And now we are in a New York State of mind. Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. We’re staying in Gloversville Walmart Super Center tonight. We’re starting to get in traveling mode and didn’t want to spend too much time setting up a campsite. We’ve parked the trailer and car in each their own parking spot to be less conspicuous. We’re thinking of naming our trailer “Lucky Dog T@G” because Simon always gets to sleep with us.
Tbis serms like a really quiet Walmart. At least we’re hoping so. We’re planning on getting an early start in the morning.
This private camp grounds is like a huge flat lawn with electrical hookups spread evenly for RVs. It’s got new saltwater pool that used as soon as we were set up.
We were looking forward to a good nights sleep but we’re soon reminded that some private CG can be noisy. Sound really carries here. Guess the wide open space allows for sound to travel. We think that it being Friday night meant that families were here for the weekend with kids, parties, and merrymaking. There was a site across the way that played their percussion music until wee hours in the morning. There was also another camper that had flood lights shining brightly our way. Urrrg. I was able to politely ask the light people to dim their high beams. They were very nice and just turned them off. The music people however just got rude when I asked them if they knew when quiet hours were in effect. They did turn it down a notch or two but they were in party mode. All we could really do was turn on our vent fan to help drown out the party noise.
I decided to move to a different spot in the parking lot at about 1:00 o’clock in the morning to try and find a little more quiet. This is a very noisy location. It was like being in a truck stop. The million dollar RV we were near had some sort of machinery (air conditioning, generator, or something ) running all night long, non-stop! Do I sound irritated?
I threw our step stools into the back of the car and drove around the separate parking lot with my window open searching. I discovered sound can be blocked by other vehicles.
Not a great night of sleep. But an early start of getting back on the road. I’m wondering if I-80 is just characteristically lots of truckers.
TIP: When spending some sleep time in parking lots be prepared to move at a moments notice.
Finally we decided to try and get to Pagosa Spring today via the backroads. Once out of the campgrounds we headed up 14 north, to Santa Fe then I-25, to 84 north. When we got to the top of this hill and saw there was a National Park service campground we decided to investigate. It was another 100 miles to Pagosa and we were starting to get a little tired. This place appears well kept and we are delighted to stumble upon it. There are hot showers, flush toilets, and very spacious and spread out sites. This is site #23.
Beautiful views over the lake. But it’s very windy right now.
We decided to stay an extra day here in Black Canyon Campground, Santa Fe, NM. Rick rode his bike up the Canyon, a long 7 mile climb out of the campground up to the Santa Fe Ski Area. Beautiful weather and fun decent. Susan and Simon went on a short hike. We slept well last night. It was so quiet and dark. Well at least after the kids up in one of the group sites finally went to bed. The quiet time in this campground is supposed to be 8:00 pm to 8:00 am. Guess the camp host, if he was here at all, was still getting a handle on his job. We’re leaving early tomorrow morning to Roswell, NM. Hoping to see some aliens.
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?
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😳.
We never got to give Simon a bath before we left and today he needed one. Found Julie online and she let us use her grooming facility to wash him. Best $10 spent so far!! Back on the road again at 10:30 smelling much better!
After our look at the dinosaur tracks, we headed due east but not after a stop at Clayton’s coffee shop for breakfast and so Rick could update a couple of client websites On the road again at 11:30 and spent an uneventful day watching Oklahoma change from flat and dry to green and rolling. Tonight we are in Enid at Walmart. Nice grassy area right next to us. We were able to watch some of the presidential debate but sort of glad when our phones stopped working so we could get some sleep. Plan to get up and get going early tomorrow.
We were on the road by 11:45 on a beautiful fall day. The colors were stunning and maybe because the Broncos were playing, we encountered little traffic. We listened to the game enjoying the Broncos win.
Stopped at Raton, NM for info but visitors center was closed on Sunday. We found out that was the case in Clayton too. Picked up dinner at the local market and drove 12 miles (again with little or no traffic) to Clayton Lake State Park. There is one other camper in another loop so it’s pretty quiet. Sites are large and we are overlooking the lake (C-9). Semi-dark sky allowed us to see the Milky Way and amazing stars. Lots of wildlife very active at night. A good first day. 253 miles.
Took a break here at one of the nicest “free” camping spots we know. Stayed here last year – if you ever find yourself on highway 50 near Austin be sure to stop. We’re planning to go to ely and the cave lake state park. We hear they have showers there!
