I’m finally getting around to writing about my travels this past winter (the winter of 2015/2016), and I’ve had some wonderful experiences. I’ve been to some familiar places, but also a lot of new ones. I’ll be writing about my experiences camping in Southern Arizona. and The Sonoran and Mohave Desert, and The Eastern Side of The Sierra Nevada Mountains and Death Valley in California. I also spent some time at the notorious Slab City (aka The Slabs), which became famous after the movie Into the Wild was released, and of course, I’ll be writing about my time at The Rubber Tramp Rendezvous in Quartzsite, AZ…and there is more.
My winter travels began on November 2, 2015 when my summer job ended, and I set out from Estes Park, Colorado, towards Utah via Saratoga, Wyoming, so that I could visit the Hobo Hot Springs located there. I love these springs, they are clean, open 24-hours a day, have several pools with different temperatures including some pools in the river, and the best of all; they are free, including free showers. What better way for a Nomad to start her winter than at The Hobo Hot Springs.
To get to these hot springs from Estes Park meant traveling over The Snowy Range, in Wyoming and after visiting the hot springs, I drove west over Battle Pass and the Continental Divide (where the rivers change direction) and finally south to Craig and west to Vernal and Dinosaur National Monument. Dinosaur has free camping in winter, so I stayed in the campground. After a night in Dinosaur with bad weather in the forecast, I decided to head down to I70 with hope that the weather would improve a bit.
The weather was very winter-like during this leg of my journey (which took me a week to cover), with snow storms in the mountains and rain and hail at lower elevations. The road over the Snowy Range closed a few hours after I cleared it, and the road over the Divide cleared enough for me to drive it safely, with just a few snowy patches on the various passes and high ridges. Once out of the mountains the weather still made driving interesting. I stopped many times to take pictures, I love watching and taking pictures of clouds.
In Dinosaur National Park I managed to get a hike in, despite the inclement weather, and a camp fire that night when the winds died down. I also was fortunate enough to see the Sandhill Cranes feeding in the fields. Douglass Pass was a little scary. On the north side of the pass the road was icy, and trucks were flying down it as though it was dry. Either side of this pass has sheer drop-offs, and the road often has rocks and even boulders falling on it. I was far more scared of the other drivers than the actual road conditions because I was driving slowly and in 4WD.
After all that I was ready for some nice weather, so I decided to spend a couple of nights in Rabbit Valley, near the Utah/Colorado border, a regular stop off for myself on my way to Moab. I have a favorite spot for overlooking the Colorado River. The roads were very muddy in places, so I was glad to have 4×4, or I would have been in trouble.
In the next post, I head to Moab….
See you then, and remember….Savor the Journey,
Roxy ~ A Nomad for Nature