Monday, August 21, 2017

Colorado Campground, Woodland Park, CO


In 2010 we spent a couple weeks near Woodland Park, CO at South Meadows, a forest service campground just a few miles north of town. We liked the area and it’s only 57 miles to our friends’ house in Littleton where Jim had his bike shipped, so we thought it would be a great place to stay. Unfortunately, when we got to South Meadows we had absolutely no phone or internet, using either Verizon or AT&T. Also there were no sites open that offered much in the way of sun. We parked the rig and took the car for a drive where we got lucky and found the Colorado campground just a mile north, where we have 1-2 bars of 4G. And we got even luckier by finding one of only two sites with electric, and it was a non-reserve site and vacant. No need to worry about solar.

Our view isn’t very exciting but we have a big private back yard, and although the road is just beyond the fence it isn’t all that busy so we are happy. With electric it’s only $13/night with the senior pass. A typical forest service campground with vault toilets and nearby non-threaded water spigots. And the 7 mile Centennial trail. a paved bike path, is right across the road. Sadly it has been neglected and is full of cracks and weeds, so not the best trail to bike on.


We’ve done a little experimenting with the Canon SX40 camera our friends sent us. They didn’t care for it because it’s hard to hold still and get it to focus properly when using the zoom, but we are going to play with it for awhile and see what we think. Before we left we took one last hike on the trail behind the campground overlooking Dillon Reservoir to take some shots and see how it did. One thing we didn’t like about the Lumix was that the sky always looked a bit turquoise, and blues and purples never looked quite right, but the colors seem pretty natural with this one.







Playing with the zoom.



We could barely see the sailboat below on the left.


But there it was. This camera has a 35X optical zoom, and a whopping 140X digital zoom, but that really requires steady hands or a tripod.


Jim was curious as to how well he could see the boats at the Frisco marina.


Pretty amazing considering how far away we were.


Max zoom. Not too bad, really.


Back to our current location, there is a half-mile trail to Manitou Lake, which continues on and loops back along Trout Creek and around the lake. More photos from the new camera.






A little detour to “Painted Rocks”,  some fine red rocks that seem a bit out of place.













We drove up to Littleton on Wednesday to pick up Jim’s bike at Casey’s house. The plan was to leave the mountain bike with him to sell if it wasn’t sold before then, but it turned out that our friend Suzanne wanted the bike so we didn’t have to do that. After riding the recumbent, though, Jim was thinking he might also want to keep the mountain bike, so we brainstormed ways to carry three bikes, which isn’t easy short of buying a new rack for many hundreds of dollars. After another ride on the mountain bike yesterday he remembered how much he hates riding an upright bike, so we are shipping it to Suzanne today.

The recumbent was packed by a bike shop and they pretty much took everything off. It was quite challenging putting it back together but somehow we figured it out over the course of many hours in between a couple of thunderstorms. It was a good learning experience and a lesson in patience.



Recumbent bike chains are incredibly long and it got all twisted up in the bag it was packed in.


We got it put together and everything actually worked without too much adjusting.


This is a titanium Barcroft Virginia.  We both had the cro-moly version of this bike many years ago and really liked it, and were surprised at how much lighter the titanium one is.


We also spent a couple hours at Angletech, a recumbent bike and trike shop in Colorado Springs, so Jim could look at different handlebar set-ups as he isn’t crazy about what’s on this bike. We got to try out several other recumbents and a trike there, which was lots of fun and makes me want to get one, too. But that will have to wait until we settle down somewhere one of these days, or get a big truck to carry everything in. While I was working on this post Jim showed me a possibility for our next bikes. Check this out, no more sore butts!

In between bike business we took a hike in Woodland Park on the Lovell Gulch Loop, just under 6 miles with much of it in the shade of the forest. We’ve been spoiled by hiking at higher elevations above tree-line lately, so although we got up to 9,300’ the views were limited. Lots of flowers were still in bloom, and we met a nice couple who were hunting mushrooms and told us there are only two varieties in Colorado that can kill you, and they are both white. They said it’s been such a rainy summer they are in abundance this year. After talking with them we began finding fungi all along the trail but left them for others. I’ll stick to the ones rom the grocery store.

Some scenes from the trail.