We’re stopped in Susanville, CA for the evening. Walmart closes at 10 but they said we can park overnight. There is a do it yourself dog wash very nearby in the Safeway shopping center next door. We took advantage and gave Simon a much needed bath. We can tell he feels much better. Now in our parking spot at the end of Walmart’s lot he’s enjoying mowed grass. He hasn’t felt that in over two weeks. We’re finding Susanville to be a pleasant little town. At over 5000 feet the weather here is cooler and the air is a little thinner. Much more like what we’re used to in Salida Colorado. Enjoying it for now. Tomorrow night we will be in the desert somewhere along hwy 50. The loneliest highway.
We decided to leave the redwoods after doing our laundry and checking the map. It’s gonna be a long drive home!
We found this site at the east fork campground on CA 299 near Willow Creek. Just $4 with senior discount.
We plan to be out early anticipating road construction as we head east towards Redding and points beyond.
We left Lake Tahoe heading to Lassen Volcanic National Park. Along the way we stopped for ice cream in Graeagle. Graeagle seems like a resort stop along highway 89. All the building are painted the same color and look like camp cabins. Turns out it was built just for that reason. The ice cream at Buckaroo’s was awesome. There is an open park right next door to it that you can sit in the grass in the shade.
We needed a stop so pulled over at this rest area. No signage that this was the bonneville salt flats until we parked. Pretty cool to walk out in it – Simon thought it was snow and started rolling it it. Good thing there was a foot wash area so we could rinse off his paws and face!
Heading west on I-80 but not sure how far we will get. Lake Tahoe area tomorrow for a visit with my sister Rosemary.
On hwy 50 at the border of Nevada and Utah is a place called the Border Inn. On the NV side they got gambling. On the UT side we found this little spot of shade where we stopped for a break to eat from our own supplies in the back of our Little Guy.
After 4 days at a hotel in Santa Rosa and attending the wedding of Lachlan and Cristin, we are ready for some casual camping. Heading towards Armstrong Redwood Recreation area today. Hopefully we will get a site and see some big trees!
Susan heard a “clicking” noise when we started the car this morning from the engine. I took a look and listen under the hood and sure enough there was a very clear clicking noise that wasn’t supposed to be. We needed to decide to have it looked at before heading out on interstate 80. Turns out the power steering belt was shredding and slapping a radiator hose. Lucky for us to find it. It could have made a hole in the hose and caused us to over heat. We’re also lucky the mechanic could help us out right away. We have a wedding to get to after all. It plus it would probably really suck to break down on the side of I80 in 100 degree heat.
Tip: Keep the tow vehicle in good running condition. Pay attention to little noises.
We left about 11:30 this morning. Stopped in Grand Junction to do a little last minute shopping and gas. Now we’re stopped for the evening in Green River, Utah. With the bikes, trailer, wind and high speed limits (75 along I70) we’re getting about 18 mpg. The winds have been high. When we were leaving GJ we thought we were heading into a tornado or something. It was bad. Dust, debris and really strong winds. We were a little afraid the bikes were going to blow off the top!
Found this cool stone in a road side stop. It shows the elevation of 716 feet and an arrow pointing north. Compared it to my iPhone compass app and sure enough it was north.
Just a shot of some highway from the drivers seat. I take pictures sometimes just to get the GPS location for later. When I get home I’ll map all the photos and have a record of our route. Kind of like electronic bread crumbs.
Susan gave this guy a brochure. I took this picture just in case he turned out to be a serial killer.
We’re parked in the Hutchinson, KS Walmart tonight. Rather than get groceries though we went next door to Applebee’s. There’s a Home Depot next door and we are pleasantly surprised they have an open and powerful wifi connection.
We didn’t quite make it to Dodge City like we wanted. We could have pushed it, but we’d much rather settle down for the evening before it gets dark.
It started raining just as we climbed in the LG for the night and it rained hard all night. Being from Colorado we don’t usually get that much rain all at once. It stopped by morning but it was still pretty wet.
We are traveling on Highway 50 and drive through interesting small towns along this route. We thought this one had an unusual name, Rosebud.
The rolling hills and farmland are very scenic. The drive today was stress free compared to yesterday and the confusion of St. Louis. Tonight we are in Hutchinson, KS which will most likely be the last night on the road for this trip.
The Versailles state park campground was very pretty in the day light. We both took showers after a very restful night. Simon slept in with us all night with no barking. We took a short walk through the woods before leaving. Nice place, recommend it if you are in eastern Indiana.
