Back home

The previous three posts are a week late due to an email issue. We were gone may 2-5. This is a picture of the basil plants at Brady’s west. Very tempted to buy but I know it’s too early. Picture for attention 😜

Las Vegas, New Mexico

Why do people make reservations for campsites then not cancel and not show up? That’s right, no one showed up in site 16 so we didn’t have to move. Oh well. We had a nice evening in site 33, campfire and all.
Today we went to Las Vegas about an hour from our campsite. Funky town on the Santa fe trail. We spent some time at the historic center then wandered around before having lunch at The Skillet. We are glad we made the trip. Beautiful drive too.

Site 33

Our luck was not good and we had to pack up and move. Site 33 is also nice but on the inside circle (we prefer the outside circle for privacy reasons.) By the time we were done moving it was nearly noon. Rick was exhausted having not slept well. So Susan and Simon took the car towards Santa Fe while Rick took a nap.
Susan thought about buying another blanket (we were cold last night) so she shopped at Homegoods. Not seeing anything she found suitable, she wandered around some but was not in shopping mode.
Back at camp Rick was refreshed. After a quick lunch we headed up the hill to Ski Santa Fe. Very much like monarch but we agreed that would not like to drive that road in the winter! Simon loved the snow and if you look carefully you can see a skier walking down after a skin up. They still have a lot of snow!

First trip of 2023

We’re heading to Black Canyon Campground just northeast of Santa Fe. We’ve been there before so we know what to expect. It’s unusual for us to go so far from home on our first outing. We’re not going to be able to run home and get what we forgot! We are however already making lists 😬
A new addition to our camping gear is our Blackstone griddle. It replaces the grill and is more useful. Tomorrow-bacon on the griddle!!
We arrived around 4:30 and was surprised at how many sites were reserved or filled. We are in site 16 and hope nobody reserved it for tomorrow night. If it’s reserved, the host said we’ll have to move. We are feeling optimistic. Simon is traveling well and is ready for a cool comfy night.

Lander Trip Day 5

We headed to Thermopolis after breakfast thinking of the nice hot water and a shower. Our trip was delayed due to the homecoming parade down Main Street! We got out, waved, scooped up candy and enjoyed the home town feel. Their parade was longer than the one In Salida.
The hot springs did not disappoint. Beautiful park on the way to the Tepee Hot Springs. For $12.50 plus $.75 locker fee, this was worth it. We soaked in hot hot water then cooled off in the warm pool then back to the hot pool. It was not crowded and very pleasant. Just when we decided to leave, the families and swim/soak crowds showed up. The water level in the pools must have overflowed! We grabbed lunch at the food truck and headed home.
On the way home, we decided to leave for Salida in the morning. We felt we had done all we could do without extending our stay. So homeward bound! We won’t miss the Wyoming wind.
Back at camp, we realized that the weekend campers had arrived (it’s Friday) so our decision to leave was probably a good one.
This campground/campsite has been one of the best! The site was private, water sounds were constant ❤️, and the place was clean with respectful campers. Not sure we could duplicate this. One downside is the slope of the sites. There’s not a level one in the whole campground.
All of our camper systems worked like they should. We had enough water, propane, food and supplies for four days before needing to restock. We are going home with very little to unpack. This was a new kind of trip for us. Not having to tear down and set up the camper and move to a new area and find another campsite took a lot of stress off of us. Lander and surrounding areas were enough to keep us engaged. Where to next?

Lander trip day 4

We got rained on last night! We were prepared though and the important things stayed dry. We woke up to the last remnants of fog in front of us.
After breakfast our plan was to head into Lander to see the museums and then shower at the community pool. The Fremont county(where Lander is) museum was full of historical area items. Very similar to Salida with farming, mining, Indian lore and outlaws and now tourism. Two floors of amazing items. Too hard to take pictures but we did think the Sinks Canyon Ski Area (now defunct) was worth remembering. Enjoy the video. It was a local hill with mostly beginner and intermediate runs. Not enough to keep the locals happy when the big hills of Jackson Hole are beckoning.
We then went next door to the Pioneer Museum which is reconstructed pioneer homes and businesses. Very well preserved and again much like Salida’s early days.
We were really looking forward to a shower at the pool but due to their swim team schedule it didn’t work out for us. We decided to go to Thermopolis tomorrow for some hot springs and showers there.
On the way home the wind picked up fast and was blowing dirt and debris across the road. When we got to our campsite it wasn’t any better. We quickly cooked dinner, ate fast and took our evening walk. That was cut short when it started raining again. It was only 7:30 but we were inside where we were impressed with how quiet it was. The wind was rocking the camper – a bit disconcerting. By 9 the wind had died down and we were able to relax and sleep. Oh that Wyoming wind!

