April 21-26, 2022
Las Vegas, New Mexico - Trinidad Lake, Colorado
Thursday's drive north on Hwy 25 is uneventful, and we arrive at Las Vegas KOA at 12:30. The last 20 miles the wind increases, but isn't a problem. The park is all junipers and pinon pines with an interesting lay-out. 30 amp FHU mostly level dirt pull-through, we're able to get satellite. Dark and quiet overnight, we'd stay here again, even though their entrance and interior roads are rough.
|Las Vegas has seen better days, but their downtown has a clean and "we're still trying" vibe. |
Obviously fuel prices are a consideration this year. When we arrived in Albuquerque diesel was $4.75 and a week later it's $5.00. Definitely not going in the right direction.
Friday we're expecting wind for our continued travels north on Hwy 25, into Colorado. We wake to calm, and move out before nine hoping to beat the worst of it again.
We find the wind about 50 miles into the drive, and although it's at over 30 mph when we pull into Trinidad Lake State Park at 11:30, it's a tail wind with very few gusts so almost no impact on driving the rig. Thankful for that!
US Hwy 25 doesn't have much scenic variety, but we do see three good size pronghorn herds on the east side.
Unfortunately we also see a fire to the west, and are into the smoke when we hit the mountains at the state border. Really? This is what we dread in late summer, not mid-spring! I reserved early so we could get a lake view site for our four nights here. Sadly when we arrive we can't be outside, the smoke and dust are so bad only the closest little mountain is visible over the lake. I'm so bummed.
After only a couple hours we have to pull in the two small slides. Additionally the fire is 65 miles to the southwest with winds blowing northeast - not a restful night's sleep.
|Not this again.....|
Wind rocks us all night - not in a good way. Still, although the wind is over 25 mph, I'm thrilled when pulling up the blinds to be faced with clear blue skies Saturday morning!!!
|The sky gets significantly browner later in the afternoon, completely blocking the distant mountains.|
Oh what a difference a day makes!
|This is what I was looking forward to!|
The expected storm makes its first appearance over the mountains to the west. Big fluffy thunderheads that send out scouts, no doubt seeking dry spots that will most benefit from some moisture. Or errant offspring seeking to wreck havoc :-) Either case, bring it on!
|Peeking over the distant ridge.|
Trinidad is a cute little town with mining history and vintage architecture to enjoy. We spend a day exploring Main Street and the surrounding areas. I can't find the back road we enjoyed on our last visit, but do find an abandoned resort which is both interesting and creepy.
|So many dispensaries here - four in a row on this one block!|
|Might be the tiniest restaurant we've eaten in - two 2-seaters tucked behind us and that's all of Nana and Nano's.|
|While not all the store fronts have open businesses, the structures are all in beautiful condition.|
|The town has several large churches, this little one in the country really grabbed my eye :-)|
|Our pending storm dropping much needed snow on the Rockies.|
|Several older homes show pride of ownership.|
|In a small valley we find this abandoned hotel resort.|
|Rather than going out of business, it was never completed.|
When we were here in June six years ago, it was greener with a lot more water in the lake, river and creeks. The highlight was the Highway of Legends, and I'm looking forward to repeating the beautiful drive.
|All the infrastructure is here, including bike paths and signage, but then just stopped. I'm sure there's a story.|
Happy to have a cold and cloudy day instead of a windy and smokey one, we head out about 11:00. The ranger station is closed on Sunday so we don't have the information pamphlet we had last time, still I remember quite a bit and there are a few plaques along the way.
In California the grands are enjoying Spring.
|M&M enjoying a day at the park.|
|Love seeing Henry having so much fun with bubbles.|
Now we've already had brutal winds, choking smoke, 80+ degree temps, and a little rain. Monday morning we wake to a foot of snow! All sticking and still coming down, it's beautiful. Happy that we aren't traveling, we're entertained by our neighbors who are all packing up.
|Not her first snow, still Tessa is not impressed by yet another weather change.|
|By noon the sun is out and snow clumps are diving off the trees.|
|Our poor neighbor spent two hours getting his hitch and jacks to work - then another hour removing the snow from the slide toppers. They were so happy to finally pull out!|
|At 4:00 it's like it never happened :-)|
Traveling in April is always "iffy", and I expected we might run into some late winter weather as we moved north - but wow, four days in Colorado gave us a wild ride!
Tuesday we'll head northeast for a few days in Lamar, Colorado, where the temps are expected to be in the high 80's. And yes, more wind forecast for the drive