Monday – October 13, 2014
Lathrop State Park
A cold front entered North Platte, Nebraska with a vengeance last night, producing strong gusts of wind that rocked our trailer throughout the night. The wind speed finally subsided by 7:00 a.m., only to increase again later in the morning.
We departed North Platte at 9:55 a.m. (Central Time). Our route today took us west on I-80 to southwest on I-76 to Denver, Colorado, then south on I-25 to Walsenburg, Colorado. Throughout our travel on I-80 and I-76 we encountered strong gusts of wind, coming out of the north, that made driving a bit difficult. Once we got on I-25 we now had a southbound tailwind that made driving much more comfortable.
Driving into Denver on I-76 is always an enjoyable experience for us. There is a point you reach on this stretch of the Interstate, as you drive over a hill, the mountains appear in the distance. Today, we were rewarded with a vision of snow-capped mountains. It looked like a significant amount of snow had blanketed the mountain peaks. The scene created the perfect picture postcard.
We arrived at the Lathrop State Park at 5:20 p.m. (Mountain Time). The park is located three miles west of Walsenburg on Colorado Highway 160. We will spend one night here.
Lathrop State Park, with 1,594 acres, lies on a high plains grassland dotted with pinon and juniper trees that is typical of southeastern Colorado. Hidden among the trees and yucca are mule deer, rabbits, squirrels and a variety of birds and waterfowl. The park is a popular place to enjoy fishing, boating, swimming, camping and hiking. The Spanish Peaks, 13,610 and 12,669 feet in elevation, tower over the park to the south, displaying their majestic beauty.
The park has 103 campsites on two campgrounds: Pinon and Yucca. They are within walking distance of a nine-hole golf course.
Pinon Campground has 83 sites with pull-through parking spaces, electrical hook-ups, flush toilets, tent pads and prepay showers. Each site is equipped with 20, 30, and 50 amp electric service, a picnic table and fire grill.
Yucca Campground has 21 non-electric camping sites for tents, small trailers and camping vans. A picnic table and fire grill are provided at each site. The campground has gravel back-in spaces, vault toilets and a dump station. Water is available at hydrants throughout the campground.
As we took our evening walk through the campground, we were serenaded by the call of the mule deer celebrating their rutting season. The distant sounds provided confirmation we have arrived in the rugged mountain terrain of Colorado.
Electric Sites: $20.00 plus a $7.00 daily entrance permit.
Non-Electric: $16.00 plus a $7.00 daily entrance permit.
Total miles traveled today: 428
Tomorrow another adventure begins.