Robby Poore

Day: July 5, 2017

Eagle to La Junta, Colorado

    14,000 ft.peaks on the way to the Dunes

The Great Sand Dunes National Park

Mariah and Desmond take Fifi for a walk at the Great Sand Dunes

Charlotte at the Great Sand Dunes

Spanish Peaks, CO


July 3, 2017
It’s our time to say goodbye to Lynne’s parents and hit the road, so we woke up early and packed the car, and had a quick breakfast at the hotel. Papa (Lynne’s father) helped “grade” the twins’ last Jr. Ranger packets, these were the Night Sky badges that the ranger at Dinosaur National Monument gave to us, and made us promise to check their packets once the kids were finished. They passed with flying colors, according to Papa!
Charlotte and Mariah planned to come to the Great Sand Dunes with us, so we drove in a caravan down I 70, and took a right on route 24, and drove down the twisty roads through Minturn and Burma Vista, passed beautiful 14,000 foot peaks and abandoned mining towns, and passed several busses carrying river rafts and thrill-seekers. Lynne and Charlotte ride in one car, and I took Mariah and the twins in the Family Sport Wagon. I chose some tunes for Mariah to listen to, she’s been asking quite a bit about new music. At one point the subject changed to favorite albums, and of course I had to play the new remix of the Beatle’s Sgt. Peppers, and what a better time than driving several hours through such expansive and beautiful scenery. (The remix is absolutely phenomenal, by the way). Plus, I had the kids’ attention and they couldn’t escape, so their ears were mine for a short while.
I had a good time catching up with my niece Mariah, she’s a young artist and is interested in so many similar things; music, art, comics, and travel.
An interesting (?) note about our music; we have listened to quite a bit of music on this trip, but not as much as I would’ve liked. Lynne and I like to listen to location-specific music that goes with the terrain we drive through. For instance, In South Dakota and Iowa Lynne and I listened to a bunch of George Jones, and truck driving and CB music of the 1970s (which I have been collecting for years). In Wyoming, we listened to a bunch of western swing music, Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, and the like. In southern Wyoming, when we got out of the Tetons and Jackson hole, we listen to all of Rank and File’s “Sundown” record. I hadn’t listen to that album in maybe 20 years or so, and it still stands up, it’s great. I’d argue that it pre-dated alt-country by 10 years or more. After that, on a lark, Lynne and I listened to a bunch of Elton John from the early 1970s, most especially Tumbleweed Junction, and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. On the drive to the Great Sand Dunes I played a selection of tunes I thought Mariah would like, including Band of Horses, Telekinesis, and Depeche Mode. For some reason, the twins really enjoyed the song “Shake the Disease” and even sing along with it for a bit! That was quite a surprise.
We all met up at the great Sand Dunes, a collection of sand at the base of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, where there’s a visitor center and a little creek that runs off to the side. The kids got Jr Ranger packets and got to work while I snapped some photos and smelled the fresh mountain air.
We took a quick stop at the creek, then struggled through the sand while the kids built dams in the sandy creek bed. After an hour or so we went back to the visitor center, kids got the Ranger badges just in time for the visitor center close. We had a quick snack outside, and said goodbye to Charlotte and Mariah. We headed south and turned left to Walsenburg, while Charlotte turned right and went to Alamosa.
We drove around a gigantic mountain, through the beautiful plains, then through a canyon that took us past the Spanish peaks. We went through the little town of Walsenburg, which seemed a little rundown and worse for the wear. I had been through Walsenburg years before on a crazy bike trip I took with my father and brother back in 1981. We rode from Trinidad to Pueblo, Colorado, the next day to La Junta, and the final day back to Trinidad. We passed through Walsenburg for a quick lunch on the way north to Pueblo. This was in the time long before lycra shorts and fancy helmets, and even before panniers and multiple water bottles. Most of the riding we did was on freeways–roads are few and far between in these parts.
We arrived at La Junta around 9, and since it was Monday almost all the restaurants are closed except for Sonic. That was OK, we got some burgers and tater tot’s, and of course some cherry limeade’s to drink, and took them to the motel where we stayed up late watching American Pickers.

