Fishing trip

Beautifully calm at the lake this morning. Smoke from the California wildfires was starting to fill the air. We must have picked a good spot since right after we got there two guys and a couple in a boat decided to be there with us. The whole damn lake and they gotta be right with us!
Susan caught the first fish but it was small so we let it go. Not long after Rick got a nice one. He named it “Lunch” while Simon helped him bring it in. No more action after that and the wind was starting to blow so we packed up. We may come back later. Time for lunch!

Busy day

We decided to be tourists today and went on the Twin Lakes boat tour. Jim and Lexi were our tour guides and boat handlers. Both had been doing boat tours for a good portion of their lives; Lexi was a commercial boat commander on large boats on the Mississippi.
The tour included information on the geology of the area and a tour of Interlachen. We’d been there on foot before but not on a tour so we picked up a few new fun facts about the place. Simon was allowed to join us and he was very well behaved. There were four other tourists on the tour from Iowa. We stayed far away from them since there were not wearing masks.
After the tour we took a drive to the top of independence Pass so Simon could play in the snow. He (and we) were not disappointed! It’s 17 miles from Twin Lakes to the top. Susan has a fantasy about riding her road bike up there. She thinks she may have missed her window.
We also checked out some disbursed camping on the pass. Found a couple of nice spots along the creek. Maybe next year?

Twin lakes disbursed camping

The weather was so nice in Salida after the strange summer storm dropped 14” of snow in the yard. We were cooped up last week so figured the tourists would be gone and we’d have our pick of good spots at Twin Lakes. We were right.
We have a great view overlooking Twin Lakes. The surrounding mountains still have snow on them and the aspen leaves are already starting to turn yellow. We plan to get in some fishing and maybe hiking on Independence Pass. We are here for three days.

Palisade campground, Creede

We are in site 11 and Cristin and her kids are in site 4. It’s easy to go back and forth without being too close. And then our neighbors and good friends Martin and Jane stopped by with their new to them camper van. It was nice to them outside of Salida.
We’ve been to this campground a few other times and have always had a nice visit. This time was no different. Clean sites, bathrooms and respectful campers. And Bill the campground host was very friendly.
We attempted to visit the Wheeler Geological Area but the road was so rough and further than we thought so we turned around. We decided we would rent a Jeep next time and start early in the day.
Fishing was also a bust but a small garter snake found its way around Susan’s ankle while she soaked her feet in the river. She was freaked out but possibly the snake was more scared.
We enjoyed a delicious salad of our home grown tomatoes and basil for our last night’s dinner. Paired up with scanga pork chops-yummy! Food always tastes better outdoors 😁.

Rabbit Ears Peak

We started our hike with lots of enthusiasm. The wildflowers were amazing and the trail head was right at our campsite. It wasn’t a long hike but it got steep at the top. Real steep. Susan was a bit leary about it especially the descending part. But she did it and we enjoyed a snack and a long rest at the top before heading back down. By now Simon was very hot and tired and kept stopping in every shady spot he could find. When we got to the little stream near our campsite, he literally laid in the water like he was soaking for about five minutes. When he finally got out, we headed back to our site feeling pretty good that we “summited “ Rabbit Ears Peak!

Exploring

We met up with Karen and her kids at their campsite about two miles from here. They were heading into town so we decided to take a hike near our site. The views were awesome as were the wildflowers. It’s been so dry though that the trail was very dusty and we were a mess when we got back. We’ll try again tomorrow on a different trail to reach the Rabbit Ears. We keep seeing the same moose in the meadow across the road.

Exploring


We met up with Karen and her kids at their campsite about two miles from here. They were heading into town so we decided to take a hike near our site. The views were awesome as were the wildflowers. It’s been so dry though that the trail was very dusty and we were a mess when we got back. We’ll try again tomorrow on a different trail to reach the Rabbit Ears. We keep seeing the same moose in the meadow across the road.

Rabbit Ears pass


Tonight is the start of a long weekend with family and friends to remember the one year mark of Andy’s last day on August 10. We have grabbed a large site in a disbursed camping area above Dumont Lake. We are here alone tonight but others will be trickling in starting tomorrow especially Karen who is on her bike(s) making the trip here from Littleton. We are hoping to explore this area and also get in some fishing.

Rabbit Ears pass

Tonight is the start of a long weekend with family and friends to remember the one year mark of Andy’s last day on August 10. We have grabbed a large site in a disbursed camping area above Dumont Lake. We are here alone tonight but others will be trickling in starting tomorrow especially Karen who is on her bike(s) making the trip here from Littleton. We are hoping to explore this area and also get in some fishing.

More about disbursed camping

We spent a lot of time around the campfire (we had three in two days) at our spot above Twin Lakes. Tim serenaded us and Terri entertained us with pine needle “sparklers” and shooting rockets. It felt like a real vacation with no pressure or time frames. And Simon and Coola were the best at social distancing!

