A Favorite Spot

With a light morning breeze blowing through the RV, I glance out the window toward a view of the Colorado National Monument….well, kind of a view….as I peek around, up, and over other RV’s there sits the Monument in the distance.  Ah, the RV experience; it is what we make of it.  Unfortunately for now, I don’t have the views or space I have become accustomed to.

Fruita Colorado
Colorado National Monument photographed from James Robb State Park Fruita

The month of August finds us parked in a full-fledged RV Park in Grand Junction, Colorado.  We normally gravitate toward State or Regional Parks.  For now, we have no fantastic views or hiking trails out our front door….bummer.  I think I’ve become a little spoiled.  The Junction West RV Park in Grand Junction is an ok place to call home while Al and I do a little organizing and repairing on the RV.    The Junction West RV Park is conveniently located to shopping, restaurants, AND my brother’s house.  It also offers nice spacing between rigs, showers, laundry, and free WiFi.  Yep, this will do while we tend to the business at hand.

Junction West RV Park
Junction West RV Park, Grand Junction, CO

San Juan MountainsI’ll admit, I sure wasn’t ready to leave Ridgway State Park or the views southwest Colorado has to offer.  I’m always hesitant to make a recommendation on a location or campground.  I’ve come to realize, the personal element quite often plays a major role in ones overall experience, as does weather.

For example; let’s say the weather is nasty for your entire stay or you and your partner aren’t getting along or you become ill, the best scenery in the world cannot compensate for any of these examples or a combination of negative factors. Thus, your experience might be one you wouldn’t care to repeat or recommend.

On the other hand, when the stars are aligned, all is well in your little world, your life is filled with joy, you and your partner are in harmony…. the most mediocre view, so-so weather, and an ok location can conjure up the most pleasant of memories; such fond memories, that it becomes a place you hope to return to as well as recommend to your friends.  Then your friends go and can’t figure out whatever were you talking about.

When we first pulled into Ridgway State Park I wasn’t overly impressed.  I couldn’t figure out why everyone talked so highly of the place.  However after my eight day stay, I would put this place at the top of my list of favorite places.  What made MY stay so enjoyable that I would call it a favorite and even recommend it?  Well, I’m pretty sure the stars were aligned and hubby and I were in harmony, so that helped….LOL, but the real reasons why I fell in love with Ouray County;

  • The views….the photos say it all…..talk about beautiful country!San Juan Mountains
  • Location; lovely Ouray, Ridgway, and Telluride are nearby

    Ridgway, Colorado
  • hiking and biking trails out our front door and beyond are abundantRidgway
  • beautiful lakes; enjoy water activities or sit lakeside and ponder lifeRidgway
  • family and friends; my brother and his wife joined us plus we met up with fellow RVer’s / bloggers

    Al on the left, sister-in-law middle, my brother on the right…..good food, good company
  • weather; cool nights for sleeping – comfortable daytime temps for hiking – the occasional storm to add drama

    mountain storms can be scary and pretty at the same time!
  • excellent spacing between campers; campsites are well spaced

    Plenty of room around camp for everyone to warm their toes
  • plenty of interesting history;  the movie “True Grit” staring John Wayne was filmed around Ridgway.  Ghost towns and remnants of old mines are readily found in the backcountry.Ridgway
  • nature……nature aboundsGrand Junction
  • A 4-wheelers paradise; exploring the backcountry via a jeep or ATV, miles and miles of gravel and dirt roads take you up and over mountain passesRidgway

I’m sure I’m missing something, but I think you get the idea of why this area has become a favorite spot of mine.  Yes, I’d say there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this southwest part of Colorado.  I think it’s one of those places worth visiting at different times of the year.  I know I’m hooked.  I foresee a revisit in my near future!

Ah, but first……those RV repairs…..  😥

Mt. Sneffels


Wonderful Company

Since my last post, hubby and I have witnessed some spectacular scenery complete with equally spectacular company.

Grand Junction
Grand Junction, Colorado – with the Colorado National Monument in the background

After a wonderful stay at James Robb State Park accompanied by lots of time hanging out with my brother and his wife at their home, we departed Grand Junction, Colorado, and took a two hour drive south to Ridgway State Park.   My brother and his wife would later join us for the weekend in their new travel trailer.  Since this was a relatively spur of the moment travel decision amongst the four of us, campsite availability at Ridgway State Park was sparse.

Ridgway State Park
Ridgway Lake

Ridgway State ParkMy brother and I sat at his kitchen table reviewing our options.  Obviously we’d like to camp next to each other, which further limited our options.  Eeeny, meeny, miney, mo…. reservation made…..  And score!

When Al and I arrived at Ridgway State Park and settled into our site, we were extremely pleased.  There was plenty of spacing between sites and we were surrounded by views.  I’ll admit….. brother gets the credit for picking out a couple of great sites.  Good job bro!

