"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Lake Agnes

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Another day while camped at Chambers Lake, we took a short drive over the pass to the Western side of the Continental Divide.  Our destination was Lake Agnes, accessed by a Colorado state park called State Forest.  After paying a daily entrance fee of $7.00 per vehicle, we started the climb to the parking area.  I’ve driven better jeep roads, but the old Chevy got us there.

Lake Agnes is truly an Alpine lake.  Tucked into the Never Summer Range, it’s a scene often depicted on postcards and jigsaw puzzles.

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The blue/green color of the water was beautiful.

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Our friends, Mike and Gail, who recomended all these wonderful places.

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Columbine.  I didn’t even see the bee until I downloaded the picture.

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Sally and Rudder watching the trailhead, waiting for our return.  Wanda was glad to dog sit on this one.

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Mike and Gail have a pair of kayaks that have the option of foot power.  I got to give one a try.  Sally was a bit concerned.

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I have to say that this is the way to go.  Propel the flippers with your feet, and steer the rudder with a lever beneath your left hand.

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Wanda watching from our campsite.

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The view from our campsite.

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Mike and Gail had to return home on Friday, but we were lucky enough to keep our FCFS site for the weekend.  We watched as the laid back weekday crowd of fishermen, kayakers, and hikers gave way to the thirtysomething crowd with lots of tents, dogs, kids, and noise.  We spent most of the weekend reading, napping, and watching the show from our screen room.

Not sure where the next post will come from.  Hopefully another beautiful place like this…jc

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Never Summer Mountains.

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Our landscape has changed considerably since our last post.  From highs near the triple digits to cool mountain air.  We’re camped at Chambers Lake cg, near the northern edge of Rocky Mountain national park.  Casita friends live in Loveland, CO, so we were able to hook up with them for a few days of fun and fellowship.

Their campsite just below us.

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The first morning we were there, I hooked Sally on her leash, grabbed my coffee, and headed out the door as usual.  Just as Sally’s feet hit the ground, she stopped and growled toward the rear of the trailer.  What a surprise to see a moose cow and calf walking across the rear of our site.  So glad I had put the leash on inside.  She stopped and started eating willows behind the trailer.

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They soon made their way across the cg, around the end of the lake, and back into the woods.

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After all that excitement, and breakfast, we settled on a drive to the border of Rocky Mountain NP.  We were in search of the Colorado River.  We left the pavement and drove 24 miles of gravel road to the park boundary.

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Along the way, we spotted seven more moose.  Single cows, and what I assumed were juvenile bulls.

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The water in these two ponds mark the beginnings of the Colorado River. 

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With only one outlet, the water starts its journey.

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We had a great day together.  Even stopped on the way back to the cg to see another moose.

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One made of barbed wire.

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As Judy used to say, that brings us to

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the END…jc

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Devil’s Tower

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Rising out of the plains of northeastern Wyoming is America’s first National Monument.  Created in 1906, just shortly after Yellowstone become our first National Park.  It is an iconic landmark that has captivated people through the centuries.  I found it most unusual that geologists agree on what it’s made of, but can’t agree on how it got there. At present there are four different theories.

It begins to get light around 5 AM this time of year in Wyoming.  I decided that I would get up early and do a hike around the base of the tower.  As one leaves the campground you pass this sculpture.   Created by a Japanese artist, it is called the Sacred Circle of Smoke.  Depicting a puff of smoke from a peace pipe, It is designed to help visitors understand the importance of the tower to Native Americans.

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It is his third such sculpture around the World.  The first two being at the Vatican and somewhere in India.

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The tower is massive, but it doesn’t have the visual impact up close like it does from a distance.

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Towering nearly 1300 feet higher than its surroundings, the tower has been a worshiping ground for many tribes of Native Americans.  Prayer cloths and other items are scattered throughout the area.

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The tower was first climbed by a couple of ranchers back in 1893.  Since that time it has been climbed by hundreds, if not thousnds of people..  The youngest being six, and the oldest being eighty 0ne.  Once on top, one is required to then rappel back down.

Climbers scale the tower daily. Do you see them?

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We spent the night in the monument campground.  It was rather small, situated in a cottonwood grove along the Belle Fourche river.  No facilities other than water and toilets. There was abundant wildlife in every direction.

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Though we joked about the old move “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” from back in the seventies or eighties, we didn’t see any Aliens.  What was weird is that both our phones showed voice and data available, but we couldn’t make a call or text.  And, according to the rangers, it was supposed to be a clear night with possible sightings of the Northern Lights between 11 PM and 1 AM.  Thunderstorms rolled in at dark, and lasted most of the night.  There might be something to that Alien influence after all.

Whatever the reason, I’m glad we made a little detour to mark this one off the bucket list.

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

You Can’t Roller Skate

in a buffalo herd.

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I assume that you can tell from the picture that we’re not in Iowa, anymore.  We’ve moved on to South Dakota. We stopped for a couple of nights at Cottonwood campground, which is part of Gavins Point Dam recreation area.  It’s located just outside Yankton, SD.

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Really nice visitor center. Only problem was their air conditioning was out, and it was hot inside. So, no pics.  A quick in and out.

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If you look closely, you can see a little white trailer over there amoungst those large cottonwoods.  We had a great site overlooking the Missouri River.

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We didn’t do much.  A little riding around the countryside. Swapping sides between South Dakota and Nebraska. A beautiful bridge over the Missouri River.  There was a ferry here till 1996.

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From there we made a long days drive to Custer, SD.  We visited the area back in 2008, but thought we would see what might have changed.

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We visited Mt Rushmore again.  Enjoyed their evening program where they have a story about the park, a video, and lights on the monument after dark.

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Appears Mr. Lincoln has a bulb or two out.

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We took a drive down to Wind Cave National Park. Planned to take a tour, but the crowds were large and the wait was long.  Decided to pass. There were lots of buffalo down that way. That’s where the lead photo came from.+

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While there, we thought we would check out the campground in the park for future reference.  Imagine our surprise when we saw a Casita in the campgroud which we recognized.  It was a friend from Arizona that we hadn’t seen in over a year.  He just happened to be spending a week there. 

Speaking of the buffalo. Custer has quite a herd.  One on every corner.  They were here nine years ago, but look to be well maintained.

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We’re leaving Custer tomorrow, the 16th.  Destination unknown….jc

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