Fishing Weekend on the Green

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The Green River

Spring in Northwest Colorado has been cool and wet this year. Not that any of us will complain after last year’s fires, but still, where is summer?! We are limited where to camp at this point; too much snow in the high country. We don’t normally go to the same places week after week, but adjustments need to be made if we want to camp right now.

We headed to the Green River, again, this past weekend. Our timing was actually pretty good, since the release from Flaming Gorge will be increasing this Monday. Reports say it will go up to 6,000 cfs. Rafters will be happy.

BT looking for the big Brown Trout

Saturday we headed to the river stretch just below the dam (Flaming Gorge, UT). A little busy, but you could still find a spot on the river where you didn’t have anyone close by. Fish were biting, and water was pretty clear. While Bill fished with another friend that joined us for the weekend, I ventured along the river on the hiking trail that goes from the dam to Little Hole; about 7 miles. Beautiful, easy trail along the river.

Wild Flowers along the river trail

Fish were caught, and released! Everyone was happy. We left our campground early afternoon on Sunday to 80 degrees, it was 57 by the time we got home. Glad we had a couple of nice summer days in Utah.

Camp ~ Lily Pad

2019 Camping Season Has Begun

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Blue Heron along the Green River bank

The snow in Northwest Colorado has finally melted enough for us to get our RPod – travel trailer – out of the back yard. It’s always exciting to get ready for that first trip of the season. Getting all the gear back in the camper. Trying to figure out where to go, since the high country is still snowed-in. In the end, all it matters is that we go, somewhere, anywhere! Last year we logged 40 camping days for the season. Let’s see if we can beat that number in 2019.

My first task: organizing the storage space. I had baskets, I had dividers, Command strips – I believe Walmart stock is up due to my obsession with getting the camper organized and my quest to be more efficient this year! Having a smaller camper makes it a bit more challenging to store things. The use of the space is essential to being able to find “stuff” once you packed it all in. After much thought and some rearranging, I think I got it. I was so efficient that I have an entire shelf that is now empty. I question what was there before. Am I forgetting something? In the past couple of years since we purchased the RPod, every inch of it was filled with “stuff”; what I deem important stuff. A home away from home.

“Camping, where you spend a small fortune to live like a homeless!”

Vegetation along the river bank

So, off we went to the Green River, middle of nowhere Utah. The weather was beautiful; cool nights, warm days. This part of Western US is the perfect spot for one to disconnect from everything. You have to travel 60 miles either way, East/West, to find civilization. We set up camp at Indian Crossing, BLM campground, just along the river. It’s normally not too busy of a spot. We only had about 4 or 5 other camp sites occupied. The Green River is very popular with both rafters and anglers. Normally you will see outfitters drop off their trailers during the day. Otherwise, it’s a low key spot. I don’t fish; either spend my time reading or taking photos. Bill is the fisherman of the group. Several attempts were made to bring in a nice big brown trout. The one time Bill actually hooked one, it was too big and took off with the fly and the line. I probably don’t have to tell you, he was not very happy! I kept reminding him it’s called “fishing” not “catching”; I laughed, and laughed… he didn’t see the humor. Early morning the river flow was about 900 cfs, but by early afternoon more than doubled. 

Mighty fisherman

We did some exploring in the area after lunch on Saturday. In this vast area, one can easily get lost. It’s easy to imagine outlaws in the 1800’s hiding out. It hasn’t changed much. Apart from some curious cows grazing by Red Dirt Creek, no living creature was around for miles and miles, in any direction. Red Dirt Creek was flowing nicely. We also stopped over at the Jarvie Ranch on the way back to camp; always fun to walk through those old building.

But, not everything is fun and games when you camp. It wouldn’t be a camp trip without some “issues”. This trip was no different. I turn on the water pump, and no more than 5 seconds later, I have water everywhere. It’s coming from the wall! What the heck!?! I’m fortunate to have a very handy husband. We investigate and discover it’s the fitting in the shower faucet. Of course, you can barely fit a tool through the opening behind the faucet. Who builds these things? How can they not think we will need to reach behind pipes and faucets. Anyway, after some work and yoga moves, we manage to get it fixed. Good as new!! Life is good again.

We now start planning our next trip. Summer is Colorado doesn’t last long. We have to enjoy every minute of it. Time is wasting. Where is your next trip? Do you prefer established campgrounds or dispersed camping? Drop a line…  Happy Trails! 

Diving Paradise

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Bonaire is a small island in the Leeward Antilles, off the coast of Venezuela. It used to be the less known of the ABC Islands; Aruba and Curacao are the better known ones. But I think the secret is out. Every year we return, it seems more and more people are visiting. You can also tell by the new construction around the island.ย 

Its landscape is mostly desert. But for divers and snorkelers, the beauty can be found under water.ย  The Bonaire National Marine Park has miles of pristine coral reef that covers the entire coast of the island. A smaller island, Klein Bonaire, is accessible via a 20-minute boat ride from the west coast of Bonaire. Between both islands there are over 90 dive sites, with 60 or so, accessible from the shore. As you drive around the island, you will see the bright yellow rocks with the site names. Parking is plentiful on most sites. Since the island is more coral than sand, the first few steps into the water can be tricky, sometimes even challenging. But, with many sites to choose from, you can always find one less challenging.

Andrea I – Site # 23

If diving or snorkeling isn’t your thing, many other activities are available. Several hiking trails are accessible on the north side of the island. You get to appreciate the desert-like landscape as you hike through cactus and yucca plants. Parrots can be spotted at times and even flamingos.

