Sunday, August 14
“This looks like the turn up ahead.”
The crew and I motor southwest on Route 160 from our present home at Beaver Creek Campground south of South Fork, Colorado. A drive of about ten miles brings us to Route 410, a dirt road winding its way into San Juan National Forest.
This has been a crazy day. Started out with perfect weather, sunny and fresh. In the afternoon, rain in torrents. The storm passes and now it’s nice again, a bit cooler than this morning.
“Here we are, crew. “
The road forks, left to the campground and right to the reservoir.
“Let’s check out the campground first.”
On the way the spillway for the reservoir comes into view, a dramatic sliver of silvery white in this late afternoon light.
“Oh, there’s a bridge! We’ll walk over it in a little while.”
Big Meadows Campground is situated on a slope overlooking the reservoir.
Most of the sites are reservable and occupied or soon-to-be-occupied. Rates are $20 a day (regular) or, since this is a national forest campground, $10 a day with the senior discount pass. No hook-ups here. We cruise one of the loops. I don’t take photos while in the campground because people are out and about after an afternoon of rain.
Here’s a partial view I photograph later from outside the campground.
The photo doesn’t show where most of the RVs are located. They’re pretty tight together. The reservoir is a short walk down the slope from the campground.
Notice the gray mountain?
The beetle infestation has done a lot of damage to the trees around here. The next photo isn’t that great — the light is weird — but it does show more of the damage on the hillsides around the reservoir.
I drive us over to the parking area on the other side of the reservoir.
“Okay, you can get out now,” I announce to Bridget and Reggie who are bursting with energy and enthusiasm. “You’re gonna’ like this!”
The crew loves to walk a path! In their excitement they pull on the tether.
Bridget and Reggie rarely hesitate to cross a bridge.
On the right side of the bridge, ducks present a picture of serenity.
On the left side, water tumbles down the spillway in a roar!
Reggie goes nuts!
He loves this place! I don’t know if it’s the mountain air, the prairie dogs who tease him with their heads unexpectedly popping out of the ground, or simply the exuberance of being free after a rainy afternoon cooped up in the Best Little Trailer. He has a grand time dashing about. My attempts to catch him with the camera are limited to his calmer moments.
There’s a trail at Big Meadows that goes part of the way around the reservoir and then off into the woods, as best I can tell without actually hiking it.
The water in the next photo looks green. That isn’t algae; I think the water is reflecting the forest in shadow.
Bridget is enjoying this little excursion, too.
She doesn’t balk at the camera, which is an indication she’s living in the moment. I’m pleased to see her getting exercise. She hasn’t used her stroller in a long time.
The crew and I spend a few moments along the shore before boarding the PTV.
Slowly we roll away from Big Meadow State Wildlife Area. So peaceful here!
I’m in a mellow mood and keep the PTV at 5 mph or less on the road back to the highway.
We creep so I can look at the rocks, trees, and roadside stream along the way.
My slower pace is rewarded by the sight of a furry, brown creature scurrying across the road in front of us. I grab my camera, but not fast enough. Marmots have short legs but that doesn’t mean they can’t make good time when they want to!
I hear the stream through my open window.
It becomes louder as we approach a bridge. I park on the other side and get out.
“I’ll just be a minute.” Bridget and Reggie look at me with sleepy eyes.
Colorado has magnificent mountains, it’s true.
What I’ve come to love about the state is the abundance of rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs. In the area around South Fork it seems that every road runs beside flowing water or along a still reservoir or lake.
You want to fish? There are numerous places to pull off the road with a path to follow to the creek or river. You want to wade? It’s easy to find shallow pools down a gentle bank.
And then there are the beautiful trees . . . .
Well, we’ve been to Big Meadows. I don’t think we’ll camp there. There’s another place I’d like to check out for a possible move tomorrow . . . .
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