Lander Trip day 3

Woke up to a cooler/cold morning. No sun but a good day to hike. Simon kept Rick warm.
We started at the nature trail where we had to cross a suspension bridge over the river. Susan was not happy when Rick bounced the bridge as she crossed 😖. The trail was well maintained and marked so it seemed like much longer than it was since we stopped so often. The climbing sign is for the rock climbers who use this area. We opted out.
We then ventured to The Sinks where the river literally sinks into the rocks and disappears. We were fortunate to be able to get right down to it. In the spring the runoff is so strong that it floods that area.
Off to The Rise where the water “rises”from sinking. It takes 2hours to rise into a quiet pool just 1/4 mile from where it disappeared. Geologists have not been able to determine where the water goes before it reappears. Trout have learned that tourists will feed them so they hang around and get up to 10 lbs!
It never got warm today so it was a good day for a nap, reading and we even took a short bike ride around the campground. Rain is expected tonight so we put away all the things that could get wet and called it an early night.

Right before Rick bounced the bridge

Simon keeping Rick warm❤️

These are everywhere along the wet part of the trail.

The Sinks

The Falls

The Rise

Huge trout

Our site.

Lander Trip Day 2

After moving to our reserved campsite and setting up to stay, we went into Lander to get the lay of the land. Needed gas. It was $4.07 at Safeway. Decided to take a picnic lunch and drive the 33 mile loop road from the campground. Beautiful day, nice views (I missed the ones of the Wind River range with snow on them.). Once over the top, the road was rough and washboarded. We were happy to have smooth pavement again.
That took most of the day so back at camp we relaxed to the water noise of the Popo Agie creek, had a nice , un- rushed dinner and took a walk around the campground. Seems there are some interesting hikes right here and we need to find the falls tomorrow. We were then treated to a lovely sunset. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to changed but tonight we are enjoying the 75 degrees at 7:30.

Picnic spot

Top of the road

Lander Trip Day 1

On the road by 10:30 after a quick stop at the vet for allergy pills for Simon. Uneventful drive (except when Simon threw up 🤷‍♂️) and beautiful scenery along the way. We followed along the Oregon Trail and had conversations about the early pioneers who came across these very plains. We saw old ruts in more than one place. We had forgotten about the southern Wyoming wind. It’s still blowing 😂
We had reserved site 16 starting tomorrow night but looked online and it was still available for today so we headed directly to Sinks Canyon State Park outside Lander. We were almost in 16 when a camper pulled up and said they had reserved it for one night. Damn! Luckily site 15 next door was first come first serve so we quickly set up while we had daylight, had dinner and went to bed. We are right on a very noisy but lovely sounding creek. Drowns out all but nature’s sounds.

Platoro to Del Norte

Mushrooms everywhere in our campsite! Took pictures of these as we were leaving. The small ones will get you high (so we’ve heard 😛.)
Road 250 to 330 to 380 was rough in parts and loaded with potholes. Other parts were decent. No four wheel drive needed. The drive was loaded with story boards of the history of the area. Total mileage was 48 miles from Platoro; 53 from our campsite.
The Jeep and T@G were covered with mud when we got to del Norte. Cleaned them off at the car wash, grabbed lunch and went on home.

Pagosa to Platoro

We left our campsite later than we wanted. Everything was so wet and we waited for it to dry out before packing up. Resupplied and gassed up by 12:30.
Drive to chama was so pretty and hardly saw any other cars. Did see cows on the road. It’s open range after all. Quick lunch in chama. Didn’t need gas but it was $3.75/gallon! Hope prices at home are dropping that much.
We checked out all the campgrounds along FS Road 250 including disbursed sites. Decided to stay in the Lake Fork CG site 14. Rick was happy that there was firewood available. Susan was happy because we are right on the creek. Chilly night but we three kept each other warm.

