Friday, July 15, 2016

Aspen Mountain and Dinosaur National Monument

Well, this morning was warmer than the other mornings, but I think that's just because it didn't get as cold, not because of getting the sun earlier...there was a cloud over the sun as soon as it came up!

We had one more thing to do in Aspen, ride the gondola to the top of Ajax Mountain! Since the gondola didn't open until 10 we went to Paradise Bakery (yes, 4th visit for anyone keeping track!) for muffins first! Not having any cell signal at the campground meant that we all were huddled over our phones the whole time checking email and such! A little before 10 we headed over to get tickets and get in line.

The ride up was neat! We got to see all the mountains around Aspen and the town! But the best part was at the top when we could see the mountains we'd been hiking near! At the end of Castle Creek Road we could see a mountain that looked a bit like Mt. St. Helens (it makes me wonder because the Ranger at Florissant Fossil Beds said that the volcano that created the lahar was similar to Mt. St. Helens...was this it? I'm not sure it was the proper distance or direction away!) and we could see that clearly. We could also see the top of the Maroon Bells! We spent a little while walking around and taking pictures before heading down.


Once back at the campground, the chore marathon began. I needed water and it was available at the campground, I also needed to dump, but that was not available. I wasn't sure if the dump station at the campground I was going yo had fresh water or not (sometimes they don't!) so I decided to fill up where I knew there was water. This was the slowest flow spicket I've ever used, took at least 20 minutes! I'd actually given up and was turning it off when it started coming out the overflow! Next was driving to the Aspen-Basalt Campground in Basalt - luckily it was easier to get into than google maps implied and luckily I was paying attention to the road and not just following directions. The next stop was Starbucks in Basalt. I've been really lucky to recieve many Starbucks gift cards as gifts from parents and I've been cashing them in for coffee all summer! My final stop was Walmart in Glenwood Springs - I'm having some technical difficulties with transferring pictures from my new camera and decided it would be good to just store my pictures on the memory card so I wanted another. Turns out my old memory card is only 1GB. No wonder the card is full! My new one is 32GB so I should have plenty of space!

Finally I was on my way to Dinosaur National Monument, way up the the far northwest corner of Colorado, although really we went to Utah - most of the monument is in Colorado but the parts that are most accessible for visitors is in Utah.

After we left Aspen the rest of the drive was in the desert! It was nice in its own way, but desert isn't my favorite landscape!

We got to Dinosaur a little before 6 and I ended up getting there first since Mom and Dad stopped for a long lunch at Rib City in Rifle. There were sites left and I found one big enough for Mom and Dad and one for me. There's no shade in the campground and it was crazy hot. Soon after we arrived however, the clouds started getting thicker and it cooled off a bit and got more pleasant. I got dinner and then took a walk around the campground. It was hot, but not too uncomfortable. As soon as the sun started setting it got more and more comfortable! And, we have good cell signal here! I can't believe it because we are out in the middle of nowhere but it's true!

PS: I'm not posting many pictures because it's slow! When I get to a higher speed wifi (or more likely home) I'll post albums or something!


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