We are still in Rifle but are making plans to leave a week from Friday. I have scheduled some minor repairs to be done in Grand Junction then so we will be moving down valley. Our favorite campsite is the Colorado State Parks campground in Fruita but we could not get a spot over the weekend of the 29th because that is the Annual Fruita Fall Festival and every site has been booked for months. Instead we will be staying at Junction West RV park about eight miles from Fruita. We have stayed there several times and it is a good spot but it farther away and with the increasing cost of fuel we had hoped to be closer.
We have had a wonderful time visiting with friends and family here and hate to leave them all behind again. However, they have not been doing enough to keep the temperatures as warm as we would wish. This morning it was 35.6 degrees at our trailer. The airport said 37 was the low there. Way too cold for our thinned out snowbird blood. It is funny how quickly we adapt to warmer climes and seem to have trouble adapting back. I think our stay in Flagstaff until after Christmas is going to be much colder and wetter than we would like. It gives me much pleasure to say “We have not had to shovel snow in four years” but after this year we may have to start over. It will be well worth the cost to spend Christmas with the whole family though.
Here the leaves are already starting to change so I suspect up on the mountains they are already in full splendor. The Colorado River is so low that between the roller dam near Plateau Creek and where the Interstate crosses the river near Palisade there is less water in the river than what the Highline Canal carries. From the highway it looks like it is about forty feet wide and about nine inches deep where it goes over the spillway. The roller dam has all the rollers down and sealed and no water is going over the top. The only water going downstream is what gets out the leaks in the rollers. Most of the springs up on the mountains have either very reduced flow or have stopped flowing entirely. Fortunately we have had rain about every week or I believe the wildlife would be in serious trouble. The forecast is for an early fall and we have seen some change that way. They are also predicting a slightly wetter fall than normal. There is still no forecast for the winter except that a weak El Nino is setting up in the Pacific. El Nino produces more moisture in this part of the country because the seas are warmer and a stronger southern jet stream brings that moisture across the Southwest. Last year was a strong La Nina which sends the moisture farther north. “Place your bets and take your chances”.