Monday, October 5, 2015

Last Days in Colorado and Moving on to Utah



We spent our last couple days in the forest near Mancos, CO hiking up Madden Peak Road and biking on the old railroad grade. The weather was pleasant and the fall colors outstanding.



The old railroad grade road made for a very nice bike ride since there isn’t a lot of elevation change.


One day we drove several miles up Madden Peak Road so we could hike at a higher elevation. Debbie drove her own car with her two dogs and we parked when the road got too rough for her low clearance car.



She let Rupert and Elliot off leash since there was no traffic and no one else around, and they had a blast running through the woods, although Rupert kept trying to chase these cows.


We stopped  to eat a snack and head on back down the road when Elliot came running out of the trees transformed from blond to brown. Unfortunately for Debbie his entire back was covered in cow manure. When we got back to the cars she wrapped him up in a blanket and held him in her lap on the drive home.  We were so glad we took separate cars! It happened to be her birthday, and we got a good laugh out of the fact that she had to spend part of it cleaning up the mess. He was so happy with himself it was hard to get mad at him, though. Good thing he’s so cute!


It was time for shopping and laundry again, so we decided to spend a night at the Walmart in Cortez, CO to get our chores done. And Debbie and I both ended up getting our hair cut since there was a Great Clips within walking distance. Although we didn’t finish up until almost 6pm, Jim and I decided to take advantage of his Silver Sneakers membership again and check out the Cortez Recreation Center. Free for him, $4 for me. It wasn’t quite as nice in the one in Durango but we got in a good workout, showered, and grabbed a Domino’s pizza on the way home. Those kind of days are always tiring, but even with a little medicinal help I barely got any sleep in the noisy, bright-as-daylight parking lot. And there were some sketchy looking people hanging out there. It’s not a place we would intentionally stay again, although it served it’s purpose. I feel much safer parked out in the middle of nowhere than in a busy parking lot like that.

The next morning it was on to Utah, with a stop at the free city of Cortez RV dump. They also have a coin operated potable water station which cost us $1.00 to fill our tank. We made one last stop at Country Gas to top off propane and before we knew it Colorado was in our rearview mirror and the red rocks of Utah appeared in front of us.

Our home for who knows how long is a beautiful spot off Needles Overlook Road about 35 miles south of Moab.



Quite a view.



Yesterday we took a hike into a nearby canyon. No trails, just walk wherever you choose and scramble up and down rocks. Our favorite kind of hiking.





Jim’s jacket fell out of his pack somewhere but he didn’t realize it until we got home. It may be down where he took this photo, as Debbie and I couldn’t figure out how he got down there. We’ll have to go back and look for it another day.





Suzanne joined us yesterday afternoon, and last evening we took a drive out to the Needles Overlook, which gives you views into the vast Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. It wasn’t the best sunset due to a storm forming to the west, but still worth seeing.









Mark and Bobbie and Laurelee should be joining us in the next few days. Looks like there will be lots more red rock hiking coming up over the next month.


  1. Oh how we love Moab! What a gorgeous area of the country. Your photos are outstanding. Hope you find Jim's coat. That might be a miracle though.

    Thanks for the beautiful fall colors!

  2. That Needles view looks recently familiar. Sure wish we'd had more time to explore. Hope to meet up with the "gang" somewhere in UT.

    1. Yes, it would be great to meet up with you and Bill again. I know Suzanne wants to hike in Buckskin Gulch (I'm not so sure) but maybe Bill has some other ideas.

  3. I'm not much of a Walmart boondocking fan for just the reasons you stated. But glad you got your chores done. You sure are in a gorgeous place now and gathering a big group around you. Have fun! Canyonlands is magnificent. Wish I were there.

    1. After getting our bikes stolen at the Walmart in Salinas, CA, we are very hesitant to overnight at any Walmart, but it always amazes me the number of people who do so.

  4. Hope you enjoy that area as much as we did. There is so much to see from Needles to Bluff. We hiked the Slick Rock trail in Needles. It was very hot. Your weather should be much better.

  5. Did Elliot go rolling in the cowpies? Better than being sprayed by a skunk. Enjoy the red rocks!

    1. We didn't see him but he must have done some serious rolling!

  6. We got our mail the other day and when John was opening envelopes he turned and said, Jim isn't the only one who now has a Silver Sneaker pass! He was quite impressed with this pass!

    I love the Needles part of Canyonlands. This is where we have done one of my all time hikes, the Chesler Park Loop counterclock wise through the Joint. An unforgetable 11 mile hike.

    Have a great time with the Red Rock Gang together again!

    1. Hope John gets some use out of his Silver Sneakers pass. It's really a good deal!
      Suzanne and I were just talking about the Chesler Park loop hike yesterday. It's on our list!

    2. I hope it cools down for you so you can enjoy the Chesler Park Loop:)

  7. John and Pam hiked an amazing loop in the Needles district, you might want to do a search on "Oh The Places They Go" for it. We intend to do it once we get that far south.

    We arrive in Moab (Portal RV Park) on 10/12 for a week. Perhaps you'll still be around an we can meet up for a hike or two.

    1. At this point we just aren't sure how long we'll be in the Moab area. When Mark and Bobbie arrive we'll talk about a plan. They don't like heat so it will probably be dependent on the weather.

  8. Beautiful fall colors - and the Grouse (I think) is very handsome. Elliott did a masterful job of rolling in the dung - I bet he was so proud of himself :-) Love the red rocks and the ribbons of color along the trail.

  9. It would be difficult to be upset with that little cutie, even though he rolled in cow manure. What beautiful fall colors you guys are seeing. I am looking forward to seeing some Utah posts, a state we need to delve into soon.