Remember that when you leave this Earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received, only what you have given, a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage. -St. Francis of Assisi

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hiking near Cayton Campground

Friday July 27 and Saturday July 28
I went camping for 2 nights at Cayton Campground in the San Juan National Forest. This campground has some "electric only" sites and the rest of the sites have no utilities. I did not have any cell or internet service here. The campground was full and I was not able to get one of the shady sites near the river.  The river was behind my RV but there was not a path to it through the long grass. On Friday evening I walked around both the upper and lower loops of the campground and along the river. 

I stopped in the town of Rico on the way to the campground. It is a small mountain town - Main Street is about 2 blocks long with a few restaurants, a small hotel and a museum. The town's website showed a walking tour. I did not print the map and they did not have any available at the museum, which was like a Visitors Center. I was able to view the map on my cell phone. I walked to the Town Hall and some churches.  I visited the small  free museum and I walked down River Road to the restored water tower.  Rico is an old mining and railroad town.  The original railroad station was destroyed in a flood many years ago.

On Saturday I wanted to go hiking and decided to take a long walk up the Bolam Pass Road that is adjacent to the campground.  I could have driven the RV a few miles North of the campground to the trail head for the East Fork Trail or the Cross Mountain Trail, but I prefer to just leave the RV parked in my site, with the A/C on for my cat.

It rained all night Friday and a little bit on Saturday morning, so I didn't start out until around 9am. Although it was cloudy most of the day it didn't rain while I hiked, there were a few raindrops at the very end after I turned off the road into the campground.

Not sure why the sign says Hermosa Park Road
I think it should say "Hermosa Peak" which you can see from the road,
the Forest Service Maps say its Bolam Pass Road

The road was gravel for the first 3 miles and then it turned into a rough, steep 4x4 road. A few dirt bikes, 4x4's and jeeps passed by me.

I came across a few trailers parked alongside the road boondocking next to Barlow Lake. 

I also met a family that was having a picnic at an old log cabin, found out that they own a mining claim here. The claim has been in their family for over 70 years.

I walked/hiked 8.2 miles from elevation 9373 to 10,294. I would have liked to walk all the way to Bolam Pass, but that was 7 miles one way. I took 2 snack breaks and stopped to talk to people along the way and still made pretty good time on the hike, a total of almost 5 hours.

I bought a new toy a few days before this camping trip.  A Nike GPS watch, it tracks the time, distance, elevation gain, average miles per hour and calories burned.  The watch takes into account any stops you make. The watch has a USB connection in the band so that I can download the data to their website and track all of my walks and hikes. When you download the data it draws a map of where you were hiking.

click on the map to enlarge

The info can be posted on your Facebook page if you want to share the data with your friends.  The watch is geared for runners, but it works fine for hiking and walking.


Well, I am more than half way through my work contract here at Mesa Verde and I am thinking about where to go next.  I will probably spend a part of the winter in Texas and I still want to go to Lazy Days RV, in Tucson, to have some remodeling done inside the RV and to upgrade my refrigerator.  I have emailed a few places about jobs and I also sent some emails to the National Wildlife Refuges in Texas.

For next summer, I will be applying at the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park.  Lake Powell is an Aramark property and it looks interesting, but I am told that it gets very hot there. I may pick a few other places to apply, also.  I never know for sure where I will end up.


  1. I like what you are doing and your schedule. Sounds very enjoyable. I am going to take a look at that watch. Do you get any kind of affiliate income from the link you provided? Great pictures.

  2. beautiful pictures.
    I hope you find a great job for your next stop.

  3. Are you looking to volunteer at the refuges or find a paying job?

  4. great photos, Teri!..good luck with the job hunting!

  5. Teri - I lived and worked at the Grand Canyon back in the late 80's. It was then that I fell in love with Arizona. If you make it to Tucson, I would love to get together for lunch or dinner. Additionally, I have 10 acres at the base of the Dragoon Mountains that you would be welcome to use as a stop over anytime you are passing through. I have no water or power there but it sure is beautiful.

  6. You are quite a hiker, I can't imagine walking that far at that altitude. But that area looks beautiful and you got to see a lot of it. That GPS watch is a nice toy! I'd think it would also be a life saving device if you ever get lost on a long hike, especially with no cell service. I've done that, but I never go too far so it's pretty easy to find my way back. :)


Hi, I welcome your thoughts and comments.

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