Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Adventure Begins!

Jellystone Park of the Black Canyon
Montrose, CO
July 23, 2014

Arkansas River Valley along Hwy 50
 Yesterday morning, we were up early, finished packing and ready to hit the road at 8:30. A quick stop to diesel up and we were on our way. Our planned route took us on Hwy 115 south and Hwy 50 west.

We weren't the only early risers on an adventure this sunny, wonderful Wednesday morning. The Arkansas River was a bustle of activity. There are lots of public use lands along the river to pull over. We picked one for a stretch stop. Dover was one happy pup. I never let her off leash so she practically pulled me into this very cold, fast moving water...we both had wet toes!

Its a very scenic ride and traffic was not bad at all. We moseyed thru Salida, then huffed and puffed our way up Monarch Mountain.
Rocky Mountain Fir

Monarch Mountain is a ski area with abundant natural snow...350 plus inches.

Joe says its the hardest climb to date for Belle. He turned on the heater to its highest setting to help "bleed-off" some of the engine's extra heat.

Going down the mountain is always a lot more exciting...

We drove thru Gunnison and the valley...

And then along the Blue Mesa Reservoir.
  Blue Mesa Reservoir is the largest body of water entirely in Colorado. It is created by Blue Mesa Dam. It is also the largest lake trout and Kokanee salmon fishery in the United States.
It was a great travel day!
We are all settled in at the Jellystone Park of the Black Canyon just outside of Montrose on Hwy 550...and about 20 miles north of Ouray.
We were so excited this morning we were up at the crack of dawn...nothing like a hot cup of coffee and watching the sun come up.

 The Tan Clan is happy...they have a nice grassy fenced in place to play just outside our front door!

Cooper came over for a romp in the grass with Dover!

A good flossing after breakfast!
Let the fun begin...look out San Juan Mountains. Here we come!

Until next time...

happy trails!
Up next, Ophir stay tuned!


  1. You may call it exciting going down the other side but I call it nerve racking. Was always scared s&*%less going down.

    1. Exhaust brakes sure help Ruth......hugs to Jackson!

  2. More awesome pictures of your adventure.

    1. Thanks George and Suzie...I just love travel days!

  3. The rafting on the Arkansas River sure looks inviting. Beautiful scenery but tell me, is it just the photo or is the Blue Mesa Reservoir as barren as it looks? Enjoy your new adventures!

    1. I is pretty barren Gayle...but gorgeous in its own way. The water was very still and we did see lots of boaters here and there. I think we crossed over the water two times.

  4. Good job going over that pass! What gorgeous scenery:) I love all the reflection photos. The dogs sure look happy with all the grass and sticks:)

    1. Colorful Colorado sure owns up to its name Pam!
      The Tan Clan is quite happy....

  5. Am excited, Gay to where you are headed but your route is as beautiful as could be. And glad that I am not the only one who takes drive by shots. The scenery you captured are just awesome.

    1. Thank you MonaLiza...its always a pleasant surprise when I edit the drive by shots. Some of them actually turn out half descent! A nice reminder for us when we go back and reminisce.

  6. That is one state that we really want to explore more. We got a taste for Colorado a year ago April when we passed through in our little blue car but didn't have nearly enough time. Definitely want to return with Sherman and spend time doing LOTS of hiking. Have a great time.

  7. I wondered if you were going over Monarch Pass??? It is awesome and quite the pull. We have skied Monarch a few times. Weather looks great! Have a ball, hope you make it to Crested Butte, but anywhere in that area is gorgeous.have fun, be safe!