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.

Rain then sun

Mother Nature teased us last night with a few seconds of drips. We ignored her and by seven it was really raining. We laid there thinking of all the things we left out getting wet and got up to rescue what we could. What a mess!
When it looked like it was going to clear, we took a drive West on 520 past the construction zone of the new dam at rio grand reservoir. If we had kept on going we would have ended up in silverton.
Skies cleared and we packed up looking for our next site. Many of the campgrounds were closed so we decided to boondock. We eventually found a place off south clear creek road that is most likely used by hunters. Rick rebuilt the fire ring for our much needed hot fire. We enjoyed a quick meal and sat around the fire. We have seen six people since we left south fork three days ago.

Thirty Mile Campground

We are about 30 miles west of Creede, Colorado. There is only one other site being used. We’re in site 1. Planning on doing some hiking and fishing tomorrow. Supposed to be cold tonight but we’re ready. It’s beautiful here.

Quiet morning

It was cold last night. Simon’s water froze in his bowl. We finally left the warmth of our down comforters when the sun hit the meadow next to our campsite. We had breakfast and read for a long time while we warmed up. It’s so quiet here. Only the sound of some distant machines in a logging area down the road.

Today’s hike

This was the sign at the trailhead to squaw Creek in the weminuchi wilderness. We saw evidence of the 2013 wildfire that burned up over 100,000 acres. We also moose and tonight two owls watching us as we took our nightly walk. It’s getting cold so we will be better prepared to stay warm.

Morning hike

Our outing at independence pass was great. Went over a mile out and up to snow and awesome vistas. Simon loved the snowfields burying his face and rolling in the snow. We had “lunch “ at a nice spot by a snowfield and Susan couldn’t resist getting on it. Collar and all.

Parry peak CG

Planned a two nighter here one of our favorite places. Staying in site 14 very close to the roar creek. Weather so far is great cool nights and warm days. Heading up independence Pass for a hike and seeing the wildflowers in super bloom.

Parry peak CG

Planned a two nighter here one of our favorite places. Staying in site 14 very close to the roar creek. Weather so far is great cool nights and warm days. Heading up independence Pass for a hike and seeing the wildflowers in super bloom.

Time to beat the heat

Last minute decision to take the camper out was a good one. Got our favorite spot (5) at Angel of Shavano in Maysville. Set up was minimal with no cooking this time. Just wanted to have a change of scenery and see how Susan did just four weeks after surgery. Trip was a success so more to come!

Exploring Pitkin and beyond

Walled into Pitkin from our campsite about 1/2 mile. Not much going on but a general store with locals having coffee on the front porch. Learned that Pitkin is 9200’ and mostly seasonal services. Nice neat community.
Drove to Middle Quartz Campground which was also suggested by the host at Snowblind. On the way we saw several places to boondock with the T@G. Road was rough in a few places but passable. Saw a moose along the road but didn’t join the group of gapers to look at it.
The Campground is pretty much boondocking with a table, fire pit and a pit toilet. We felt very lucky to be there. We need to look up where we were and what mountains we were looking at. Maybe Shavano?
There was also a stagecoach stop there that was used from 1880-1882. When to Tincup and beyond. Pretty interesting area and so close to home!

Pitkin Campground Site 1

Our initial destination was Snowblind Campground near Sargents but upon arrival the host said there was a possibility that we’d be evacuated due to flooding of tomichi creek. He sent us here. Pretty quiet with wonderful noise from another creek just steps from our site. Some mosquitos but manageable. Will explore Pitkin and surroundings today. Beautiful weather!

One nighter

Another shakedown to check out our new lifts on the camper. We are three inches higher now! Opted for angel of Shavano cg in maysville after getting hailed on and covered in mud heading to raspberry gulch. Rained and hailed here too but sun is now shining.

First trip of the season

We finally hit the road after installing the boondock platform on the front of the T@G. Headed west and ended up at Black Canyon of the Gunnison campground (south rim.) Got site 9 our favorite. Off season rate of $4. New tow vehicle Jeep Cherokee is so nice. Great upgrade from the truck. Perfect weather. Photos to follow.

Gateview CG to Gunnison

Cold morning! 38 degrees when we ventured out of our T@G. The sun didn’t make it into the canyon until 10:00 and we were very happy when it did! Finally on the road at 11:00.

