Tuesday October 13, 2020
I had a couple more days of rain and now I am starting to dry out. I am in North Carolina now. The color is just starting to show and leaves are falling from the trees. I will be meeting up with my Mom tomorrow and Jim will be there the day after. I can’t wait to see everyone.
I tried to hike to a waterfall this morning, but didn’t make it. There was a creek crossing that looked more like a river after all this rain. So I turned around. It was good just to be on a non-dusty trail. Althought there were plenty of roots and rocks…something I haven’t seen in a while.
I am back in the Eastern time zone with the humidity reaching 80%. It is terrible for my hair. I am having bad hair day after bad hair day. Out west I would just wake up run my fingers through it and be done.
Thursday October 22, 2020
I have spent a few wonderful days with Jim and more than a week with Mom. It was a major treat to eat Jim’s cooking again rather than my own. I made some quesadillas for Mom and I after Jim left. I accidentally burnt the last couple. Mom being a mom offered to eat the one that was burnt the worst. She did make a comment about needing a skillsaw to cut through it and used double the amount of salsa that she normally would but she made it through it. Mom’s are the best.
We spent our time hiking, talking and a whole lot of relaxing. The place she rented this year has a fabulous mountain view.
Tomorrow I am headed up to Asheville to pick up a friend that lives in my home town. She will travel with me on the return trip home.
Rufus Morgan Falls
Saturday October 10, 2020
Hurricaine Delta and I have collided. It has been a nonstop rainy day. It makes it very challanging for me to get Berkley out. He has a distaste for rain and will not go out in it. I found a couple of shopping centers that had some cover and made due with that. On a positive note hopefully it washed some of the bugs off the van.
I have finished driving through Oklahoma, there is nothing to tell. Arkansas was short and sweet. Definitly more to see. There were tall trees along the highway and fields of beautiful yellow crops. I don’t know what there were. Oh, Tennessee you are so beautiful! I see mountains again. Some fall color is starting to appear. I long to hike your trails, but the rain…I will have to come back another year.
Wednesday October 7, 2020
It has started to get fairly cold out west so I have started my return journey back east. I will stop in North Carolina and spend a week with my Mom before heading home. She has rented a place up there for a few months.
I have exited Colorado, traveled though Texas and have just entered Oklahoma. It is flat, boring and buggie. I don’t know what kind of bugs they are but the front of the van is covered. It is like living in Florida during lovebug season.
I am also in the central time zone and my hair is starting to friz again. I had some great hair days out west, but no longer.
I passed by acers and acers of cows packed in fenced corrals. I couldn’t believe the number of cows in each pen. It was a very sad site. This is something all you big time meat eaters need to see. There was no grass, just dirt that I am sure was just packed with feces. The smell was horrid! I’m sure they were all to be butchered soon. I sure am glad I don’t have love for beef. I have watch documentaries on how horrible animals are treated but never I have I seen it in person.
On a positive note…I managed not to burn my popcorn tonight. I think I have figured how to pop it in the van.
Thursday October 1, 2020
We continue our northern journey up the Million Dollar Highway over Red Mountain Pass. It is even more spectacular than the previous two pass. Although the prettier views also come with more hairpin switchbacks and steep dropoffs, some without guardrails. I was white knuckeling it, and driving as slow as a grandma.
Once safely reaching the town of Ouray, Colorado I stopped to enjoy a short waterfall hike to Cascade Falls before continuing on.
Town of Ouray
Heading down the road.
Wednesday September 30, 2020
I left my wonderful camping spot to travel up the Million Dollar Highway between Durango and Ouray, Colorado. It is part of the 236-mile-long San Juan Skyway that squiggles through the rugged San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado. The scenery is stunning. I climb the first pass over Coal Bank summit at 10600 feet, with the RPM’s reaching 4500. It is a slow chug. I pull over multiple times to let vehicles pass by. Once passing over the summit the view is eye popping and I get goosebumps. I pull over to take pictures, becaue some how Mom found out I was taking pictures while driving and it was causing her to have heart palputaions.
I continue on white knuckled through hairpin turns and exposed sections without guardrails to Molas Pass at over 10900 feet. Again I stop for more pictures.
I descend into the town of Sliverton and find a place to camp just a couple of miles outside of town near Mineral Creek.
Our camping spot.
Our view of the area.
Friday September 25, 2020
This national monument was a delight. There were far less people here than at some of the other parks I have been to. There was parking at every parking area and few people on the trails.
Sipapu Bridge. It is hard to see in this picture with all the background rock.
The first hike to Sipapu Bridge was a bit to technical for me. I attempted it and made it down the first two sets of metal stairs. But the ladder had me turning around. I don’t like heights or ladders. The ladder was made from old tree limbs and I’m sure it was probably solid, but I decided best to avoid it. I am hiking alone and I have Berkley waiting in the van. So if something happens to me Berkley could be in big trouble. Plus there were a total of three ladders to descend.
Natural Bridges NP has a 9 mile one way loop. Offering guests numerous lookouts and hiking trails.
Next was Horse Collar Ruin, inhabited by ancestors of the Puebloan people. It was a view from far away. You may have to zoom into the photos to see it better.
Kachina Bridge was another challanging hike with many steps down into the canyon far below. It did have one small ladder, that I managed well. Once down and standing under the bridge it is mindblowing to see just how big it is.
Only one small ladder on this hike, but the stairs were plentiful.
Owachomo Bridge was the smallest of the three bridges and easiest to hike to, but still very large.
This little angel is fast asleep. It was a busy day for him.💜
September 19, 2020I spent two days and quite a bit of money having some maintenance work done on the van. I needed an oil change which cost me $100. It is the most I have ever paid. It is usually around $65. The tires also needed to be rotated, which was done at a reasonable price of $30. The cabin air filter needed to be changed, $23. I did this myself after watching a youtube video on how to do it. I also had one headlight out $20. I did this myself after watching a youtube video, but I have to confess I was nervous about this one. It involved removing a few pieces, but I am happy to say it all went well. Then about a week later the other headlight goes out and needs to be replace. Now I am a pro at changing the lightbulbs!I also did laundry, got my propane tank filled and went grocery shopping while in town.