We stopped for a snack and saw these two women on horseback coming up the trail. For a Saturday morning we were surprised that we only saw four other people hiking.



Wildlife sightings.




Hazy view of Pike’s Peak.


With all the hype I know it sounds almost sacrilegious to say, but we have no interest in viewing the eclipse today, a good thing since they are saying clouds should roll in around that time. We do look forward to seeing all the great photos that will be floating around on the web after it’s over, though. And we’ve decided to hang out here for another week. With the frequent overcast skies, rain, and tree cover, we are enjoying our electric hook-up and there is plenty to keep us busy in the area.


  1. Looks like you are having a excellent Colorado summer. Lots of nice photos and that zoom is amazing. We just witnessed the 100% total eclipse here on the Oregon Coast. The fog burned off just in time and it was pretty cool!

  2. Having a good zoom is so fun! Love your flower pics. There are still some places we miss our recumbent trikes, but hauling them was a pain. Always great to find a spot you want to spend more time. Being in the total dark of the eclipse was incredible!

  3. Love the photos. What an amazing zoom for sure! Incredible really. The wildlife photos are super.
    Great job Jim. That bike has so many parts.

  4. Your photos are amazing!! Love the camera and that zoom is quite incredible!! Putting that bike back together was no easy thing!!

  5. Very nice photos! Great color and love that zoom! I think I might kill myself on Jim's bike. They look so difficult to keep balanced. That video was too much! John was wondering if the bike kept coasting when you stopped walking. They video didn't really show that. But I like the idea better than pedaling. Glad you are enjoying Colorado and sharing all the beauty with us:)

    1. The Lopifit has hand brakes that disengage the motor when you apply them, otherwise that could be dangerous!
      A recumbent is no harder to ride than a regular bike, just feels strange until you get used to it.

    2. If you check out other videos you will see it is battery powered. It will run without you walking. Supposedly it can travel up to 55K on a charge. I'm not sure from what we to what extent the walking helps. Here is a good video.

  6. One man's trash is another woman's treasure. ;-)

  7. Looks like the new camera is a winner.

    That Lopifit wouldn't give you much exercise!

  8. Looks like you better get some street tires for your mountain bike, Gayle. :)

    1. Jim got some for his mtn bike a couple months ago and they are now on my bike. I'll probably put the fatter tires back on when we get to Utah, just in case I get brave enough to ride some trails ;-)

  9. Some assembly required on putting the recumbent bike together. I would have enjoyed sipping a beer and watching how many times it took you to get the chain properly adjusted. You'll have to post a video of you cruising on the recumbent. Nice zoom photo's, and will be great for wildlife pictures.

  10. you know there is a great trail up Pike's Peak from Manitou Springs😜

  11. Looks like a good campground at a sweet price. All of your pictures with the new to you camera are gorgeous. Really fine colors. I wonder if your friend set it for such brightness or is that just fantastic Colorado? I have the Canon SX50 and love it but don't think my pictures are as good as yours. Glad Jim got his bike safely. You guys are something if you could put it together and tune it up yourselves. Real pro bicyclers. Love all your little things on the trail. I was also the odd man out in my non excitement over the eclipse. The pictures others took are great though. Perhaps if I'd been in some place where it actually got dark.

    1. So far we've just used the Canon on Auto mode. I've been reading the manual trying to learn what else it can do. I do use Picassa for some photo editing but mainly just minor adjustments to the brightness and sharpness, so if you aren't doing that it could be why there is a difference.
      We were in the 89.5% zone of the eclipse but it didn't get any darker than if a cloud passed over the sun. Guess you had to be in the totality to appreciate it.

  12. Great photos—and yes, it's fun to have a super zoom! We had the SX40, then an SX50, and now both have Canon SX60s. They're great cameras, and we take them everywhere (hiking, biking, kayaking). One trick for stabilizing the photo when using the zoom is to put the camera around your neck, extend your arms, and keep the strap tight. It helps keep the camera steady. (Does that make sense??)

    1. Thanks for the tip, don't know why we never thought of that! I tried it this morning and it definitely helps keep the camera still.

    2. Thanks for the tip, don't know why we never thought of that! I tried it this morning and it definitely helps keep the camera still.

    3. Thanks for the tip, don't know why we never thought of that! I tried it this morning and it definitely helps keep the camera still.