August 6, 2010
We woke up to a beautiful morning. There is a wonderful soft, cool breeze coming off the water and combined with the shade we were greeted wonderful treat as we sat and ate our breakfast. We sat around for most of the morning today just relaxing…..and being relaxed! This is the first morning in days that we have not been tense and cautious and slept well the night before. We enjoyed our time in the mountains but last night we did not lay listening for the heavy thud of paws or the deep snort of a bear sniffing around. We didn’t worry “did we leave a wrapper laying around” or “did our shampoo smell too fruity.” We didn’t even have to worry about letting Shyla out during the night.
We are going to play it by ear but we have decided to stay at least another night and so I head on up to the ranger station to pay. We are unable to reserve the site as you must do that at least 3 days prior to your first night and so the earliest we could would be for Monday night. However at the same time they always post the reservation slips three days prior to someones arrival and since ours was clear that means we can be assured that it will be open for the next 3 days anyway. Knowing we won’t have to move our location for a few days is good and means we have the luxury of just winging it in regards to when we will leave. Colorado is very hard to “just wing it” during the summer months especially on weekends. Our plans were to head home on Monday or Tuesday so that I could be ready for work the following week and so this works out perfect for us either way.
After sitting the entire morning reading my book and Andrew reviewing his photos we decide to take a walk around the park. It is not very big on this side of the damn, mostly comprised of campsites, even though just on this side alone there is over 100 sites. We took a walk passing by them through the shade of the trees. The sites are beginning to fill up but will be completely full tonight. The sun is still very strong here as we are still between 4 and 5 thousand ft. even though the temperature is still only mid 80’s. But in the shade we are comfortable.
The water was not easily accessible because of the overgrowth and so we headed back to the site. For the remainder of the afternoon we sat and relaxed. The site stayed fairly cool as it was shaded for most of the day. In the late afternoon the air did become heavier as the breeze had died down but we used our portable fan to circulate the air around us and we were able to stay very comfortable. Andrew recently purchased an infrared lens for his camera and so he spent some time testing it out while I leisurely took the time to read my book. Shyla….well she just chilled. She is so happy and content. Being outside for so long is really good for her as she is constantly being stimulated. At home it is too darn hot for her to stay out too long. She is going to miss this time of freedom and adventure.
Took a drive to Lamar to gather a few supplies. On the way out we stopped and Andrew took a few pictures of a local refinery. The colors and unique shapes came out so well I had to add them. As we drove back from Lamar we passed a cow factory. We have never seen one before and it was very depressing. There must have been over a thousand cows all in the same area. There is no grass for them to feed on and they are crammed in an area out without any shade. I have heard about cow factories (not to be confused with a farm) but until you see one you don’t quite understand why some groups protest them. We did not stop to take pictures but we found out later that was probably good as I guess there are laws about taking pictures of the factories as they do not portray the meat industry very well.
Our neighbors, Dwayne and Lois have invited us to spend the evening at their campfire. Just after dark we head over. We had a nice evening at their site tonight. When we arrived they showed us two scorpions they found hidden in the wood when they were opening the bundle to start the fire. They are very small and are not deadly but would hurt like a dickens and probably make you feel pretty lousy for a day or two. What we found interesting is that they glowed after we turned the flashlight off. I have never seen that before. However I guess all adult scorpions have a membrane in their outer shell that glows when exposed to ultra violet light.
We learned that they are retired and that they are on an extended trip that will eventually end actually about 20 miles from where we live as they will be visiting their son. They used to live in Waxahachi for a short time when the particle accelerator was being planned to be built there. They moved to Illinois after the contract fell short and it was moved to Switzerland instead.
They like visiting National Parks and gave us some names of some that they thought worthy of visiting and so we have added them to our list for further trips. The sky is so big at night. We are so removed the city lights. Our company seems to be interested in the stars and orbits and even points out a satellite as it passes through the sky. We talk for a few hours before deciding it is time to say our goodnight and head for our camper.