Always a good sign 👍

Path to the creek

Sounds so good 😊


We wanted to check out the campground in Platoro (Mix Lake). There were no other campers there and we did not see one site that would be suitable and duplicate what we have at Lake Fork. So we will stay put for at least one more night.
While in Platoro, we stopped at the valley lodge and got some good information. Road 250 goes to Del Norte! So that will be our way back instead of going to Antonito.
We also learned that Platoro is inaccessible in the winter with 10 feet of snow. Some hardy folks come in by snowmobile. There’s lots of four wheeling, fishing, hiking and the Canada to Mexico bike trail comes through Platoro. And there’s lots of hummingbirds too!
The rest of the day was spent in camp waiting out the rain and colder temps. Simon had fun digging for moles. He was a mess but cleaned himself up in the river so it’s all good now.

Playing with my camera

More playing

Exploring the area

We took a quick trip into pagosa springs and picked up some hiking and biking information. After looking at the maps, we decided the most convenient trail was right where our campground is.
So we came back and headed up to the west fork trailhead. Susan almost made the last pitch but Yeti Betti petered out and bit her. First road rash for her in a long time
We also decided to stay another night so we could hike part of the west fork trail.
This was Susan’s first real hike since her knee surgery three months ago. We hiked 2.75 miles total. Nicely maintained trail but we turned around when it started to rain. It drenched us! We’re back at camp drying out. Tomorrow we are heading out but not exactly sure which direction.

Our campsite.

Simon is ready to hike

We didn’t make it to the hot springs

Burn scar and new growth. Also the storm

Susan’s road rash.

Heading out

We’re hoping the family crowds are gone since kids will be going back to school this week. We’re heading towards pagosa springs and will decide where to once we get there.
We’re in site 19 at west fork campground just at the bottom of Wolf Creek pass. We’ve got a really nice set up and fairly private. The rig across from us uses a generator but if we play music we don’t hear it.
It rained hard starting in the afternoon then on and off in the evening. Didn’t get to explore much today.

We’re outa here!

Dark skies moving out after a hard rain.

Our set up. The awnings work great!

Mineral Belt Trail

After a couple of attempts, we finally found the trail and a place to park. We can be tourists right in our backyard!
The path was well taken care of and not too crowded. There were a lot of signs to stop and read but that’s pretty tiring for Susan so Rick took pictures of all the signs while Susan just kept riding. It took about an hour and a half to ride 12 miles with an elevation gain of about 700 feet. We’d ride it again but on mountain bikes.
The views were amazing and the history of the mining that went on there was impressive. We were both pretty tired when we were done.

Twin Lakes Getaway

Susan got cleared to start doing all activities so we headed to Twin Lakes for a couple of days. Simon stayed home this time with Sadie but we will bring him next time.
We set up in our usual boondock area near “our spot.” Apparently this area has been discovered but it’s still quiet. We plan to ride the Mineral Belt trail in Leadville while we are here.
Big thunder storm and wind after dark kept Rick busy making sure everything was put away. It’s just nice to be away from home and not scheduled.

Time to relax

We’re here to just relax after being so scheduled by Susan’s surgery, recovery and physical therapy. Nothing to do here but read, journal , fish, eat and just chill. The weather is beautiful. So nice to camp in Colorado!
Rick took his mountain bike up a logging road and is spending other times hiking around. We tried to fish but no bites and Simon is a pain trying to bite the hook.
It was windy this morning and the windscreen worked perfectly to keep the fire going for coffee. Rick is also the best at making eggs for us in the morning but Susan makes better toast!
There’s an area marked off that is sacred ground possibly the cemetery for the town of Garfield when it was an active mining town. Only one headstone is left but it is clear that there are other graves in the area. Steve loaned us a book on the history of the area. Might be fun doing some hiking around here!

