"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Country Concert, Friends & Changing an Anode

Palisade, Colorado
James M. Robb State Park

The middle of June took us up to Palisade where we would be going to a 4 day concert in Grand Junction.  The drive was beautiful.  Very green as we passed through Vail with all the gorgeous homes built up in slopes all around the ski resorts.

Some very interesting tunnels.  Hwy 70 is built right over parts of the river and one direction is below the other.  Double decker you could say.

Things get much warmer and drier once you pass Glenwood Springs.  We did a quick stop there to have all the tire pressures checked on the truck and the trailer.  We are very happy with our service at Discount/Americas Tires.  Their facilities are always large enough for us to pull right in.  They always take us right away and we're in and out in 10 minutes or less.  Amazing.  Thanks guys!

We made sure we had electric hookups as the temps were in the low 100s.  So far we haven't been over the low 70s.  Here at James M. Robb State Park there isn't much shade either.  We did have a couple of nice big trees by us but there was the brightest light that stayed on all night and shined directly onto our camp spot.  Not very appealing when you are trying to have a campfire.

The park itself is large, nicely spaced and very clean.  There are ponds for fishing, swimming and the Colorado River runs the length of it with a nice bike path.  The fishing still isn't good, but I loved the bike path.

Besides the Country Jam Concert we were looking forward to meeting up with Curt and Glenda of Illinois Campers again for a few days as they head back to Illinois to visit with family.

A typical site.  Very big.

Once we got settled in we went into Palisade to check it out.  It's a small agricultural town.  They are mostly known for the Palisade peaches which are grown there.  They would not be ripe until July so we will have to find them somewhere else.  The town is beautiful.  I rarely saw a house in disrepair.  They had the loveliest gingerbread and craftsman style homes.  All with fresh paint and very pretty gardens.  ALL of them.  The little downtown had cute sculptures and  quaint little local shops.  All seem to be very successful as there were no vacant buildings.  Not any homes for sale either.
We popped into Peach Street Distillers.  Lot's of tasty drinks.

We did a lot of geocaching in the area.  When I saw there was no cache hidden around this cute sculpture we decided it needed one.  So we created Rusty's Dream and hid it on one of the hydrants.  It's challenging to find as the cache itself is a fake bolt and blends right in with the bolts already on the hydrants.  So far other cachers are loving it!
They have a nice farmers market.  Great baked goods.

A colorful lavender farm with hops growing in the background.

Ok, Steve loves concerts and I love country music.  So he bought me tickets for this 4 day concert at Christmas.  Trouble is, I don't like large crowds of people.   So normally concerts are not somewhere I want to be.  But I was determined to be a good sport.
Some of the headliners were: Tyler Farr, Blake Shelton, Big & Rich, Lee Brice, Easton Corbin, Brad Paisley and Zac Brown to name a few.  The music was great.  BUT, it was hot.  HOT.  Over 100 each day.  And DUSTY!  And CROWDED with plenty of drunk people.
See, I'm having fun.  At the moment.  Shortly after this picture was taken a youngish gal that kept bumping into me (another reason I don't like concerts) dumped her huge beer on me after I asked her many times to be careful, and I lost it.  I really am a fairly nice person but I did push her.  Sorta hard.  As I yelled at her.  This is why I don't like that many people all around me, crowding in, drunk, loud, obnoxious, etc.  And why I prefer mountain tops.  So now I'm hot, dusty and covered in stinky beer.

While it was entertaining watching all the dancing, it kicked up huge clouds of dust making it hard to breath.  It took us days afterwards to clear all the dirt out of our lungs.  We did a lot of coughing.

Thank goodness it's the last day!  We had fun, but I think it will be a long time before I go to another concert.

Tyler Farr was our favorite and Zac Brown playing "Beautiful Drug".

Curt and Glenda arrived on the last day of the concert and we decided to head up to the top of the Grand Mesa where, at 11,332 feet in elevation, it would be much cooler!

Grand Mesa in the distance.  It is the largest flat topped mountain in the world.

The air was so clear, cool and clean up there.  Only in the upper 50s.

Curt throwing Hurley a snowball.  Yes, snow was nice after those 100 degree days.

A very zig zag way to the top.

Waterfall coming from the top of the mesa.

Glenda made a new friend.


Curt and Steve finding a geocache.  On the way down we stopped for some ice cream and wrapped up a great day.  Later we had a nice dinner and a campfire at their site next to us.  No obnoxious night light at their site.

The next day we took our bikes out to the bike trail in town and rode along the river.  There was a BMX track along the way.  Only Glenda and I were daring enough to try it.
Even though we got an early start, it hit those 100s again.  We drove through town along the vineyards and orchards.  We pulled our bikes off the road to take in a little shade.  We were admiring the hops when a gal introduced herself as the owner and asked if we wanted a tour?

Hops are a beautiful crop.  The are the flowers of the hop plant and are used as a flavoring and stability agent in beer, where they impart bitter, zesty, or citric flavors.

Some young plantings.

Crystal hops are used for medicinal purposes while Chinook and Cascade are used for beer.

Karen, one of the owners.

The hops are put in this machine to pull the flowers off the stocks.

They go up the conveyer into the dryers.

After they dry, down they go to be packed.

All packed up and ready to go.

This was a great bike ride.  We passed more orchards and gardens and wineries.

We had lunch at 369 and cooled off.  Then it was back home.

We bought some beer fry bread and hop soap from the Palisade Hop Farm.  Then we found some
local beer made with their hops.  When it cooled down we had Taco Tuesday and listened to a guy playing guitar at the Palisade Brewery.

Our last day together we headed out for a hike that Steve and I scouted out earlier.  The trail follows the creek some of the way.  But for the most part you just hike in the creek itself.  It was nice and cool in the canyon and the shallow water felt good.

Some interesting patterns in the Sandstone.

Lots of tadpoles in the shallow water.

We had to climb over a lot of boulders and rock walls.

Close up of the creek bottom.

Me, Steve, Curt & Glenda


Looks like the end of the line.  We couldn't find a way over this wall.

One last thing we did was change the anode in our hot water heater.  It should be done each year.

1.  Turn off water, 2. Release pressure on the valve.

3.  Remove the old anode.

4. Drain remaining water.  Old corroded anode on left, new one on the right.

5.  Curt used a high pressure wand to clean out the residue.

6.  Steve put the new anode in.

7. Close Pressure Relief Valve.   Ta-da!  We're good for another year.  Thanks for the help Curt.  You and Glenda have a great time with family and we'll see you later in the year in Arizona.
What a great time in Colorado.  Could we spend more time here?