Thursday, July 6, 2017

Vacation 2017, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Canyon, TX

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Palo Duro is the home to the second largest canyon in the country located southeast of Amarillo, Texas. It was a bit surprising after traveling through relatively flat farm land and coming to the 1,000 foot vertical walls of this canyon that is over a 100 miles in length. The park road descends into the canyon along a steep 10 percent grade road to the canyon floor where several campsites are located. There is electric, water, shower facilities and bathrooms. July is a hot month for the canyon with highs approaching a hundred degrees every day. Thank God it is dry heat however you have to be careful and carry water during your day hikes to keep hydrated. We mostly did our short hikes in the morning when it was cooler. This is a beautiful park surrounded by lovely rock formations and colorful cliffs that surround you on all sides. It is also home to the play Texas which is given every night in the summer at the parks extensive amphitheater that is built to accommodate hundreds of people. The play is a wonderful musical that depicts the history of this area of Texas from the very early days of pioneering with families that settled near this special place in northwest Texas. Many of the scenes had horses, well built sets and fireworks that added to drama of the play. Very worth seeing if you are visiting this lovely canyon park.   

Our campsite at Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Day Hike on one of the many trails in the park

View from down in the canyon
Colorful Rock formations everywhere you look

Visitors Center at Palo Duro

View from the Visitor Center at Palo Duro
The Amphitheater at Palo Duro 
Seating for the play Texas that 4,000,000 people have seen over the years
Cave in the cliffs with a cool interior to hide from the summer sun
One of the many wild flowers on the meadow trails in the park
 One of the many rustic cabins built by the CCC in the 1930's available for rent in the park













Sunday, June 25, 2017

Vacation 2017, Rocky Mountain National Park






Rocky Mountain National Park

Located in the heart of The Rocky Mountains this crown jewel of national parks is surrounded by 12,000 to 14,000 foot peaks. Wildlife, alpine tundra, wild flowers and majestic valleys make this park a special place for those who come to visit in the summer months. We stayed at Moraine Park campground with a beautiful view of Long's Peak the highest mountain in the park at just over 14,000 feet


Longs Peak

Alpine Tundra on the Trail Ridge Road

View point from Trail Ridge Road

Bear Lake



West side of Rocky Mountain National Park, headwaters of the Colorado River 

Sprauge Lake 

Our dear friend from Florida Jim Pearson drove out to join us during our stay at Rocky Mountain National Park. During our stay at the park we took a drive on the Peak to Peak Highway  over to Nederland, Colorado from Estes Park, Colorado. All along the way we marveled at the great mountain scenery all around us pass through small mountain towns along the way.






The Train Car Coffee & Yogurt Company, Nederlands, CO

These passenger cars were used for The Buffalo Bill's traveling wild west show

The The Carousel of Happiness is a special ride which is all enclosed and has animals carved by a Vietnam Vet over the years that he did to commemorate his fellow soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice.  What a wonderful place to stop and smell the wild flowers that populate this area. 



The Carousel of Happiness



Our friend Jim who joined us in The Rocky Mountain National Park











Friday, June 23, 2017

Vacation 2017, Georgetown Loop Scenic Railway, Georgetown, CO

Georgetown Loop Scenic Railway

Located just off Interstate 70 near Georgetown, CO this scenic railroad takes you back to the old mining days when prospectors mined for gold and silver. 

This scenic adventure takes you through some spectacular scenery which makes this area so special. The winding loops and the uphill climbs made by the classic steam engine which was used during the old mining days to haul ore provided for a unique experience. All the passengers had smiles on there faces as they enjoyed the view high up in the Rocky Mountains.








Georgetown, CO is known for it's rich history during the gold rush days during the 18th century. Much of it's charm comes from this history as many of the buildings and shops beckon back to these early days

















Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Vacation 2017, Iron Mountain Hot Springs, Glenwood Springs, CO

 Iron Mountain Hot Springs Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Located on the banks of the Colorado River this new facility with it's pools nicely placed on the banks of the river provide a spectacular way to relax and take in the vistas of the surrounding mountains. The hot mineral waters of the springs that feed these pools are a very soothing providing a welcomed res bit for those who come to relax and heal. The staff is very friendly and there is a cafe that serves great food and even libations. We left so relaxed and ready for a good nights sleep at our next stop at Gore Creek, a national forest service campground just 60 miles east of Glenwood Springs very near Vail, CO.  


Iron Mountain Hot Springs

View from the hot springs pools with the Colorado River in the background
White water rafting on the Colorado River

One of the ten pools at Iron Mountain Hot Springs

Vista's and hot spring pools making for a very relaxing day
We were pleasantly surprised and fully refreshed making our next stop at Gore Creek a delight with the rushing waters of the creek providing white noise for a great nights sleep. This place is special to for those who love nature as it surrounded by the high peaks of the Rockies with great Vista's everywhere you look. 


Gore Creek Campground

Gore Creek
Our campsite about ten yards from Gore Creek
Vail as seen from the entrance of Gore Creek with I70 curving through the mountains



!" style="border: 0;" width="600">

Monday, June 19, 2017

Vacation 2017, Black Rock Canyon National Park


Located near Montrose, Colorado this beautiful canyon is a place that can take your breath away with it's deep cliffs that drop off some 2,000 feet to the Gunnison River. We camped out  in the park at an elevation of about 8,500. Up here the air is thin but the views are spectacular with clear vistas reaching out for over 100 miles to the Grand Mesa and beyond. This is nature at it's best. The night skies are illuminating with the entire milky way visible from horizon to horizon. 


Gunnison Point near the Visitors Center

The Gunnison River from Gunnison Point
Our Campsite in the park

Nice shady spot to enjoy our time at the park.
View of the surrounding mountains nearby on a very clear day.
Sunrise as seen from our campsite
The Visitors center at Black Rock Canyon taken from Gunnison Point Overlook
Deer who commonly visited out campsite
Cliffs of the Black Canyon with The Grand Mesa some 50 miles away in the background

View from Pulpit Rock lookout into the Canyon with The Gunnison River raging below
The Painted Wall 

The white water rapids of the Gunnison below the Painted Wall