My “GT” Van Travel in Colorado

So you forgot what “GT” stands for? Glorified tent…. I have been so happy with the van since the weather I am having now would be no fun in a tent … thus my glorified tent! My van! I had been comfortable in the warm weather, but Colorado is challenging me with its very, very cold nights! My second of 3 nights here I actually had the hood of my 3-season sleeping bag on my head along with a flannel hat because it was in the low teens at night. I did not insulate the van. Having been a backpacker and tenter in the past, I figured I could survive with good gear, thus the sleeping bag was most certainly packed. 

Long story short, I am fine and more annoyed with the windy day I had! Flags were blowing straight out and the birds were having quite the challenge flying. However, I did visit three places to check on birds and saw about 20 different species, no new ones for me though.

Here are some of the birds I saw this day at either Watson Lake, CO State Environmental Center or Fossil Creek Park:

Common goldeneye
Great blue heron
Lesser scaup

After a day of strong winds and a very cold night I was excited to see no wind and a beautiful blue sky the next morning. After talking with a young couple at the campground for more than an hour and the air temperature rising 15 degrees, thank goodness, I learned they own a Ram Promaster high roof, 159 inch wheelbase van, all decked out with refrigerator, stove, toilet, etc. I returned to Watson Lake to bird watch near the creek, but grabbed a coffee and scone at a cafe on my way so I did not need to freeze my butt this morning making any breakfast. 

While birding I spoke with a couple of guys who were also looking for eagles at the nesting area across the creek. None of us saw an eagle, but here is a photo of Watson Lake and some birds I did see:

Watson Lake
Belted kingfisher
Black-capped chickadee
Northern flicker

This would have been a perfect day to bicycle ride. I love the bike paths here in Fort Collins, but I had a reservation to see butterflies at the Garden at Spring Creek. They were beautiful and some were even tagged!

Here are some flower and butterfly photos from that visit:

Zebra Longwing
Painted lady with a tag
Julia longwing

I treated myself to dinner at The Farmhouse at Jessup Farm. I arrived early so walked the area and discovered it is an artisan village with various shops. Bath soaps, homemade ice cream, yoga studio, beer/Barrel House where the flights of beer were inviting. Interesting transition for this farm land. For dinner, I enjoyed blackberry-glazed salmon with carrots and potato, huge side salad and a margarita! (Interesting note: my margaritas usually have salt on my glass rim, but here was a choice of sugar … really? Is that a Colorado thing?)

Off to Nebraska tomorrow….

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