After a 6 hour nap we woke up, and since we were in Vail, we figured we’d do some sightseeing and offroading. We then noticed a serious absence of snow. Once we crossed the rockies, the Vail side was bone dry…our friend informed us that as a result, it’s the dead season in the area, and most things are closed for the season. Shrugging our shoulders, we decided to do some wheeling…nothing crazy, just try a couple of high passes. Looking at traildamage.com, I decided to hit the closest trail to us, which was shrine pass. I input the coordinates into my GPS unit and started on our 20 mile drive to the trailhead. After arriving, we were greeted with this….
The trail was not “closed” but was blocked basically by 3 feet of snow. Not wanting to waste any more time and gas, I decided not to try and hit anymore trails around this area. A local then told us to check out an old mining town nearby called Minturn, and to check out a forest road there, so off we went. There wasn’t anything particularly interesting there, but we did spot a herd of elk, which isn’t something us North Easterners see often, which we found kind of cool.
Towards the evening, we went to grab dinner at Vail village (a beautiful place) and turned in for the night. We woke up the next day, and continued our journey to Moab…only 400 miles to go! Colorado really is gods country….every time you turn, the view gets better and better….my desire to relocate there got stronger and stronger….one day.
Finally, after some of the most gorgeous driving I have done in quite some time….we reached the border….
After another 125 miles or so, we arrived at our digs, the Archview RV and Campground resort. The word “resort” is used a bit too liberally…but it was an incredibly convenient location, smack on 191 and 313….3 miles from arches and 20 miles from Canyonlands. Time to unload!
While some say “why didn’t you camp instead” the answer is simple…while I would have loved to, there is no wilderness camping allowed (meaning, camp where-ever you want.) Camping must be done on designated sites, and is on a first come first serve basis, and being that we were that far away, we couldn’t chance it. It was also nice being able to take showers after every day, as we would get REALLY dirty some of the days we were there.
After 48 hours of mostly crap roadside food, we wanted a decent meal, so we went into town for a little BBQ.
Im amazed at how the town is expanding and improving every time I visit. Clean, hiring signs everywhere, tons of new businesses, etc. I guess their tourism is stronger than ever, as evidenced by the hotel prices.
Now, I’ve been to Moab a number of times (never with a Jeep) and have never EVER seen anything even resembling rain…it rained almost everyday….not to mention a blizzard, but I’ll save that story for later. It was welcome for the most part, as I can’t stand heat. While we were there, temps were about mid to high 70s with low 50s at night. The week that we left the temps were in the mid 90s already! As a result of the rain, the trails we were going to hit were altered slightly. The first day there we decided to hit an easy trail, since we didn’t have much time left before sunset, so we decided to hit long canyon.
This was a very easy ride, but had some incredible views.
After long canyon, we were beat, went to grab a quick dinner, and turned in for the night, hoping to get a full day of wheeling in the following day.