Monarch Park

First outing of the season is late because of Susan’s knee surgery. She’s doing so well that we thought we’d getaway. We are here for three days. So far no one is near us in the campground.
The host, Steve, says there are a bunch of downed trees and the campground might be closed next year to make improvements to the sites and do more tree work.
We are happy with our setup here and made a quick trip home to get some of the things we forgot. Our trips this year will need to be carefully planned due to gas prices currently at $4.85-$5.00 a gallon.

Mountain bike ride

Susan offered to shuttle Rick so he could ride back to the campground. He decided to start at old Monarch pass, ride through the ski area and make his way back through the trees. Said to plan on three hours.
An hour later he was back. Not fun! No trails and even the green runs we are familiar with seemed steep. He rode the last mile back on the highway. He’ll stick to his road bike in salida.

Homeward bound

We drove in fog so thick that we didn’t know if we were going up or down. Probably neither but we both felt it. We were so happy to see the sign welcoming us to Colorado! And magically the sun came out!
We traveled 5139 miles through 11 states during this 21 day adventure. We saw so many places and things plus family and friends. We survived a tornado warning, torrential rain, days without showers and lost only one storage box on the front of the trailer. Oops, Rick 😬.
We do appreciate where we live. The weather, the friend and family close by, the environment. We are lucky indeed.

Long travel day

It started raining about 6:30 am and rained hard most of the day. Huge lightning and thunder. Even a tornado warning at St Joseph Missouri. Made it undesirable to get out and see any sights along the way. So we just kept driving.
We arrived at Lovewell State Park near Webber, Kansas around 6 pm having been on the road for 12 hours. We smartly decided not to keep going to Salida.
We picked a nice site, had a quick dinner and at dark went to bed. At 5 am, we were on the road again feeling like outlaws when we exited the park since we didn’t pay for our site. We left such a small footprint that we didn’t feel too bad 😬.

Crossing the Mississippi

Looking west to Colorado and sunshine

Leaving the rain behind us

Lovewell reservoir from our site

Our “free” site

On the road before dawn. Twice

After a mellow drive across Ohio and Indiana, we arrived in Monticello Indiana. Here’s our set up for the night at Walmart.
Rick needs to get up early to make some changes to a client website so we went to bed early to be ready. We left our spot at 5:50 am and used the nearby Wendy’s WiFi. By 6:20 we were on the road.
Just before 7:00 we crossed into central time zone and went back in time one hour. Now it’s 6:00 am again! Time traveling heading west to Hannibal Missouri.
We drove through a huge thunderstorm with lightning and thunder and very heavy rain. Checking our weather app indicates that we will be in rain all day. WTF?

Rock & Roll fun

We visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame while we were in Cleveland. If you are ever in the area, put it on your must see list. So much history and memorabilia! Great tribute to Elvis and also the NFL halftime shows. So fun listening to all the music. We felt like we saw all we could in one visit and left to walk around the waterfront. Susan then gave Rick a tour of the east side where she grew up. Trip down memory lane for sure!

Punderson State Park

We stayed here five years ago and remembered it as a beautiful park. We are in site 187 this time. It rained this time which made it not so pleasant but we both enjoyed hot showers (once we figured out how to turn it to “hot”). We packed up in the rain and can’t wait for Ohio to be in our rear view mirror.

Another night in Watkins Glen

We stopped in Watkins Glen for gas hoping to make it to Seneca state forest near Salamanca New York. It was there we realized that our battery in the camper was not charging. We suspected this might happen. We called around and found an Autozone that had the type of battery we needed. By the time we got it installed we decided to go back to the fire tower campsite where we stayed on our way out. The gate was closed! But there was a large field there set up for camping so we stayed with a plan to get up and go early.
We were on the road before 7. I tried to get a good picture of the full moon but the clouds covered it. The sunrise was also covered by the clouds. So we saw both but couldn’t get a good picture. Heading to Cleveland and Susan’s home town stomping grounds.

Ski area tour

We wanted to check out Vermont ski areas just to get a feel for them. Maybe we’d come back to ski them someday.
We went to Mt. Snow, Stratton, Bromley, Okemo, Killington, Mad River Glen, Bolton Valley, Stowe and Smugglers Notch. We even went to the job fair at okemo and rode the gondola at Stratton! Overall our impression was good with Stratton probably at the top of the list. We found the folks there very friendly. Rick seemed enthusiastic about skiing Vermont. Susan not so much.

