The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Willy, Harley (back center), and Gretchen

Canadian Trip Wrap-Up

It's been almost two weeks since we arrived home from our Summer trip to Canada. It took that long to get all the photos edited and blog posts written from our final week on the road. So a very short post on thoughts about our trip.

It was a really great trip divided into three basic parts: The trip up (4 days), The time in Calgary and Strathmore, and The trip home (6 days). Every part of the trip was fantastic.

We made the trip up in only 4 days and still managed to see the center of Colorado, the Grand Tetons, and part of Yellowstone including Old Faithful. Not bad at all but it just wet our appetite for more.

We had a fantastic time in Canada and got to get together with my Aunt Doreen and cousins Shirley and Jack, Janice and Stan, Ken and Marilyn, and Glen as well as Shirley's daughters and partners, Lisa and Charity plus Ben and Will, as well as Krissi and Matt. Thanks to Shirley and Jack for their hospitality and guided tours as well as to Lisa and Charity for the same to Steve and Helen. And special thanks to Ken and Marilyn for flying down with Aunt Doreen from Penticton BC. And to Janice and Stan for coming in from Red Deer and to Glen who drove down from even further north. It was so wonderful to see all of you.

The 6 days we spent on the drive home were spectacular providing us wonderful views of the Canadian Rockies, a totally different view of Yellowstone, more of the Grand Tetons, the Flaming Gorge area, a short sojourn into Utah, and a wild trip through western Colorado.

It was great to travel with Steve and Helen. Angus is a great traveler too. The only downside was shuffling suitcases in and out every night but it was a roadtrip not an RV trip. We covered about 5000 miles over a period of 18 days. There were so many places it would have been wonderful to have the RV and spend more time exploring the different areas and trying out some of the multitude of National Park and National Forest Services campgrounds..

It was a great adventure!

Santa Fe to San Antonio Dash

Day 6.....the final day of the Canada trip


The last day saw us heading out fairly early to make the long run from Santa Fe to San Antonio. I will definitely have to make it back to Santa Fe because I didn't get to see any of the "must see" places here. We knew it would be a long day but Helen had to fly out the following day to a conference in Florida. Worse case, we knew we could do the last part of this stretch the next morning if we had to since she didn't fly out until afternoon but we knew it would be much better if we could make it home by nighttime.

Somehow, we didn't get too many pictures of our last day. A couple in Santa Fe......



And then on to Roswell. Now Steve has been to Roswell a number of times since it is on the route he and his Dad usually take to the motorcycle rally in Ruidosa. Of course, you probably know that Roswell trades on the Alien theme so Helen and I wanted to grab a couple of pictures advertising this. We didn't do a lot more than stop to pick up lunch to go and snap a couple pictures on the way through.


And then we were off again. I think this was a dam we passed near Roswell.

Snapped this photo as we went by Carlsbad.

And caught a picture of gas burning off oil field equipment.

Ft Stockton was a little drearier than what I expected but Steve said it looked better after you got off the I-10 Access road. Maybe another time.  Everything after this was really familiar and we didn't take any pictures. We arrived back in San Antonio about 9PM.

Galloping Through The Gateway to Colorado and Santa Fe

Day 5


We grabbed a fast food breakfast and set out from Grand Junction on Hwy 50 which quickly led us to Hwy 141. Steve got this route from another motorcycling friend who said it was one of the best rides ever.

There was great scenery.

Lots of it. We discovered that this is called the Gateway Valley.


There were some ranch areas closer to Grand Junction.

Some were older than others.


Then it started getting more mountainous and even less populated.


For many miles there was very little civilization to see.

Except for the electric or phone lines.

After many miles of fantastic scenery but not much else, The Gateway Canyons Resort appeared. Apparently it has been named as the best adventure resort in the country. It is definitely in a remote location. Definitely fill your gas tank before you head out on this adventure,.


The scenery just gets better and better.



A little higher and a little steeper.


Okay, now you know that this is a wild and scenic ride. It wasn't a place I would want to be hauling my 5th wheel.


And then we saw something even more amazing. Can you see the dark line that is hanging midway down the cliff? It looked like some kind of a pathway clinging to the edge of the rock. Where did it come from and who built it? And who would want to use it?

