We were forced out of Rocky Mountain NP with an eight inch snow forecast and 20 degree temps. Stephen studied the map and we decided our safest move was further west, to the other side of the Rocky Mountains. We landed in Fruita, which is home to Colorado National Monument. After paying for two nights at the campground we realized this park is a hidden gem. We paid for three additional nights and started hiking. There are spectacular canyons cut deep into sandstone, and unusual rock formations that beg for hiking.
As we hiked through an area called Devils Kitchen, I saw a lone tree planted in sandstone reaching for sunlight…it’s amazing to see how plants and animals adapt.
Further along the hike we saw signage that directed us to a pool. I imagined a lush green oasis surrounded with trees… but this is what we found. Oh well, what can you expect when you’re in high desert!
There is a 25 mile loop around this park that attracts bicycle riders. Everyday we saw dozens of hearty riders ascending the steep four mile hill to the visitors center and then enjoying the down hill ride with amazing 360 degree views.
On one of our hikes we ran into a couple whose bikes were loaded with gear. I had a short conversation and learned that they were from Germany and taking an 18 month holiday. They started their bicycle trek in Anchorage, Alaska and plan to ride all the way to Patagonia in South America. What an amazing adventure….I have no doubt they will finish!
We continue to hike and enjoy the fall weather. The leaves are brilliant yellow and the air is crisp.
Grand Junction, Colorado is just nine miles up the road and has several grocery stores. We picked up a few items to restock our dwindling food supply and talked to a few locals. Everyone we spoke with had very positive things to say about this area. I’m so glad we extended our stay and slowed our pace. It has been a pleasant visit. We should arrive in Moab soon.