Kokopelli Trails/Rustler’s Loop: Day 4 of the Fall Break Adventure!

Dear Maia and Isaac,

Today, we woke up in a room at Motel 6 in Grand Junction. Sazi slept in my little overnight suitcase most of the night!  I couldn’t find her and it scared me, but then I found her sound asleep.  She is moving pretty well for being hit by a car just 2.5 weeks ago!

Sazi, my IVDD pup who was hit by a car 2.5 weeks ago sleeps in the suitcase.

We started the day looking at plants at the nursery, because we were in the city, after all.  I actually found myself sort of dreading the day’s adventure.  It was windy and a little overcast.  My stomach was a little off.  I don’t like dealing with traffic getting out to the trailhead.  But, the other side of me said that you only live once and fall break is only once a year – so just do it!!!

Rustler’s Loop Trailhead in the Kokopelli Trail System – Loma, CO

We found the trailhead about 1 PM.  I have seriously wanted to take this hike for a couple of years.  The name intrigued me, for one thing.  And, I love canyons, of course. I have pulled the directions from GJHikes up on my phone on several trips.  It is a mountain bike trail system, but hikers can use it. It was too rough when Sazi was totally paralyzed in her back legs this spring and too hot in August.  Last year, there were reasons, too.  It has felt like an uncompleted bucket list hike . . . until today.

House built into stone at the beginning of the trail.

The trail starts out steep, but I knew from the hiking site that it mellowed out after that.  From the top, you can see this home that is built into the rock. I wonder how much it cost to build that!  It is kind of cool, but it would be too dark for all my plants.

View of Fruita, CO and the Grand Mesa.

Once we got up there, you could see Fruita, CO in the distance and the fall color of the river trees.

Taking a rest with my two disabled dogs, Maizzy and Sazi.  

A little further down, we stopped for a break.

The Colorado River, Fruita Colorado, and fall foliage.

You could see the Colorado River clearly from our little rest spot.  We were about 10 miles from Utah.  Not as close as we were in Gateway, but almost.

The path and clouds looked like a yin/yang pattern together before we got to the River.

We got passed by a lot of mountain bikers.  It looks like a good trail for them – there were even mountain biking tips on signs by the side of the path.

Colorado River with fall foliage below.

The path wound around on some slick rock and back to the river.

The Colorado River and fall foliage.

We got off the trail onto a jeep road, which turned out to be a short-cut back.  That was OK, because 4 miles carrying 2 dogs is long enough. I am so glad Kachina can walk – I hope getting exercise as a young dog keeps her healthier longer.  Maizzy has had heart issues for the last 5 years, she was middle age at onset.  Sazi got IVDD at midlife, which is common for this genetic disease.  However, she was obese and out-of-shape when I rescued her, so that didn’t help her risk for developing IVDD symptoms.

View from the Colorado River looking down on fall foliage.

This was my favorite new hike for awhile.  It will definitely go on my hiking list.  It is BLM, so dog friendly (obviously).   Other than the initial climb, it was flat and easy with two disabled dogs to carry.  I would definitely recommend it as a good place for a hike with dogs.

View across the River to the tall canyon walls.

Tomorrow is our last adventure for fall break.  My leaves are starting to fall in the yard – which is a lot of work.  I should start with that a little over the weekend.  I really come to life with my trips, though.  I know there is a time coming when my plants, pups, and travel will be more a focus in my life.  To everything there is a season . . .

Sazi takes a leg stretcher after riding in her roo pocket for the hike.

Love, Grandma Hartt

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