Yesterday wine, today whine

Yesterday wine, today whine

It was time to head back to camp.  The drive from Palisade, Colorado, to our camp at the James Robb State Park in Fruita took less than thirty minutes.  Both towns are conveniently located just off Interstate 70 making the drive quick and easy.

Interstate 70
Palisade, Colorado …….. Interstate 70

The four of us ladies sit in the vehicle in near silence with smiles plastered to our faces.  A visit to Suncrest Orchard Alpacas, the day filled with wine tasting, laughter, treats, and the perfect Colorado weather was enough to send us into a perpetual state of euphoria overdose, if there is such a thing.Suncrest Orchard Alapacs

But our fun didn’t end there.  We arrived back at camp about fifteen minutes after Al and my brother returned.  While the ladies were out doing ‘girl’ stuff, the guys were out doing manly things with manly men and now they were doing manly things around camp…. chopping wood and preparing a campfire.

As we approached the picnic table, the sweet smell of deliciousness wafted the air.  That morning before leaving for the wine festival, I baked brownies and started a pork shoulder in the slow cooker.  The slow cooker was outside on the picnic table and the pork was slowly doing it’s thing while we were out having fun.pulled pork


wine tastingIt wasn’t long before we were all sitting around the table indulging in pulled pork sandwiches with plenty of side dishes.  If I recall correctly, a bottle or two of wine may have also been included with our meal 😉

After dinner, it was time for desert around the campfire.  As we indulged in brownies and more wine, we discussed the events of the day.  It was obvious why the ladies were smiling….the last two posts detailed our adventures, but what about the guys?  Why were they smiling?  Hum, we wondered……

They weren’t quick to share, but one look at my brother’s dusty, dirt covered vehicle told a tale;  boys and their toys in the Colorado back country!

browniesThe rest of the night was spent around a roaring campfire, devouring homemade brownies, and sharing events of the day all beneath a star filled Colorado sky.

The girls were up early the next morning.  They were greeted with freshly brewed coffee and warm cinnamon rolls.  I know, I’m a great hostess!

Ashton’s car was still sitting at my brother and sister-in-law’s house.  I’ll need to drive Ashton and Tasha over there so they can head home to Denver.  Since this was Tasha’s first visit to Grand Junction, I opt to take a detour through The Monument on the way to my brother’s home.

James Robb State Park
The guest room. Gals awake to a beautiful Colorado morning; James Robb State Park

Since I’ve already done so many posts in the past on The Colorado National Monument, I’ll jump right to the gals; they had a fabulous time taking in the sights and playing around during our 2 hour detour via Rim Rock Drive.

By noon on Sunday, September 22, we were saying farewell to Ashton and Tasha.  Al and I would leave Colorado the next day meaning I probably won’t see my daughter until next spring.  That’s where the whining began.  Yesterday wine, today whine……Palisade Colorado

Hiking the Monument

Hiking the Monument

The Colorado National Monument rises over 2,000 feet above the Colorado River and provides a grand backdrop to the city of Grand Junction.  The Colorado National Monument consists of 32 square miles of rugged, up and down terrain with towering, brilliantly colored rock.  Yep, school is back in session….a little geography can’t hurt!The Monument

The Monument is part of the greater Colorado Plateau which also embraces geologic wonders like the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Arches national parks.  It is a semi-desert landscape and home to a multitude of wildlife such as; mountain lions, mule deer, antelope, bobcats, lizards, and snakes just to name a few.

Folks from around the world travel to this part of Colorado for the hiking and biking availability.  Exploring by trail is a great way to see The Monument, and that’s exactly what Al and I did several times during our month long stay in Grand Junction.The Monument

For the first time visitor, we would recommend starting off with a scenic drive.  Rim Rock Drive offers 23 miles of beautiful views with numerous overlooks along the way.  This road is also very popular with cyclists, my brother being one of them.  The road climbs from the Grand Valley of the Colorado River to the park’s high-country, then winds along the rim of the plateau.  Quite the workout via a bicycle!  I think I’ll stick with a motorized form of transportation….thank you 😎Colorado National Monument

One of my favorite days hiking The Monument was the day we hiked the Devil’s Kitchen trail.  This is an easy 2 mile round trip hike that did require a little agility at the top.  The trail leads to a rock room formed by huge upright boulders.Colorado National Monument

My brother and sister-in-law, who are very familiar with this trail, tagged along as tour guides.  In the above photo, the trail is in the center and our destination are the boulders.  We’ll be climbing up in there.

Colorado National Monument
Al and my brother lead the way!

Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument

The hike was filled with plenty of laughter, good company, and gorgeous scenery.  This was the perfect hike to get Al and me back on the trails.  We climbed, and climbed, and at times lost sight of the trail, but amongst the four agile hikers, we easily found our way.

Colorado hiking
Hey guys! You think these carved steps are part of the trail? Dah!
Climbing further up into “Devil’s Kitchen”

Just a little further……

Follow me!
hiking Colorado
My brother, the gentleman, helps his wife up into the “kitchen”

We hang around at the top taking in the beautiful scenery surrounding us and contemplate “whatever shall we do for lunch”.  With today’s million dollar question answered, we start the hike back to the vehicle.

What goes up, must come down!   😆

With camera in hand and wanting to capture the agile hikers on their descent, I quickly scramble down before the gang.  I had no intention of trying to climb back down the huge boulder that my brother helped pull his wife and me up onto.  Thus, I found, what I thought to be an easier way down.

hiking Colorado
My brother paves his own way!

I quickly scramble down just in time to watch my brother forge his own way.  His wife, in a questioning tone, asks, “Why aren’t you going down the way your mountain goat sister went?  While glancing around and with a slight hesitation he responds, “Oh man, I didn’t see where she went.  I wondered how she made it down so fast”.

hiking Colorado
Interesting moves dear Brother!

Sister-in-law opts to follow MY trail with the aid of her husband.  Al pulls up the rear.  I sure was glad to have started the journey down the trail first so I could capture all of today’s exciting antics.

Hiking Colorado
I’ll follow your mountain goat sister!

We were laughing and teasing my brother on the entire hike back to the vehicle about his trail blazing abilities and he, of course, was a good sport about it.

We really enjoyed this hike and it was exactly what we needed to pique our interest in the trails.  Thanks to my brother and his wife for the tour followed by a fabulous lunch.  Here’s to a lot more fun hikes in our future!

Hiking Colorado
Ooh, Samson…..can I be your Delilah?