Summer of 2018: Camping on the North Platte (June 30- July 1)

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We set out in the morning for a backpacking trip, late as usual. The rain started almost as soon as we hit Poudre Canyon. A drizzle at first, it intensified into a steady rain for most of the drive, with the thermometer on a steady drop. The rain had stopped by the time we reached the Colorado State Forest visitor center, but the temperatures hovered in the mid-fifties and clouds still covered the sky. The forecast made it sound a little better, but not much, with temps dropping into the low 40s and a chance of further rain. I probably would have gone backpacking anyway, but there was a high risk of a family mutiny, and we decided to go someplace drier instead.

For the second time in three years, we bailed on a Cameron Pass-area backpack and drove down to the North Platte River. Six Mile Gap is a campground in between Chowdry and Emcampment. It’s a small little campground, with only about ten sites, which nevertheless always seems to have availability. Even better, it always seems to have warmer temperatures and sunshine. We found both there today, and enjoyed a nice campsite nestled in Aspen trees. After a warm dry dinner, we walked down to the river to explore. We saw a swimming muskrat, along with sunset reflections on the water.

 

Years ago I took our old Toyota Rav 4 down a dirt road in the area, and the next day we decided to explore more of these back roads. They were hard to follow in places, but the track followed the ridge line, with great views down into the North Platte valley, and across to the Park range to the west. It was a fun little jaunt, and a good warmup for the jeep roads later that day.

The summer is over, but the memories remain. While the summer was going on, I didn’t have time to edit photos and write up the stories to go with them, but now I do. This regular series will look back at the trips and adventures of the summer.

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