We picked up Shadow in Bayfield, CO and headed west for Durango not sure where we would stop for the night. It was raining pretty hard so at the first USFS campground sign we saw, we turned in. This was Lake Haviland and we got lucky! Cost for the night with our Golden Age Pass was $9.50. Site 30 was in the trees close to water and the bathroom. We set up quickly – Shadow was easy to turn to where we wanted him so we positioned it with the kitchen facing the picnic table just on the edge of the tarp. Setting up the tarp was a real challenge so first thing on our Needs List is a gazebo shelter.
We had stopped in Durango for food and ate a delicious meal of chicken with rice and veggies cooked on our stove . Easy cleanup with the counter tops and water handy. Simon was a happy camper too since we could let him roam a bit. The rain let up for a while and dried everything up. Simon is happier not sleeping in Shadow so Rick rigged up a tie-out for him and set him up under the camper. Sometime in the night he was asking to come inside and then the skies opened up again. Lightning and thunder and soaking rain. We were so glad to be off the ground, warm and dry.
Next morning we had our coffee and breakfast then headed out to the lake for a look-see. We went around the lake as far as we could go which was about a mile or so. So quiet and serene – we felt like whispering or just being with our own thoughts. Simon was having so much fun running off leash through the rocks and tall grass. We are so enjoying his spirit and energy.
We packed up at checkout (noon) and headed towards Silverton over Coal Bank Pass. The Subie did great with the elevation and steepness. We find it nice to have the Sport feature which allows us to use manual shifting to hold the speed with the transmission rather than the brakes. We got to Silverton a little tired so we found a spot in the shade and rested for a while. Simon barked every time the horse drawn buggy came by so we didn’t really sleep. Gotta get him to get used to horses.
Left there around 4 and headed over the Million Dollar Highway into Ouray, one of our favorite places. No stopping this time but we did stop in Ridgeway Town Park for a late lunch of leftovers from dinner the night before. We headed to Montrose and stopped in Walmart to see if they had a stove that would fit on the countertop and maybe buy some dinner. We did neither and decided to go home.
As we continued toward Gunnison, it was getting dark and we realized we would be home after 10 so we scoped out a couple of campsites and decided to stay at Stevens Creek along Blue Mesa Reservoir, another USFS area. Not much of a setting but it was $6 for the spot. We backed Shadow in, snacked on whatever was in the cooler, took a short walk with Simon and hit the bed again. So nice to be able to stop like that! Simon got some sort of burrs in him from running in the weeds so we spent some time getting those out. Again, he slept under the trailer until morning.
We had coffee and a snack in the morning in Gunnison, stopped at Gene Taylor Sporting Goods in our continued search for a gazebo, a stove and now a percolator. No luck there or at the local Walmart. So we headed home arriving around 11. Total mileage from Bayfield was 256 miles and we got 20.7 mpg even going over all those mountain passes. We were happy with that.