No, I did not play golf in Pagosa Springs.
I drove by and recognized it as the same course I tried to play a couple years ago, and was unable to get on then, This time, I passed by on my own choice. Looked like as few groups were headed out. Too many for me. The courses I have been playing have been wide open...
So I headed north, eventually getting to SOUTH FORK. I was leaving town when the GPS pointed out a nearby course. RIO GRANDE CLUB.
Looked nice as I drove in. But there were no obvious signs of humans. Oh sure, there were golf carts lined up nearby, ready when needed. I walked into the huge clubhouse and saw people on phones, but no typical pro shop was to be found. I figured PRIVATE and was leaving when one lady asked if I had been helped. Turns out the community was mainly real estate based, but the golf course was opened to the public.
Most of the mountain communities do not get busy until Memorial Day, so I got on an expensive course for off season rates. Eventually I saw a couple other golfers, but basically the course was MINE.
The first tee was on a mountain cliff, hitting down into a nice valley. I noticed a sign warning about the dangers of lightening on wide open golf courses. Suddenly those local storms around me were more than a threat of just getting wet. As if on cue, a clap of thunder sounded and echoed across the valley. The storms were local and seemed no real threat at the moment. So I headed out.
The worse that happened was a few drops of rain.
After I was done, I had to decide whether to quit early for the day and get a room somewhere, or move on where it may be a while to settle down. I decided on an evening drive and headed north on a small mountain highway. There were no hotels on the small towns I passed. So I drove until it was just about dark, finally finding a place to stay in Gunnison, Colorado. As the sun was setting, I had several close encounters with deer along the road. I came over a ridge and suddenly I was amongst a heard of them, with deer on both sides of the road. I passed right through them and drove on as they remained behind safe and bug-eyed.
Next morning was beautiful. I headed west on RT 50, then turned onto a back road (RT 92) that went to the other side of a long canyon and road the rim until I got to HOTCHKISS. Never heard of it but was impressed with the friendly people and nice clean town. I spent most of the day stopping at just about every turnout and taking photos of the spectacular scenery.
I turned north to Carbondale and eventually Glenwood Springs. A few miles west on I-70 I pulled in and slept in Rifle. I had stayed there before years ago, and even played the local golf course. It is also a nice town. I had a great dinner at a local barbecue place. That was the end of a non-golfing day.
Next morning, again the weather was perfect. I headed north on RT 13 to Meeker. There was a small golf course there. I stopped and saw a group of beginners teeing off, so I moved on. I did not want to have to play through them.
WEST to Rangely. I had seen a golf there on one of my previous cruises, but drove by then as it was getting late in the day. But I remember that stuff. Now I was back. It was awesome. Great condition. It was like a park. Again, I went right out and teed off.
I wanted to get to Wyoming. So I went north via RT 64 through Dinosaur, eventually getting to Rock Springs. I went over a mountain pass or two, and crossed the dam at Flaming Gorge. Those folk in Wyoming know how to build a road over the mountains. The mountains there had no pesky trees, just mainly steep smooth hillsides. So the answer was go straight up whenever possible. Forget those switchbacks. You tend to lose track of the severity of the hill you are climbing at 75 mph until you look at the big picture.
The day was filled with photo opportunities and I took the time to use them.
There was heavy rain as I arrived in Rock Springs. Soon it turned into bright sunshine, but regressed back to an evening shower.
This morning I will head west on I-80, aiming at Boise in the next couple days.
Having a great time.