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.

Homeward bound

Stopped in Gunnison for lunch and caught up on the news etc. Read that a weather system was moving in ( we could feel it in Gunnison). So very reluctantly we headed for home not wanting to be wet and cold for another night. It was a quiet ride occasionally reminiscing about the fun trip we just finished. Already planning our next one!
We unpacked and got back into our at home routine. Showers sure felt good! Dogs seem okay to be here but not real enthusiastic. They liked the freedom and fun on the road too.
We love our T@G and how well we sleep in it. Sometimes 11 hours! Guess we were pretty relaxed too.

Gateway CG

This campground is about twenty miles or so from Lake City. Not much going on in town so we decided to find our spot for the night.
We are 7-8 miles off Highway 149 and are at the end of the road. There were several disbursed sites along the road but we thought we’d find the campground. Most of the sites (5) are for tents and maybe two that would work for us.
We are so close to the river! We have to shout to each other to be heard. Simon bathed more than once and he and Henry have been busy all afternoon with chipmunks and squirrels. We gathered wood and built a fire -first one on this trip.
A railroad went through here until 1933 connecting Lake City with Sapinero near Blue Mesa. Tomorrow we will take the cutoff road to highway 50, another first for us.

Camping close to home

We’ve been wanting to stay at the Angel of Shavano campground ever since we checked it out this spring before it opened. We had our favorite spots pre-selected and were happy when we got site 10. It’s right on the creek which is running big right now because of the snow melt.
We’re stocked and paid for for the next three nights and may just stay longer. Rick made a run into town this morning to do a little work and come back with some things we forgot. It’s 15 miles back to the house.
The bike ride four miles back to highway 50 is steeper than we thought. 1600 vertical for the 10 miles Rick rode our first day here. I’m still working up the courage to just do it.
We enjoyed a tasty meal and fell asleep to the sound of the creek and rain. Life is good.
Friends John and sherry plan to join us tomorrow. There’s lots of open spots but more campers tonight than last night. We wonder if it’s ever full.

These two guys walked through our campsite on the first day we were here. Moose One and Moose Two!

Day 7 – Roanoke to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

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Woke up to partly cloudy skies and headed for the Blue Ridge Parkway. Skies quickly socked in and we found ourselves in thick fog. Every now and then the skies cleared and we could see the beauty of the mountains and Shenandoah national park. But it was frustrating not to have the sunny days we are used to so we got off the parkway and decided to go further than we thought to shorten our day tomorrow.
When we got to Chambersburg it was deja vu. We had been to this Walmart before! Checking our blog confirmed this. Shortly after we arrived a big RV parked behind of us. Same thing happened the last time we were here!

We are road weary and ready to reach our destination. Simon’s ear hurts him now so we want to take care of that.

Day 6 – Frozen Head state park to Roanoke, VA

Late start after taking long hot showers in the campground. Finally on the road by 9:30 but we soon realized we were now in the eastern time zone so it was really 10:30.
Took the back roads to Bristol VA enjoying the scenery and conversations. Ricks back was bothering him so we decided to stop for a while and decide where to stop got the night. Losing that hour made for a short travel day. Campgrounds were expensive so we headed for Roanoke and hopefully a friendly Walmart. Got lucky again and we’re all tucked in a rear corner of the parking lot.
We’re starting to be concerned about Simon’s ear which we think is infected. He still has a good appetite and is as active as he can be while traveling but his ear is clearly bothering him. Keeping an eye on it and him. Poor guy. Heading for the skyline drive and Shenandoah national park tomorrow.

Day 5 – Milan to Frozen Head State Park

Started out by 8:00. Walmart parking lot was a bit noisy. Made our way through small towns along Route 70 until we got to Nashville around noon. Made the obligatory stop at the Grand Old Opry House but opted out of the 45 minute tour ($24😳). Stopped in the Opry Mill mall for a quick lunch and awesome people watching. Back on the road by 1:30 heading east towards Knoxville. Decided to stay where we could get a shower before moving on. Getting here from I-40 was some serious back roads with sharp hairpin curves and miles of wondering if Siri directed us right. It’s worth it. We are sharing the campground with just two other parties. Quiet indeed.
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We were lucky enough to have lots of food in the frig and dined on our own tomatoes and other leftovers. We entered the eastern time zone just as we got in the park so it’s later than we think. We’ve not had any trouble sleeping though.
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Day 4 – Bull Shoals to Milan, TN

Spent some time walking around the state park so once again did not get on the road till 11:30. Went the road less traveled and crossed the Mississippi somewhere in southern Missouri. Then into Tennessee where the trees are noticeably greener. Made it to Jackson and thought we’d stop there but too noisy so on we went to Milan. Not sure what tomorrow will bring. Maybe Nashville?
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Day 3 – Enid to Bull shoals state park, AR.

After Simon’s bath we headed east not sure which road to take. Decided to get off the interstate and take highway 412 towards Mountain Home, AR and the state park nearby. Lots of rolling hills and not much traffic. Have already lost track of daily miles, miles per gallon and what day of the week it is. Love these roads trips. Tomorrow we plan to cross the Mississippi just not sure where😳.