This is something I have wanted to do since first hearing about it as a teenager. When Sue & Fred & I hiked into the Canyon in April 2010 we talked about it and then in August of last year they mentioned that they were seriously thinking of actually doing it. I said if they would, I would. And a few days later the deposits were made. At that time I knew I was having knee replacement surgery but the date hadn't been decided. We had scheduled the trip with a start date of September 17, 2014. A few days after sending in the deposit, I got the date for my surgery - September 17, 2013!
Sadly, the recovery from the surgery hasn't gone quite as well as I had hoped but it's not a serious issue and certainly is not going to stop me from going on this "Grand" Adventure!
I left home a week ago (September 2nd), driving leisurely on state highways, with night stops at Argyle Lake State Park on the west side of Illinois, Big Lake State Park near the Missouri River, Red Willow Reservoir in western Nebraska and Lake Boyd State Park in Loveland, Colorado.
Saturday I drove through Rocky Mountain National Park. Traffic through the park was pretty heavy considering it was supposedly off-peak season. Most of the parking areas at the "scenic viewpoints" were full but I did snatch a spot in the "Rock Cut" area (not far from the Alpine Visitor Center, the highest point on the road through the park at 12,183 feet) and took the short walk to the top (in the process confirming that I am woefully out of shape). It was much easier coming back down than it was going up! And, the weather couldn't have been better.
It was mid-afternoon when I left the park on U.S. 34 looking for a place to stay for the night. I turned off on a side road to check out the Sunset Point campground, alongside Granby Lake, in the Arapaho National Recreation Area. It was perfect - on the small side with only 25 sites, very peaceful and quiet - and most of the sites were along the shore of the lake with plenty of shade. It was so nice.
According to the campground host, there is a spring inside Rocky Mountain National Park, not far from the west entrance, that is considered to be the starting point of the Colorado River. The river meanders out of the park, crosses under U.S. 34 then flows through Shadow Mountain Lake then into Granby Lake exiting at the Granby Dam just a little ways from the Sunset Point campground. I thought that was kind of cool. Soon I'll be traveling on that river!
My campsite at Sunset Point Campground.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~Note: The page Grand Canyon Raft Trip lists all of my posts published about this Grand Adventure!
Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "Prelude to The Grand Adventure," Kinexxions, posted September 9, 2014 (http://kinexxions.blogspot.com/2014/09/prelude-to-grand-adventure.html)