Leaving State Forest on Wednesday morning, I went east on CO 14 towards Fort Collins. This road is known as the "Cache la Poudre-North Park" Scenic Byway. It runs alongside one of America's few federally designated Wild and Scenic Rivers, luckily named Cache la Poudre otherwise the byway name would make no sense. The river has been a favorite of whitewater thrill seekers for decades. I asked a local fisherman about the river's name. He said it was French, that the trappers would bury their powder and liquor alongside the river in a "cache" for future use.
Below are some photos of the river. The third one shows one of the launch points and the fourth is the beach and river right behind it:
The road ends in Fort Collins, home to the second best college football team in Colorado. I headed south for a few miles and stopped at Boyd Lake State Park to take photos.
Boyd is for boaters. It is the watersports capital of Northern Colorado. It also has 148 campsites with electricity, beaches, a marina, and trails galore. There is a pavilion at the beach that has restrooms, a first aid station, and a food concession. A pretty nice place.
Below are photos of the boat ramp, the marina, and a campsite:
15 miles south finds us at St. Vrain State Park. If Boyd was for boaters, St. Vrain is for birders. This park is right off Interstate 25 about 20 minutes north of Denver. There are several large ponds that are stocked with warm water game fish and attract many different bird species. There are 87 sites here, half with just electricity and half with full hookups. There are some trees in the former, but none in the latter which is a new addition.
Here are some photos of a pond and a shaded campsite:
My campsite was #21, which is set off by itself and has a peninsula all its own. A Ranger told me it's one of the most popular spots. I agree. Here it is in all its glory:
The path to the peninsula is right behind my Element:
Sunrise Wednesday morning from my site:
Cooking over a campfire is fun. The mixture of all the different aromas from other campers cooking can be very droolworthy. I smelled steaks to left and burgers to right so I did chicken. Nice white chicken meat, with sides of vegetables and pasta. Man, everyone was jealous:
Regards, Park Ranger