Part 1 of 3: Driving to Fort Collins, Colorado

I left Grand Junction’s high desert, on the western slope, and am driving toward the Rocky Mountains. Driving this section of the interstate was a first for me. I especially loved the area between Rifle and Vail. Fifteen years ago I played a tennis tournament in Vail, but arrived there from the Denver airport. So approaching it from the western side was a first for me and absolutely beautiful with the various landscapes.

Every 2 – 3 hours I stop and stretch my legs. I never know what will be in the area; it is simply my time to relax from driving. A half hour from my final destination, the campground, I saw on my Google map a Chapunga (Cha-POONG-goo) Sculpture Park, so decided to stop there as it was just off the interstate. The park is, the largest art center in the USA, devoted to stone sculptors in Zimbabwe, Africa. Wow, all the sculptures are hand-carved by present day Shona people in Zimbabwe! As you walk around the park, you see a variety of sculptures. It was the perfect place for me to walk, relax and see interesting art work.

“Mawuya Welcome: My home is your home! You Will share all I have.”
“My talents are simple, yet they bring much joy to the people of my village.”

Interested in this artwork? There are many more sculptures in this park, so do visit the park. I continued on to the campground and decided to drive through Loveland from the south east, then north to Fort Collins, where my campground is located. Loveland is mostly urban with some agricultural land, a quaint downtown, other sculpture gardens, golf courses, huge high school, a variety of housing and plenty of stores. It is also a gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park and in the past that was the only road I knew of in Loveland. I grabbed my dinner at the Sprouts deli in town then continued on. Between Loveland and Fort Collins are natural areas and a reservoir I have visited on past trips. I am finally at my campground to walk around the pond here and enjoy the evening!

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