The island has long been known as a great destination for windsurfing. If you head to Lac Bay, you have the opportunity to watch both experts and novices enjoying the steady trade winds perfect for the sport. Jibe City has equipment you can rent as well as experts ready to teach you the sport. Also happens to be our favorite afternoon hangout. Jibe City has a great bar, right on the edge of Lac Bay waters. You can sit back, enjoy great food and a cold Polar or three, while watching the windsurfers do their thing.

It’s hard to pick a favorite site to dive or snorkel in Bonaire. But, if I had to, here are my 3 favorites: The Lake, site# 42; Red Beryl, site# 56, and Karpata, site# 9. The coral formation at Karpata is amazing.

There are many dive shops and resorts available to those visiting. We continue to use Buddy Dive because we love the dive masters and the ease of their tank drive-thru. Shout-out to Flavia and Fons!! Just two of the many great staff at the resort.

Fons and Bill on one of our boat dives

Another wonderful dive vacation comes to an end. It never gets old and there are always new experiences, no matter how many dives you’ve done. The most memorable on this trip has to be the 6+ ft. hawksbill turtle just off of Capt. Don’s site at Klein Bonaire. The ostracods on our last night dive were pretty special too. Hard to beat Bonaire.

Bonaire is very special. A slow-pace island with great people, wonderful food and amazing water. Did I mention the french fries?! Best in the world.

Until we meet again…

Some of our favorite places on the island:

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ~Dr. Seuss

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This past weekend was the “soft opening” of our camping season. It felt appropriate on account it was Earth Day weekend.

After having stored our little Lilly Pad (camper) for the past 6 months, it was wonderful to once again wake up in the middle of nowhere, with just the birds for company… and my books! More than ever, I treasure the times we are totally disconnected from the world. And, do not take for granted the luxury it is to be in a place where you can’t see another human for 40 or 50 miles. More and more it’s a rarity, but still exists.

BrownsPark

Spent the weekend at Brown’s Park Wildlife Refuge among the birds, deer and moose. I’m thinking I need to get a bird book. I can only name birds by color; the blue bird, the orange bird… you get the picture. Maybe I could even go on one of those “Big Year” trips all around the world, looking for that elusive bird that escapes everyone. How interesting with that be?

For now, we are just enjoying spring; the cool nights and the almost warm days. 2018 has the potential to be a great year, with lots of trips planned all over the western U.S.. I’m sure we will revisit some of our usual “secret” spots, and explorer some new ones. Some trout fishing will occur on a sleepy river or two.

For now, we go back to work in order to support our travel habit!

Note to self: next trip, bring more wine!!

Road Tripping – From CO to TN and all states in between…

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This past month we took off and headed East. Our week-long trip took us and our travel-trailer through Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and back to Colorado; nine days and 3,050 miles. It was wonderful to go through the different states and see this part of the country that we had not gone to. Yes, I even loved Nebraska.

I have this crazy idea that I need to go to all 50 states. I started out on this trip with 12 to go, now I’m down to 9. Nebraska was one of those states, I heard you could skip, because much like Kansas, it was mostly prairie land and not much to see. I have to disagree with those that are of that opinion. I saw beautiful fields filled with sunflowers, corn and what I didn’t know was sorghum (milo). Thanks Lori and Valerie for educating me.

In Nebraska we stayed at the Louisville State Park, just outside of Lincoln, NE. Pretty park with a nice lake and general store. Every available TV, in every trailer, camper and RV, was tuned to the football game. I guess they love their college football. The park was fine, only a bit noisy since the train to/from the cement plant, just outside the park, runs most of the night. Otherwise, nice area. Our intentions were to stay a couple of nights and golf in the area, but the weather was not that good, so we decided to head to our next location a day early. On our way out of Nebraska to Iowa, we drove through the quaint little town of Plattsmouth; adorable downtown.

Our next stop was Troy, Missouri. We stayed at Cuivre River State Park; a great park with tons of campsites and a great beachy area for water activities. Found ourselves a great golf course and enjoyed the Missouri hospitality before heading on to Nashville, TN.

Time in Nashville was spent with family and fellow Chicken Divers Club members, and being tourists. We enjoyed the honky-tonks along Broadway and the talent playing in these bars. It makes one question, how good to you actually have to be to make it in this business?! Loved visiting the Bluebird Cafe; didn’t really know what to expect. Have to say, it was wonderful. Loved the small venue and how close and intimate you are with the artists; their catfish dinner wasn’t bad either. Buy your tickets in advance, otherwise you may not get in. I guess, need to go watch Nashville (TV show). Time to say goodbye to our friends and family. A great time was had by all. Until we visit again.

On the road again… We took the southern route home and our first stop was Ozark, AR. (Aux Arc Park) Lovely spot along the Arkansa River. Wish we had more time to spend here. Camp host was wonderful lady (Diane) that saved us a spot, just in case we did show up. There are still nice strangers left in the world.

Can I just say, Oklahoma, you need to fix your roads! If you going to charge a toll, at least have semi-decent roads. I’m just glad that everything in our travel-trailer was tied down.

Wilson State Park

Wilson State Park

A quick overnight at Wilson State Park in Kansas and back home to the mountains of Colorado sunday evening. While we enjoyed the entire trip, it’s always wonderful to head west on I-70 and see the beautiful Rocky Mountains with a touch of gold from all the aspen trees.

Yes, taking a plane would have been easier, quicker and even cheaper, but while you wait in the TSA line, you don’t see the countryside. You don’t go over those old bridges over the Missouri or the Mississippi rivers. You don’t experience those small towns, some nice, some not so nice. I think that is why I love road trips, it’s not just the destination, it’s all that you see along the way. Not all is perfect. Some towns are really run-down and abandoned. But all of it is part of the experience.