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!
Homer, Alaska

Monday, May 21, 2012

Castle Gardens Walk

Well, Saturday turned out to be an odd day weather-wise. Al had left early in the morning to go to his fly-fishing class, and it was beautiful and sunny. As I was writing the previous post, I saw the boy scout troop heading out on a rafting trip, in their shorts and t-shirts. By the time I got out of the shower (it was a very lazy, slow morning for me), the clouds and wind had rolled in, and all of a sudden there was rain coming down! But wait..it wasn't supposed to rain today! But sure as the pundits say around here...if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes, it will change....out rolled the clouds and the sun was out again. This happened several times yesterday. But down in Salida, where Al was fishing, no rain whatsoever! And, for the record, he caught his first trout ever...a cutthroat trout. Congratulations! (sorry, no pictures).

Sunday morning we did a few chores, one of which was dismantling the screen room and putting it away. Yes, the wind has won this round. We had it staked down, extra ropes attached and tied down all to no avail...the winds here come up on the drop of a dime. It will be dead calm, and within minutes be blowing 30mph and higher. Incredible. We hardly ever have the awning down, and never leave it down if we leave the site. But Friday the wind finally beat us...one of the screen room poles bent slightly, and one screen tore slightly. So down it came and is put away for now. We'll see if the wind ever stops...we've been told it doesn't!

We needed to do some grocery shopping, so we decided after lunch to head towards Salida, investigate a new hike called Castle Gardens, and then head on over to WalMart. I don't usually do the bulk of groceries there, but we didn't need much, and we also needed to look for a new propane campstove for outside...our old one ended up with a broken tube inside...don't even ask how Al found that out! Suffice to say no damage was done to him or the camp kitchen :-).

Castle Gardens is slightly to the east of Salida, a short 2 mile walk along a dry sandy streambed. There are a maze of trails here, meandering among fantastic eroded dirt cliffs. Its the only landform of this type in the area, and different from the other walks we've done so far.
Starting out. Its best not to do this walk on too hot of a day, as it is all in direct sun. Or go early in the morning before the sun comes up too high!

The trail is wide and well-defined. There used to be a lot of ATV traffic through here, but has been banned due to the damage it has inflicted upon the area.

Plant life along the trail. The area is looking so different already, only a month since we've arrived. Everything is really greening up!

One of the many dirt cliffs we wandered past

Happy wanderers!

Headed back. We normally like loop trails better, but I'm finding it interesting how I see different things on the way back on a one way trail.

After shopping, and making modifications to my menu ( I have to remember where I am, the fellow at the deli counter looked at me like I had two heads when I asked for prosciutto), we headed back home. Its back to work tomorrow for a day, and then off on our adventure to Mesa Verde National Park.


  1. Nice hike!! It is amazing how different the "backside" of a trail can look;o)))

  2. Nice photo of the happy wanderers!

  3. Glad to hear the ATV damage was eliminated. That's a lovely hike and it would be lots of fun to take it repeatedly and see how things change. I've never been one to prefer a loop. Things really do look very different returning on the same trail.

  4. The wind certainly seems to be an issue out here. Gotta be the altitude. We can even tell a difference between upper and lower campground loops here. The upper is much windier.