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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

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Grand Lake and The Colorado River Headwaters

After our day in Rocky Mountain National Park, we had a cabin booked in the town of Grand Lake, just south of the southwest entrance to the park. I had figured instead of driving back through the park to go back to Estes Park, and then driving home the same way we went up, we would take our time, stay on the west side of the Rockies, and then drive back to Chalk Creek via the Colorado Headwaters Scenic Byway. 

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.

7 comments:

  1. Beautiful pics - can't wait to spend some time in Colorado

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  2. Your pictures are so pretty! Colorado is definitely on our list for when we head west!

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  3. Just feel cooler looking at all your pictures ;o))

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  4. Very pretty pics. Ad your enjoying everything. Vail is not The best place I agree telluride is the best place in colorado for sure.

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  5. You are doing a great job of showing us Colorado and what we should see when we come. What a great life you are living!! You and your camera are doing a terrific job!

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  6. If you can find a Point and Shoot that you like, it'll be a nice supplement to your good camera. It's great to just be able to shove it in your back pocket! They've come a long way. Hope you find one you like.

    Went to Vail once when my daughter and SIL lived out there. Had a pricey lunch at a Ski Resort and left. Checked it right off the list :)

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