We took the 15 mile Blue Mesa cutoff road (CR 25) to Highway 50. What a treat! High road across a bluff with amazing views. Some residences along the way. Most likely summer homes. Road is dirt and wash boarded but okay for travel. Some big ranches with cattle. Also a Ute Indian reservation. A worthwhile one hour trip. Next time we will take the Lake City cutoff road just because.

East Fork to Slumgullion Pass

Stopped in South Fork Ranger station and were told about a couple of places to camp tonight. First we went over Slumgullion Pass. The trees are all dead from beetle kill and although an effort was made to plant new ones, there were few that survived. The drive there was quite stunning. Again we were treated to some beautiful fall colors. And before we left the top of the Pass, it started snowing! First of the season for us.

East Fork road

We made it to our home for the night around 5 pm. Clearly it had been raining. Our site is in a meadow next to the creek. After dinner we took our usual walk and discovered another site even closer to the creek but decided to stay put. Maybe next time.
It started raining on and off sometimes really hard (even hailed) around 3 am. It woke us up at 7:30 but we were still able to make coffee and have a light breakfast. We were on the road again at 8:30 and arrived in South Fork at 9:30. Heading towards Lake City.

Miller Creek CG

We stopped at the Forest Service office in Durango and they told us about this place. We set up and took a short hike to Lemon reservoir where Simon and Henry took a swim and played fetch with sticks.
Back at camp we realized it was just 2:00 and we really wanted to be a little further down the road.
So we packed up in 10 minutes and headed towards Pagosa Springs where the rangers told us about some disbursed camping on the East Fork Road. We resupplied at Walmart in Durango and we are all set for two more days.

Thoughts about Mesa Verde Campground

If you plan to go to Mesa Verde and camp, suggest going either in spring or fall. It must be brutally hot in the summer and crowded too.
The sites are so-so. However there are flush toilets, free hot showers and a laundromat that doesn’t rip you off. There’s gas if you need it but probably plan to fill up in Cortez or Mancos.
Lack of crowds made our stay pleasant even though there were campers all around us. Different kind of campers than in the summer I imagine.
It’s a fascinating park with lots if history. Highly recommend spending a night or two.

Rainy day

Started raining about 3am and it’s on and off when we got up at 7. So after a leisurely breakfast we decided to take showers and do our laundry. Great hot shower with decent pressure. And did I mention they are free? All chores done by noon. Rain is letting up sort of.
After lunch we headed out to Wetherill Mesa, a section of the park we hadn’t seen before. Bumped in to an old friend from Monarch who is now a park ranger here! Skies cleared (our friend said it would start up again at 5) and we toured the Step House and Badger house community. So interesting ! Now we have seen the whole park. Time to move on. It’s 5:00 and it’s raining. He was right.

Telluride to Mesa Verde NP

Clear skies are gone as predicted but the colors were still beautiful along the way. Got going around 9:00 and took our time getting to Cortez. There we stocked up for two days and headed to Mesa Verde.
Checked in and paid for two night (15 per night). Great hot showers and a laundromat too. Supposed to be WiFi but we can’t get it to work.
Toured the park and museum. We’d been here before but it’s still pretty interesting. Tomorrow we plan to go to an area of the park we haven’t seen. We didn’t realize how big the park is and had to get expensive gas at the camp store to be able to drive around. Biking is out if the question here. No shoulder and long steep climbs. Also cold. Hoping for a nicer day tomorrow.

Road to Rico and Trout Lake

Woke up to howling wind making bike riding not fun so we took a drive to Rico. The colors along the way over Lizard Head Pass were spectacular. Pics don’t capture the colors. Stopped at the Rico museum and visited with the volunteer while learning about the history of Rico. There was a chili cook off going on but only about 4 people were there so we opted out. Not much else going on but they did have excellent cellular coverage.
We stopped at Trout Lake on the way back. Nice summer community but we think the water is cold. Historic train route went through this area and they preserved the trestle.
Back at camp we decided to go into telluride and take showers at Town Park. Great idea! $3 for five minutes of hot water.
People in the next campsite are Andrew and Lisa from Rhode Island. Visited with them after dinner.

