Kuma’s Big Adventures: A Scenic Drive Through Western Colorado | Online features

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I Hope you are staying cool during our hot season. My family and I recently drove up the West Slope of Colorado to visit a friend in Loma, just east of Grand Junction. While there we took a scenic drive and enjoyed cooler temperatures. If you have time, we recommend that you visit the area. It’s a ten hour drive from north Phoenix to Grand Junction. We stayed at the Super 8 in Fruita and are dog friendly.

The West Slope of Colorado is not as crowded or as expensive as many parts of the state. Still, we found it has a lot to offer. We encourage you to try!

From Grand Junction, we headed east on I-70. We didn’t know how far we would go or where we would end up. We just went driving! About an hour from Grand Junction is a small town of about 10,000 people called Rifle. It lies at the foot of the Roan Plateau and is known for its cattle ranching.

Thirty minutes further is Glenwood Springs, located approximately 5,800 feet above sea level. Glenwood Springs is known for its hot springs and rugged mountains. We were going to stop but some sort of festival was going on and the traffic was crazy. We continued. The area was very green and almost hurt our eyes as we are used to the desert!

One thing we love and appreciate in Colorado is the water. We miss life near rivers and streams. Another 20 minutes and we were ready for lunch. We were in Carbondale and found a really cool place: The Homestead Bar & Grill. It’s located on a golf course, but they’re dog-friendly with a great outdoor patio with views of Mount Sopris, a 12,965-foot twin peak in the Elk Mountains.

We sat on the deck in awe of this majestic peak and watched the golf cards go by. We don’t play golf, but the course was beautiful. I took a bowl of refreshing water and mom shared her burger with me. We weren’t in a rush, but I was up for a hike to stretch my legs. Our kind waiter suggested the Carbondale Nature Park located on Merrill Avenue.

After a while we decided to find the park and go for a nature walk. Parking is free and dogs are certainly welcome. In fact, if your dog is good on a leash, he can roam freely in this wilderness park. There are human restrooms and picnic tables near the parking lot.

The trail is dirt but very flat. As other dogs passed us on the way in, I could smell water on them. Mom asked, and sure enough, a swimming hole was about half a mile away. Oh my god, I picked up my pace! Before mom knew what happened, I found this watering hole and jumped in! It’s actually part of a small stream that runs through the area. A couple with a young puppy were trying to encourage their dog to come in, but she was scared. I came out and coached her on how to get in. Once her paws felt the cool, refreshing water, she was hooked. She went there!

When mom and I turned to go home, we stopped short: Mount Sopris was watching us. Wow! What an amazing view we had on the way back to the parking lot. You must love the Colorado Rocky Mountains!

I was almost dry by the time we got to the car and decided to head back to the hotel. We could have continued driving through the beautiful countryside, but we had a long day ahead of us heading back to Phoenix the next day. We will have to do another loop when we revisit the area to see other places. Stay cool my friends!

My mother, Lorraine Bossé-Smith, is kind enough to help me share my great adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, executive recruiter, business consultant, coach, fitness expert, and author of nine published books. More importantly, she is the best dog mom ever.

Enjoy my blog at https://bit.ly/kuma0901, follow me on Facebook @kumathedog or Instagram @kumaitothedog

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