Frolicking about Colorado
We have a few weeks to meander around before we are wanting to be in Idaho for the eclipse, so we chose to visit an area of Colorado that we have been missing in recent years; the South and South West of the state. Since we were already up in the mountains, the plan was to simply ride the continental divide south and stay out of the main heat of the front range.
Four hours later we arrived at our podunk RV park in the middle of no-where-Colorado. It was chosen for it’s $25 price including full hookups, which turned out to be $32 a night. We needed the water and sewer hookups so we could do a proper bleach and flush of the clean water tank is the Airstream. While the RV park was very average to say the least, the next morning felt just right with cool, crisp air and the mountain peaks surrounding us. The flushing of our water system went as planned and we were back on our way South the following morning.
Only an hour down the road we pulled into what was a State Park campground but has been somewhat abandoned by the State. It is now a State Wildlife Refuge and the camping is free, including electrical hookups. We stopped here so Kerri can add another National Park to her ‘seen’ list; Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park. I’ve already been here in 2014, and so has Moose in fact. This National park doesn’t take a lot of time to see to be honest. If you can find a place to park, the walk onto the sand is only a few feet away. One could opt to hike out to, and up, the dunes themselves, but that is for younger folks than me. Instead, we took in the view, then drove around the campground to see what it had to offer. Within an hour we were heading back to the free camping where we BBQ’d and had a drink while watching the sunset paint the dunes right out our front door.
It is hard to pass on free camping with electric hookups, but we did just that, pulling out the next morning on our way to a National Forest boondocking spot near Pagosa Springs, CO. It is here that neither of us have explored so a week’s stay was going to remedy that. Unfortunately, the only spot we could pull into with the long truck and trailer setup was taken. We tried to scout out another but the lack of a working cell signal made that point moot. We simply can not stay in a location without a working cell signal for work. We had to call it, moving into town itself so we could connect to the Internet to see what our options are. As it turned out, there was no workable Internet even within the town of Pagosa Springs! Our phones were useless, it was getting late, and our frustration-levels were increasing. We accepted that even if we find a place nearby, the Internet will still not be up to snuff.
Our next possible place was Sauls Creek near Bayfield, CO, nearly an hour away. We arrived tired but hopeful, but that hope was quickly squashed. The established dispersed camping area has been over-run by the oil industry. Any level patch of ground had no trespassing signs and an oil rig in place. We were barely able to get the trailer turned around – twice – without getting stuck, and only found a horrible spot to camp. We moved on again, further frustrated.
Another hour drive brought us all the way into the Durango area, which was our planned stop for the following week. Not that we found ourselves in any better shape in Durango! After an all day drive, and more than our fair share of frustrations, we pulled into the only National Forest campground in the immediate area, just praying there would be an open spot. Thankfully, an extremely helpful camp host fixed us up with one of the two spots still available, but the Internet signal was weak to the point of nearly worthless. We decided to stay the night so we did not have to drive anymore, then assess our situation in the morning. After a good night’s sleep, life was looking a lot better and the signal turned out to be *just* enough for Kerri to work. We are staying put for a few nights to recoup and assess what to do next. Hopefully it will be less frustrating in the future weeks.
And actually, the campground turned out to be quite nice. Quiet, clean, and well operated to say the least. Lots of trees, sounds, and smells welcoming us back to a forest. It feels good to be back after the long day.
PS – This has been our first real bad day in two and a half years together and the reality of it all was that not much badness was really happening… in the whole scheme of things. Our tolerance of things not going well may be a little low… and honestly, I guess that is a good thing. It says things have gone well for a long time. I suspect that trend will continue. I guess I can handle the one bad day every two years.