Sunday, August 16, 2015

Buena Vista, CO

Buena Vista, watched over by mighty Mt. Princeton

Arrived in one of my favorite Colorado towns yesterday. The one exception to Buena Vista’s most-favored status is that there is nothing in the way of overnight parking in town. So I settle in for the night at the Best Western. 

Web Photo

No - not in a $170 room – in the parking lot! (Disclaimer: I always ask permission to overnight on private property). It worked in a pinch.

Stubborn Summer

Yesterday, after summiting the Continental Divide over impressive Monarch Pass (above), I stop in good ole Salida intending to stay, but am rudely welcomed by a boiling 86-degrees. You know what your car feels like in those temperatures? Well … when it's that hot, that’s how comfortable my living room is.

The red-hot sticky fingers of the long arm of Summer just won’t let go, not even after 1,700 miles and 4 weeks of attempts to evade the persistent monster. Fortunately, Buena Vista’s higher altitude at 7,965 feet means it is about 10 degrees cooler, so here I’ll stay until this stationary heat-wave gives up and returns to the underside of hell.

Speaking of seasons, while working one winter in Salida as a travel nurse, everyone said you need to come back in the summer!!! I've done that twice now and, I have to say, I prefer winter.  I miss the dry cool rush of air into one's lungs and the impossibly crystal skies but mostly, the sight of the snow-capped peaks.

March 2005

Barbara Whipple Trail

Early this AM, I'm eager to get to the Barbara Whipple Trailhead, on the banks of the Arkansas River. Once there, I enjoy breakfast in the peaceful calm before the enthusiastic paddlers arrive. Yes, that’s my van down by the river.

Such a lovely day-use spot; I'll spend more time here in the future.

I’ve always loved this trail. No steep ups or corresponding downs, the terrain mainly rolls along. 

It's a delightfully cool and tranquil Sunday morning hike.

I spend time admiring this river valley that I've grown to love.  I feel so at-home here.

The trail is also popular with mountain bikers.

Paddlers abound on this beautiful summer morning. 

They come for the play waves and a chance to practice some freestyle moves.

Soon I return to the trailhead. 

From the Winter of 2005 ...

to the Summer of 2015.

Satisfied, I return to my post-hike haven for a well-deserved second cup of coffee. 


  1. What a super cozy nest! Does it really cost $170. a night for an ordinary motel room? I haven't stayed in one for over twelve years, so I guess it is possible.

    Hyperventilating. . .

    Virtual hugs,


    1. Judie,

      Amazing, huh? The regular rates for rooms at this particular place range from $160 - $180. Just for fun, when I overnight within sight of a chain hotel, I check the room rates. Makes me feel better about purchasing the rather pricey Roadtrek.

      When I bought, I figured 600 nights in the rig, and it would pay for itself by saving on accommodations. I grossly underestimated how expensive hotels have gotten! (In all fairness, there aren't many choices in town and it is the busy part of the year)

    2. I'm always surprised when I hear that motels allow campers to overnight in their parking lots. Maybe it isn't widespread, and they figure it is easier than trying to prevent it, with whatever bad publicity might ensue. We did it once, but a couple that was traveling with us took a room for the night, and the two smallish motor homes stayed in the parking lot. It was kind of neat, actually. We all could take nice, hot showers the next morning.

  2. We never boondock, but even the RV parks are a tremendous bargin compared to motels. Plus we don't have to unpack and we don't have to eat out all of the time. We could never do this without our RV.

  3. I love the photos and the framing of them!

  4. We loved the two weeks we spent in Buena Vista a couple of summers ago! Jumpin' Good Goat Dairy has a fun tour and lots of tasty dairy products!

  5. 86 degrees sounds pretty reasonable. It will be 114 here in Yuma by the end of the day.

  6. Gorgeous photos! But I think my fav is the sweet interior of your very own personal "suite". The "then" and "now" is nice as well, reminding me of a favorite quote: “You must watch time’s swiftness with your speed in using it, and you must drink quickly as though from a rapid stream that will not always flow…"~~Seneca

  7. Me, too, loving the interior of you GDB! Very homelike inside, spectacular views outside -- best of both worlds. Is the GDB so wonderful that you think to yourself that you are glad not to be towing anything? Any downside to a Roadtrek configuration? I think towing would get old fast. I'm not clever like RVSue! BTW, I think the sunflower is in jail because it got too involved with the weed(s). Oh, wait, it's Colorado!!!!

    1. Gayle Maria,

      No downside to the Roadtrek for me. Not at all. I travel light, so the small storage space is not an issue for me. Towing is waaaay too much work. Plus I like the freedom to move around when I want, stealth park in towns, and, the convenience of always having my stuff with me.


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