Saturday, July 25, 2009

Colorado July 6-12: South Park area and moving to lower elevation.

We are camped, boondocking, on the edge of “South Park” a beautiful high mountain valley. Our elevation is 9500’. The whole South Park averages just under 10,000 in elevation. It is about 30 miles wide and 50 miles long.

The large white area in the map is “South Park”. As you can see it is surrounded by mountains.

The Native Americans and early explorers found huge quantities of bison, elk and pronghorn antelope feeding on the lush grasses in the summer here. Beautiful views all around the Park.

We have a beautiful campsite over looking a part of the park

View out our front window

Late afternoon view

As an added bonus, we had a Pronghorn Antelope walk by our front window in the morning. He stopped and looked at us for a moment

And decided we had a long enough look and said that’s enough!

Inside the town of Fairplay, there is a recreated town of “South Park”. There is a collection of about 40 buildings here. Many of the buildings were moved here from old mining towns in the mountains around the South Park area. We thought this “town” was just a collection of old buildings. However, all the interiors of the buildings have been recreated, using artifacts, to appear just like they did during the peak mining periods. The really nice part is there were very few barriers placed between the visitors and the artifacts. Most old restored old homes and stores we have visited have glass walls and other barriers keeping visitors many feet away from the artifacts.

Pictures from the town of South Park:

Massive stone building which was a brewery

This carpenter was much more than just a carpenter

Inside the general store

Inside School House

Narrow Gauge Train


Seamstress Shop and Home

Formal Dining Table in Seamstress’ home

The town needed water piped in from some distance away. Instead of trying to make or ship in expensive metal pipes, they cut down local cottonwood trees and bored out the center to make water pipes. Pretty inventive!

In one of the buildings there are a number of dioramas depicting different early mining operations.
Here are three examples

After touring the town of South Park, we returned to our camp. After two days at 9500’ elevation we realized the altitude was getting to us. We made to decision to move way down in elevation, to the town of Loveland at 5000 feet, for a few days.

Loveland is about 30 miles from the entrance to Rock Mountain National Park (RMNP), the next place we plan to visit.

After the last two weeks of living out in the country without any near by neighbors, we are now in close crowded quarters.

We could just about reach out the window and touch the RV next door.

Not where we want to be, but we needed to get down to a lower elevation.

Next, Rock Mountain National Park.

Until later,

Al & Sharon

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