We reluctantly departed Canyonlands, for the 3 hour drive to Durango. We have a bunch of chores to do, but also some fun things on tap. Mary managed a camping deal with KOA where if we pay full price for 2 nights, we get the 3rd at 1/2 price. Since we were going to be here that long anyway, we took advantage. It’s a typical KOA – a little too close to the road, but otherwise clean and well tended.Mary’s birthday is today and we’ve been celebrating birthdays lately with as fine a dinning experience as we can manage for where we are. Our friend Janet had recommended the Ore House steakhouse to us. The steak was indeed top notch, but our calamari appetizer was equally as good. Mary choose a Maple Cinnamon Old Fashioned that turned out to be quite a mouthful. My Colorado Cosmopolitan wasn’t quite as good, but it went well with the calamari. We enjoyed a stroll down Main Avenue after dinner in a vain attempt to digest. A nice relaxing evening.
Most of our time today was about chores and blogging updates. My opening at Open Shutter Gallery is happening the same night as the semiannual Art Walk, so there should be a pretty good turn-out as long as the weather holds. I met Margy Dudley, the gallery owner, at a portfolio review in Santa Fe last year. She liked the Life on Wheels work and wanted to show a selection sometime in 2015 – Which turned out to be May. My work is to appear in the Red Room Gallery. In the main gallery, Mark Edward Harris is showing his recent work from North and South Korea. He is a terrific photographer and a nice man. We showed up near the start of the Art Walk, but were soon walking up to the local art center to see a performance art production involving ladies doing a slow-motion pantomimes with suspended sculptures. Often interesting, but for me I have a little trouble knowing what to think. The opening at Open Shutter was very well attended, despite the threatening skies. There was some light rain, but it didn’t seem to stop anyone from enjoying the evening. On Saturday we checked out some other campgrounds in the area for future reference and a few last minute chores.
We left fairly early on Sunday, headed for Lathrop Sate Park near Waldenburg, CO. We will overnight here before heading on to Colorado Springs for a few days. It’s a 200+ mile driving day for us that include traversing two mountain peaks on CO-160 between here and there. The drive went well. It snowed over the passes the night before so there was a lot on the ground, but the roads were clear and weather good. I would have loved to stop all along the way over the mountains, but it’s just too difficult when driving the rig and car.
Lathrop State Park
May 11Last night, pretty late, we began hearing a sort of gentle patter on the roof. A look outside confirmed it was snowing again. By morning we had a good 2 inches on the ground. This was unplanned, but we hopped out and started walking around the campground. Mary started following a trail that seemed to head for the nearby lake. The snow was such that it didn’t stick to the roads or dirt paths, so it was pretty easy walking down to the lake. It was truly magical walking in this environment. Sun had broken through the low fog, and as I approached lake, the peaks of the nearby mountains began emerging from the lowering fog. Down at the lake, snow was melting and dripping off a cottonwood tree growing out of the lake, making water ripple rings on it’s surface. The fog would drop down to lake level, revealing new landscape details above, then rise and thin before getting heavy again. We walked along the shore for an hour or so as the light and landscape continued to change. Eventually, the fog thickened and dropped again, obscuring everything. No matter, by now the snow was melting quickly. We spent a thoroughly enjoyable hour or so investigating possibilities before heading back to break camp. Next stop for a few days, Colorado Springs.