We headed out this morning for our jaunt around Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico. We were up late last night visiting with Jay and Claudia, so we’re moving kind of slow. We got the truck packed up, locked up the house and took off.
We drove to Grand Junction, CO and stopped at a United Country realty office and got some info on the towns in the surrounding area. We headed out through lots of small towns. We went thru Delta, CO, but didn’t get a good feel for the town, kind of small and run down. We continued thru Hotchkiss, a very cute town, but we didn’t stop.
We went on to Paonia, CO. We got to Paonia in time for dinner. As we drove thru town, we found 4 places open. One place, a deli, was completely empty. We considered that a reflection of the food. Another place, the Flying Fork, seemed popular, but the prices were a little higher than what we liked. The other 2 places were both pizza places. Pizza to the Limit was kind of run down looking, so we chose Pizza My Heart. They had a good beer selection, but the service and the kitchen were very slow. They were really packed for a Tuesday night and our waiter said pizza was taking an hour to come out of the kitchen. Well, we ordered sandwiches and they also took a long time to come out. We finally got our food and it was really good, but it took us two hours for dinner!
It was way past dark by the time we started looking for our camp spot for the night. Many of the roads lead to private land and houses. We went over Kleber Pass towards Gunnison National Forest, We found a dirt road, but there was no place to pull off, lots of farms and houses along the road. We went up another and another with the same results. We finally found a dirt road along a rushing stream with a steep hill on the other side. As we went up this road, we didn’t find any camping, but the road was getting more narrow and rocky the further we went. We had a mountain on one side and a steep bank to the river on the other side. It was almost 11pm and we were still looking, getting tired and frustrated. Without any place to turn around, Andrew had to back down maybe a quarter of a mile of narrow, rocky dirt road until we found a spot wide enough to turn around. We decided that this wide spot was good enough for a camp tonight, even though it leaned quite a bit.