Sunday, July 24, 2016

Yankee Boy Basin

Yankee Boy Basin 2.5 is another spectacular drive in the San Juan Mountains south of Ouray. It is very popular with tour companies and tourists alike, so be prepared for a lot of traffic until you get to the very last part of the trail.

I dug my old GoPro Hero out of storage hoping to capture the view and feeling of being behind the wheel of the jeep. Here are a couple of short excerpts...



Today's photos...

Click on photos to enlarge





Saturday, July 23, 2016

Gaia GPS

I use to upload my GPS tracks to EveryTrail but since their acquisition by TripAdvisor, all development and support has stopped and it does not work as well as it used to. As an alternative, I am looking at Gaia GPS.

I uploaded the track and photos from my Alpine Loop trip to create a photo map at https://www.gaiagps.com/datasummary/folder/7907392f-18e6-45d3-89c6-fbef162fb424/. Track details such as speed and elevation are available at https://www.gaiagps.com/datasummary/track/9ae70cc0-de55-4e30-939f-836965786571/. You can download tracks as GPX, KML or GeoJson files.

Click on photo to enlarge

I am still playing with the program so if you have any problems viewing the above, please let me know in the comment section below.

Update (8/23/16): AllTrails has acquired EveryTrail. Unfortunately, they want to charge you to upgrade to the version that has some of the more useful features such as being able to download or print maps.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sticker Shock

It's hard to believe I have been a full-time RVer for five years. This was brought home by my needing to renew my drivers license this year before my birthday. Due to recent homeland security laws, I can no longer renew my license online. I have to go to South Dakota and show two pieces of documentation that I am a resident including proof that I have spent at least one night in the State in the last year (in my opinion, this has to do more with revenue raising than national security).

In any event, I decided to take my time, drive up and enjoy the sights. What I did not count on was the cost of motels this time of the year. Last night, the least expensive room I could find was $124.95/night. Today in Rapid City, I was shocked to see prices on what I would consider average motels at over $200/night. I finally found a Super 8 for $99.95/night. And these prices do not include local government's "stick-it-to-the-tourist tax" which has been 10-12% so far. For an old salesman that used to stay in Red Roof Inns for $19.95/night, this is a bit much.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Alpine Loop

You will want to take some extra socks with you on this ride as the ones you are wearing will be knocked off. The scenery is awe-inspiring.

Alpine Loop 2.5 is a combination of trails including Engineer Pass and Cinnamon Pass in the San Juan Mountains. The trails are not particularly difficult but a high-clearance, 4WD vehicle is highly recommended.

I took over 100 photographs today. Unfortunately, they do not do the experience justice. The camera cannot capture everything the eye takes in. You need to experience it for yourself.

Vistas...

Click on photos to enlarge 




Mines...





Critters...



Saturday, July 09, 2016

Montrose, CO

Montrose has become another of my favorite small towns in Colorado. It has a vibrant downtown with a variety of shops and restaurants. Adding to its charm are the wonderful metal sculptures scattered throughout town (reminds me of Borrego Springs). Here are a couple that I photographed...

Montrose Mouse

Where Eagles Dare

And if the sculptures are not enough, there are a number of wineries in the area as well as a Russell Stover plant and retail store. Wine and chocolate, what more could you ask for.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Ouray County Road 31

The drive from Ouray to Silverton, CO is simply spectacular. Huge, near vertical rock mountains on both sides of the road combined with numerous waterfalls make it a delight for the senses...



Ouray County Road 31 is a dirt road that roughly parallels Red Mountain Pass south of town and passes by a number of old mines...




The rock here is laden with iron oxide which gives Red Mountain its name and makes for some strangely colored landscapes...

Monday, July 04, 2016

Escalante Canyon

Escalante Canyon 2.0 starts out as a scenic drive through several huge canyons and then takes you up to ~8,000 feet for panoramic views of the valleys below. It is primarily hard-packed gravel roads but there are a couple of sections that you would not want to tackle when wet. Today's photos...

Click on photos to enlarge

Walker Cabin

Captain Smith Cabin

Colorado hoodoos

Ridge road

Old cars in Delta, CO

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Jeep the USA

I discovered a website (Jeep the USA) that lists jeep trails and gpx tracks in the western U.S. Today, I downloaded the tracks for Wave-Eagle Loop 2.5 and Elephant Skin Road GP to my GPS for the purpose of learning the difficulty scale used by the site's owner so that I do not get in over my head. I have found that trail ratings are relative to one's experience and can vary greatly depending on the "eye of the beholder".

Unfortunately, recent rains turned the Wave-Eagle Loop 2.5 into a quagmire so I was unable to complete it. Water turns dirt roads here into a gooey mess that clogs tire treads so that you feel like you are driving on ice (which is right up there with listening to politicians as one of my favorite things to do)...


Although Elephant Skin Road GP was still sticky, it was passable. The scenery went from lush and green to a landscape that reminded me of the Badlands in South Dakota...

Lots of dirt bike riders here

The colors reminded me of Onion Creek in Moab

Here are a couple of critters that I encountered along the way...

Eagle taking flight

Prairie dog

All in all, I think the Jeep the USA site is going to be a great resource for finding and mapping trails in the area.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Uncompahgre River RV Park

I have moved from Moab to the Uncompahgre River RV Park in Olathe, CO. This will be my base camp for the next 1-2 months from which I hope to explore some of Colorado's high mountain passes.

After a winter in southern Arizona and spring in Moab where the primary color is sand, it's always nice to return to an area that is lush and green...

View from my rear window

My home for the next 1-2 months

Olathe is a very small town with most of its old buildings on one block of Main Street. It reminds me of where I grew up in the south...