Eagle, Colorado

Sampson family at Sylvan Lake CO

Cousins at Sylvan Lake, CO

Sylvan Lake, CO

Sampson sisters, Sylvan Lake CO

Cousins screenin’ at Grand Avenue Grill, Eagle CO

Cousins goofin’ at Grand Avenue Grill, Eagle CO

Gretchen and Grammy at Grand Avenue Grill, Eagle CO

Yeah! Family time!

Desmond braiding Lynne’s hair at the Rusty Boot, Eagle CO

Sketching at Bonfire Brewery, Eagle, CO

Lynne and Laura Sampson at Sampson Cycles, Glenwood Springs CO

Delicious tacos at Slope and Hatch, Glenwood Springs CO

Daddy and Desi at Glenwood Springs CO

Kids after the big green tube, Glenwood Springs CO


June 30-July 2, 2017
We were in Eagle, Colorado for three days, a nice break from the stop-and-go travel, and a good place to have a family reunion. Lynne’s parents Tom and Arlene came up from Phoenix, Lynne’s sister Charlotte and her daughter Mariah drove from Santa Fe, and Laura and Joe from next door in Gypsum. Desmond and Gretchen were happy to rest a few days and hang out with their cousin Mariah and her little dog Fifi, and see their grandparents and aunts. I took some time to sketch some journal illustrations, and update this blog, and Lynne loved seeing and catching up with her family.
FRIDAY. After our hotel breakfast and dog walking we went up in the mountains for a picnic at Sylvan Lake. It’s a gorgeous camping and picnic spot perched at 9000 ft. above sea level and surrounded by dark green pines and breezy aspen groves. We were there a few hours, Gretchen and I, along with Aunt Charlotte and Aunt Laura, walked around the lake. Gretchen took off her shoes and walked through streams and over mountain rocks, telling me that she “takes the road less travelled”. It was a lovely afternoon, I really miss western mountains. That night we ate at the Grand Avenue Grill and hung out, enjoying the clean mountain air.
SATURDAY. We took it easy this morning, I took Desmond and Gretchen to the hotel steam room, which they thought was crazy, and then for a swim. We walked to the Eagle Diner for a snack. Joe joined us at the diner, and spent the rest of the day with us. Back at the hotel the cousins bopped around and played video games, and then we all went to a city park to relax in the view of the mountains. Later that night we went to the Rusty Boot, a cyclist-themed bar and restaurant with excellent salads and deserts. After that we went back to the hotel. I decided to wander to the local Bonfire Brewery, where I did some sketching on the back porch next to an actual propane bonfire, drank a couple of beers, then took a slow stroll back to the hotel under the starry sky.
SUNDAY. Charlotte and Mariah went to the Denver ComicCon, Tom and Arlene opted to relax in Eagle, the rest of us and Laura went to Glenwood Springs. Another amazing drive through Glenwood Canyon, and we parked in downtown Glenwood Springs. By chance we parked in front of the Sampson bicycle shop (, so we went inside to check it out. Eric Sampson happened to be there, so we talked to him and took a few photos of these titanium racing cycles, then he sent us to a great home-in-the-Wall taco joint called Slope and Hatch where we had some amazingly tasty fresh tacos. After that we milled around Glenwood Springs, Aunt Laura bought a few books for the kids, then we all went to the huge hot springs and soaked a while. The pools are enormous, the hottest one is about the size of an Olympic swimming pool, and the other cooler pool is twice that size. The kids went down the fun yet terrifying green slide that’s in yet another pool. We swam some more, then showered up and left. Back to Eagle, then a quick dinner at The Eagle Diner with the family. We chatted some more with Laura and then bid her adieu, and went to bed very tired.

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