contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.

         

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Blog for Victoria Bennett Beyer Photography

The photography blog of Victoria Bennett Beyer, featuring travel photographs from road trips across America and botanical photography of plants, flowers and leaves.

Filtering by Tag: colorado

Camping at Cayton

Victoria Beyer

Seven Weeks Across America

2018-06 CCT G Cayton (5) FIX.jpg

After camping in the dry heat at Mesa Verde, we were ready for a change of scenery, so we drove up into the mountains, without much of a plan.

2018-06 CCT G Cayton (58) FIX.jpg

We lucked out to get a spot at Cayton Campground in the San Juan Mountains.  It was refreshingly lush, with a stream running just behind our campsite, perfect for splashing around in.

2018-06 CCT G Cayton (20) FIX.jpg

This usually busy site was very quiet since it had just recently reopened after forest fires.  

2018-06 CCT G Cayton (96) FIX.jpg

Mesa Verde National Park

Victoria Beyer

Seven Weeks Across America

2018-06 CCT F Mesa Verde (68) FIX.jpg

Mesa Verde is just one of those places you need to see once in your lifetime.  You can look at all the photos you want of the Pueblo ruins, but nothing compares to standing inside one, or even viewing one from a lookout.  And what's there can really not be described as ruins.  While some repairs have been made, many are largely intact, dating from the 12th century.  

2018-06 CCT F Mesa Verde (31) FIX.jpg
2018-06 CCT F Mesa Verde (23) FIX.jpg

You can buy tour tickets to three different cliff dwellings, including Cliff Palace, pictured here.  You must buy tickets at the Visitor's Center, so do that as soon as you enter the park, and be prepared in case they are all sold out for the day you arrive.  We picked up tickets for two tours, spaced perfectly to allow a lunch break between.  Cliff Palace is the largest structure, with 150 rooms.  You can walk along it and peer into the doors, windows and kivas.  Balcony House, our second tour, is not for the faint of heart.  It requires a 30-foot ladder climb, squeezing through a small tunnel, and working your way through another tight spot.  But it was totally worth it to see the view the Pueblos enjoyed, living on the edge of a cliff, with nothing but a partial wall to keep you from tumbling to your demise.  It was thrilling.

In addition to these cliff dwellings, there are many more structures you can explore.  They are located on short hikes from the driving road, and are as old and older than the cliff dwellings.  They include homes and even a reservoir.

2018-06 CCT F Mesa Verde (80) FIX.jpg

Everyone comes to see the cliff dwellings, and rightly so, but the views as you are driving through the park (it's an hour at least from the Visitor's Center to the tours) are spectacular.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Victoria Beyer

Seven Weeks Across America

2018-06 CCT E Black Canyon (25) FIX2.jpg

Our second national park stop was Black Canyon of the Gunnison.  It's an incredibly steep canyon, so much that the Gunnison River below only gets sun right at midday.  It's very much a driving park, with many overlook stops around the South Rim and also the separate North Rim.  We stayed to the south, where the Visitor's Center is and also a campground.  There is in fact a gorgeous hike between the two, where you can get some fantastic views of the canyon.  It was so accessible that we went back out at night to do some stargazing.

2018-06 CCT E Black Canyon (205) FIX.jpg

We enjoyed a nice shady campground, with our own resident deer.  It did not seem to mind that we were sharing the space, walking right past us to graze and rest, several times during the day.  

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Victoria Beyer

Seven Weeks Across America

2018-06 CCT D Great Sand Dunes (177) FIX.jpg

Great Sand Dunes in southern Colorado was our first National Park stop.  I was really excited to see this place in person and it did not disappoint.  It's truly awe-inspiring to see these mountains of sand rising up in front of you as you drive in.  But the fun really begins once you start climbing and exploring.  

2018-06 CCT D Great Sand Dunes (79) FIX.jpg
2018-06 CCT D Great Sand Dunes (35) FIX.jpg

It's like a giant playground, bringing out pure joy from those sliding down the hills, whether it be on your backside or with special slides and sandboards.

People lined up on a small ridge, getting ready to slide down.

People lined up on a small ridge, getting ready to slide down.

2018-06 CCT D Great Sand Dunes (470) BLOG.jpg

You can have as much or as little adventure as you choose.  I wanted to get to the ridgetop, but that was no easy feat.  It takes longer than you might think, because the sand you are trudging through is so soft that it slips beneath your feet.  The last 100 feet of my climb were quite steep, and I was literally using my hands and feet, trying not to look down.  I flopped over the top of the ridge when I finally made it, laying there not looking very cool, while I recovered.  Luckily there was no one around to see me!  I spent the next several hours walking along the ridge toward High Dune, the second highest point in the dunes.  Bri made it to Star Dune, the highest dune, but that was quite a bit more strenuous.  As it was, this was my view from High Dune:

2018-06 CCT D Great Sand Dunes (564) FIX.jpg

That was my reward for the exhausting climb.  That and my first sunburn of the trip :0  Pro tip - If you go, wear long sleeves!

Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site

Victoria Beyer

Seven Weeks Across America

2018-06 CCT C Old Bents Fort (8) FIX.jpg

Our first scheduled stop was at Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site in southern Colorado.  It's reconstructed from detailed measurements of a fur trading post from the 1840s.  It was very well done, and made an impressive sight rising from the plains.  Inside it was meticulously appointed in historic details, and outside oxen and horses and chickens roamed freely. 

There were some wonderful historic reenactors, like this fellow who was quite knowledgeable on the trading that took place among the settlers, the local Indian tribes, and folks traveling along the Santa Fe Trail.

2018-06 CCT C Old Bents Fort (28) FIX.jpg

Jose was tending the fire and made W an egg burrito, with fresh eggs from the chickens that were roaming around.  She is seasoning it with salt.