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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Back to Grand Junction, CO

Aloha Everyone,

On Interstate 50 North, approaching Grand Junction, we were impressed by changes of landscape from mountains, green forests, lakes and rivers to golden brown flat lands with occasional mesas. This area is so different from one's image of Colorado. It reminds us of Wyoming or Montana.   

The name "Grand" refers to the Grand River which was renamed as the Upper Colorado River in 1921. The name "Junction" refers to the confluence of the Colorado and Gunnison rivers. 

Grand Junction and its surrounding area has developed as a major mountain biking destination. Looking at a visitor guide, there are a number of organized events throughout the year to attract bikers from around the country.   

Grand Junction is one of the two designated viticultural areas (production, science and study of grapes) in Colorado. There are 22 wine tasting rooms in the area but I think J.J. and I will adhere to enjoying Colorado's luscious, mouth-watering peaches and other local fruits.

Aloha -- Cathi

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Spectacular San Juan Skyway

Aloha Everyone,

Touted as "one of the most beautiful drives in America," San Juan Skyway took us through some of Colorado's charming silver-boom towns. Dolores,  Spanish for Sorrow, is a small town. Per 2010 census, the town's population is 936. Named for the river where the Dolores Valley is located, it is about 40 miles from the Four Corners Monument.

Road to Telluride was switch back and mountainous, but absolutely beautiful! Many sections reminded us of Swiss and Central Eastern Alps in Austria. We even drove by a formidable looking rocky mountain named Matterhorn, after the famous mountain located in Zermatt, Switzerland.

Telluride, our lunch stop, was a former Victorian mining town. This is an affluent popular ski-and-golf resort with expensive shops and restaurants. Today, at noon, the place was packed with visitors.

Tonight we are staying at the well-maintained, KOA (Campground of America) in Montrose.

Aloha -- Cathi

Monday, August 29, 2016

Return to Mesa Verde National Park

Return to Mesa Verde National Park

Colorado has so many "love to visit" places on our list. It includes Pagosa Springs where this time we stayed overnight. In order to appreciate a place, its culture and people, at least two or more days are required. We have no excuses except that J.J. and I wanted to spend at least one night in Mesa Verde National Park.

Off US Highway 160 West, we had a chance to see the Chimney Rock National Monument. J.J. drove Honu as far as the road condition was reasonable to access. 

We also drove by the charming old Durango historic district along the banks of Animas River.  Durango was established in 1880 by Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Company to serve the San Juan mining district. J.J. and I enjoyed riding the famous steam train during a previous visit.  

Mesa Verde (Green Table in Spanish) is enchanting and a spiritual place. One may experience connections with the land. Ancestral Pueblo People (previously referred to as Anasazi or ancient foreigners) dwelled from about AD 550 for over 700 years. They left more than 600 cliff dwellings. The park covers 52,485 acres and contains 4,372 documented sites. This is our 5th visit. The peace and quiet envelope us and rejuvenate our spirits. We felt a profound connection to the universe. Honu is tucked among low lying branches of horse-chestnut trees in the Morefield Campground.

Deeply grateful for our health, continuing support and love of our family and friends, I will practice the silent mind meditation.

Aloha -- Cathi

Sunday, August 28, 2016

To Pagosa Springs

Aloha Everyone,

U.S. Route 160 is a 1,465 mile long east-west US highway, crossing the mid-western section of the United States from Missouri to Arizona. We started our drive on US Route 160 from Alamosa.  

Our lunch stop was at a small town called Del Norte with a population of less than 2,000. We walked into Boogie's Restaurant where everyone seem to know everyone else. J.J.'s mushroom Swiss burger and my vegetarian burger wrapped in lettuce were very good.

At an overlook in the Rio Grande National Forest, we stopped so J.J. can take a nap and for me to go on a short trail.

Floyd, a law enforcement officer and his wife Sally, a high school English teacher with their 2 children were on a Sunday road trip. When Floyd indicated his interest in seeing the interior of Honu, I volunteered to wake J.J. up. It was very enjoyable visiting with such a wonderful family and highly intelligent children.

Tonight we are staying just outside the city of Pagosa Springs at Happy Camper RV Park.

My healthy salad and tofu with pesto dinner

Our dessert of fresh Colorado yellow peach with cottage cheese and cinnamon

Aloha -- Cathi