Walk around Lily Pond

We started driving up the road from our disbursed camping site and it ended about three miles up at Lily Pond. We couldn’t drive any further without risking our city cars so we bushwhacked and walked our way around the pond. We found some very old structures including a stone fireplace, a corral, and a very old log cabin. We ate lunch there on a huge log. It was evident that someone had taken very good care of the forest here. Nice to see.

Simon and Coola social distancing doggie style.

Lily Pond

Fireplace

Cabin

Lunch spot

Solo setup


Susan is meeting up with Cristin and her kids at Angel of Shavano campground for a couple of nights. Rick opted out so Susan handled the setup, food and getting the camper there. First time either one of us has done this solo. Looks like she did ok 👍

Disbursed camping

We were surprised that all sites were full at Parry Peak and Twin Lakes campgrounds. COVID-19 has sure brought the tourists to Colorado. We are with our friends, Tim and Terri who also have a teardrop but a T@B which is bigger than our T@G. We are above Twin Lakes in disbursed camping. Fire restrictions were just lifted so we will have a fire tonight. Weather is cooperating so far and no bugs yet either! We are here for two nights.

Solo setup

Susan is meeting up with Cristin and her kids at Angel of Shavano campground for a couple of nights. Rick opted out so Susan handled the setup, food and getting the camper there. First time either one of us has done this solo. Looks like she did ok 👍

Things around campsite

Someone built a very cool shelter complete with a small fire ring and a supply of wood. There’s also some kind of corral and stacks of small wood. Maybe it’s a Boy Scout project? But what’s with the sharp stick? No campfires allowed right now. Someone left behind their cigarette butts and bullet shells in the really nice fire ring at our site. Maybe we’ll be back when we can burn the big supply of firewood on the ground.

Storm in the Valley

Doesn’t look like the skies are going to clear for comet watching. Wind is picking up. Hope the storm to the south keeps going. It’s very peaceful here.

Quick trip


Thought we’d try to see the neowise comet tonight without any light pollution. We are on Poncha pass in the national forest. Lots of disbursed camping sites with plenty of room for everyone. Can’t hear the highway either. Minimal setup and food I Explored around Poncha loop and were surprised that the Rainbow trail is near here. Hope the clouds clear up before dark or we will miss the comet. Plan to be home in the morning.

Mill Creek Trail

We wanted to explore the area around the campground and according to Texas Alan (one of the other campers) it was about a two mile hike. Off we went, fishing poles and lunch. We quickly realized that the trail was climbing with little or no flat areas. We walked through and in Mill Creek several times. Susan slipped at one crossing and got her shorts drenched. We finally arrived at the lake and it was beautiful. Enjoyed our picnic lunch and Susan dried her shorts in the sun. Here she is posing for the unofficial lake calendar 😉. We were pretty tired on the way back down and upon arriving back at camp realized we had climbed 1350’ in 2 miles. From 10,000’ to 11,350’. No wonder we were beat! Oh and there are no fish in that lake.

Gold Creek campground

This campground is 7 miles from Ohio City. There are 6 sites, 2 walk-ins. There are two other campers here so 50%full! No fee to camp here but donations gladly accepted. We’ll leave one. Gold creek runs next to our site. We are on the edge of Fossil Ridge Wilderness Area where we plan to explore today.
Only one casualty so far. Our 5 gallon water jug fell out of the back of the car and split open spilling about 2/3 of the water on the ground. We needed a new one anyway 🤷‍♂️.

Wildflowers!

This is just a small sampling of the flowers around camp and along the trail yesterday. I’ve never seen what looks like a red and columbine but the leaves sure look like one. The colors are so vibrant and they range in size from the tiniest alpine ground cover to large blooms of yellow, purple and white.

Flowers and a Butterfly

The wildflowers around camp were so beautiful. They made our site feel homey while we were out in the woods. The color blend so naturally. And while we were packing up to leave, a monarch butterfly came to visit us and hung around like he wanted his picture taken. So I obliged. We will be sure to come back to Snowblind Campground.

Whitepine, Colorado

Neither one of us had ever been to Whitepine so we weren’t sure what to expect. Well, there’s not much there. Just one main dirt road that gets narrower as you continue through "town." No post office, store, cell service, no nothing. There were some very run down buildings and some newly built ones too. We were surprised to see folks living there – even in the summer. Very isolated. Hard to believe they were able to get the building materials up there for the newer homes.

Cabin in the Woods

 

On our way to Whitepine we saw a cabin not far off the road. Someone had obviously tried to make a rustic cabin complete with table, chair, sleeping cushion and a broom (with dustpan!). It seemed a bit creepy after a while since there was evidence of recent visitors (plastic water bottles half filled.) So was there a guest bedroom outside? And what about a sweat lodge? Too many questions with no answers. On to Whitepine.

