Monday, September 17, 2012

Rifle Gap

One of the differences (we hope) between vacationing and full-time RVing is that when you're on vacation you have a schedule and at times you have to seriously cover ground. On this trip, of 18 days away, eight of them were spent getting to and from South Dakota. That means covering 300-400 miles per day. We always try to find some interesting stopovers to make use of the few hours of free time this schedule leaves.

Rifle Gap campground
Rifle, Colorado is a tiny little town on I-70 between Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction on the Colorado River. The town itself is pretty tiny and apparently has little to recommend it but just north of town are several Colorado State Parks. Unlike California, where the state parks have been under the budgetary ax for the last several years and you're lucky if they even let you in, Colorado appears to take considerable pride in its parks system and provides surprising amenities. We stayed at Rifle Gap State Park which is situated on the North Shore of a reservoir maintained primarily for fishing. You can see the campground in the accompanying photo. There are long paved concrete pads that can take motor homes up to 42 feet with full hookups. It would really be perfect if the reservoir were not down about 30 or 35 feet related to the fact that the entire center of our country is undergoing the worst drought since 1956. Even so, there was water present and a few fishing boats out on the lake and the whole scene was pretty idyllic. By the way, the dark motorhome in the upper center part of the photo is our Allegro.
Chez Rains

You can see it a little better in this shot taken with my 500 mm lens. I had to use it for something.

Rifle Falls
A little farther north from the campground is Rifle Falls State Park. There are actually three separate waterfalls pouring side-by-side over a limestone cliff. There are some caves up behind the waterfalls for the more adventurous. There's also camping available here although it is not quite as big rig friendly as Rifle Gap.

This really did form a perfect afternoon break on our way back. You can make reservations over the Internet, which we did a couple of months ago, but the campground was not full while we were there and I suspect this is the rule for week days after Labor Day. If you are going through the area, it is definitely worth a stop over.

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