Day 5… Aspen or bust!

I really don’t even know where to begin. I’ve always known Colorado to be a beautiful state, but I got the royal treatment on my journey today. I got a late start out of Westcliffe (because I felt like it) and moseyed down the highway in no real hurry. Every bend in the road was precious. Like strolling through an amazing gallery of art and not being able to stop and take it all in. One early turn in the road was worthy of an opening for a National Geographic special… bald eagle soars right past me and swoops downward… I’m watching him… and then get a grip and pan back to the road… and the valley floor he’s soared into. Breathtaking! Cut!!! Stop traffic from either direction and give me my camera!!! For awhile it was killing me… not being able to capture it all, but as I “let go” of my old ways I’m even learning not to stress about that. Definitely one of the disadvantages of traveling alone in a big RV to places unknown. No copilot and I can’t just zip off to the side of the road on a moments notice. I should point out that I’m not towing a vehicle yet. Figured I should get to know this big machine before introducing anything else to the mix. When I do, I’ll be able to get to places I can’t get to now. As a photographer, it’s hard to let go of the spectacular images as they pass me by, but in my heart I know that the experiences and the memories are the true treasures. I found a way to get off the beaten path a couple times today… following roads that might have been challenging to get out of, but I went on instinct, and was glad I did.

Sadie always looks graceful, proud and happy from behind.

Jazzy, startled by something. She’s used to getting dive-bombed by the birds in the spring.

I hope these tracks aren’t in use anymore.

At the end of the trail, near Aspen… a quiet little campground, and my friend Carol… and blackened Mahi Mahi tacos! Carol and I met several years ago in Vegas, and although she’s a fair bit younger than me, it was easily apparent we shared much in common… a passion for adventure and love for nature at the forefront. I flew to Aspen a few years ago to do some hiking and backpacking with her. Good times! We’ve got a morning hike planned for tomorrow, and in the afternoon… sailing???? I know… I’m scratching my head too! Will get back to y’all on that one.

Before I go I have to back up and say… the drive between Vail and the turn off to Aspen (82) in the late afternoon (Sept) was nothing short of glorious. Spiritual actually! I wished I could lift myself (and my “rig”) up like a hummingbird… and hover, and savor the amazing beauty… the valleys, the rivers, the Aspens turning such beautiful golden hues… the evening light spilling along the canyon walls. What a spectacular day!!!

From here.. I’m thinking Wyoming, Idaho and my home state of Washington. If any of you out there are along the way and have a favorite spot I really shouldn’t miss, please chime in! Good night y’all.

5 thoughts on “Day 5… Aspen or bust!

  1. Awesome Fran. I love that drive… heck… I don’t think there’s a drive in Colorado that I don’t love.

    I can’t recommend Dinosaur National Park in the NW corner of Colorado enough. Not the DNP in Utah (though I’m sure it’s nice). The views there are amazing. You can continue to Wyoming via Utah from there.


    The problem is that you are in the western center of photographer heaven. I could spend the rest of the evening listing off locations to see in New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and Montana. Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, Hovenweep, and many others to the south. Canyonlands (all three parks) and many, many other locations in Utah to the west. Wyoming and Montana are simply amazing. If you’ve never been to Yellowstone now is the perfect time to go. I have friends there that I could put you in contact with.

    Have fun Fran! :o)

  2. Thanks for all the great suggestions Michael. I may look for them on the map and see how many I can hit. I do plan on yellowstone, so feel free to put me in touch with your friends.

  3. Fran, I keep checking, but alas…no update. I need words, descriptions, pictures, emotions. How is it going? Is being on the road what you thought? Are you happy? I know it’s only been a couple of days, but I wanna hear. xxxooo

    • Thanks for the prodding Kathleen. I can tell you that I’m still trying to get the routine dialed in with a new computer, limited internet access at times and, well… I’m enjoying my days enough to not pressure myself too much about making that all happen. Posting on my blog will be easy once I get all else dialed in. I am trying to get some pics and thoughts posted today though. Stay tuned. 🙂

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