Monday, 19 June 2017

Travelling South, back down into Colorado 18th June.

Colorado National Monument



Friday 16th June
Left Rock springs and took Hwy 191 directly over the mountains down through towards Vernal.
Passed through the Flaming Gorge National Recreation area and the road passed right over the top of the Flaming Gorge dam.
 Then east toward Rangely where we found a lovely little city park campground down by the White river. Unfortunately there were no sites with electricity left so we couldn’t use the air con …. And boy did we need it!
Sat outside eating our meal we were plagued with mosquitoes but it was too hot to go in and too hot to sleep. I spent an hour sat inside the mozzy screen door on the step with a cold flannel on my neck before it eventually cooled down a bit and we could get to sleep.
Saw an Oriole but it was only a fleeting view so couldn’t get a true ID. Also had our first Hummingbird, The Black-chinned I think.


Travelling through the foothills of the Rockies

Campground at Rangley

Black chinned Hummingbird I think but prepared to be corrected!


Saturday 17th June
We drove on down through some amazing scenery and into Fruita and then onto Grand Junction.
We’d been here some 20 years ago with the children and wanted to go to the Colorado National Monument and Arches National Park again as we have a few days spare before we fly home on Thursday.
Got lucky at the Grand Junction KOA (Kampground of America) as despite it saying it was full I went in and asked if there’d been any cancellations and lo and behold a free space with water and electricity hook-ups. So booked it for 2 nights.
Made use of their swimming pool which was most welcoming with the temperature at 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
There was also a tannoy sounding at the County fairgrounds next door so I went to investigate and found an arena hosting the Western Colorado Team Roping Championships.
Took quite a lot of photos despite my concerns about the ethics but was pleased to see the steers being well treated and wearing head collars to protect them from rope burns.
The people I met were very friendly and willing to explain all the rules of the game/ Seems the steer needs to be lassoed around the horns by one cowboy and around the back legs by the second rider. It was all over in less than a minute and I reckon the steers were winning when I left. 


Western Colorado Team Roping Championship at Grand Junction fairgrounds

Western Colorado Team Roping Championship at Grand Junction fairgrounds

Western Colorado Team Roping Championship at Grand Junction fairgrounds

Western Colorado Team Roping Championship at Grand Junction fairgrounds

Western Colorado Team Roping Championship at Grand Junction fairgrounds

Sunday 18th June
Toured the amazing Colorado National Monument today as we did about 20 years ago.
What a place, love it!
I find it difficult to see why this isn’t more widely known, it has spectacular rock canyons and cliffs that you drive though for 23 miles. Some hairy bends with no crash barriers and a speed limit of 20 mph most of the way.
Saw a couple of big lizards, a peregrine and a couple of red tailed hawks but most wildlife seemed to be sticking to the shade as the temperatures were up in the high 90’s.
Spent the late afternoon in the camper with the air con on back at the KOA. Had a hummingbird trying to get in the window…. No camera…too quick!


Colorado National Monument
Colorado National Monument
Colorado National Monument
Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument