Doug & Barbara Peterson

Doug & Barbara Peterson
Barbara & I at a scenic overlook on the skyline drive in the Rocky Mountain National Park, 8-13-2016

Monday, July 16, 2018

Caprock Canyon State Park, Quitaque, Texas



Buffalo Crossing at Caprock
We learned of Caprock Canyon State Park in west central Texas from a fellow camper during our travels in Colorado this year. We decided to arrange our trip back home to visit Caprock. We were not disappointed. This beautiful Texas State Park has beautiful sand stone canyons and a free ranging Buffalo herd. 


Free range Buffalo Herd staying cool in the parks lake on a hot summer day in Texas

Big male Buffalo grazing
Sand Stone formations in the canyons of Caprock State Park

Beautiful Vista's at every turn.

The campsites were nicely spaced with water and electric. Texas does a great job maintaining there parks as they tend to be quit popular with campers from Texas or elsewhere. Summer can be very warm however the humidity in west Texas is tolerable making it seem cooler then what the actual air temperature. The Buffalo love the shade of the trees in the campground and often come to rest there during the day to escape the heat of the summer sun. Although we did not have any resting on our site one always has to be careful not to get to close to these large animals as they are unpredictable. We had a large bull come through are campsite and remand still creating no threat to him. We were enjoying a glass of wine and a snack just before dinner in the late afternoon. They usually ignore you if you do the same. It was a bit scary but adventurous at the same time.  


Family of Buffalo resting under a shade tree at an adjacent campsite

Male adult of the size that ventured into our campsite. Gets your attention for sure.
Our campsite at Caprock State Park
We saw lots of wildlife other then Buffalo while visiting Caprock. All in all, even though we were there for a short time, we had a memorable experience. This park is a great park to visit on your way out west. It is a bit more comfortable to visit when you choose a time in the fall and spring when the weather is cooler for hiking and outdoor activities.


Prairie Dog habitats near the parks campground

Female Cardinal near our campsite looking for food.


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Summer Trip 2018, Storrie Lake State Park, Las Vegas, NM


Located just north of Las Vegas, NM, Storrie Lake is a popular park where locals enjoy the waters of Storrie Lake. New Mexico State Parks are very reasonably priced and well maintained. We enjoyed are stay visiting historic Las Vegas, NM that is well known for several movies that have been filmed here.


Storrie Lake with the foothills of the Rocky's in the background
Our Campsite at Storrie Lake
The Plaza Hotel in the historic district of Las Vegas, NM
Art work on the town plaza park
Building used as the sheriff's office in the Netflix series Longmire


The historic Santa Fe railroad depot in Las Vegas, NM
During our stay we visited the Montezuma Hot Springs in the foot hills not far from Storrie Lake. The hot springs were set back from the road and were quit nice with many pools of different temperatures.

We found the hot spring water to be quit therapeutic as we relaxed enjoying the surrounding scenery with a back drop of the Montezuma Castle which is home to the United World College.   

Montezuma Hot Spring Pools


Various Wildflowers were abundantly bluming in the area 
Montezuma Castle home to the United World Collage.
We enjoyed our stay at Storrie Lake State Park, our last stop in the lovely mountain states of New Mexico and Colorado before heading back home to Florida. As the sun set over Storrie Lake the last night of our stay I felt blessed to have had so many great experiences in the majestic Rocky Mountains. I always a little bit of my heart out here when we leave for home.




Monday, July 9, 2018

Summer Trip 2018, Mueller State Park near Cripple Creek, CO




Mueller State Park is located high up in the Rocky Mountains at 9,600 feet just north of  Cripple Creek, CO. Mueller State Park is one of the nicest state parks in Colorado with electric, water, clean restrooms and beautiful views of the Pikes Peak range. 



Our Campsite at Mueller State Park
Our site was expansive with granite boulders framing our campsite
Visitors Center has extensive displays and an auditorium
Comfort Station with coin laundry and pay showers
Mueller State Park has great hiking trails. We took day hikes each of the three days we camped out here. Each one was unique with beautiful views of mountain valleys and Pikes Peak mountain range to the east of the park  

Views from the Wipita Nature Trail near the Visitors Center at Mueller State Park





The views from the Lost Still Trail, a 1.6 mile trail was a pleasant hike with views of the Lost Cabin, a abandoned structure that was used by ranchers many years ago.


The Lost Cabin 

View of the Pikes Peak mountain range from Lost Cabin

The Peak View Trail was a 2.1 mile trail that looped around through mountain meadows and groves of Ponderosa Pine. We ended up at Lost Pond not far from where we parked our car at the start of our hike.



View of the Pikes Peak from the Peak View Trail
Mountain Meadows common on the Peak View Trail
This wild flower was interesting glistening in the summer sun

Beautiful Mountain wild flowers were all around us in the meadows
Horse back rider we meet on the trail who enjoys riding in these beautiful mountians
Lost Pond
My final hike the last day of our stay at Mueller State Park was a one mile round trip up to Grouse Mountain. The views from up at the top of the 9,843 foot summit were spectacular.


Highest point in Mueller State Park

View of Pikes Peak from the Grouse Mountain Overlook
Close up with my zoom lens of the visitors center at the summit of Pikes Peak
You could see for miles from the summit of Grouse Mountain
We took a afternoon trip to Cripple Creek to explore this old gold mining town with casinos that line the town's main street. We enjoyed a ride on the narrow gauge railroad, The Cripple Creek and Victor RR, that runs along the ridges past old and current gold mining operations.

The Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge RR


One of the trains returning from the run through the mountain ridges

The gambling town of Cripple Creek as seen from the rails

Old abandoned mine

Large active strip mine near Victor, CO as seen from the rails.

During our visit at Cripple Creek we stopped at the Heritage Museum located on the outskirts of the town overlooking some of old abandoned gold mines and one active oned, the Mollie Kathleen gold mine. Visitors can tour the Mollie Kathleen gold mine which is a treat that I was not able to do as we were limited for time during our visit.  



The Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine
Hill side view of the Mollie Kathleen gold mine

We will come back to Mueller State Park in our future visits to this area. It is always nice to spend time here to cool off before returning to the hot and humid FL. The highs during our visit were in the mid 70's with lows in the 50's making for great sleeping weather and lovely hiking conditions.


Double Rainbow the last night at Mueller State Park