Red Mountain & Rifle Gap
Aug 17, 2009
|This morning we did our return trip
over the Million Dollar Highway. John was even able to keep his eyes open to take pictures.
He appeared very relaxed
though a couple of the pics didn't turn out.
I'm not sure if it was due to
motion of the road, or shaking of the hands.
We headed for Rifle Gap State Park. This is a park where I used to take the boys camping when they were younger. The campgrounds have changed tremendously. What was once primitive and shaded by pinon pine is now paved over with flush toilets and PAY showers. No kidding, $1.00 for 4 minutes of hot water. I've never seen anything like this before.
Our campsite was inundated by hummingbirds. They kept mistaking our red tail lights on Wheel Estate for a feeder & seemed very disappointed. Sasha & Sassy went wading in the lake, and Sassy even flushed out a kangaroo rat,(I think it scared her to have something actually come out of the hole she was sniffing).
The weather was beautiful as we made our way (sans dogs & Wheel Estate) to Rifle Falls. The falls were just as spectacular as I recalled.
The state has even improved (?) the area with paving stone sidewalks, bridges, benches, and informational postings. The mist off the falls was quite bracing
and we had to keep hiding the camera to protect it from moisture.
We took time to explore the caves behind the falls though the aroma of bat guano kept explorations to a very brief time. I didn't remember as many caves, but now that they've added steps to get up to them, you can see the ones you can't see from below.
Rifle Creek at the bottom of the falls was so crystal clear that we could see Brown Trout
swimming against the current. The fact that the creek was there enticed John to once again go wading. He pronounced it warmer than the creek in Silverton.
Back at the campsite John lit a fire and we roasted hot dogs for dinner.
They were yummy. Thank you to Mike for the sword weenie roasters. They worked great!!!
Tomorrow we head for Steamboat Springs.