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  • Writer's pictureLisa Taylor

News From The Road - Day 20

Hola, Guten Tag, Ciao, Howdy! How's everyone doing? Are we ready to take a break from the heat yet? Mourning college football season? Anyone watching the slightly weird NBA with fake people sitting in the audience? What a kooky year it's been right?

Well, since the last blog we've done quite a bit so I'm going to break it down into two separate blogs for you guys and we're gonna start with our time spent in the Montrose area.

Initially we were going to stay in the Gunnison National Forest and use that as a middle ground to go see the Black Canyon, spend a day in Crested Butte, as well as play a golf course that the hubs had been told was a must do, but the National Forest was not conducive to me being able to get any kind of cell coverage and for my work, that's a must so we made a Plan B and ended up just outside of Montrose in a little town called Olathe at a very quaint, quiet, RV Park called the Uncompahgre RV Park.

The RV Park had everything you could want to include good cell coverage and WiFi. It also had a serene little pond with a pretty sitting area that became a backdrop for a photo shoot.

After getting settled we laid out the game plan for the next three days: A hike in the Black Canyon, followed by some bike riding, a game of golf at Devil's Thumb Golf Course, and a day spent wine tasting at some of the area wineries. So, let's start with the hike.

From where we were the trip to Gunnison National Park was about a 30 minute drive. We intended on taking the dog on several trails with us but found out from the park rangers that dogs are only allowed on one trail so, Plan B was to do just the one mile hike near the Visitor's Center, which probably ended up for the best.

I think that Roger & I both overestimated our agility and stamina when hiking up and down a canyon at an altitude of about 8775 feet. The hike was challenging, with a craggy pathway set right up against at some points, the very steep edge of the canyon. I also happened to be the warmest day thus far for us, and little Berkeley didn't really like her Doggie Backpack either so it was a good thing we did a short hike. The Canyon however, is magnificent.

Apparently it took 2 million years (by comparison, the Grand Canyon evolved over 4 million years) to carve out the crevice where the Gunnison River now resides and there are several look out points in the park for you to see the Canyon without actually being up close and personal if that's not your thing. We did the hike, and then went to several look out points and then made or way back to our RV Park. After an afternoon bike ride in the area we were ready for dinner and some relaxation.

The next day took us to Devil's Thumb Golf Course, a course that came highly recommended by a gentleman that Roger paired up with in Durango for his round of golf there, but make no mistake, there is no similarity between the Durango course, which was picturesque and wonderfully cool because of the mountain breezes, and this course.

Devil's Thumb sits in the middle of what looks like a Mad Max movie set with gigantic sand dunes all around the brilliant green fairways. It was also very warm that day with the afternoon temp going up to 100 degrees. We saw all kind of critters on the course that day though, from bunnies to Elk freely roaming the fairways.

Roger had a better than average day and by 2pm we were packed up and heading to our first winery.

Our first stop was at Stone Cottage Cellars, a small boutique winery in Paonia, Colorado.

This winery had a couple of really good wines and we ended up taking a bottle of their 2017 Gewürztraminer and the 2016 Pinot Noir back to the RV with us.

We ended the wine tour at the Endless Endeavor Winery and what a great place for sipping some vino. Situated in the West Elks Mountains, this winery not only had some of our favorite wines from the day's tasting tour, but it also had a chatty, knowledgeable host that regaled us with stories of the wine making process as well as his previous career in the Navy as a Nuclear Submarine Captain.

How cool is that? Can you say Sean Connery in The Hunt for Red October? His name is Brian and he is the owner, wine maker, tasting host, and he was an absolute delight.

If you're ever in the area, stop by and see him. Tell him the MP Army gal from Texas sent ya.

We had a delightful stay in the Montrose area and then packed it up and hustled our way back up into the mountains to the Gunnison City and Crested Butte area. More on that in my next blog.

Until Then ....Cheers!


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