The other aspect of arriving early is that we are trying to familiarize ourselves with the area, learn what shopping and activities are available close by. This campground is more of a vacationer's campground, with more transients than seasonals. I don't think there really are seasonals in the traditional sense. The closest town is Buena Vista, about 8 miles up the highway. As we drove through Friday, whereas its quite quiet now, I really think this is a busy town in the summer season. There is a City Market for groceries, and a True Value Hardware, as well as the normal banks, gas stations, etc. There are also many restaurants, lunch spots, tackle shops (fly fishing) rafting/adventure outfitters, and galleries and gift shops. It looks very nice, and has most anything we will probably need at a convenient ride from the campground. There is a larger town south about 20 minutes, Salida, which we will probably check out tomorrow.
Yesterday was kind of a lazy morning. The congestion hadn't lent itself to a good night's sleep, so we pretty much slept in as much as the dogs would let us. Its been cold at night, in the 30's, but warms up in the trailer quite quickly in the morning with the sun streaming through our large living room windows. I love the fact that this trailer has so many windows :-). Its so nice to be able to glance out the windows in any direction and see my wonderful view. The finches have already found my birdfeeders, so I spent a bit of time watching them as well; I think its too early here for hummingbirds, but we're ready for them!
We went over to the office around lunchtime to speak with Tamara, and met with Lars as well. A really nice couple who seem to want to keep the campground as nice as it is, as well as mulling over some improvements in the future. They are very easy to talk to, and I think it will be a pleasure to work here this summer. We also needed some propane, so Lars filled our tank for us, as Al hasn't learned this task...someone from the gas company will be coming out to give a class on it when all the workampers have arrived...another item for the resume :-)!
After lunch we decided to take a ride on nearby Chalk Creek Drive. It goes deep into the San Isabel
Bighorn Sheep were gathered alongside the road
Chalk Creek, above Agnes Veil Falls, a short walk that we will do another day
Look what we found! Snow!!
That looks like some cold water!
There is nothing like a nice cold roll in the snow :-). I think Chelsea is part Finnish :-)
Onto the ghost town of St. Elmo, one of Colorado's best preserved ghost towns. Although considered a ghost town, there are still a few year-round inhabitants, and the General Store is open in the summer, renting four-wheel drive vehicles and offering a few items for sale.
There is quite a long history which can be read here.
The General Store/Post Office
And I thought having to use the port-a-potty when my black tank was cracked was a hardship...imagine running to the outhouse in the middle of winter?!
The "road" ended at the west end of town, only four-wheel vehicles were permitted from that point....hmm, maybe another day??
Heading back down the mountain, we made a detour to the town of Alpine...dirt roads!
More big horn sheep...they must be accustomed to cars slowing down, they didn't take off at all...unlike the mule deer, which I didn't get any pictures of because they ran off as soon as Casey started barking at them!
Chalk Lake, a public access lake unlike Alpine Lake, that was private property. There's a primitive campground here, picnic area, and fishing.
By now it was dinner time, so we headed back home. It was too late to make the planned-on spaghetti and meatballs, so I made a pot of cheddar cheese soup and along with some crusty bread we had an excellent rib-stickin' meal. An old favorite movie was on, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", so we watched that, and then turned in for the night. We'll see what we can find today!