Just outside of Fort Collins lies the beautiful Cache La Poudre within the Roosevelt National Forest.
Set on finding a nice dispersed spot along the river, we cruised up the canyon scouring the landscape for the perfect spot. We soon realized that this canyon was not dispersed camper friendly– any open areas were filled with established (pay) campgrounds filled with RVs and trailers, and any other space had a “No Camping” post staked into the ground.
It was still early in the afternoon; temperatures were in the high 80s and the sun was shining, so we decided take a break from trying to find the perfect camping spot. We pulled over at a few of the places along the river to enjoy the area; unfortunately I enjoyed it more than Ryan did. While I napped in my hammock with the sound of the rushing Poudre river beside me, he was wading through it to catch some fish. Being early in the summer months, the snow melt is at an all time high which causes the river to move way too fast for any successful fly fishing.
After driving up and down the Poudre Canyon for several hours, we finally gave up the hunt for a dispersed site along the river and stopped in a campground to chat with the camp host. Tired and discouraged, he quickly raised our spirits and advised that we travel up the road just a few miles to Pingree Park. We headed up that way and after pulling into several occupied spots, we found the perfect one. It was tucked back away from other campers with a nice view of the valley through the trees.
It was about 4pm at this point, so we promptly made camp and opened our wine. Getting the drinks flowing and taking a nice flop into our chairs for a while always seems to set the mood for the rest of the evening.
Once the wine and dinner was gone and the (much needed) naps were taken, we were finally settled in. Being this close to the front range was very comfortable, having the sun set without the temperature dropping. We were able to stay out in our chairs until we were ready to go to sleep without having to put on a pair of pants or a jacket.
Camping without rain? Now THAT is a first!
What started off as an excessively long drive, fishing bust, and exhausting hunt for a campsite turned out to be a relaxing and wonderful trip. It was a good evening filled with good food, drinks, and company.
“Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time.”