States visited: 49!

visited 49 states (98%)
Create your own visited map of The United States
Miles driven so far -
LOOP 1 (Aug 2009 - Aug 2010): 29,000
LOOP 2 (May - August 2012): 10,800

Highest altitude with camper: 11,158ft (I-70, CO)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Solar Eclipse, CO

Closing up our slides, two massive chunks of ice flew off; we were relieved that our water pipes hadn’t frozen overnight.  It was 27 degrees when we woke up, by the time we would arrive at our next campground later in the afternoon, the temperature would have risen to 90 degrees, quite an increase during the course of one day!

Sadly, we bade farewell to the Harper's for a few weeks.                    

We drove down through Boulder, skirting Denver and joined back to the I-70 which took us to higher and higher elevations via incredible views.  We passed a number of ski resorts including Copper Mountain and Vail, a sure indication that we were at a pretty high elevation.  Dave was monitoring his GPS for the elevation rises; the highest recorded was 11,136ft!  This broke all of our previous records.  He was super excited; the rest of the family was slightly less impressed; we just gave him raised eyebrows!  Have to admit, it was pretty cool though.  I just loved all of the spectacular scenery on the drive.  The interstate followed the Colorado River; clearly the road took advantage of the area already carved through the mountains by Mother Nature.

We pulled off in Eagle to eat lunch, relaxing next to the River at one of the nicest Rest Areas we’ve ever stopped at.  It would have been easy to stay longer and fall asleep on our blankets warmed by the sun…..oh, so tempting!

Regardless, we continued on to James M. Robb Colorado River State Park campground in Fruita at the west edge of Colorado enjoying the incredible scenery as we drove including rafters heading down the raging river - impossible for me to catch up on the blog - too much to look at!  Occasionally we spot some interesting set-ups as we cross the country; this particular RV was overloaded to the absolute hilt and modded quite bizarrely.

At the campground, once again, we were treated to beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and could easily meander over to the Colorado River.  These incredibly picturesque camping spots are going to be hard to beat.

Once everything was set up for our stay, Dave moved on to setting up his camera area for the evening solar eclipse.  Thanks to his camera forum, he knew it was taking place, there’s no way we would have realized it otherwise as we certainly didn't notice a change in light.  We were staying a little east of the main line of the complete eclipse, but it was going to cover a fair percentage of the sun where we were.  Checking online, we found a site detailing how to create a pinhole projector from cardstock.  After a long six hour drive, the kids then embarked on this science project – did I mention that the learning never ends?!

The pinhole projectors did work but were not nearly as effective as Dave’s modification with the binoculars!  It was very clear to see the moon shape passing in front of the sun.  Of course, better than both of those were his photographs.  In the last couple of years, he’s really been learning more and more about what’s needed to ensure the very best pictures.  He did a fabulous job and the progression of the moon’s journey was clearly documented.  When the cloud cover moved across, it created some wonderful contrast. Dave’s set-up was so impressive that people stopped by to look at his pictures!

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