On to Lake George

We stayed on the back roads from Burlington heading south. Very historic region. We stopped to check out the canals and the actual hull of the Ticonderoga which was used in the revolutionary war.
We are marveling at the beautiful countryside with mowed meadows that look like lawns. The large farms are impressive as are the fall colors.
Tonight we are in Lake George staying on property owned by Rick’s sister Lori and husband Paul. It was perfect and we are happy for no rain so maybe our awnings will dry out. That’s my happy face with the sun on it!

Little River State Park

This is our site for two nights. It’s cold (highs in the 40’s) and raining on and off. Especially at night. We are weary of the weather and crabby. It was raining so hard on our last night there that we quickly cooked dinner and ate it in the car!
Other than that, this park is very nice. Built by CCC and COE, it’s got spacious private sites and a shower house (coin operated.). We think it’s a bit pricey at $24 a night.
We explored the area around Waterbury including a drive over Smugglers Notch. Very cool. We really enjoyed the Ben and Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard. No factory tours due to COVID damn it.
We met up with a friend Ryan from monarch ski school who now works at Stowe. Got the skinny on vail resorts. He confirmed what we already knew. He also confirmed that the weather we have been experiencing is typical. We haven’t seen the sun for five days. We are heading south and west towards Lake George New York where hopefully it’s warmer snd sunnier!

Happy birthday on the road

Rick turned 65 on October 13. We went to dinner at his sister DeeAnn’s house and enjoyed shrimp, lobster bisque, cod stuffed with lobster and crab and then cheesecake! We were stuffed!
When we returned to his mom’s house, his entire family was waiting for him! More celebration and of course, cake. We probably won’t eat for days! But it was such a fun time! He’s so lucky to have his family around him on this trip. We are leaving tomorrow with all these wonderful memories.

Grout pond campground

What a gem! Beautiful National forest campground near Stratton, Vermont. Quiet and free! Stayed two nights while we explored the ski areas nearby. Simon chased chipmunks and squirrels just like at home. This must have been a farm long time ago. We found lots of apple trees. They were for the wildlife, not us. We moved our site after the first night to a sunnier spot. Ha! It rained all night and we had to pack up with everything wet. We did manage a hot campfire and leftover fish dinner. Simon had a rough night in the camper cuz he doesn’t like to get wet. Hope tonight we find as nice a place and it stays dry.

Grout Pond

First night

Second night

Rained all night

Packing up in the rain
Pretty cool program

Voter Brook overlook campsite

It started raining around 3:30 as we left Rutland. We were headed to moosalamoo campground in the National forest but when we finally found it, it was closed. A nice young man told us about disbursed camping about a mile down the road. When we found a site it was really raining.
We set up both awnings for some protection and used the hatch over the kitchen for some more protection. We ate some decent food sharing it with Simon and by 7 pm we had to go inside. We were in there marveling at how warm and dry we were and how hard it was raining. Where did all that moisture come from?
The rain slowed down by midnight and at 7 am it was stopped. We packed up everything with the hope that we would find a laundromat. We did. In Waterbury. Made a reservation for two nights at Little River State Park. Hope there’s no rain tonight.

Stopped at NuCamp

We couldn’t make it yesterday before closing so Elsie left our parts outside for us to pick up on Saturday morning. Great customer service as always!
While we were at Sugarcreek we decided to see the world’s largest cuckoo clock. No joke! We made it just before 9:00 and saw the three minute show complete with Swiss music and dancing. Very cool.
We walked around the town marveling at the houses and flowers. Even horses drawn carriages (this is Amish country.) New were the electric bikes which make life easy and inexpensive for many locals. And of course we got some Swiss chocolate!
From there we’re headed north and east to Watkins Glen New York to meet up with Rick’s army buddy.

