Ridgway State Park

After our adventures in the canyon country we headed north, through the hordes of Moab and back east toward Grand Junction, where we did a bit of resupplying. Around these parts Grand Junction qualifies as a big city and it had some things we needed so we stopped off and ran errands for a day.

Arches NP entrance photographed by luxagraf
The entrance to Arches National Park. No idea how long it takes to wade through that line.

After that we headed up the valley toward Montrose with the vague idea that we’d spend a night at Ridgway State Park and then find some boondocking spot after that.

As sometimes happens with us, one night turned into a week and then nearly two. It wasn’t that Ridgway State Park was phenomenally nice or anything, it wasn’t at all. Like most Colorado state parks it packs a ton of people in a small space, but it did have a lake with a nice swimming beach beach for the kids and quick access to the town of Ridgway where some people we knew from our old neighborhood had moved last year. The kids hit it off and the adults too so we ended up hanging around almost two weeks.

And one thing Ridgway State Park did have was some amazing views of the Cimmarron Range and the back side of the San Juans (if we didn’t have an ancient, somewhat underpowered Dodge Travco we could have just driven here from Durango in about five hours instead of three weeks, but where’s the fun in that?

One day we attempted the drive up to Owl Creek Pass. We didn’t make it all the way, but the kids did have one of their rare, please take our picture, moments.

 photographed by luxagraf
When I walked back to get the car Elliott chased after me so I could take a picture of “just me, no one else, just me”.

I spent the mornings working, sometimes on the kind of work that pays the bills, sometimes on the bus, which has been plagued by a string of small, but irritating problems that were no fun at all. Like a leaking black tank. Happy to say that that one seems solved. The others will rear their head in the next post.

The afternoons were spent by the lake, swimming, digging in the sand, catching strange stomach viruses, all the good things you get from reservoirs.

I took one afternoon off to scout the road to Dallas divide. The car did fine, the views of the San Juans were beautiful, but the bus… probably not.

The high point of the area for us — aside from visiting with friends — was the town of Ridgway. It’s small, about 1100 I believe, but has a surprisingly diverse collection of people and views packed into it. It’s the sort of place we could pass a few years I suspect.

Just north of it is Ouray, which, while admittedly very pretty and a bit higher in the mountains, was a little touristy for our tastes. We had a fun afternoon, ate some ice cream, people watched and bought some fuses for a bus project, but were never compelled to return.


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