Friday we loaded up the car and headed out. James was flying out the next day for a work conference in San Francisco, so we decided to camp over Friday night (and come back Sat night so Hannah could work at the coffee shop at church on Sunday morning.) Now, I did have a women’s bingo event at church, but I did not want to try to pack up the tent and drive 2.5 hours back on Sunday morning, so we printed out bingo sheets and I still got to play.
Our first stop was Rainbow falls because we’ve never been there (it was closed forever for cleanup, not that they cleaned up the graffiti.) It’s only open Fri-Mon and soon only Sat-Sun and they now have a $1 fee to go in. They fixed up the path and it’s a 1/10th of a mile walk to the falls.
As you can see there is still plenty of graffiti.
They fixed the path, removed trash, put in benches and Da Vinci walls, a bathroom, a little ranger hut and security cameras. You can walk in the water to the falls, I wish it were open in the winter (but I think that’s a no this year.) But, we will come back soon and see if we can get to the cave behind the falls.
Next we hopped back in the car and drove to our camping spot near Rye, CO. It was Ophir creek in the San Isabel forest. We got the spot right next to the bathrooms (on purpose) and the creek was right next to us too. We set up the big tent while Jack roamed on a long leash chewing up sticks.
Once the tent was set up we got a fire going for hot dogs and s’mores (our go to camping food.) I had grabbed condiment packets at the gas station when we stopped, but apparently I grabbed taco sauce instead of ketchup. I told the girls it just tasted like spicy ketchup, but they thought it was gross. So taco sauce, mayo, mustard, pickle relish and chopped onions were the toppings.
When we were ready to get in the tent we put Jack in and he freaked out. I think it was the crunch sound of the bottom of the tent and the fact that he’d never been in a tent before. He went crazy, then spent our whole Bingo game time chasing his ball from one end of the tent to the other.
I gave him an extra CBD treat to knock him out and it worked. He work up about 12, but I told him to go back to sleep. He woke up at 3:30am, which is a normal time, and we went to the bathroom, then he went back to sleep until about 7am. It was cold and we didn’t have enough blankets, I need to get new bags, these are old and don’t zip up and when they don’t zip up it’s harder to stay warm.
In the morning we ate our Belvita breakfast crackers and broke down the tent, shoved everything in the back of the car and headed up the road to Bishop castle. It’s not really a castle, but it’s also not a building, it’s labeled art so that Mr. Bishop doesn’t have to have anything up to code. He has lots of signs about his Constitutional rights, freedoms and signs that say law enforcement and lawyers can suck it. He had a new sign that had warnings like, not responsible for your emotional, physical or spiritual well being while on the property, not responsible for injuries, you might hear foul language, you might encounter angry people. Basically he’s warning you that you are entering his property and he has the right to do whatever he wants. Is he a bit crazy? Yes. If this place ever going to be finished? Probably not.
From there, because we were close and had a pass, we went to check out Lake Isabel. We always pass this on the way to the castle, but never stop and there was a campground there I wanted to check out. I’m glad we stopped at Ophir creek, it was better. It’s really hard to get down to the lake unless you park on the other side and walk in, so we didn’t go to the water.
Next stop a late lunch in Buena Vista. We ended up at K’s burgers because the 2 places that my dog app said were dog friendly were closed and the other one was very busy. K’s was busy too, but they do have good burgers. We took our order to the park and ate there. This time there was ketchup.
We would have gotten ice cream at our fav shop, but we were full. We backtracked a bit to go to the ghost town of St, Elmo. I wouldn’t call it a ghost town as much as a town that is trying to save some of their historic buildings and fix them up. There were a ton of hummingbirds and a place called chipmunk crossing where you could literally be covered in chipmunks if you sat down for a minute.
This humming bird is just red because the sun was glaring through the red feeder it was on.
We walked up the street to look at the buildings, most were closed, only a few were open to go in and there were just signs inside telling about the town and area.
The girls made the ghostly shopping list from Spongebob, so we took pics through the glass.
There was a general store and antiques out back.
On the way home we passed by the chalk cliffs on Mt. Princeton, the Mt. Princeton hot springs, we took 285 back and went through Southpark, did not stop for taffy at the hot dog stand even though it was open and made it home by 6:45pm. I promptly ordered pizza and we took some stuff out of the car.
We did find a lot of things on this trip even it we didn’t stop this time. We passed by the May museum in the Springs. I have heard about it, but never knew where it was. We went on the Frontier byway road which was a nice scenic route. We got to see Lake Isabel and went through Salida on the way to BV. On the way to St. Elmo we passed by Cascade falls, but I didn’t stop to get a picture. I found out that when you have no cell service you will get no maps. I had to plug in the old GPS to get to BV. I mean, I looked at the map on my phone and I probably could have navigated the turns from that, but it was nice to have an electronic backup. However no cell meant no calls or texting to James, and no way to search for dog friendly restaurants until there was a signal. I’m glad I keep that old GPS in the car, it hasn’t had a maps update in 7 years, so in Salida it didn’t know there was a straight shot through town and we were weaving in and out of the town, but we did make it to BV, so….there.
Next time, new sleeping bags rated to 20F, camping pads and ketchup.