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Union Reservoir

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    • Day18

      Front Range Colorado

      May 11, 2022 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      Drove from Sheridan to Longmont, with a stop in Fort Collins. Stayed with Bev and Scott and Louie for two nights. Great spending time them, as well as Rick, Tracie, Dave and Reuben who live 20 minutes away.Read more

      Traveler

      Yay! xoxoxox

      5/17/22Reply
       
    • Sep7

      Made it to St Vrain SP in Colorado

      September 7, 2020 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 73 °F

      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.
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      Traveler

      ick. just ick. sigh

      9/13/20Reply
      Traveler

      gee, I can even smell that smoke...oh wait....I am smelling our smoke right now. LOL

      9/13/20Reply
      Traveler

      great shot of a campground that looks much like many that we have camped in across the country.

      9/13/20Reply
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    • Sep8

      Hunkered Down for a Sept Winter Storm

      September 8, 2020 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 34 °F

      The wind was strong last night. I could hear it howling. I could hear freezing rain hitting the windows. I could feel the occasional shimmy as the Cruiser was buffeted. But the wind blew in the direction in which we are parked in our site, so the shaking wasn’t bad.

      By the time we were ready to roll out of bed this morning, the temp was already above freezing ... barely. A stiff breeze was shaking the trees, but the Cruiser was steady and strong. Mui put out the slide and hooked up the water.

      Bald Eagle Pond looked ethereal. The mist was rising off the water ... cold air meeting the surface of warm water tends to do that. I bundled up in a fleece jacket and went out to take a quick video. It was very peaceful ... and very cold 🥶

      On our last outing in Custer State Park, an engine warning light came on ... along with an alert that there was a problem with the traction system. We checked the manual, which told us that we could drive the car, but that we should get the issue looked at sooner rather than later. Since we’d be towing and not driving until we got to Colorado, we were good to go ... with plans to get the Honda checked out here in Longmont.

      Alas, none of the repair shops Mui called this morning could accommodate us on such short notice. The technicians we spoke to all said that as long as the light was steady, we were OK. But if the light started blinking ... well, not so OK. The question was when would it start blinking? They didn’t know the answer, nor did we. So, we sat down to jiggle our plans.

      When we set out on this camping trip, we were going to follow our visit to South Dakota with a couple of campground stays in Colorado. St Vrain — where we are currently — for six nights. Estes Park — to visit the Rocky Mountain National Park — for four nights. Then home.

      The Estes Park portion we canceled a few days ago due to the Cameron Peak fire. Today, we decided to cut our St Vrain stay down to three nights. Mui went to the park office and got the balance of our stay refunded. We’re set to take off Thursday morning. Mui already has an appointment to get the Honda checked out Friday morning.

      New plans in place, we bundled up to go for a walk. It was drizzling, but we figured a little wet stuff wouldn’t hurt us. We didn’t count on the wind chill. We made it around the Red Tail Pond before we called it quits. Our layers kept our bodies warm, but the drizzle — sleet really — felt like icy pinpricks on our exposed faces.

      Turns out it was a good thing that we came back to the Cruiser when we did as it started raining in earnest soon after. A quiet afternoon in the motorhome was the order of the day. I read and caught up on the missing footprints for South Dakota. Mui connected the second cable to convert our SatTV receiver from single line to dual. Now we can watch one channel while we record a second one.

      It’s now early evening ... almost dinner time. The rain that fell all afternoon has changed to snow. But the flakes are small, melting before they hit the ground, which is warm after the recent spate of 90-100F days. I doubt there will be any accumulation overnight. But I guess we’ll have to wait until tomorrow morning to find out for sure.

      By the way, from yesterday to today, we had a 45 degree temperature drop where we are. From a high of 90F yesterday to a high of 45F today. Luckily, once the storm passes, the forecast is for more normal fall temps, so we won’t have to endure this “early winter” for long. Nonetheless, I think a hot water bottle would help to keep me cozy tonight.
      Read more

      Traveler

      Well, since I am reading backwards, I already know the end of the story. All is well. Lovely photos of the birds!

      9/13/20Reply
      Traveler

      such an ethereal photo

      9/13/20Reply
      Traveler

      How did that mist exit so quickly??

      9/13/20Reply
      Two to Travel

      A quick blast of wind ... didn’t last long.

      9/13/20Reply
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    • Sep10

      Stroll Around Blue Heron reservoir

      September 10, 2020 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 48 °F

      Starting our last morning at St Vrain State Park with sunshine and blue skies dotted with puffy clouds was a nice surprise. That the temperature quickly warmed up from the low 40F range to 50F (in the sun) was an added bonus.

      Considering what’s going on with the California and Oregon wildfires, I feel guilty mentioning that there was no sign of any smoke from the fires here in Colorado ... at least today. Thinking of our friends dealing with those to-us-more-distant-fires made our enjoyment of the day bittersweet.

      It would have been a shame to waste such a beautiful morning. So, after preparing the Cruiser for the road, we went for a walk around Blue Heron Reservoir, probably the largest of the 14 or so bodies of water in the park. Though it was only 54F, the sun did a good job of keeping us warm so that no bundling up was necessary.

      It felt good to stretch our legs before today’s drive home.
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      Traveler

      Just looking at those beautiful skies is balm for a smoky soul. There are always trade offs, no matter where you live. I will not feel guilty enjoying our sunny skies when it snows in Colorado either. Hugs to you Erin.

      9/13/20Reply
      Two to Travel

      Yeah ... there is that!

      9/13/20Reply
      Traveler

      Chilly already! Nice hike around the reservoir.

      9/13/20Reply
      Two to Travel

      Back up into the 80s this week.

      9/13/20Reply
       
    • Sep9

      Winter Storm Dud?

      September 9, 2020 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 34 °F

      Yes, a dud. At least where we are here at St Vrain State Park, the winter storm was pretty much a non-event.

      Sure, we had 50+ mph winds on Monday ... for a while. Sure, the temperature dropped like a rock yesterday ... a 45 degree change from the 90F high on Monday. Sure we had rain that turned to freezing rain and sleet. Sure we had some snow ... flakes that melted before they even hit the ground. But that was it. No accumulation of snow — which to me, at least — would have made the winter storm real.

      That’s not to say that some places around the state did not get hit ... and get hit big. The highest accumulation total I saw on the news was some 14” in a town in the mountains west of Pueblo. Colorado Springs is reported as having received 2-4” of accumulation. Overall, I think areas south and west of here bore the brunt of the storm.

      With barely a hint of wind today, we didn’t have to bundle up nearly as much for our morning walk, which took in a couple of the nearby ponds. It felt good to get some fresh air after being cooped up much of yesterday. Not a hint of smoke from the wildfires, either. Will have to check Inciweb to see if the snow helped to bank the fires.

      The temperature warmed up steadily, matching yesterday’s high of 45F by late afternoon. But the best news? The sun started to peek out around 5:00p. Now, at almost 7:00p, the golden orb is adding a delightful warm hue that gives the impression of warmth. Just an impression mind you 😁

      We’ll be heading home sometime tomorrow ... after the rush hour through Denver is over 🤞🏻
      Read more

      Traveler

      Looks quite lovely from our hot smokey viewpoint.

      9/10/20Reply
      Two to Travel

      It was even better today before we left St Vrain ... I’m so sad for what’s happening with all the wildfires to our west.

      9/10/20Reply
      Traveler

      oooh!!! you know I love this one.

      9/10/20Reply
      4 more comments
       

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