After a last minute change in plan Wednesday due to heat, we ended up in Glenwood Springs at Ami’s Acres Campground, where they had one last site for four nights to get us through the weekend.
It’s a strange little RV park, with tiered sites directly overlooking I-70, the Colorado River, and railroad tracks. We were thankful our site was well towards the back of the park, as the noise from the interstate and trains was not bothersome where we were parked. The front row was full of what looked like permanent RVs, and we just can’t imagine how anyone lives this close to a busy highway and active rail line.
Two of our days here we took the bikes to the Rio Grande trail along the Roaring Fork River and rode 20 miles one day and 14 the next. Both days it was quite windy, which we didn’t notice until we turned around the first time. Those 10 miles coming back were not pleasant.
This is a 42 mile Rails-to-Trails project that runs from Glenwood Springs to Aspen and is very scenic. The second time we rode into the wind to Carbondale, which was even stronger than the first time, and barely made 7 miles without getting blown off our bikes. It was a fun fast ride back after we turned around, as it was slightly downhill along with the wind pushing us along.
We stopped for a snack at one of the many picnic tables along the trail, where we had a nice chat with couple from Australia who are taking Amtrak across the country. Since they don’t have a car they rented bikes and took the shuttle to Carbondale for a one way ride back to Glenwood Springs. You can shuttle all the way to Aspen for a longer ride.
We also took a day trip of about 60 miles to Vail just to check it out. The drive there through Glenwood Canyon is lovely. As we expected, Vail is the typical upscale ski town, with shops, restaurants, hotels and condos.
We didn’t realize the Go Pro Mountain Games were taking place so it was very crowded. It was also 82 degrees, surprising since we were at 8,000’.
But we found the Gore Valley Trail and walked a couple peaceful miles along the rushing creek.
We’re glad we visited Glenwood Springs but doubt that we would come back to this area. Towns built along interstates are just not very appealing, and with the river there are only two bridges to cross to get into the main part of town. Each time we encountered traffic jams, partially due to construction, but very frustrating. Maybe if we were “soaking” people, we would have enjoyed the numerous hot springs spas and pools that are a big draw. And although we didn’t hike, there are several trails in the nearby White River National Forest that all start at interstate rest areas, so they are easily accessible but supposedly very busy. Also there are no camping options other than a few RV parks.
Today we’re moving on towards Steamboat Springs and far from any busy highways.