Salida and Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP

On our way to Salida and we have a night to play with before our reservation starts at Hecla Junction Campground. It’s time to do laundry, so we decide on the Buena Vista KOA. Luckily, I had read about this park and its water issues as some spots for trailers have no water available. We got one of the last remaining spots with hookups and a view also (P49). Laundry is always easy when there is no one there and one can use 5 washers and dryers at once. While we were in the campground, we received a call from the agency regarding our stay at Hecla, that it would not be accessible one day we were there due to road construction, and they could put us somewhere else but we declined the offer. During the evening we had a major thunderstorm skirt the campground – it was amazing to watch.

Snagged the last water campsite!

Tuesday, July 23 and leaving the Buena Vista we arrived in Salida, parked the Airstream and went to explore the downtown. Cute town, great architecture and the Arkansas River runs through it. We had a great lunch, shopped and walked around. We arrived at the campground around two and found our site was right next to another family with an Airstream. The campground is well laid out and although we were right by the river we could hear it but not see it from our trailer. We explored the campground – only 23 sites, river access and a hiking trail. Our neighbors returned and we met them frecklesheairstream, and it turns out we follow each other on Instagram. Another storm passed though around 8 pm, crazy Colorado weather.

Salida was warm, but inviting.

Nothing better than impressive architecture.

Salida Whitewater Park

Love the signage!

Storm can come – we don’t care!

Water was close, but we couldn’t see it from our site.

Today and the rangers were all driving through reminding us that we had to leave by 8 before the road closed. We had planned not leaving and maybe going swimming and on a hike, so we were good. We relaxed, read and hiked about a mile following the river and watching the many rafters go though. This spot is quite the busy area for loading up after a run. We wished we had booked a trip, but maybe next time.

Rafters could be heard having fun!

Took a morning hike.

Found where there was a water source for the area. How they got this here is a mystery.

These loaders are fast!

Loved our view of this beauty!

Thursday and we are off to Black Canyon of the Gunnison for two nights. We stopped in Gunnison and had lunch, walked around town, then headed for the park. Our site was in the B loop – 178 in the South Rim area.  Not much of a view in our site but plenty in the park. We headed out to the Visitor Center to check it out and the canyon which is spectacular. Lots of places to stop and take pictures.

The narrowness of the canyon is impressive!

Looking forward to seeing the bottom.

In the morning we drove down the long windy road to the East Portal Ranger Station to meet the ranger for the Tunnel Through Time Walk. Such an interesting talk and to experience the bottom of the canyon is worth the drive. Once we finished, we headed back to camp and then out again to drive the South Rim Road. With all the stops its very educational. Again, there was rain during the night and we were fortunate to be in the Airstream. Tomorrow we head for Utah and Dead Horse SP and a quick Airstream wash.

Site 17b.

Love seeing these signs!

Highly recommend this drive and the ranger led talk.

The East Portal

Amazing putting a tunnel in a mountain.

I think this is the most photographed place in the park.

Bath time. First time ever bathing on the road.

New state!