.   Bunnies, Robins, Magpies, Meadowlarks and militant hummingbirds entertain us with their springtime antics.

Lewis is loving the green green grass and the company of Jess and Erin.


  1. Glad Dave was driving and not me! Most excellent safe arrival! Fran's brother, Bobby lives nearby in Morrison, we used to go out for ski trips to enjoy all that snow at Loveland, not now! Care to share that favorite restaurant? We usually let Bobby pick and end up at some mediocre Chinese place.

  2. That stretch of I70 eastbound up to Loveland and Eisenhower is one of the worst in the US. Just horrible,and really tedious in a bus trying to dodge all the craters. Glad y'all made it ok! That is a happy dog! Safe travels.

  3. Your first photo is beautiful! Your drive, however, sounds absolutely awful. So glad you made it safely and celebrated with a wonderful dinner.
    Sounds like you're having a delightful time with Jesse and Erin. And Lew looks like he's having a good time. :-)

  4. Glad you have been able to get together with Jesse and Erin. I do know how much we cherish those times. What a sweet photo of my furry boy enjoying life:)

  5. Great picture of Mount Garfield, the mountain we tackled last year! Did you imagine us up there at the top? I dread I70 and to think we only drove it once going down from Denver. I wondered if one of those accident was the one we heard on the news.
    But now both you and Dave can exhale and enjoy your visits with Jesse and Erin!

  6. Getting caught up again - with friends and their blogs! The snowy trees are so pretty, but that road doesn't sound fun at all. Glad Dave had a tasty reward at the end. Funny how some grass can perk up our pals :-)