In addition to her campground review, Lisa also posted about the Highway of Legends, and I know we have to see it. Hoping the predicted thunder storms will hold off, we head out on the 120 mile loop.
There are 21 identified points of interest, and we're staying at number three. The town of Trinidad, and the history museum downtown are points one and two.
Cokedale is a few cute old homes, a fire station, church, community center, museum, and the interesting ruins of coke ovens once used for turning coal to coke (used for smelting iron). Looking like a single row of Roman ruins, the symmetry of the structures is impressive.
|Cokedale coke ovens, Hwy 12|
|Segundo business district|
We miss the bridge house in Vigil :-), but fall in love with the little burg of Stonewall. This whole valley is stunning with the snow capped Rockies in the distance, and meadows full of green grass and wildflowers. Here the 250 ft high Dakota Wall adds another spectacular dimension. The entire commercial enterprise of Stonewall is for sale, and includes a market, restaurant, cabins, liquor store, outfitters, and four RV spaces.
|Now a peaceful retreat, Stonewall has a contentious history of battles between early settlers and land-grant heirs|
|I have to remember this is covered in snow many months of the year|
|Pretty homes spread out over the valley|
|Dakota Wall, Stonewall, Colorado|
|You could own this....|
|Monument Lake has a small resort with cabins and a small store|
|North Lake has minimal access from a primitive day use area|
Except there's this nice dirt road that goes to Cordova Pass. Just six miles up.
Fortunately it is a fairly wide dirt road with large trees "covering" the steep drop off on one side. Unfortunately I'm feeling the higher elevation in a not-so-good way, and by the time we reach the summit Bill is feeling it too. Tessa thinks we're wusses.
|The first mile lures you in, before the rocks and ruts laugh at you the rest of the way|
|Spanish Moss near the summit|
|Still deep in some places|
|because we're at a gazillion feet|
|Just to the left of center|
|the little resort of Cuchara|
Lunch at Timbers is delicious but I feel like I'm underdressed in shorts and a t-shirt. Not sure where all the folks in slacks and skirts drove in from....maybe they're all headed to the same wedding.
|Timbers in Cuchara is a nice half-way point for lunch|
|The Aspens still wear their fresh spring green|
Tessa and I walk around a bit, read a bit, and after about 40 minutes Bill returns.
|Like the river nearby, this creek is fast and full|
|Man in his heaven|
|A peek of creek below the snow|
|Furry orange rock......Broncos territory|
|The storm begins to build in the distance|
|while Tessa embraces her Mountain Mutt|
|along a lovely creek|
|with blue skies overhead|
A few miles later, and not listed on our map, is a crazy wall of what look like very loose rocks.
|Hours later, as the thunder is shaking the motorhome, I wonder if these are still standing?!|
|At 4:30 the sun makes it impossible to capture the "steps" side of the dike. Still, it is amazing from all directions. Spanish Peaks in the background.|
La Veta is a quaint, artsy little town that looks like a fun place to explore. There are two RV parks that both look completely full of travelers. We'll have to check it out next time as the skies are getting dark and dopler is showing the storm moving toward us.
We drive through Lathrop State Park, which is another very nice park with electric sites and plenty of space. It is about 10% full on this Sunday afternoon.
Points of interest 19 and 20 are a golf course and the old coal town of Walsenburg. The golf course is green and the town is about half the size of Trinidad, but we don't need to stop for either of them.
The final point is the Ludlow Massacre Memorial which we don't see. It is a sad piece of local history commemorating the confrontation between 10,000 miners and state militia. Obviously from its name, many were killed.
The highway returns us to I-25 at Walsenburg, and the 40 mile drive back to Trinidad completes the loop.
There is so much beauty and history to enjoy on this drive, I strongly recommend taking a day to see it when you're in the area.
I have been craving Chinese food for months and we finally find a not-the-scary-buffet-with-funky-smells restaurant in Trinidad for dinner. Wonderful House has a nice selection of standard and specialty items.
The storm holds off just long enough for us to get home, and then we have about an hour of delightful rain, lightning and big booming thunder.
Maybe it will wash off the motorhome!
|Our nearly empty campground getting a nice soaking|