June 27, 2020 Steamboat Springs, Buffalo Pass, CO (Day 3)

Well. first let me say that the mistake I thought I made with the pictures, wasn’t my mistake at all. The issue was that my blog site locked me out because the storage capacity was full. Bob’s brother helped us figure out a way to get more storage. I also needed to resize my pictures so they wouldn’t take up so much space in the storage section. I got up before Bob and Auggie this morning which is really a switch. I cooked us cinnamon french toast for breakfast, and although Bob says he doesn’t eat breakfast, he had some of my delicious french toast. As we were getting ready to leave this morning, Bob noticed that this mama robin had built a nest under one of our slides…again. This was the second day that he saw it and he had removed it yesterday when he found it. She had rebuilt it in one day. So today he put a towel there to discourage her from building it there again.

Auggie was going on our excursion with us today. We wondered how he would do with such a bumpy ride.

We were on the move by 10:00 with our first stop at Straightline Sports for some fishing advice, a license, and some fishing tackle.

Then we headed up to Buffalo Pass on a 4WD road. Steamboat Springs is at an elevation of 6695 ft. Buffalo Pass is at 10,295 ft. and crosses the Continental Divide and at the top is Summit Lake. We took Park Ave. out of town to CR 38. From there, we took Highway 60. The road at the start of the drive was hard pack dirt and pretty smooth.

There were signs to warn drivers about what to expect when going up this road. One of the signs told us that the road to Buffalo Pass was closed at the very top, but we decided to go as far as we could.

We got to a section of road where many cars were gathered. People were unloading and gearing up to ride up the road on their extreme mountain bikes–both men and women.

It was a very busy place. Some people were driving off-road motorcycles/dirt bikes. Some were hiking and some were even jogging.

Besides the main road, there were lots of trails carved out of the woods that people were using with their bikes. It seemed to be a very popular thing to do. Oh, to be young again. The road from here was rocky and rutted. Some of the rocks were huge and you needed additional clearance to go over them. Luckily, the Jeep had just that.

The road took us through all kinds of terrain–sagebrush and spruce trees, pine and aspen forests, and alpine meadows. There were wildflowers in bloom everywhere.

All along the way, campsites were carved out in areas from the forest. We saw them on hillsides, on the rocky meadows, and under pine trees set way back in the forest away from the road with a view of the valley to die for.

There were mostly tenters, in groups and alone, but we’d see an occasional tent camper, truck camper, and even an RV or two. How in the heck did they maneuver on the narrow road over all those rocks?

In the higher elevations, there were patches of snow still on the ground.

In one of the highest alpine meadows, we saw so many campers there that it looked like a campground. (Actually, there were 2 organized campgrounds up in that area, but we only passed one because the other one was up at Summit Lake which was closed.)

We went as far as we could go, which was determined by the gate across the road. We were at an elevation of 9,900 ft. We were only 2.5 miles from Buffalo Pass. So close, but yet so far. We were disappointed that we couldn’t get to the top and see Summit Lake, but we turned around and got out to stretch our legs a little. Auggie and I looked around while Bob deflated the tires a little to improve our ride down. (Oops! We forgot to do that before we started the drive up.)

Auggie loved climbing on the rocks and checking things out.

We let him experience snow for the first time in his life. He didn’t like it much.

There happened to be a Forest Ranger up there who told us that the road was closed due to 4 ft. of snow still in one area and a dead tree had fallen across the road. He said ti might be 2-3 weeks yet before the snow melts. Also, we heard some young campers, VERY nearby, amusing themselves by shooting off AR-15’s. The Ranger said (after I asked) that they were being safe by shooting against a backdrop and away from the road and people. It freaked me out a little, being so close and all, but Bob seemed fine with it. Needless to say, I was anxious to start our descent, so we went looking for a good pull-off spot to eat our lunch. We found one with a great view of the valley.

As we ate our lunch, we had a whole group of bikers pass us going up. Not one of them was breathing hard! How do they do it?

Our ride down provided us with some great views of the valley and camping sites especially in the meadows area. We also saw some very unusual camping set-ups.

Once we got down, to the “staging area”, we had to reinflate our tires and then head back to town. We got a super view of the ski jumps and Alpine Slide area on Howelsen Hill before we reached the bottom.

It was about 2:30 when we got back to town, so we decided to stop again at Straightline Sports. Bob needed to get another day on his fishing license for fishing tomorrow and to find out where a good place would be to fish on the Yampa River today. The guys in the store suggested a place on our drive back towards the campground where we could pull off and fish the river from the shore. So that’s where we went. Bob tried his skill at fishing in the river while Auggie and I explored around the area.

Two people came floating down the river right past Bob on a double raft and hopped out right where we were. Then they carried their raft back to the KOA campground just a short walk from us.

It wasn’t long before Bob decided it was time to go. He felt the river was moving just a little too fast for his light tackle where he was fishing. Auggie and I were hot and tired anyway and ready to go. He will try fishing again tomorrow when we go up to Steamboat Lake. Back at the campground, we relaxed outside while Auggie took a nap inside. Bob discovered that mama robin had tried to rebuild her nest while we were gone in the same place under the slide even though Bob put that towel there to discourage her. She is so persistent and had laid some twigs there for the start of her third nest. I feel bad for her. I wish she’d find a safer spot to lay her eggs. It’s not like there aren’t any trees around. It turned out to be a beautiful day with temps in the low 80’s and plenty of sunshine. We enjoyed the rest of the afternoon at the campground. It was so quiet and peaceful. We watched two more campers arrive and now the campground was full. We had chicken on the grill and Bob watched a little TV outside while he was grilling.

We enjoyed the rest of the evening after our walk with Auggie and watched some TV. We haven’t noticed any activity at our hummingbird feeder yet, but I have a good view of it right out of the kitchen window.

Pineapple update: It is getting more yellow everyday, but still is not ready to pick. It grew two shoots out of the base, so I took those off and planted them to start two new plants. I can’t wait to taste that sweet fruit!

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