July 16 – July 25, 2019
We departed Boulder and headed north through the Poudre Canyon which is absolutely beautiful. We had camped there in the past but forgot just how beautiful it was. With the high snow fall this year the river was flowing at full force. We stopped along the way for a little break and commented that when we need a quick few days away this would be a great spot to come back to again.
We continued up the canyon to State Forest State Park since it was written up to have lots of hiking trails. We camped there for two nights and did get to do a few hikes and a bike ride. However, due to the Beetle Kill (a recent occurrence of beetles killing pine trees since our winters are not as cold as they used to be to kill off the beetles), there were lots of exposed areas where the trees had been cut down and therefore not making it the most appealing hiking. We did see lots of deer and wildflowers so that was nice.
We decided to move on to the Steamboat Springs area and spent one night at the Stage Coach campground on a beautiful lake. It was a great setting and we appreciated having a lake to swim in since it was quite warm. The following morning I went on a great bike ride around the lake on a beautiful trail with glorious wildflowers. I would love to go back and do that ride again.
Unfortunately that campground and all the others nearby Steamboat Springs were full for the weekend so Ross and I came up with plan B. We decided to boondock (which means go off the grid and not have any water or electric hookups). We recently purchased some portable solar panels which has allowed us to recharge our batteries with ease so that we don’t need electricity. They are amazing and well worth every penny. We stopped into a National Forest office and found that we could camp in the Bear River Corridor of the Flat Tops Wilderness area. We found an amazing spot overlooking a lake, with aspen trees out our door and gorgeous snow lined mountains as the backdrop. The vista was amazing. That was the good news. The bad news was that after we unhitched the camper and setup, we decided to drive back to Yampa to get a few supplies and check phone messages etc. Somehow while in town, our hitch was stolen off of the back of the truck. Ross noticed it just as we decided to sit out in our chairs to enjoy a glass of wine and the view.
Sadly, because our hitch was gone, and Ross and I were having bad visions of how we were going to get our beautiful trailer down this dirt road for 11 miles, the next day was spent heading into Steamboat Springs to buy another hitch. Fortunately, we were able to secure a new hitch and spend a little quality time in town. The late afternoon was spent with some fantastic relaxing time while I painted the view out our window (there were quite a few mosquitoes so it was preferable to be inside) and Ross played the guitar. You can’t get much better than that.
Art Hour in the Airstream
Early the next morning we went for a hike and were blown away by the wildflowers. We had been to Crested Butte before for their Wildflower Festival and this came close. There were fields of columbines, Indian paint brush, lupine and various other purple, white and yellow flowers (I’ll need to look up their names). We hiked through huge forests of Aspens and both of us commented that we must return on a fall trip to see the changing colors.
We packed up and headed back down the valley and to the North Side of Steamboat Springs to Steamboat Lake State Park. It was a beautiful drive and the countryside in this area is beautiful. We had four nights there at the lake and we really settled in and enjoyed it. There was a gorgeous path that followed the edge of the lake which we hiked and mountain biked. Again we were so surprised by the beautiful fields of wildflowers. We got out early in the morning to enjoy the outdoors and then spent the afternoon in the shade of the awning reading, playing guitar and painting. The last two days we had some friends join us which was fantastic spending time with them doing some biking, stand-up paddle boarding and enjoying some nice dinners together. Overall it was a fantastic trip away with so much beauty and color.
Last but not least….one of our new rituals is to buy Buddy a stuffed animal for the trip. Since we were in the Rabbits Ears Pass area it was only appropriate to buy him a rabbit. Until the next trip Buddy says goodbye.
Your boon docking spot is stunning, and inspired some really beautiful paintings! And your tradition of treating Buddy to a new toy each trip is so clever. He looks like such a sweet boy and perfect travel companion.
I’ve had dogs my whole life but hadn’t adventure traveled with them, just taken them on roadtrips to visit family. Our newly adopted girl Juniper has visited seven states already and is a great adventure doggy. She loves to crash with her toys after a day’s hike. I will be posting my Southwest camping adventures with her later this week.