Saturday, September 19, 2015

We’ve Got Mail


Thankfully our mail showed up at the Poncha Springs post office yesterday with a big hole in the envelope. Our Escapees magazine was on that side so it held in the rest of the contents, although the new license plate for the Lazy Daze was bent. Since we had some rodents trying to build a nest in the engine compartment and eat the fabric of our Protect-a-Tow, we hurriedly packed up and left this beautiful spot.

Poncha SpringsSalida, CO

It was very windy our last few days in Poncha Springs so we did a couple more forest hikes where we got some protection from the trees. One day we went back to the Shavano trailhead and hiked the Colorado trail heading east this time. We did this back in 2012 with Chuck and Carla and I thought I remembered coming to a big clearing with views but after 2.6 miles of steep ups and downs we decided to turn back.


Nice but not what I remembered. We did see one other person, a backpacker who was out for a four day hike. He did the entire 486 mile trail five years ago and wanted to come back and hike part of it again. He said he was in much better shape back then as he found the climbs to be a lot harder this time.




Just a week after our hike at Monarch Pass we drove back up the road to check out the aspens. What a difference a week makes!



While there we hiked up to Waterdog Lakes, another trail we did with Chuck and Carla in 2012. That day we got caught in a thunderstorm with rain and hail, but this time we had perfect weather. Although only 1.7 miles to the lake, we climbed from 10,300’ to 11,400’ so it was a strenuous hike up a very rocky trail.






The trailhead is hard to find, but if you are coming from Poncha Springs heading west up to Monarch Pass (Hwy 50), the parking area is on the left 1.6 miles past the runaway truck ramp. The trail starts across the road but is well hidden.



Yesterday after picking up our mail, dumping tanks and trash, getting propane, and doing some grocery shopping, all we could muster up the energy for was a 50 mile drive to Russell Lakes State Wildlife Area south of Saguache, CO.


Nobody here but us.


Would not want to stay here during hunting season.


Last evening we took a bike ride through the area to check it out. These are some of the flattest dirt roads we’ve ever seen. If it were not for the surrounding mountains we wouldn’t think we were in Colorado.




One of the quietest places we’ve ever stayed.



  1. got mail!

    Wow...1,100 ft rise. I am sure that was very difficult but what a view.

  2. Thank goodness that suspense is behind you. The quiet sounds lovely.

  3. You guy have had a banner worthy summer in Colorado. Going to be cooling off fast now, time to head towards Utah :)
    Box Canyon Mark

  4. Love that opening coliage of photos! Boy, the aspens are so beautiful. Your new home looks perfect with no one around:) Glad you received all your mail...finally:)

  5. Love those changing colors!

    We've hiked near Roseburg, OR where the hunters are asked to leave an organ (I can't remember which one) of whatever mammal they caught! Bizarre (to a non-hunter)!

    Both of your sites looked beautiful...too bad about the rodents though. At least you've got a couple of on board mousers!

  6. I too love that opening collage. What a beautiful spot. Climbing at that altitude is difficult no matter how long the trail. Those sure are lovely views you worked so hard to get. Thanks for the directions to the trail head for Waterdog. I'm dreaming some day I'll be able to be there and I love your great campsite. Not much better than having the entire place to yourself. Congrats on the mail. We never did get ours. Glad nothing appears to have been lost out the hole.

  7. Glad to hear you finally got your mail. We are just now starting to see signs of fall colors in North Cascades NP. If all goes well, we will be hiking Maple Pass tomorrow. Looks like fall has definitely come to the Rockies. Great photos!

  8. Love the beautiful yellow hillside. Your site even looks quiet :-)

  9. Yea, you got mail! And what a gorgeous and remote place to stay. Your fall is showing more gold than here.

  10. I knew I could count on you. I got to see beautiful Waterdog lakes without the climb. Sorry we missed the aspen. What a relief you got your mail. I really thought it was gone forever.

  11. Hello Gayle and Jim, I'm visiting from Gaelyn because on her comments I noticed your were in CO. I live in Breckenridge and aspens above 10,000' are changing rapidly. Your shots of Monarch are gorgeous. Enjoy the rest of your time in CO!

  12. What a spectacular landscape! Your photos are wonderful. We always enjoy staying on wildlife refuges (when it's allowed) -- but yes, it's a bit worrisome during hunting season. Fluorescent orange is not my color. :-)