It was a wonderful day to travel with sunny blue skies and mild temperatures so over the Rockies we went on I-70. We turned right on Parker Road out of Cherry Creek State Park and followed it south to the 470 bypass. We think perhaps the first section we hit, called E-470, is or soon will be a toll road. We wondered why so many cars turned west on 88 prior to E-470 entrance. Oh well, the state of Colorado hasn’t come after us. And 470 is a great bypass around Denver which has horrible traffic.
The Rocky Mountains west of Denver are nothing short of spectacular. We each kept saying to each other: “Look at that view.” Our heads were on swivels all the time. And the traffic was a piece of cake.
We had hoped to stay at the Colorado River State Park in Fruita but Fruita was having their annual Fall Festival and the park was full. Fortunately right across the road was Monument RV Park that had spaces and was just fine for an overnight stay. The Festival was across the interstate and really much larger than we thought a small town would have. There were lots of food booths, games, rides and craft booths. The WowBubbles looked like fun.
About a mile south of the campground is the entrance to the Colorado National Monument. The Monument preserves one of the grand landscapes of the American West. Bold, big, and brilliantly colored, this plateau-and-canyon country, with its towering masses of naturally sculpted rock, embraces 32 square miles of rugged, up-and-down terrain. The high country rises over 2,000 feet above the Grand Valley of the Colorado River. From the 450-foot high Independence Monument, the largest free-standing rock formation in the park, to the smallest detail carved in stone, the grand sculptor in Colorado National Monument has been erosion. Discovering the Monument and its incredible views was a pleasant surprise.
Do you wonder how Fruita got its name? The city was given its name because it was situated in a major fruit-growing region. Makes perfect sense.