We came to Fruita for the mountain biking, and it is fantastic, but the area also has great hiking and birding potential, along with great scenery. Which is good, since Doug has to wait until we come back next year to try the biking.

Fruita is just over the Utah/Colorado border, only an hour and a half from Moab, so we had an easy drive to our last RV site. This time, we were in a state park, which means bigger sites with lots of space between neighbours, and all the same amenities as a commercial RV park, except wifi.

Each morning, in the campground, we were greeted by a meadowlark’s song.

The afternoon we arrived, we joined our friends, Kath and Jeff Ward for an afternoon birding hike along the Colorado River. We saw a Bullock’s Oriole, a Black-headed Grosbeak, and a few Yellow-Rumped Warblers and House Finches along with the omnipresent American Robin, all in one tree.

The next day, Wendy had a morning of mountain biking with Kath and Jeff at the Kokopelli trails, while Doug hiked some of the same trails. The warm-up loop overlooks the Colorado River and is sprinkled with signs giving information about various aspects of mountain biking, like climbing hills, or going around curves. It was not without its challenges, however, and we took the opportunity to “do over” some of the trickier bits. We continued up Mary’s Trail and rode to another overlook. In just a morning, we got the feel for the rest of the trails, and are looking forward to returning.

Fruita is just at the base of the Colorado National Monument, a high cliff-faced plateau. Rim Rock Drive cuts into the cliffs and zig-zags its way up the 1500 foot cliff and is a tribute to the determination and ingenuity of American road-building. The winding road is full of pull outs to take in the views,

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and it means that it is easy to hike along the top of the escarpment.

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Another day, we hiked lower down in the Monument, up a canyon and along a creek, to a waterfall.

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Again we saw lots of birds, (including our first loggerhead shrike), frogs mating in the pool, and the most amazing lizard (with a rather dull name): the Collared Lizard. This lizard is rather small, about 20 cm long, but they can grow to twice this size.

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We’re home in Cranbrook now, and planning our next trips.

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