Characters around camp

We got to know the campground pretty well while we were there and have selected other sites to choose from. Here’s Art our host who didn’t want to show his face and his dog Bailey (in the golf cart) who supposedly loves people but not other dogs. At our site was The Hugging Tree (we named it that) and at another unnamed site is the Face in the Tree. Can you see it?

Upgrades & Mods

Today we added a step to each side to make it easier to get in and out. Also added Boondock handles inside and out for us old folks to get in and out. One more add was wheel hubs with the T@G logo to make it easier to grease the bearings. No more taking off the whole wheel! So we are all set with newly greased bearings today too.

Whitepine Cemetery


Our campground host told us that this was a civil war cemetery. Not sure about that but interesting nonetheless. Looks like the historic society did some research and marked the graves that didn’t have headstones with white crosses.The others we’re clearly marked. Didn’t look like any were recently cared for.
Lots of young men, women and children are buried there and even one dog! We paid our respects and headed on down the road.

Milky Way

There’s a dark sky now so at 1:00 am the stars are brilliant and the Milky Way very bright. We’ve heard that many people have never seen the Milky Way due to light pollution. We feel so lucky and blessed to be able see this almost regularly in Colorado. I thought of taking a picture last night but I don’t think my iPhone would do it justice. So I’ll let your imagination do the rest.

Snowblind Campground, Whitepine, CO

We are here for three nights in site 16. $6 a night ( with senior pass) and campfires are ok here so we got $14 worth of firewood. Art the campground host is knowledgeable about the area and gave us a great map for exploring.
Tomichi Creek is steps from our site. Simon has already taken his first swim. We have our mountain bikes and fishing poles and will do some hiking too. It’s about an hour from home.

Upgrades & maintenance

Today we added a step to each side for easier in and out. Also added Boondock handles inside and out for safety and stability when getting in and out of the camper. Lastly, we added wheel hubs with the T&G logo so no more taking off the whole wheel to grease the bearings. So we did that today too. We are ready to hit the road. Where to? Stay tuned.

First outing of 2020

We’ve been doing our part by staying at home during the Covid pandemic. Finally the campgrounds opened this week and we ventured out to Angel of Shavano campground to check out our systems. Set up in site 10 one of our favorites on the creek. Our campstove didn’t work right. A quick trip back to poncha springs was unsuccessful. Campstoves must be in demand! So we cooked dinner on the trailer stove and and are debating whether we need to bring our grill and forego the extra stove. Right now there are fire restrictions so cooking in the camp grill was not an option this time.
We’ve started a list of things to bring for next time. A big change was the covering over the kitchen. Would eliminate carrying a canopy.
We are both looking forward to more adventures but not sure how that will look given the state of things in the country right now.

A walk in the woods

A mountain biker came passed our campsite on a trail we hadn’t seen. We decided to follow it and we weren’t disappointed. It’s hunting season so we dressed in bright colors and put a scarf on Simon. It was a perfect day for a hike.

Rainy morning

This time we’re were ready for it. It’s not too cold 🥶 but we still needed coffee. Here’s Susan getting it ready and here’s Rick “helping.”

Last night in camp

We really got lucky with this site. With all the hunters on the road with their atvs and horse trailers, we are not bothered by them at all.
Cooked our dinner on our campfire and enjoyed the peace and quiet (except for a quick check on the Broncos game on the radio.) They we’re losing so we turned it off.

Getting out of town

The Decker fire has filled the valley with smoke so we decided to find clearer skies. Tonight we are boondocked in southern Colorado near platoro. We had a fine dinner, a huge fire with the firewood around the area and we are planning on a very cold night. We heard coyotes and maybe gunfire earlier. Pretty quiet now. We will continue to ramble tomorrow.

Our campsite

This is our boondock site on La Manga pass over 10,000 feet. It was very cold last night but we were comfortable with our two down comforters and Simon. That’s Rick showing off his yeti coffee mug he got for his birthday.
We have decided to head to chama then pagosa Springs to look for an equally private spot in the weminuche wilderness.

Guadalupe Mountain National Park Campground

This is basically a parking lot with large spaces designated by faded painted lines. We are in site number 24. It’s the northeast corner of the campground. It was kind of fun the see we were in the spot with the last rays of sunshine of the day. About the only thing to do from this campground is to go hiking.

We followed a paved trail near the Visitor’s center. There are lots of information signs naming and describing the local plant life. I didn’t know there are multiple species of Yucca plants.

Deer Lakes CG

This is just off Slumgullion pass towards Lake City. We are again the only campers here. There is a picnic area here on two beautiful lakes. Moose are regulars here. Hope to see some.
Our supplies are holding up nicely including the ice in both coolers. We are really enjoying ourselves.