Sunday, June 9, 2019

Grand Junction, CO: Part Two

We discovered the small town of Palisade.  It's located about 15 miles eastward of Grand Junction by way of Interstate 70.  Here we found several delightful wineries with their acres of vineyards, miles of peach orchards (although no ripe fruit, we're too early in the season) and a quaint, inviting downtown.  We checked out the art galleries, took a drive on the scenic Fruit and Wine Byway and had a nice bottle of wine at the Colterris Winery.
Actually, we made more than one trip back to Palisade.  We visited the Carlson Winery with its down home relaxed atmosphere. Of course I loved the cats that strolled their grounds.  We also found the Restoration Winery, the newest one in Palisade, wonderfully unique with the old Mercedes Benz cars used as a distinguishing characteristic.

We also made a day trip up to the Grand Mesa, the world's largest flat-topped mountain.  The 63 mile Grand Mesa Scenic Byway drive took us from a desert ecosystem up through some of the most beautiful aspen and alpine forests.  We were so surprised to see so much snow!  All of the side roads were still closed.  The two most scenic side roads, Land-O-Lakes and Land's End were covered in snow and of course, closed.  By the appearance of the deep snow drifts, it may be awhile before they are plowed and opened.

The Scenic Byway slowly gains altitude.  We will eventually be just over 10,000 feet above sea level.

The sky was filled with puffy cumulus clouds this day.

There were pull offs to see the valley area below.

And no guard rails in some places..

The higher we traveled, the more snow pack we found.

We saw several lakes still frozen over.

The Grand Mesa Visitor Center.

We brought our lunch and enjoyed it in the Jeep as we looked out over this frozen lake.  All of these vacation homes, located on the other side of the lake, had high snow drifts and the few people we saw were using snowmobiles to get to their homes.

As we traveled back down the Grand Mesa, we noticed many of the aspen groves had not even budded.  We made the long trip around back to Grand Junction on Hwy 50.  This drive took us through the town of Cedaredge.

So long Grand Junction.
More Later from the Grand Teton National Park.

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