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Old 06-19-2015, 04:18 PM   #1
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Colorado High Country- Interstate 70- June 19th

Absolutely beautiful mountain weather. Blue skies. Cool mornings in the 50's and around 90 during the days. Comfortable in the shade, even at 90F.

The Colorado, Green and Eagle Rivers are running at almost FLOOD stage along Interstate 70. White water rafting beyond your imagination. Some parts of the Colorado appeared to be even dangerous for water rafting. Today, the 19th, 8 to 10 rafts in white water float trips near Vail, Colorado at one stretch of the Colorado River. The water is RED in the Colorado and GREENish in the Green River.

I would have eagerly camped one or two more days if I had a vantage point to watch the large rafts hit this water! Probably would have PAID to watch.

I have never seen the Colorado River this high and this... WILD. I would not be surprised to read in the newspaper about some adventurous white water rafters drowning this season. I heard that this water is being held back at Lake Powell to get its water level up... Corps of Engineers source, I believe from another traveler.

Snow still in some of the forested areas and the snow board areas where they pile the snow high for the snowboarders at the Ski Resorts. The higher peaks still sporting white, but looking wet and thinner. Water is everywhere, but we noticed few insects... The trees are bright green, green lawns, green tall grass and from the lousy weather of April and May... now is the reward.

Traffic was heavy on I-70 from Grand Junction to coming into Denver. Few trailers, but lots of automobiles and 18 wheelers. Gasoline was $2.67 at Costco in Gypsum/Eagle, Colorado on the south side of highway. Grand Junction, CO was at $2.63 but tough to find an easy in and out station. All of Grand Junction stations are squeezed into town exits. A real... pain.

Warnings of BAD TRAFFIC BACK UPS on East Bound I-70 for weekend travel, so be aware from the tunnels to Denver, CO. I would expect Friday, Saturday and Sunday Front Range traffic to be enormous, pathetic and sprinkled with the standard nut jobs wanting to get around stalled traffic in swarms, like biting flies and mosquitos.

A bit of road work for 40 miles, on and off single lane work. Appeared around Glenwood Springs, CO, EAST, due to be the Colorado River eroding the side of the Interstate. Sometimes one lane in both directions. Lots of equipment, single lane traffic both ways at times and the Colorado River was WILD and Wooly.

We spent the evening at the Costco parking lot on the north side. Their parking lot lights went out about 10PM. I wanted a $5 roasted chicken, the wife got her Deli chicken and roast beef sandwiches.

IF you want to see Colorado High Country at its finest... NOW is the time. I thought the snow would never end. The rain would never end. The cold would never end.

Unless you are planning to fly fish... everyone has arrived. Glenwood Springs appeared to have NO PARKING SPACES FOR CARS, so if you plan to stop there you might figure out a place to park your tailer. It was FULL.
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Old 06-19-2015, 04:27 PM   #2
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Nice to have you back, Ray.

We've missed you here.


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Old 06-19-2015, 07:06 PM   #3
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Thanks for the report. We will be traveling through there after July 4th. Sounds beautiful. Can't wait to see the area. We want to stay somewhere near Vail, can you recommend a CG overlooking the river?


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Old 06-19-2015, 08:14 PM   #4
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Colorado High Country

[QUOTE=subfan1;1639440]Thanks for the report. We will be traveling through there after July 4th. Sounds beautiful. Can't wait to see the area. We want to stay somewhere near Vail, can you recommend a CG overlooking the river?
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There were some State "Rest Areas" on the Colorado River side of I-70 that seemed to allow Dry Camping. Probably offered a rest room. I was tempted to pull off the highway and check one out, but the Costco Parking near Eagle, CO a known.

Dillon Reservoir, further East of Vail, was FULL of water this year and there are camp sites on the west side of the lake. Probably access near the Boat Launch site. Have not been there, as usually there is NO water to speak of in the reservoir.

The Colorado River and other flowing into it were expected to crest and possibly overflow into structures with the hot weather in the area. Most were talking another .5 to 1.5 feet of river and it would be in residences. Most campsites would place you pretty close to the river in that situation. These rapids in the narrow parts were so violent that seeing them from the Highway was all I needed to see.

You probably would have to search the websites promoting the county's campsites to find something. Everyone is heading into the mountains for the cool evenings from the Denver and Front Range. Monday to Thursday would be best. The weekends are pure Out of State visitor's purgatory up to Vail.

After NOT driving I-70 from Grand Junction to Denver for a Decade... just make a lot of camp sites along the way. Union Pacific Railroad went through Cheyenne, Wyoming to Rock Springs, Wyoming because it was easier to travel. Once north or south of I-70 opportunities open up for campsites and dry camping. I am just at a loss to know of any.
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