Posts Tagged ‘yampa river state park’


Up high on Highway 40 near Rabbit Ears Pass. — Photo by Pat Bean

Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.” – Emily Bronte

Adventures with Pepper: Day Seven  

The rock formation that gives Rabbit Ears Pass its name. — Photo by Pat Bean

          After my daily morning walk with my canine traveling companion, Pepper, I took a second walk to bird watch with the park’s nature and wildlife interpreter, Holly. It was a pleasant walk but the birds in this high, quickly cooling elevation had mostly already flown south for the winter.

Magpies, starlings, black-capped chickadees, Cassin’s finches and yellow-rumped warblers were the only birds still hanging around this morning.

So bidding farewell to Yampa River State Park, Pepper and I continued our journey east on Highway 40, stopping when we came to the town of Steamboat Springs. The ciy has no steamboats, but it does have some natural hot springs. I had visited this ski town in the early 1980s when it was a minor dot on the landscape.

This day its bustling crowds, even though snow hadn’t fallen yet, reminded me of in tourist places like Park City, Utah, and Jackson, Wyoming. It was a much bigger dot now.

I found a parking spot, and telling Pepper to guard the castle, I went in search of breakfast.

I found it at Johnny B. Goods bar and diner, where I took a seat at the bar rather than wait for a table. Johnny, himself, waited on me. I had the special Johnny B. Goods breakfast, which was excellent, and enjoyed the lively chatter going on in the place. Eating alone, with my Kindle in hand, always gives me a great opportunity to eavesdrop, which I love to do.

Highway 34 passes three lakes on the way up to Rocky Mountain Park, Lake Granby, Grand Lake and Green Mountain Reservoir, which is shown above. — Photo by Pat Bean

I didn’t learn anything worthy of a story this day, just that everyone around me seemed to be having a grand old-time. So, carrying half of my breakfast in a to-go box, I made my way back to Gypsy Lee and Pepper to continue the day’s journey.

The drive took me up and over 9,426-foot Rabbit Ears Pass, and through a landscape already touched by the Midas finger of autumn.

After the pass, we passed through Hot Sulphur Springs, which used to be so rowdy on the last day of the month, which was pay-day, that the town celebrated Halloween a day early. While the town is not quite so rowdy these days, the early Halloween tradition is still observed.

At Granby, we turned north onto Highway 34, and followed it to Elk Creek Village just outside the southwest entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.

What a great day!

            Book Report: Grumble, grumble growl. I spent a half hour working on Travels with Maggie this morning, then a second half hour recovering what the computer ate when I hit a couple of wrong buttons. I’m not exactly sure what I did, but the control Z recovery didn’t work. 51,902 words.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: 12 Things My Grandmother Told Me http://tinyurl.com/bmymnuo These are almost as good as some of my grandmother’s saying’s to me, like “You’re going to hell in a hand basket,” when I got into mischief; or “The devil’s beating his wife,” if it was raining while the sun was shining. Did your grandmother tell you these kind of things?

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“One’s age should be tranquil, as childhood should be playful. Hard work at either extremity of life seems out-of-place. At midday the sun may burn, and men labor under it; but the morning and evening should be calm and cheerful.” – Thomas Arnold

I stood outside in awe for quite a while watching this blazing end to my playful day. This image was not enhanced even a tiny bit. — Photo by Pat Bean

Adventures with Pepper: Day 6 Continued

            Playful black-billed magpies followed my journey this day. I seemed to see them everywhere, and they delighted my soul.

Not a very exciting magpie photo, but it was the only one that didn’t come out blurry. The magpies were just too quick for my camera. — Photo by Pat Bean

The first time I became aware of these birds was in the mid-1980s during a visit to a friend’s house in Glenn’s Ferry, Idaho. A half-dozen or so of them were frolicking above the Snake River. I was enchanted, and have stayed that way.          With magpies shadowing my drive after leaving Dinosaur National Park, I soon crossed into Colorado and through the small town of Dinosaur.

It was here, in October of 2009, that a mythical portal consumed Marvel Comics’ Dark Avengers.

Pepper in control of her own leash. — Photo by Pat Bean

I wondered if the portal was located on the city’s Brontosaurus Boulevard, Stegosaurus Freeway or Tyrannosaurus Trail.

The city had been renamed Dinosaur from Artesia to capitalize on the monument that stretches from Utah into Colorado, and then the city fathers began to get playful with its street names.

My scenic Highway 40 route this day  also took me through Maybell, which holds Colorado’s lowest recorded temperature record – minus 61 degrees F; and Craig, which claims to be the Elk Hunting Capital of the road.

“Ok! I’m tired. You can be in charge again.” — Photo by Pat Bean

My stopping place for the night was Yampa River State Park near Hayden, where even more magpies were hanging out. Pepper took a running leap at one that came too close and jerked the leash out of my hand.            I could almost hear her shout “free-at-last” as she began running circles around me. It wasn’t the first time this had happened.

A smart dog, Pepper had wised up to the fact that it was easy for me to grab hold of the trailing retractable leash, so she had started picking it up and running with it.

Yup! I think playful was the word of the day.

Book Report: 51,306 words. An aha moment gave me the perfect conclusion for my book, but made me realize I’ll have more rewriting to do so I can add a continuous thread. It was like getting both good news and bad news at the same time.

The Wondering Wanerer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: East London Art Walk http://tinyurl.com/8zkzkmr Now I might enjoy this kind of walk almost as much as I do my nature walks. It would be a fun change of pace anyway. Perhaps one day I might even get to London. I’ve never visited Europe, but I have visited 46 of the 50 states, and after this journey I’ll have knocked off 49.

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