Map of Ridgeway-Grand Mesa trip

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.

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Shade/Blind Solution

IMG_5747I kind of discovered a solution to our need for blinds inside our Little Guy. In the car one day I was setting up the sun shades in the car windshield. We’d been wondering if we should order those blinds they sell on the Little Guy website store. As I set up the windshield shades I said to myself, “Hey, these might work inside the Little Guy!” As soon as I got home I tried to see if I could make them stand up somehow against the inside of the doors. The ones we have for the Subaru are just about the right size to completely cover the inside of the Silver Shadow doors. Cool! They’re even silver on one side so they match color perfectly. Still I was wondering how we could make them stay. Velcro, sew a button hole, hang a little string loop . . . ? But as we started to use them we found that one side fit into the handle of the door and the other side pushed up against the cup holder. Voila! They stay in position nicely while the door is closed. They can even be slid up or down to allow for ventilation or peeking out the bottom of the door. Also if you need to escape quickly they don’t impede the handles, so you can just open the door without a hitch. True, if you open the door, you have to reset the shade, but it’s so easy that it’s not an issue. Just pull it off, throw it to the foot end of the bed. Then when you get back in just put it in place.

Ridgeway State Park

Here’s a pic near our camp site for tonight. It’s late right now and I’m writing this on my iPhone. I just wanted to mention something we just thought of about the different kinds of sites we’ve stayed in so far with Shadow. The first night was a private RV park with some great tent sites. Next night was a US Forest service site near Lake Haviland. Now tonight is a state campground. All are nice in their own way. I think the USFS place was my fav so far. I’d like to talk about the differences sometime. Perhaps when I get on a keyboard somewhere.

Lunch break

We stopped for lunch at a park near Blue Mesa Reservoir. Just a quick stop but Simon wasn’t ready to leave when we were. We had to trick him into finally moving.

Category for Info

On our first night of camping with Shadow, we had two separate people stop by our camp site to check out our Little Guy. The first guy from New Mexico was very animated and excited calling out to someone, “Hey honey! This is what we need! This’ll do everything we want!” The next person was a lady walking her dog and was very impressed with our camp site and said she was going to tell her husband all about it. We’ve also heard stories on the Little Guy forum about how we should probably carry Little Guy brochures so we can hand ’em out. From now on, when we’re on the road, I’m going to take a picture of every person that asks us about our Little Guy and post it here, maybe with a few bits of info like where they are from and their names. I’m creating a category on this site called “LG Queries” to label them.

I think I’m going to create a list of links in the sidebar as well, so that when someone asks us about our Little Guy we can just point ’em to this website to start their research. It might be a way of gathering followers too.

Our First Trip

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Shadow’s Spot When Were Home

Made it home from picking up our Little Guy. We were on the road for three full days. Camped three nights, twice in the Shadow once in tent. We were out of Internet range a lot of the time. Now need to write about events and post pics. Just have to say, we are very pleased with our new Silver Shadow Little Guy. I’m calling him Shadow. Making lots of plans and imagining all the places to go and stuff to do.

Simon Waiting

We’re waiting for the trailer hitch to be installed. Our Silver Shadow is waiting for us to hook it up. Probably should have your hitch installed before hand it’d be a good idea. Build in time. Things always seem to take longer than you thought.

Selecting Our Little Guy

We arrived at Rich’s Performance Marine at about 2:00 o’clock today and were warmly greeted by Dena who Susan has been talking to on the phone all these days. She knew right off who we were. After introductions including Simon (they are very dog friendly) she showed us the Silver Shadow Little Guy we were coming to see. It was beautiful and big. With a fridge, stove, and sink and being six feet wide and fifteen feet long it was plenty spacious for us. Maybe a little bit too spacious. It was actually wider than our Subaru Outback. We had some concerns about the weight and towing capacity of our car. Even though we’d heard through texting, emails, and verbal assurances that the Subie can handle it, we were still worried it would be too much stress on the car, especially on Colorado mountain passes.

Over near the other corner of the show room was a smaller version of the Silver Shadow. Instead of it being called a 6 X 10 it’s called a 5 X 8. Actually the mattress inside is almost as big and plenty of room for my 5 foot 9 inches and Susan’s 5’3″. It weighs almost 300 pounds less and fits nicely behind the Outback. This smaller version doesn’t have a stove or refrigerator, but we’re thinking we won’t miss them. So we are opting for the smaller 5 x 8 rather than the 6 x 10. Easier on the car, energy consumption, and pocketbook. It still has plenty of room for all of us.

Dena and Rich were very patient and helpful as Susan and I went back and forth with which one to choose. No pressure. And are feeling like we definitely made the right choice. After all the online research and weighing options, we did it! We pick up our Little Guy tomorrow!

On Our Way to See Our Little Guy

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.

Little Guy Customer Service

Once we decided to pursue Little Guy rather than other similar types of teardrop trailers and after watching all the online videos, we had questions that needed answers from Headquarters in Ohio.  Of course, it was a Friday afternoon and they are 2 hours ahead of us, but as Chris says in the videos on their golittleguy.com website, “Text me anytime!”  So we did – at 6:30 Mountain Time.  We really did not expect to hear back that evening, but sure enough, he did!  We went back and forth with him on a couple of issues and he answered them to our satisfaction so we could sleep easy that night.  It’s reassuring to know that he did what he said he would, even after 9 pm on a Friday.  We feel very good about this company and are hoping all works out when we meet our Little Guy Silver Shadow in two days.  We are even thinking of making a trip east and taking a side trip to World HQ in Canton, Ohio on the way.

On the local level, we have been dealing with Dena at Rich’s Performance Marine in Bayfield, Colorado and have been similarly impressed with her followup and assistance.  Really looking forward to meeting her on Wednesday!

Anticipation

We’ve been communicating with a dealer in Bayfield, Colorado about a Little Guy Silver Shadow they have on their lot. It basically looks like our current header image on this website. We’re pretty excited to drive over there on Wednesday to take a look at it. If it works outs to be the one, then we’ll have a hitch installed on the Subaru and drive ‘er home! We may make a small camping trip out of it. Bayfield is 165 miles away from Salida. It’s almost to Durango. I think we’re planning on camping out on Wednesday night in our tent.

Test Post

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This is a test post to see what it looks like. I’m stealing this image off of the official Little Guy website (www.golittleguy.com) for now. I should probably get permission from them. Who knows maybe after we massage this site a little to make it look really great and we start posting our trips they might feature us on their site. That’d be really cool. Then we’d be famous!

I’m playing around with the look and feel of this site. I’m trying different themes. Almost decided on the Twenty Thirteen theme and may go back to it. Rather than take the time to learn the new theme, I’m using the same theme we used on GeeGeerides.com. That blogged the trips we took on our ’06 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic motorcycle. Since it worked so well for us on that blog, I’ve decided to just simply host this new blog as well on WordPress.com.

I could self host it, but I’m going for simplicity here. The main point is to create our journal of travels in our Little Guy, if or when we get it. But that’s another post. Hmmm, if we get to the point of asking for donations via PayPal, I’d have to self host to get the plugins I’d need.