We began making our way into Western Colorado through Eastern Utah. We came over Douglas Pass which is just south of Rangely, CO. Neither of us had ever been over this pass and we figured with as many Colorado passes as we both have experienced in our lives, it should be no big deal. Famous last words, right! The climb up the pass is innocent enough, however, when you reach the top, you cannot see the road below you. It’s like the feeling when you reach the top of the roller coaster and you cannot see just how steep the drop is, that’s exactly how this pass felt! There was a moment of fear, followed by, oh my gosh! this is steep! We dropped into low gear and thank goodness for exhaust brakes! The view, however, was amazing! We tried to focus on just how beautiful the valley below was and it worked.
We made our way to the small town of Crawford, CO. Neither of us had ever been to this area but after reading about all of the wonderful orchards and beautiful scenery, we decided to make our way over to it. We are so glad that we did! The West Elk Mountains were just spectacular with the fall colors!
My mom and sister with her 4 kids decided to come up and visit for a few days. This was a great time to enjoy all of the fun activities that the orchards in the nearby town of Paonia have to offer. There were pumpkin patches and corn fields and ponds with ducks and a vast world of exploring for little minds. We showed them how blackberries, raspberries and grapes grow and they were able to pick apples directly off the tree, which, if you’re 6, is pretty cool! Hayvin & Zoey helped us pick tomatoes, and several types of peppers.
Uncle John made a donation to the local children’s outreach so that the kids could all pick out a pumpkin to take home. The kids walked up and down the rows looking for just the right pumpkin and when I picked one up and showed it to Hayvin, she said, we can’t take that one home! When I asked why, she responded with, it has dirt on it! I tried to explain that all pumpkins have dirt on them when you get them from the pumpkin patch. It took a little bit of convincing but she finally agreed.
That evening we headed over to Crawford Lake to grill hamburgers and roast marshmallows over the fire. While we were there a fascinating cloud formed over Needle Rock just as the sun was setting. It was beautiful!
We plan to stay in this area for awhile and then make our way over to Montrose, CO before we continue south.