Another early departure before 8:00a for an easy drive down I-25 to Longmont, Colorado. We had tail winds all the way down, but we beat the forecasted 50+ mph winds.
The only real downside to our drive was that smoke haze was in the air all the way from Wyoming ... and it got worse soon after we arrived in Fort Collins ... the worst I’ve ever personally experienced. It reminded me of a dirty blanket that is badly in need of laundering. We’re keeping fingers crossed that the impending winter storm will blanket the fires and put them out ... or at least diminish them to manageable levels.
It was just after 10:00a when we pulled into the St Vrain State Park ... at one time known as Barbour Ponds. Although we were several hours ahead of the official check-in time, our site was ready and we were allowed to go directly to it ... much to the surprise of the campground host who stopped by to say that everyone was leaving and were we sure we wanted to stay!
Technically, we could have made it home today. Another 2-3 hours of driving would have done the trick. But the winds were already picking up and we felt this was a safer option. Not to mention that I had plenty of things planned for our six days here.
We’re in one of the 50A FHU campgrounds at the park — Bald Eagle Pond ... site 56. It directly overlooks the pond. The picnic table is under the cover of a metal shelter that seems oddly situated because it blocks the view of the pond, but then it also blocks the hot afternoon sun. Or at least that’s the intention. I don't think hot temps is going to be a problem during our stay. The concrete pad is level, the site quite large ... and well-distanced from our neighbors.
It didn’t take us long to get settled. Which was a good thing as shortly thereafter the winds started to pick up and a lazy rain fell briefly. We are, in fact, being shaken a bit now. But it’s not too bad since the direction of our site matches the direction of the wind. The reasonable temperature when we arrived has dropped like a rock. No al fresco dinner tonight. Or anytime during the next couple of days.
The flurries being bandied about by the wind earlier were not snow flakes ... not yet, anyway. Rather, they were specks of ash brought all the way from the Cameron Peak Fire ... raging in the mountains. We’re entirely safe from the fire here, but I can’t say the same about the smoke 😏
The only benefit of the smoke was the pre-sunset color. I hoped we’d actually have a nice sunset, but the great orange orb disappeared from view well before it was time for it to go below the horizon ... hidden by the ever-thickening smoke haze. No sunset for us tonight.
It’s now after dinner as I finish writing this footprint. Though the water spigot is heated, we’ve disconnected the hose. The tank heater is turned on ... a nice feature to have. The window awnings have been rolled up and the slide is pulled in as a precaution against the strong winds. We’re ready to hunker down and wait out the winter storm.Read more