|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.
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.
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.
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 ...