Grand Lake was the neatest little town! After we checked into our cabin, the "Trout Cabin" at Columbine Cabins, (yes, it was all decorated in a trout-fishing decor...the property is actually up for sale, just under one million from what I saw in the real estate listings, if any one's looking :-) ), we headed into town to find a pizza for dinner. It was the neatest town we'd seen to that point. I felt like I was walking onto the set of an old western movie. There was the main drag through the center of town, with all the shops and restaurants lined up on either side, with the wooden boardwalk running the length of the street on either side.
Along the main business district
The bakery/breakfast shop we had breakfast at...delicious!
Behind Main Street was the lake, and all the associated business that go with it...marinas, fishing, ice cream shops :-)! Grand Lake is the largest natural lake in Colorado.
Beautiful mountains ring the eastern side
Boats lined up for summer boating fun
I've never seen such sparkly peddle boats before
Colorado's state flower, the blue columbine, was blooming everywhere
After poking around Grand Lake for a little while after breakfast, we piled back in the truck to head back to Chalk Creek, via the Colorado Headwaters Scenic Byway. I should have realized, when I couldn't find very much information about this particular scenic drive, that it wasn't going to be as awesome as all of our other drives have been. First, I had been a bit apprehensive when I read that the section through the gorge would be "a bit rough". Well, I'm here to tell you that it was a piece of cake compared to some of the dirt roads we've been on around here ;-).
This is Lake Granby Reservoir, on the Colorado River. The actual Headwaters of the Colorado River is Grand Lake. The Colorado-Big Thompson project, constructed between 1938 and 1957, collects west slope mountain water from the Colorado River headwaters, and diverts it to the Front Range and plains.
A wildlife/bird refuge along the way. Unfortunately, with the pups, we were not allowed to stroll around on the trails through the refuge, only watch from afar with binoculars. But it was pretty.
A sign at an overlook in the Gore Canyon...I think its been used for target practice!
The Colorado River as it makes its way south-westward, towards the Grand Canyon. Its hard to come to grips with the fact that this ribbon of water carved the Grand Canyon!
Another view of the Colorado River
The scenic byway ends at an area called State Bridge, where there's a lodge and camping for boating and fishing enthusiasts.
From this point we jumped back on the highways, cruised through Vail (was not impressed...seemed way too expensive and pretentious to be real Colorado) and headed on home to Chalk Creek. Since then we've been working, doing some hiking, and its been hot! Not double digits like some of you have been suffering through, but hot for here. I've also been planning some new excursions, and continuing to explore the hiking trails in the area. I don't have too many pictures, though, as its been hot and we've been a bit tired after work, and my camera, while I love it, is rather on the heavy side. I have investigated smaller point and shoots for when we're hiking, and have ordered one to try out. We did recently go to the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival as a day trip, and that will be the next stop on the Phillips' "Tour de Colorado" :-). Have a great day, wherever you may be.