One week in Colorado is not enough. With mountains to climb, ski towns to visit, ghost towns to explore, lakes to paddle, and wildflowers to admire, how could one week ever be enough?
In the past we’ve spent several months at a time exploring Colorado, but since our travel route this summer is taking us to Maine via Minnesota and Canada (because apparently we don’t believe in taking the direct route), it’s time for us to get a move on. So one week in Colorado was all we had. While it was only a short visit, it was more than enough to remind us how much we love this state and confirm that the next time around we’ll be spending far more than a single week.
From our last stop in Moab it was a only short drive to Grand Junction where we planned to visit all the stores and do all the errands while hopefully leaving a little time to get outside for a hike or bike ride.
Last time we were in this area we stayed at the James M. Robb state park in Fruita. It’s a very nice park with paved parking pads, covered picnic shelters, and lots of lush vegetation between the sites. But it’s also one of those places where you must make a reservation in advance, which we didn’t do. Also, with our travels taking us east where public lands and boondocking are sparse we wanted to try and find what might be our last wild and free spot of the year.
There are a few different options for boondocking on BLM land around Grand Junction and Fruita, but since our main goal for the week was to run errands, proximity to town was the most important criteria.
We ended up on 25 Road a few miles north of town in an area well known for OHVs and target practice. We knew ahead of time that both these activities would be in full swing near wherever we set up our house, so we didn’t expect solitude or complete quiet, but we also didn’t expect massive amounts of trash strewn about.
This makes me so angry! All those colorful plastic tubes are shotgun shells. When you leave those behind on our public lands you are littering!!!! Shooting guns is not my thing, but I can’t condemn others for engaging in this pastime, and I will even reluctantly admit that target practice looks like it could be fun. However, if treating the earth like your own personal garbage pit is a required part of the fun than you can count me out. I’m sure not everyone who comes out here to shoot is leaving behind trash, but judging by the amount we found in the area, most people are.
I collected and hauled away that large pile in the photo on the left which included shot gun shells, broken bottles, empty cigarette packages, several melted batteries, a few sods cups, lots of cigarette butts, a handful of broken lighters, a slim jim wrapper, and even a dirty diaper. If I had widened my search I could have easily collected several more bags. People do a lot of things that I don’t understand, but littering might be the one that enrages me the most. What is wrong with people?
On a happier note, despite the trash we really ended up liking our spot on 25 road. It was only a short 15 minute drive to town, and the views were awesome.
It was also quieter than expected with little to no OHV traffic, and the majority of target practice occurring at the first two large pull offs near the start of the road. If you come here my best advice would be to pass by the first few spots and drive down the road a mile or two for the most peaceful stay.
Oh, and be careful when driving on the side roads. They were all full of deep ruts that made some of them impassable with an RV. The spot we took was not in bad shape, but we made a slight miscalculation and bent our Airstream bumper pretty badly while driving up that short, steep hill you see in the above photo. Luckily it was easily removed with a few bolts and Tim was able to pound it (mostly) back into shape. As usual, I would suggest scooping out the road and potential spots without your RV ahead of time.
As always, if you want the coordinates of our exact spot head over to our Where page and click on the map.
We spent most of our afternoons running errands in town, but we did manage to get out one day for a bike ride on the Kokopelli Trail System. The Ruster Loop was recommend to us as a great trail for both beginner and intermediate riders. It had a bit of everything — some smooth single track with gentle corners, some slickrock for a challenge, some fun downhill, and awesome views of the Colorado River. We liked it so much that we rode the 3.7 mile loop twice in a row. There were some other cool sounding trails nearby, but we never found the time to ride them. Next time round for sure.
We also planned to take a hike in the Colorado National Monument, but a strong afternoon storm plans squashed that idea and instead we left a day early to get a jump on our long drive north. Until next time Colorado.