Finally time to depart for Colorado. No real plan, mainly just get out of the 100 degree+ weather forecast for Lubbock, Texas. My son, Brad, worries like an old mother hen when I take off on these solo camping trips from my WeeStrom...so he gave me a Spot for my birthday. The Spot made it easier for my friends and family to keep up...you can set it up to send custom message emails to up to 50 recipients. It made all the difference for Brad...instead of worrying when I was out of cell service, he followed along in google. I stopped and visited Brad's maternal grandfather, who is recovering from gall bladder surgery at Harmony House in Amherst, Texas. I talked him into giving the ADV salute! Best wishes, Bud! Here's a shot of the NM desert stretch...Doc Roc and LDF talk about liking the treeless plains in the Mobius Report, so I put in a pic just for you, Doc. Does that qualify as a treeless plain? I didn't take any pics of West Texas and very few of Eastern NM...BORING!!! Flat, straight and stinky! One dairy farm after another from Amherst to Clovis, NM. Then a long desert stretch from Clovis to Vaughan, where I turned off 84 onto 285 North. I stopped in Ft. Sumner and gobbled a ham & cheese sandwich in a pretty little park. Should've taken a picture...I finally mounted the camera to the handlebar at Sante Fe. That's Wheeler Peak, the highest peak in NM and home to Taos Ski Valley, in the distance. That dirt road looks inviting, huh? I made it to Antonito, Co. and turned West on 17, looking for a campspot. I'd seen Mogote NF Campground on some maps and was looking for that. I found it...only 450 miles from Lubbock. I must come here more often...it's beautiful! It might get a little chilly at night at these elevations and this close to the river? One good thing about camping near a river...there's always plenty of firewood. Day 2 Breakfast...coffee and oat meal. Yummy! Everything tastes better in the woods! I broke camp with Lake Dillon in mind for my next campspot. It did get a little chilly, so I started out heading West on 17 to check out a couple more NFS campgrounds for future reference. The aspen were putting on leaves and were a vibrant green. Elk Creek Campground was a couple miles down a washboarded, dirt road. I liked Mogote CG better. Time to backtrack to 285 and head North into the heart of Colorado! This is the South view from 17 near Aspen View CG. The same location looking North. Still lots of snow in the higher elevations! I stopped here for a break to check out a roaring little creek. All the creeks and rivers were ripping! One of the 14er Collegiate Peaks...not sure which one? This was near Buena Vista...my first attempt at a panorama shot...I need to practice with my new camera! A 14er with too much zoom. Time for the rain gear? I followed a rain shower all day...sure smelled good. A little bit chilly in mesh gear, tho! I did Starlight, Starbright on the evening star last night...and wished for clear skies and good weather. It's trying to clear... Pine beetles are destroying our National Forests! There are more brown evergreens in places than green. Notice how the trees don't have leaves yet at the higher elevations. Drop a few hundred feet and they're the brightest green you've ever seen! Starting to sprinkle...see it on the windscreen. Never had to put on my rainsuit, tho. Silverthorne, Co. I'd been chilled all day and was craving a warm shower, so I got a room here. That's Dillon Lake with the Keystone Range in the background. How can the people that live here stand to look at that all the time? That's all for Day 2. Day 3 destination...Rocky Mountain National Park.