While I was writing my last blog post on Wednesday at Vega State Park, I was letting my laundry dry. Since there were no trees at my site, I had to make do:
Nothing like having your undies flapping in the breeze to garner strange looks from fellow campers. There was, however, a beautiful sunset that evening that took the attention away from me:
I talked to one of the Rangers as I was leaving Vega on Thursday morning and they mentioned that Rifle Falls was flowing strong right now. It was out of my way, but they mentioned that there was a shortcut I could take. Where have I heard that before? I am game for anything and had plenty of water and dry food, so why not give it a go. The shortcut starts off as CO 330 and then quickly turns into unpaved Forest Service roads. There were plenty of does and fawns leaping about as I was driving by and I managed to snap a photo of what I believe is the real Bambi. She even posed for me:
After about 15 miles of dirt roads, I finally reached the town of Silt, CO. In spite of it's name, it is a pastoral farming area and I had a few words with Mister Ed and two of his buddies (Ed is the one in the middle):
Rifle Falls is in, oddly enough, Rifle Falls State Park. Armed with my trusty Colorado State Parks annual day pass, I ventured forth on my quest for the holy grail, err, waterfall.
The Park is considered one of the gem's in the system. It is small at only 20 campsites, but the waterfall is a triple and there are dark caves in the limestone behind it. One being a 90 foot room that holds buried treasure and is haunted by pirate ghosts. Or maybe it's miners and gold. Either way I found nothing, but did take some photos. Below is the waterfall and a typical cool, shady campsite:
I continued on to Yampa River State Park, about 100 miles North via CO13. The Park is really several Parks, extending along the entire Yampa Valley. Most are primitive campgrounds with river access sites. Yampa River is extremely popular for people wanting to raft, canoe, or kayak. There is one developed campground called Headquarters. That is where I stopped to take some photos. Below is the river and a campsite. About half had shade shelters.
Leaving Yampa, I headed East on US 40 through Steamboat Springs and wound up at Stagecoach State Park. It is a good sized campground with 92 campsites and a 3 mile long lake. They say the fishing is good here for warm water species and I noticed plenty of people on boats pulling other people around until they fell. Here are some photos of the lake, beach, and my campsite:
Around 5:00pm Thursday, I heard the roar of two motorcycles entering the campground. Turns out they were Canadians! Yippee! They are on a trip following the continental divide from the Canadian border to Panama. Jamie is from Victoria and Harold from Edmonton. We ended up talking around the campfire for a few hours, mostly me reminiscing about growing up in Vancouver and all the places we knew in common. Good people. I told them to keep in touch and let me know they made it back safely. In the photos below, Jamie is on the right and Harold the left.
I will be leaving here on Sunday morning for the 90 mile drive to State Forest State Park. Someone must have been drinking to come up with a name like that. Ta Ta for now.
Regards, Park Ranger