We rounded the switchback until we were above the hanging structure and pulled over to check out the info at the parking area.

It's not a bridge or a pathway after all. It's actually a flume for water. Can you imagine what it would have been like to build that flume hanging half way down the cliff? The 5 mile stretch of 4' deep by 5' wide flume was built between 1888 and 1891 as part of a 13 mile canal and flume to get water from the San Miguel River to the Montrose Placer Mining Company gold claims. It was named an historic place in1980. In 2006, it was placed on the World Monument Funds list of "100 most endangered sites".

It was really an amazing achievement.

Yes.....we did see motorcycles on this famous motorcycle road.

And, we did see some wildlife thanks to Steve's amazing eyes and Helen's ability to leap to the other side of the truck and snap pictures blindly after we were past.....no place to stop along here. Okay, see the white ripple in the water near the center?

There was a deer crossing the river way below us.

And up above us.......

Looks like that rock will be heading over the side before long.

There weren't a lot of places to stop between Grand Junction and Ridgeway. We stopped in Naturita to use the restroom in the Dollar Store but we didn't see much else there other than the Dollar Store. We switched to Hwy 145 there and to Hwy 62 a little further along the road. We finally stopped for lunch in Ridgeway where we headed south on Hwy 550.



This looked like a good place to stop as it had outside tables where Angus would also be welcome and he definitely was welcome. The owner had a small dog there who came out to say hi.




A little further down the road we came to Ouray.



After we left Ouray, there were signs for mountain sheep but we didn't see any.

Some short tunnels but tall enough for RVs.

Even Angus was interested in the scenery along here. He is a very good traveler....,.the Traveling Longdogs trained him well...lol.
 
 
This is a high area but we saw a lot more RVs.

 
Lots of RVs.  I have a friend who loves Bolers.....small very light weight travel trailers made in Canada from 1968 to 1988. We saw 6 different Bolers on our route home. We also found this picture interesting because of the couple on the motorcycle. It looked funny because the woman almost looked like she was sitting on a swivel. She rotated around constantly taking photos or possibly videos. It was funny to watch her.

We ran into a little construction here. It almost appeared that one lane had fallen off the edge of the road.

Yikes, wouldn't want to work here. We were not held up long.

Maybe a slide caused the loss of the outside lane. Right near there was a structure over the road to protect that section and any cars that might be there during a slide.

Good idea but kind of scary.

The road was a little curvy here.

Oops, more curves ahead.

Some grades but no one was having any problem with them.

Glad we didn't have to drive on that.  It was actually part of an old mining operation.

More mining equipment.



We were pretty high up here 11,085 feet to be exact as we crossed Red Mountain Pass.





The next town was Silverton.




There is a Narrow Gauge Railroad which runs between Silverton and Durango that is pretty popular but not within our time line.




Unfortunately, we really didn't get to see much of Durango or Pagosa Springs which was pretty disappointing but we had earlier discovered that our fantastic planner had planned for seven travel agendas but we only had 6 days so another visit to Colorado and New Mexico is definitely in order. Everybody loves Texas, lol.



We revised our travel day to make it all the way to Santa Fe on this day.


Aren't these amazing views?



Angus is always so serious. He and Steve were having a discussion about the change in travel plans.

A hoodoo.

Santa Fe was our overnight stay. We pulled into one Motel 6 and the rate was about twice what we were used to paying. The clerk asked if we were staying in town to visit the plaza and other tourist sites. When she found out we could only stay the night, she got on the phone and called a sister Motel 6 on the outskirts of town to ensure they had a room. They did so she sent us there for half the price and a nice large room. They even had an indoor pool. So keep that tip in mind if you are visiting areas like Santa Fe by car rather than RV.

 
We had a great dinner at an authentic Mexican restaurant New Mexico style that Helen found well rated on Yelp or Urban Spoon. It was definitely a local place not a tourist haunt. Well, this was my first visit to Santa Fe but it won't be my last since I didn't get to see the sights of the city. Definitely another trip to New Mexico is called for in the near future but hopefully I will be in the RV then.