We are heading west towards St. Louis today on highway 50. A lot of small towns through the farmland. We drove 20 miles for a cup of coffee though.
Got rained on a lot today. Went through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Beautiful fall colors.
I think the highest point we drove through today.
This tunnel was even longer than the Eisenhower Tunnel we see on Loveland Pass in Colorado. It’s called the Allegheny Tunnel.
Longest day of driving yet. Longest time on interstates too. We’re tired. We’re in Versailles State Park in Indiana for the night. We don’t even know what it looks like yet because it was dark when we got here.
Found a great place to spend last night at Clay’s RV Park and Water World. They call this “resort camping”.
Here’s Dennis that showed us where to camp. We needed to be shown because this place is soooo huge.
No one really around it seems this time of year. The place has lots of RVs parked in beautiful spots but no is here. Dennis says they just leave their RVs here all year round. This place even has it’s own airport.
Here’s the renovated shower building. Nice to get cleaned up.
As I think about our brief stay in Tuscola, I realized a couple of contradictions. First, arriving from the west, it’s a very depressed town with a few questionable businesses. As you head east, everything changes. There is a huge high end outlet mall there with a beautiful entrance and landscaping. That was across the street from the truck stop we stayed in.
And then there are the trains. It seemed like they came through town every 20 minutes all night long horns a blaring. After a while, you don’t hear them and fall asleep. Can’t say I’d seek out Tuscola again. We are now Ohio bound. Sent from my iPhone
A friend and I tried to ride our bikes from Colorado Springs to Connecticut in 1979 or 80 (memory fails). We followed this same route. Lots more to the story, but I thought it was so cool today to do about 20 miles just for the fun of it. Glad I brought my bike. Here’s a pic while I was riding. Oh, had a awesome tail wind! The wind blew strong all day. Good thing it’s was blowing our way.
Last night stayed in a Limon truck stop. The guy said sure park anywhere. So we found a spot that seemed out of the way and just basically climbed into the Little Guy to sleep. We found that all the idling semi trucks was kind of like rain on the roof and slept pretty good. This is a shot I took in the morning from our spot.
Hwy 36 seems to go on forever. Hardly any cars. Got to listen to the Broncos game on an AM radio station. Yah! Go broncos!
We went right by the geographic center of the USA. I think it’s kids funny that it’s near a town called Athol.
Here’s our rig parked in a shady spot along the hwy.
Settling in tonight in a Walmart parking lot in Marysville Kansas. You can see our little guy way off in the west end of the lot. Hey it’s clean and well lit. Took Simon for a walk around the property. Probably more than mile of nice green grass all around.
This post is coming from my iPhone. We’re find connectivity sketchy at best.
We left Salida around 11:30 Denver bound to attend Karens birthday party. Our goal was to find Hwy 86 east for Limon and I-70. After two tries and a few choice comments, we found our way to the Limon truck stop and our little guy parked along with the big guys for the night. There was an eerie string of red lights blinking rhythmically along the horizon that made us think of “ET phone home”. We realized in the morning that it was windmills!
Off we went eastbound by 8:30. Simon is a good traveler and pays attention to what’s going on (when he’s not sleeping.) Rick wanted to get a bit of exercise and suited up for a short ride. Simon and I reorganized the gear and then watched the race cars at the local fairground. We headed east to find Rick along Hwy 36 sharing some of our “scenic” ride with farm equipment that slowed us down to 20 mph for a while!
We saw the sign for an historic marker and here I am just about in the geographic center of the US. Wow.
Tonight we are in marysville, ks in the SuperWalmart parking lot. The wind has finally died down and it should be quieter than last night. We plan to get up early and keep heading east.
This is a map of our trip to Ridgeway and Grand Mesa. We went 426 miles which was a little further than we had anticipated. The Subie averaged 22.2 mpg this time which was better than last trip but we only went over Monarch Pass and up and down the Grand Mesa. Bet we do really well on flat terrain.
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.
On our way this morning to see a Little Guy Silver Shadow in Bayfield, Colorado. We’re probably going to camp out tonight somewhere near there. Tomorrow, if we decide to actually get this Little Guy, we’ll have a hitch installed on our 2009 Subaru Outback.
Here’s the route we’ll be taking. I realize this particular map is not very interesting, but I’m just practicing putting maps into our posts. I’m thinking it’ll be interesting when our trips really start going places. Oh, then there is the whole new “places” technology happening on Social. It’d be cool to take advantage of it.