Welcome to our Adventure!

Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Friday, April 27, 2012

Getting Acclimated

We've been here for a full week now, and it's starting to feel as if we're getting a bit more acclimated to the altitude. At any rate, I can now climb the hill from the lower campground to the upper campground in one shot without completely losing my breath :-). We are both still congested though, but kleenex and Allegra are taking care of that. I have started taking a spoonful of local honey each morning, and we'll see if that helps.

Monday we went in search of a tire place that could determine the cause of the leak in our front tire. Being that we continued to lose about 10 pounds of air each day after the tire place in Texas replaced the air valve, we were pretty sure that wasn't the issue. The one thing we have been finding is that not all tire places can deal with the larger tires we have on the Ford F450. The first place we stopped was one of these, but they directed us to a shop in downtown Salida that would. Turned out to be very nice folks there, took the truck right in and told us to walk into town for lunch and they should have it ready. We found an old-fashioned soda fountain type of store and ordered a couple of sandwiches,and then we then walked down to the park on the riverfront (the Arkansas River flows right through Salida). It was a really nice day, and a quiet pretty spot. Being so early in the season, it wasn't very busy in town, and only a handful of people were strolling about. Upon arriving back at the tire shop, the truck was almost ready, and they had found a broken off screw had punctured the tire. Now, why didn't the dude in Texas find that?? Anyway, a plug and a few dollars later, we were a bit on our way. Easy peasy :-).

Tuesday we stayed at the campground and took care of a few housekeeping details. Our last travel day had rain involved, and the trailer was a bit spattered with mud and dirt. While Al worked on cleaning the outside (and removing many bugs that had met their demise between Florida and Colorado), I was vacuuming and cleaning inside. It is a bit dusty here, so we're going to have to keep on top of that since its nice enough to leave the windows open. Early afternoon brought a few threatening clouds, so we delayed a planned hike to the Agnes Vaille Falls until late afternoon.

The Agnes Vaille Falls are on County Road 162, the same road we drove to the ghost town of St. Elmo. Its a short hike, only 1 mile round trip, with a 450 foot elevation change, all uphill on the way there. Seeing that the trail started at 8700 feet, we felt that was strenuous enough for a first hike attempt. And I was proud of us (well, mostly myself :-)) for doing it without too much difficulty. We didn't go fast, but slow and steady wins the race.

Agnes Vaille Falls were named after a Denver native, Agnes Vaille, born in 1890. She was an adventurous woman, with a passion for hiking and mountain climbing. She had plans with a companion, Jo Witchey Love, to explore all of Colorado's massive peaks, which sadly never came to pass. During a winter ascent of Long's Peak in Rocky Mountain national Park (elevation 14255 feet) she slipped on ice and fell down the north face of the mountain. She survived the fall, but sadly froze to death before help could arrive. Jo Witchey Love, another adventurous mountain woman, married and moved to Chalk Creek Canyon, where she ran a guest ranch for over 50 years. Upon discovering these falls, she named them in memory of her dear friend.

Curious mule deer alongside the road going up

The start of the trail up to the falls

Beautiful view of Mount Antero

The final leg to see a good view of the falls was a bit of a scramble over fallen rocks. We managed ok, Casey did great...we think he has a bit of mountain goat in him :-)

Agnes Vaille falls...a bit unimpressive, especially with the low amount of snowfall they've had this winter. But it was a nice walk with fantastic views!

Just taking it all in...the peacefulness and solitude was amazing. 

At the top of the rocky scramble...approximate elevation 9150 feet. The waterfall is, unfortunately, still underwhelming :-). But we made it!

I love the fir trees...just beautiful.

So, tired but happy, it was the end of another nice day here. The third set of workampers arrived Tuesday, Joe and Sandi, who are returnees from last year. It's always nice to have someone around familiar with the area, who can give us recommendations of places to visit. We were also informed that there would be a staff meeting Friday morning, at which time we would go over paperwork, procedures and questions. We will be starting work and training on Monday. So, we decided Wednesday we would take a longer excursion since we wouldn't be needed at the campground, and decided to drive to Colorado Springs, 90 miles to the east of us, and pay a visit to The Garden of the Gods. And that will be the subject of the next blog so stay tuned! 


  1. Beautiful pictures. They remind me of my home in British Columbie. I bet you are going to enjoy your time there.

  2. I am loving your time in Colorado already;o)) We never made it to Colorado and will enjoy seeing it through your eyes.

    Looks spectacular already!!!

  3. Colorado is such a beautiful place...one of our favorites!! Glad you are getting more acclimated to the altitude and the area. Your pictures were just beautiful and brought back great memories. Now I'm itching to return!! :-)

  4. We'll be passing near there this summer but won't be stopping on that trip.

    The tire shop in Texas might not have looked beyond the valve stem if you told them that was what you suspected.

    Years ago I could hear a clicking sound going down the road but thought it was a stone in the tire tread. Eventually the sound went away reinforcing my suspicion of the stone in the tread. Two years later when the tires were well worn upon replacing the tire a 1/2" diameter lag bolt 3" long was found inside that tire with the head worn off. That tire never lost a pound of air for the three years it was on the vehicle.

    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  5. Glad to hear you are both enjoying Colorado....beautiful state.I remember the first time we visited Arizona, we went to the Grand Canyon and stayed at the El Torva Hotel where they do not have elevators. I thought I was going to die from lack of breath. I'm sure you are going to love, love, love Colorado Springs and the Garden of the Gods. The Air Force Academy is another nice place to see while in that area. Are you planning to make the trip up Pikes Peak??? We opted not to go up on our visit. Still a lot of snow up there. Enjoy and keep those blogs coming.

  6. That looked like a lovely hike. Glad you are getting accustomed to the altitude so you can do those without feeling so winded. I remember how different running was when we were at higher elevations last spring and summer. Although one good thing is, I'm pretty sure the higher altitude made me weigh less. :-))

  7. We love to leave the windows open too but it can contribute to the allergy problems.