Today we rode

Finally! Even though it was windy we both were determined to ride our bikes. We decided to spend a third night in Sunshine CG so we could enjoy telluride. Rick rode from the cg to Town Park where we rode together on the bike path and up into s subdivision west of town. Then back to Town Park. It wasn’t a big ride but it felt good to be on the bikes again.
We drove up towards Bridal Veil Falls. Nice colors and perhaps something to do on a future trip to telluride.
We stopped at Clark’s grocery store to get dinner and stuff. What a nice place and prices were about the same as Salida. Can’t wait for our dinner tonight! We might go back for more tomorrow.

Yeti cooler and Norcold

We have a love/hate relationship with our Norcold that came with the T@G. Without the solar panel it’s useless. Without sun it’s really in the way. So we have our yeti cooler for a back up system. We are finding this a great setup with things in the Norcold that don’t need full refrigeration and things in the yeti that must be refrigerated. We just replaced the ice today (5 days). We buy what we will eat for the day and night and stock up as we need to. So far so good!

Yeti cooler and Norcold

We have a love/hate relationship with our Norcold that came with the T@G. Without the solar panel it’s useless. Without sun it’s really in the way. So we have our yeti cooler for a back up system. We are finding this a great setup with things in the Norcold that don’t need full refrigeration and things in the yeti that must be refrigerated. We just replaced the ice today (5 days). We buy what we will eat for the day and night and stock up as we need to. So far so good!

Sunrise CG, Telluride

This campground is about three miles south of Mountain Village. We again have a beautiful site (9) and the overlook is just a few steps away. Just $10 a night (with senior pass) so we’re staying two night to avoid weekend traffic and hopefully ride our bikes.
We took Henry and Simon on the gondola from Mountain Village to telluride. They did great although Henry preferred to stay on the floor while Simon jumped on the bench seat to see the sights. Telluride is under construction everywhere it seems and crowded with the Cars and Colors festivities so we didn’t stay long. Dark skies around 9pm allow for seeing the Milky Way and shooting stars.

Silver Jack CG & Owl Creek Pass

This campground was about half way up the pass and we decided to stop there even though it was just past noon. We stayed in site 10 and were so pleased with the site, the views and the other campers.
We took a short hike overlooking the reservoir which sadly was nearly empty of water. The views from the overlook were spectacular. Even though we weren’t expecting any great foliage sites, we were treated to some beauties.
This morning we were on our way towards Ridgeway. We could only go about 10 mph due to the road and our trailer. But that was okay cuz again the views and colors were awesome. We arrived in Ridgeway around 11:00, resupplied for a couple of days and headed towards telluride.
Henry and Simon are having fun chasing squirrels and staring at the cows that wandered into the campground.

Jim in City Market

While picking up our dinner at the deli, we met Jim. He practices kindness ever day. Today he was carrying a small basket in his cart which he gave to us. Guess we looked like we needed it for our one item 🤔. Anyway we visited for a minute. He told us that the store I cimmaron has the best pies. Hmmm.

Overnight in Crested Butte

Scouted out
the parking lot at the ski area and picked a flat place for the night. No signs saying no overnight camping. Sweet!
Picked up some stir fry at City Market in gunnison and cooked it up on our t@g stove. Yummy! Watched a bit of a ski movie at the base area before going to bed. Brought both dogs inside to start but Henry isn’t used to such small space so he was sent to the truck. Simon is a veteran of inside the trailer so he stayed. Pretty good nights sleep. 31 degrees this morning! On the road by 8:30 heading towards ridgeway via owl creek pass by cimmaron. Gonna stop at city market for more stir fry!
Forgot to get a photo of our parking lot site. 😜

Heading out

Our first long trip of the season starts today. We are heading southwest towards Sedona with no schedule or reservations. We are traveling light planning to pick up food as we need it. First stop: Crested Butte.

Rainy afternoon

We started our day by going to Deckers and were amazed at the extent of the Hayman burn scar. When we got back Susan jumped on her bike and rode the bike path to woodland park about a 15 mile ride. Apparently the path needs a lot of maintenance and she felt “beat up” when she got back.
About thirty minutes later the skies opened up and it rained off and on all afternoon. This picture is Simon hiding in his bed when it started raining. Not much else to do so we went to the woodland park aquatic center and took much needed showers. A pretty full last day here much of it spent drying things out.

Painted rocks

We can see these from our campsite. There are several scattered around the campground. The cg host came by to tell us that there have been bears, coyotes, and mountain lions around recently. 😳. Everything is put away and locked up tight tonight!