Fabulous Friends

Last week I was so anxious to get the epic movie of our Old Flowers Road trip done, with a new, complicated program, that I spent all my time on that and never got the rest of the week’s events documented. And never got the movie done, either! So this week is a compilation of the better part of two weeks…

We had the whole RV area at Campion Academy to ourselves… nice and quiet, and some nice walking areas to ogle birds.

Cherryl’s nephew Jason noticed from our blog that we were in Campion, and told us that he lived right near us. So he and Erinn and their son Shaun came over and we had a nice afternoon visiting with them!

One afternoon we drove up to the mountain home of our good friend Mountain Man Bill. He lives at the top of a somewhat challenging dirt road (Fairly tame for a four wheel drive road, but somewhat challenging for a driveway…) It is always good to see Bill, and it was extra fun to see all the improvements he’s made to his “cabin.” One thing he can’t improve on – the spectacular view! Awesome!

Another trip into the mountains landed us at the home of Dick and Eleanor. We always love seeing these dear friends, and this time was extra fun because they invited mutual friends Dan and Lois over for dinner as well! One evening was not enough time for good folks like these! Thank you!

A concert in the park is always attractive, and we were excited when Eric & Jerene invited us to attend with them. Aubrey and Chris, who had hosted us for dinner on Sabbath, came too, and we enjoyed a beautiful concert.

A surprise was to meet a friend of those families, George Swanson, who plays the trombone in the band. He plays Mr. Simon, a main character in the radio show “Discovery Mountain.” Another “celebrity” was Grant Velbis, who plays Judah Harris in the show. At least I think it was him… I haven’t listened to the program often. Some of my grandkids love it! Here we are with Grant, George, and Eric.

An unexpected pleasure was the ability to spend some time with Byron and Cheri. They have built an absolutely beautiful home not far from Campion, and it was great to dine with them.

Just before we got to Lincoln, we had a rock hit and chip our windshield. Within a couple of days, the chip turned into a 38 inch “smile” right in the center of the windshield. That didn’t make me smile. So we needed to replace that huge piece of glass. The insurance company worked hard with me to get a top notch installer, who knows how to do such a daunting task. (at least it seemed that way to me!) We ended up with Resolution Glass, one that Newmar told me was the best in the whole area of Colorado. It turns out it’s run by an old friend of ours! While I didn’t get to see Robert, his son Junior and a helper did an awesome job of improving the view out the front of our home!

I’ve compressed the 4 hour job into 35 seconds in the following video:


One Sunday afternoon we went to see Jason’s parents, Bill and Debe. We haven’t seen them in quite a while, and it was good to catch up. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures. Sorry guys!

Then to Mike and Debbie’s home, where they entertained not only us, but dear friend from long ago… Wendie. It was great to see all of them! Great fun people! And again, I was having a senior moment and forgot to take pictures! Ouch!

We met up with Lonnie and Laura, and let The Cheesecake Factory serve up their usual awesome food.

We spent an evening with Darrell… Lisa was out of town, but that didn’t stop him from putting together a great dinner! Such fun talking with him, and watching the sunset from their wonderful back yard.

After seeing so many fabulous friends in the Denver area, we need to get going… Our next destination was western Colorado. As we were headed west on I-70, we saw signs saying I-70 was closed at Glenwood Canyon due to mudslides. It had been closed for a day or two, and would probably stay closed another couple of days! Alternate routes could be 1) North, through Kremmling, Steamboat Springs and Craig. While we love that area, that would add 3 hours to our trip and we already had a long day scheduled. 2) South, over Independence Pass and into Aspen. Again, devastatingly beautiful country, but there is a 35 foot limit on vehicles going over the pass. 3) So we made our own route, from Copper Mountain, up to Leadville (elevation over 10,100 feet), down through Buena Vista and Salida (where we called friends Dave and Brenda, only to find [again!] that they were out of town), and through Gunnison. Our goal was to get to Naturita, a little town almost to Utah, where we’d gotten reservations to stay a few days. Now we faced another delay… the road west of Gunnison is being worked on, and it is closed except for 6:30 -8:30am, an hour at noon, and a couple hours at 5pm. Even if we could make the evening crossing, we’d get to our camp well after dark, which I don’t like doing if I can help it. So we found a place in Gunnison to spend the night.

On the road at around 6am, we made it to and through the road construction. A very pretty drive, passing by the entrance to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. In all the years we’ve explored this area, we’ve never really checked out this canyon. We hoped to spend some time there another day.

Our campsite in Naturita was far from glamorous… instead of an RV next to us, we had a 53 foot shipping container! But the area is very pretty desert terrain, with lots to explore.

We called good friends Leroy and Shelly, who live about 5 mins away in Nucla, and ended up spending some wonderful time with them! After dinner, Leroy asked if we’d like to see the Petroglyphs. Of course! So we jumped into his truck and headed off, using a dirt road to access the boulder strewn hills. A bit of climbing up through the rocks led us to the Petroglyph site. Very cool! The location is not marked in any way, and you’d be advised to use a good 4wd vehicle to get there, which may explain why the site is so undisturbed. Very interesting!

The next morning we set off in the car for Grand Junction. We wanted to visit Ron and Chris, and it would be a couple hour drive. On the way, we stopped to check out the “Hanging Flume.” Build over three years, starting in 1887, it was designed to carry water to placer gold mines in the San Juan Mountains. It was constructed by men hanging from the top of the cliff, far above the river below. The flume was 12 miles long, and required 1.8 million board feet of lumber. When completed, the wooden chute was 4 feet tall and 6 feet wide, and carried an amazing 80,000,000 gallons of water PER DAY! Unfortunately, the mine owners invested over a million dollars in the mine, and only netted about $80,000 in three years. The mine was closed, the flume ceased to be needed, and now is in disrepair.

In case you can’t see the flumes in the above pictures, here are some close-ups… can you imagine building this while hanging on a rope? Shortly after the Civil War??

Ok, this is not a flume. It’s someone’s big bummer!

After spending a great day with Ron and Chris, we left late in the afternoon. Halfway to our home is Gateway, home to one of the best car museums I’ve ever seen. We drove through the grounds just because they’re beautiful, and to check out the hours for the museum. I thought maybe I’d come back up soon.

Shortly after leaving Gateway, a car going the opposite direction flashed his lights at us. We found the reason pretty quickly… a huge mud slide covered the road! The first one we saw was just mud and gravel covering the road – not too hard to drive through. Then we came on the big one. Boulders 3 feet across were strewn across the road, and mud a couple of feet thick in one spot. There were a couple of trucks ahead of us, but it was obvious nobody was going through that for a while! We found out that there was another slide about 6 miles further down the road. A couple of dirt bikes were headed south, came to that far slide, turned around, and before they come back, the next slide occurred, trapping them in between. There were about 5 or 6 cars and the 2 bikes trapped in the middle between the slides. The only detour available to us would add about 3 hours to our trip (sound familiar?) so we decided to wait for the road crew to clear it.

In the next few hours, a front end loader came and cleared the roadway.

So we made it through, with only a delay of about 3 hours… a long end to a long day and long couple of weeks!

One comment

  1. This was a fun read. Good to hear about all the friends along the way, many of whom jeanne and I miss too. What an adventure trying to get around. Hope you got to the kids in Durango in time for more nice times! Happy Sabbath!

Leave a Reply