Wednesday, November 7, 2018


We made it to our winter abode on my birthday, Sunday.  We are still working at this and that getting things the way we like.  We went to a party celebrating an ATV friend’s 80th birthday on Monday.  Yesterday was a grocery run over to Queen Creek.   Our wandering route that led us through Grand Junction, CO and finally here was 3233 kms which is about 2021 miles.  There were eight days of driving (seven nights on the road) and twelve nights spent in the Grand Junction area.
Our excitement today was restringing two of our day/night blinds.  This is the way to see how sloppy the workers were at the factory, and they really were!.   I plan to go ATV riding tomorrow with the club and Friday with Aileen and a couple of friends.  Pure sunshine in the forecast for the next week with temperatures of 80 dropping to mid 70s (maybe).   They keep promising that but every day has stayed pretty much at 80.

When enlarged, can you see the smiling face?

This was taken at almost dark near Snowflake, AZ where we spent our last night on the road.  I set my camera on the ground and used the self timer to take the one second exposure.

Near Snowflake, AZ

The cactus flowers were taken on my walk yesterday morning in Florence Gardens.  These only flower at night and fade shortly after sunrise.  I believe they are a Central or South American native that are very popular as a garden staple.

Curved-bill Thrasher in Caliente

Stopped on the way for groceries yesterday.  The cotton is late this year with harvesting barely started.  Not all the boles are open.

Saturday, November 3, 2018


We left Jim and Judy's in Clifton CO about 9:45 yesterday.  We decided to take a different route this time on our way to Florence, AZ.  It is supposedly just 6.5 miles further than going through Moab but it is way longer time wise.  It is twisty, bumpy in spots and incredibly scenic.  There was very little traffic until we got onto CO Hwy 491 just before Cortez.  The canyon part on Hwy 141 is like being in a national park but without the crowds.
We spent last night at the Ute Mtn Casino RV Park and the place is nearly deserted.  The casino was doing a roaring business but there is only a half dozen RVs here.  It was nice to have the electric heater going overnight.  We were awakened several times overnight by the howling winds.  Still blowing this morning and it seems like it may be behind us on our drive to start.  We are planning on staying at Snowflake, AZ tonight and then a shorter drive on to Florence tomorrow.  Yesterday's drive was 340 kms (212 miles) and today we're looking at about 249 miles but should be way faster roads.  Then it will be about 161 miles tomorrow.

Our first rest stop

Second stop, this one for photos

Opposite direction from the above

Flume stop of interest, enlarging by clicking on the image will show you the flume hanging on the canyon wall.  You may also spot our motor home in the top right.

Aileen under the massive cliffs

This round rock looks like The Coliseum  

Dolores River

Closeup shows how the flume was attached.  The flume was put in to run water to a gold mining project in the late 1800's and several workers fell to their death during construction.  Since this area just had flour gold, using water pressure was unsuccessful and the operation went broke.

The highway is visible in the upper left

Still some nice fall colour showing in spots

Ute Mtn Casino hotel

Some artistic licence used here.  I blended three images in Photomatix Essentials then used the painterly 2 filter.  I liked how it brought out the warm southwestern colours.

Same thing here except I used the painterly 4 filter

Other than the two filtered images above, the rest of the night shots were taken with my Canon 6D full frame camera on a tripod and are just cleaned up in post processing.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018


Our time in Grand Junction is drawing to a close.  We are planning to leave here Friday morning and spend three days on the road.   We’ve had a great time visiting our Colorado friends and have had lots of card games.  We went for lunch yesterday with Ken and Marie who had picked up Doug and Corrine who no longer travel to Caliente.  Corrine was the person who spoke up for me at the local Florence bank when I was trying to convert some money when we were first down there ten years ago.  The teller was giving me a hard time about ID and Corrine said “how about I vouch for him” as she overheard while standing at the next wicket.  It was nice to catch up with Doug and Corrine who are about 90 and 88 and have recently moved into assisted living. 
I took one day and wandered off geocaching and exploring and had a great time.  I did find 31 caches but spent more time with my camera poking around.  This is a huge area with lots left that I haven’t seen so if we happen to return, there is still new country for me to explore.
I was invited to put on a photo show last night using Jim and Judy’s large TV.  Ken & Marie, Karen, Jim & Jane, Verne, Ernie & Atha and her daughter Beth and son in law joined us.  Everyone seemed to enjoy watching and I didn’t hear any snoring.  Aileen is off to play cards with a group of ladies this afternoon and tonight we, and Jim & Judy, are going to play cards at Jim & Jane’s.  I’ve been taking advantage of this cooler, duller day to do a couple loads of laundry.  We had been having unseasonably warm weather but that apparently has ended.  Instead of being in the mid 70sF, we are now looking at mid to low 50s for highs.  The nightly hot tub at Caliente is calling to me.

On our after supper walk one evening down at the end of our street, we spotted this rainbow landing on Mt Garfield

The Gunnison River at the Escalante Canyon Road crossing

Escalante Canyon Road

As I was returning to Hwy 50 on the Escalante Canyon Road, I thought this clay hill looked neat against the backdrop of Grand Mesa.

Close up of the cows in Potter's Canyon

I took my lunch in my pack and walked to a geocache in this area then sat and ate my lunch with Potter's Canyon for a view.

Cottonwood Canyon

Along the 25 Mesa Road

90 degrees left from the above photo

And this one was about 30 degrees left of the first 

In this dry country I was surprised to spot this waterfall.  I suspect it is the end of an irrigation ditch that was delivering water to the fields above.

Swallow's nests under a rock overhang

Neat rock walls along the road

I thought this looked like an elephant's trunk and ears

This old house was right alongside the road

Another view

International truck

It was raining up on the Uncompadre Plateau

Aileen and I went for a walk down along the Colorado River about a mile from where we are parked

Walking/cycling path

Mt Garfield reflected

Mt Garfield and the Bookcliffs

Grand Mesa