Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Colorado - Part 1

July 5, 2016
We celebrated Independence Day in Pike National Forest and have come down out of the mountains today for fun stuff:  buy tires for the truck, do laundry, use internet to update the blog.
Since our last posting. . .
We did a 7 mile hike in the Pawnee National Grasslands in northeast Colorado to find the 50 geocaches in the "Colorado State Star."   We have completed the stars in 9 other states so far.


Kris making a fashion statement with her camo hat, pink bandana, and drinking water from her Camelbak. Hiking in the Pawnee National Grasslands.
After time on the Great Plains, we headed up into the mountains west of Colorado Springs. ("The mountains are calling." - John Muir) One of our stops was at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument where we walked the trail to see 34 million year old petrified redwood tree stumps.  On display at the visitor center were amazing insect and leaf fossils, too.  Then we drove up to Independence Pass (elevation 12,095) on the Continental Divide and pulled out our fleece jackets.  We camped at a national forest campground in the shadow of Mt. Elbert (highest peak in Colorado).

view from Independence Pass

Contour lines on privy door at the pass

view from our campground
We have spotted some wildlife from the highways and hiking trails: marmot, pronghorn,  bighorn sheep, deer, rabbits, magpies.

Brian with the oldest geocache in Colorado - it's been here 16 years.

We enjoyed a visit to Mueller State Park and hiked to Grouse Mountain where we had a panoramic view of Pikes Peak and the surrounding area.  We then set up camp for 4 days at Buffalo Creek in Pike National Forest.   It was a 90 minute drive down to Littleton, CO where we attended a huge annual gathering of geocachers know as GeoWoodstock.

from Buffalo Creek Campground

artwork on display at public library in Sterling, CO
Next highlight of the trip:  Mount Evens and Rocky Mountain National Park

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