Colorado to Florida

21 September - 25th October 2014

Our route back to Florida from Montana, allowed for a few weeks of fishing in Colorado and New Mexico.

North Delaney Lake was our first stop after crossing the Colorado State Line. This “Gold Medal” trout fishing lake didn't disappoint with scenery and fishing as great as ever.

We broke up our stay at the lake with a day trip to the nearby North Platte River, only to find the fishing disappointing. However, the gorgeous surroundings and isolation made the trip worthwhile.

North Delaney Lake – Fish on.

A local fisherman prepared for all eventualities!

Gorgeous North Platte River

Our next Colorado stops in previous favourite fishing spots offered disappointing fishing for different reasons.

The Arkansas river at Salida, a great spot with free camping right on the river, was running high and fast and the fish which usually hung out in Phil's favourite spots seemed to have disappeared, possibly swept further downstream!

We moved on to Montrose and fished at Ridgway State Park, where conditions proved quite the opposite. Flow from the dam had been reduced to a level where there was barely enough water in the river for the fish.

We decided to press on south over the three mountain passes into New Mexico.

On the San Juan River the trout were biting like crazy and we enjoyed a few peaceful days of hiking and fishing before it was time to begin the return trip to Florida.

We chose a route via Taos. In previous visits to New Mexico we given the mountains a miss as we had been later in the season and snow was already threatening.

ET Rock – San Juan River, New Mexico

Driving onwards through the stark New Mexico scrubby landscape, with its usual scattering of trailer homes and dead cars, we were startled to arrive in what reminded us of a landscape from a science fiction movie. Suddenly bizarre looking buildings started to pop-up in the harsh surroundings and we stopped to take a closer look.

We stumbled upon a visitor centre and discovered that we were in an area used for construction of “Earthship” homes. These were environmentally homes, constructed in unusual designs incorporating many curves and minarets. Construction materials used were a combination recycled tyres, bottles and adobe mud taken from the local surroundings.

Earthship under construction

The home we toured was almost fully self-sufficient with its excellent insulation properties, solar panels and water collection system. Grey water from sinks and showers was recycled to water the food-producing greenhouse along the side of the structure.

Earthship Larder

As in previous years, our trip back to Florida meant dodging scary, stormy weather to avoid driving in hazardous conditions. Nevertheless we arrived back in Florida several days before our flight home and decided to treat ourselves to a relaxing “holiday” at Anastasia State Park Campground in Saint Augustine before flying home for the winter. Our trip from Florida to Alaska and back added around another 14,500 to Harvey's already high mileage!

Atop St. Augustine Lighthouse

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