Sunday, May 28, 2017

Back In Colorado

We are now at McPhee campground in the San Juan National Forest near Dolores, CO, just north of Cortez. It was a beautiful 160 mile drive through the Four Corners area to get here. We picked a good place to spend Memorial Day weekend, as the campground is nowhere close to being full and has been very quiet.


After the Panasonic camera died we each tried it daily in the hope that it would start working again. I even resorted to hitting it a few times, and turning the mode dial to see if it would turn on in a different setting. Surprisingly I finally got it to come on, but it kept saying that the mode dial was not in the correct position, and would shut itself off. Jim had contacted a friend who used to repair cameras and he suggested turning the dial repeatedly, which would clean the contacts if some dust or dirt had gotten in there, so that’s what we did. It would still not stay on, but after we got here I turned the dial over and over again and it came on and stayed with no error message. We’ve taken it walking with us three days in a row now and it seems to be working just fine. Maybe it was just a matter of a little dust in there, since it stopped working after our last hike in Sedona, where it was very windy every day.

All of these photos were taken with the revived Lumix FZ 200 from the Can-Do trail, which goes along the rim for a half mile, then switchbacks steeply down 400’ for another half mile to the lake.



The company town of McPhee, now submerged in the reservoir, was built in 1924 by the New Mexico Lumber Company. At one point half of Colorado’s lumber was produced here. After several fires and the depletion of timber, it closed in 1948.




A closer look at the snow on La Plata Range of the San Juan mountains near Durango.


I believe this is a female collared lizard. She was not as friendly as the one that crawled on Jim’s shoe in Sedona.



We stayed here for a week in July 2012, when we visited Mesa Verde and some other sights in the area, so this time we are just hanging around doing some home maintenance. We did a little cleaning inside and out, and Jim changed the oil in the Lazy Daze engine and generator.



We also took a ride to the cute little town of Dolores, about 6 miles from here, to pick up a pie at the Dolores Food Market. Their pies are some of the best we’ve had anywhere. This time we got apple, and it was delicious.


House Creek is another forest service campground on the other side of the reservoir. It’s not far as the crow files but a 21 mile drive from McPhee.


After picking up a pie we drove a few miles farther to the Boggy Draw trailhead. We heard there are some good, easy mountain bike trails so we wanted to take a hike there to see if we thought we could ride them. As we pulled in the parking lot we saw a couple of familiar faces, Dave and Deb, camphosts at McDowell, who are now working at a campground near Dolores. They were just heading off for a ride, and told us the 9 mile Boggy Draw trail was the easiest loop, so we plan to take the bikes over there tomorrow and give it a try. Today it’s time for a visit to the laundromat, then see if we can figure out the air vent problem.




We’re paid up here until Tuesday but not sure where we’re going next. We have about 3 1/2 weeks before we plan to be in the Denver area and would like to cover some new territory along the way, but it will be dependent on the weather. We may not decide until we pull out Tuesday morning.


  1. If you get a chance you should drive over to the House Creek FS campgroung north of Delores. We stayed there 2 yrs ago and really liked the easy access to the lake and the very large sites.

  2. Beautiful! I liked that area when I was there. I've been doing a lot of cleaning and maintenance, too. Must be that time of year, but it sure feels good to get things done. :)

  3. So then, you trusted somebody else, but you didn't trust me (grin) about the Boggy Draw and Phil's World trails. I guarantee you that Jim will not manage to pull one of his stunts (upside down and stuck in the cleats) on either one of these trails. Enjoy!

    1. We went and walked part of the trail to verify what you told us about it. With Jim you never know what might happen!

  4. Beautiful area. Weird to think of a whole town under the water. Your lizard is very photogenic!

    1. Most of the houses were actually moved before the dam was built.

  5. Love your low-tech camera fix. Wish I could fix every computer/camera/phone/electronic problem that way. :-)) What a gorgeous spot you're in -- you two really do find some spectacular landscapes.

  6. Snowy mountains and deep blue lakes...looks like a perfect spot:) Glad your camera is working!

  7. Nice to find such a beautiful hideaway over a holiday weekend. Especially when you get the camera working. I loved that view of the snowy La Platas when living between Mancos and Dolores. I'm sure you'll find more beauty on the way to Denver.

  8. So glad you got that camera working and were able to take those fantastic pics!! Beautiful area!! You are so lucky to have found such a quiet spot for Memorial Day....not so much where we were!!
    Safe travels to Denver!

  9. So glad to hear that you got your camera to work again. Wish my fix would be as easy. I am still limping along with mine while I decide what to do next. Dolores looks like a lovely area in which to spend time.