Fruita, CO – April 3, 2017
Leslie and I left Colorado Springs on April 3, a day earlier than we had planned. Our trip back to Fruita, Colorado included four mountain passes; Ute Pass, Wilkerson Pass, Hoosier Pass, and Vail Pass. The weather forecast called for heavy snowfall beginning the afternoon of April 3. We did not wish to end up stranded in a snow storm.
We were on the road by about 06:00. It was a cloudy, dreary day. Alma, Colorado is at the foot of the eastern side of Hoosier Pass. That is where we first encountered snow. It was not heavy, but it was snowing. The storm continued until we reached Breckenridge, Colorado. That town is at the foot of the western side of Hoosier Pass. The snow was never bad enough to impact the road conditions.
At Frisco, Colorado we merged onto Interstate 70 west, beginning our ascent of Vail Pass. We encountered a little bit of snow near the summit of Vail Pass; but, just as before, it was not bad enough to impact the road conditions.
We made it to Fruita with no problems. Later that evening, we discovered that the State closed many of the roads through the Rocky Mountains because of the heavy snow. We were glad to have made it through unscathed.
From many places in Fruita, one can see the Colorado National Monument. It is one of my favorite places to visit and photograph. I discovered there are some petroglyphs within the boundaries of the Monument. I tracked down the location, drove to the trailhead, and walked the very short distance to the petroglyphs. My disappointment was immense. I did find the rock and petroglyphs; unfortunately, vandals have chiseled names, initials, and drawings onto the rock surface. It was quite challenging to determine which were authentic petroglyphs. I did take some photographs; however, I have not included any here because I did not like them. On a side note, I did take some other pictures, such as a unique hole in the sandstone.
One morning I decided I wanted to find a road that leads up into the Book Cliffs. I remembered the way from a previous trip, but I did not remember how to get there. I took a stab at finding the road. Leslie and I ended up at the North Fruita Desert. Even though there were a lot of people camping in the area, it still had an empty feeling.
Since I could not find the road for which I was looking, we decided to go to the Colorado River. I selected the Kokopelli Trails area near Loma, Colorado.
Leslie and I walked a portion of the Kokopelli Trails. The sandstone formations there are stunning. While we were there, we saw dozens of people on mountain bikes. On the lower trail, I stood beside the path, waiting for a mountain biker to pass by. With so many cyclists around, we did not have to wait long.
One of the unique things we saw was a house carved into a sandstone cliff. It was unique; however, we both agreed there was no way we could live in such a home. We were sure the rooms at the back of the house would be quite claustrophobic.
One of the last things Leslie and I did before we returned to New Zealand, was a hike along the Canyon Rim Trail in the Colorado National Monument. The views were stunning. One of my most favorite views, although it was not on the trail, was that of the Balanced Rock. The Colorado National Monument is a must-see for anyone traveling to the Fruita/Grand Junction, Colorado area.