Ridgway State Park is popular and a favorite among many.  I’m thinking, it just may become one of our favorites as well.  Ridgway State Park offers three diverse campgrounds;  Pa-Co-Chu-Puk Campground is located in a valley below the damn and provides full hook-ups.  It sits along the Uncompahgre River and offers some great fishing opportunities.

Ridgway State ParkThe Elk Ridge Campground sits high on a bluff / mesa among a forest of pine trees.  This is the most popular of the three campgrounds at Ridgway State Park.

The third and least popular and the one we camped at is Dakota Terraces Campground.  One downside – it’s located near the highway, but that is offset by beautiful mountain views and excellent lake and trail access.  We were sure to take advantage of the easy trail access right outside our front door.

This part of Colorado has plenty to offer.  It is officially known as the “Jeep Capital of the World” and the little town of Ouray located 14 miles south of Ridgway is known as “America’s Switzerland”.   We found ourselves staring in awe at the picturesque San Juan Mountains.  With so much to see and do, we wondered….what should we explore first?

Who better to answer that question than fellow blogger Mark over at Box Canyon Blog.  Mark and wife, Bobbie, call this part of Colorado ‘home’ for the summer months.  I shoot Mark an email letting him know we’re in his neck of the woods and hope he’ll share some insider information on the area.

sitting above the town of Ouray – the view from Mark’s deck

Much to my surprise, Mark invites Al and me over for a barbeque along with a few fellow RVer’s.  Wow…..complete strangers and we’re invited to their home AND what a lovely home it is with the most stunning views.  Thank you Mark and Bobbie for the hospitality, delicious meal, spectacular scenery, and wonderful company.  We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.Ouray

another view from Marks’ deck

Be sure and check out Mark’s stunning photography along with his entertaining story telling.  I’m sure after viewing his photos, you too will want to visit this part of Colorado.  I know his photos piqued my interest and continue to do so.  Our goal over the next year is to get in good enough shape to experience some of the amazing hikes Bobbie and Mark do, because guarantee…. Al and I will be returning to this area of Colorado next summer.  I have some mountain lakes and wildflowers to capture after all. Ridway State Park

Although this was just our first full day nestled near the San Juans, I feel myself falling in love.  Sorry Golden, Colorado…..you have some pretty stiff competition.  Tomorrow we’ll take the little truck into the back country.

Unlikely Bonding

Go ahead and putt….I’ll hold the flag.

Sometimes spending the day hanging around a campsite and communing with nature is exactly what the mind and body needs to rejuvenate.

The James Robb State Park in Fruita, Colorado has proven to be the perfect home for Al and me to recuperate from the arduous move.

James Robb State Park

Al and I have been enjoying morning strolls around the State Park which happens to border the Colorado River.  The Colorado National Monument acts as a beautiful backdrop while lounging outside the RV watching the grass grow.

I’ll never make the Olympics if I keep falling off this beam.

We also watch in silence as creatures large and small go about their days.  One day in particular, I found myself enamored with the oodles of dragonflies around the park.

This is my best side….go ahead and shoot!  Isn’t my orange coloring pretty?

Not one to have any interest in entomology, I find myself drawn to these unique little guys.  It started the other morning, when we went on our stroll relatively early in an attempt to beat the heat.  I left my camera behind in a bit of a lazy, still half a sleep moment.  Part way into our walk and near the river, we came upon some vegetation a buzz with dragonflies.  One dragonfly in particular appeared to be posing.

Why won’t the one with the pretty wings talk to me?
With a little more work at the barre, I’ll be ready for the Bolshoi

The next morning, I was raring to go with camera in hand.   Nope, won’t be leaving my camera behind in the future.  My pace was rather quick as I was aiming toward a particular patch of vegetation along the Colorado River.  Bingo!  Even more dragonflies than the previous morning.

The dragonflies character and personalities didn’t resonate with me until I zoomed in on them.  Could it be I was having a bonding moment with an insect?

Just look at their faces…..rather cute, I’d say.  And this coming from someone who has no problem using a fly swatter or a shoe to squash…..

After more clicks on the camera than I can count, Al and I resume our stroll.  Back at the campsite, we settle into our lounge chairs and watch the few tuffs of clouds pass overhead.  The tall grasses and bushes around our campsite are a bevy of activity…..cute little cotton tail bunnies, yellow bellied birds (my name for them), AND dragonflies.  I spend the next hour communing with dragonflies while Al sits back watching my interaction and conversation with the dragonflies in total amusement.  “That’s it…now let me get just a little closer….hold still.  Can you turn to the side?  Nope, lightings not good.  Can you move to that bush?”……Dragonfly

Yes, I’d say we’re relaxing……..

If I don’t respond to your comments, it’s because of poor internet service.  We’re at Ridgway State Park just north of Ouray, Colorado in site #18.  We return to Grand Junction on the 31st.