Trailer project

We arrived at Rick’s mom’s on October 10. Everyone is so excited to see him that it has been non stop company ever since. By Monday night, he had seen all four of his sisters and their husbands. A bit overwhelming!
He and his sister DeeAnn managed some great quality time while putting our new tongue box on the front of the trailer. It required some clever skills to make new holes for the propane line and battery hookup which the two of them figured out. When they were all done, everything worked first try! Great job, you two! And the new box looks so nice 👍

New campsite/Old friend

It took a few years, but Rick and Mike S were finally reconnected after finding each other on Strava. They served in the Army together in the late 70’s and kept in touch for many years until life got in the way. They relived old memories and made some new ones. We might just stop in Watkins Glen on our way home.
He told us about the free campground outside Watkins Glen where he lives. Beautiful site with flush toilets, picnic tables and fire rings. We didn’t climb the fire tower due to the heavy fog.

Plan A, B, C or?

We probably shouldn’t plan. We were on course to stop somewhere near Columbus Ohio until Rick remembered to call Dana at Missouri teardrop trailers for an update on parts he wanted. The part is available but we are too far away to get to NuCamp before they close. Oh well. So plan B was to have the part shipped to his mother’s house in CT.
Then NuCamp called and said they would leave the part for us to pick up on Saturday morning. 😀. So plan C had us driving to Cambridge Ohio where we boondocked at Walmart again.
It was a little bit out of the way but Rick is happy that he’s getting his new part for the camper.

Boondocking in vandalia, Illinois

We reluctantly left our site at Knob Noster heading to St. Louis. We took a side road to follow the Missouri River that was a scenic highway on the map. It was a beautiful ride following a bike path and was also part of the Lewis and Clark trail. We were so taken with it and also listening to our audio book that we (I) missed the turn for I-70. We didn’t even take any pictures. They wouldn’t have done it justice.
We got outside of St. Louis and thought it might be a good idea to give Simon a bath. We found a self wash place and gave him the treatment. He hates it but he is so clean and fluffy. The smell of skunk 🦨 is still evident but only when he’s wet.
On to the arch! Finally found a parking lot and walked to the arch park right on the banks of the Mississippi. Amazing structure. The ride to the top was sold out and Rick thought it was getting too late for him to visit the museum so we left with a promise to return on the way home.
Stopped for the night in vandalia, Illinois at Walmart. Unhooked the camper and took two spots where we were by ourselves. The hum of the air conditioner was like white noise and drowned out some of the street noise and trains. Woke up to heavy fog and humidity. My sandals had puddles of moisture! Not sure where we will end up today.

Knob Noster State Park

We were on the road before dawn which was at 7:45 local time. While searching for a coffee shop we stopped at a small bakery. All they served was instant coffee! We left. Found another place full of high school kid’s getting their caffeine on. Tomorrow we will make our own brew.
We traveled highway 96 which is pretty much a straight road through Kansas. The towns along the way are representative of Americana for sure.
When we got near Kansas City we decided to stop by Missouri Teardrop trailers where we got our camper. Rick has some ideas for more upgrades. Dana told us about this park about 30 minutes east.
Five stars! We needed a reservation and the person who helped us picked site 67. There’s no one in this part of the park. Some nice folks came by asking for a tour of the T@G. They are getting ready to buy one.
It was dark by 7:15 and that’s when the raccoons are out🙀. They didn’t even wait for us to go to bed. Everything was put away by then but they sure were persistent!
Cost was $11 and we both took hot, hot showers! No quarters, no time limit. Simon got to sleep outside so he could keep the raccoons away.

Heading east

Our trip east has begun. We headed out on highway 50 towards Pueblo. Thought we would explore Bents Old Fort which on the map looked close to the highway. Not so. Went about 15 miles to the fort which was built as a trading post in the 1800s. It’s out there in the photo. We opted out to tour it since it was getting late in the day and all the tours had ended.
Got to Lamar, picked up some dinner and ate while driving towards Scot State Park in Kansas. Got to Leoti and decided to stop for the night. We are parked behind a building that looks safe. Plan to get up early and get coffee in town before figuring out where to next.
We were pleasantly surprised by the farmland east of Lamar. Lots of big tress and green (not brown). We could see for miles in all directions and the sunset was spectacular. Note: listening to a book really makes the time go by.