Tuesday, June 30, 2009

100. Denver

We spent 5 days in Denver, literally in the car. We drove and drove and then drove some more. Big mistake as it essentially introduced us to urban sprawl and you know how appealing that can be. It was sort of like, hello, welcome to the 909. The good news is that we did eventually find a couple areas that we liked, loved Golden and spent a great afternoon with an old work friend. Not that she's old, just that it's been a while.

While in Denver, we spent one night at Prospect RV Park in Wheat Ridge, CO. Unfortunately, they were full, the campground in Golden was full and we ended up at Golden Terace RV Resort. We didn't see that pool and those images are fairly misleading. In fact, the only "resort" we could find was that it was our LAST resort. I can only recommend it if you enjoy staying in a concrete and gravel parking lot, with trailers stacked up next to each other. Oh, you might also enjoy it if you planned on hitting the two biker bars just down the street. Otherwise, stay clear.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

99. Breckenridge, CO

Another lovely mountain town. A shoppers delight. We're camped outside of town at Heaton Bay Campground. It's beautiful. On a lake with views of the Rocky Mountains on both sides. I could stay here forever. Well, not forever because we don't have hookups, but I could stay here for 4 days. Easy. Especially since we run the generator in the morning for the coffee maker and at night for...well...for the tv and warming up Lucy's dinner. Roughing it? Not even close, but as the Mr told a guy at Gunnison, it's not camping unless it's in HD!

Lake Dillion Colorado Camp

And today is Lucy's Birthday! We made it to 5! And to celebrate, she snacked on homemade peanut butter cookies we picked up at the Breckenridge Barkery and napped. Another good day!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

98. Catch Up

Where has the time gone? I’m so behind with all of this.

So let’s see after Arches, we spent 5 nights at Morefield Campground in Mesa Verde National Park. No hook ups, but we managed. It’s a nice campground – assuming you don’t mind the other campers. You know, the big talkers, the boasters, the yell at my kids all day, the I’ve got so much work to do that I need you (my wife and 3 kids that I dragged from Utah) to leave me alone while I set up my tiny tent trailer. Oh, and Ruthy, what are you making for dinner? Or the hillybilly posse with their Jed Clampett rigs, the campers that as the case of MGD dwindles, the twangy conversation escalates until it’s an all out battle over who gets the last weenie. Those are the kind of campers that get The Keep in Moving Folks as their circling the campground, looking for the perfect spot.

Cliff Palace

The cliff dwellings are well preserved and super interesting to be able to walk through. Unfortunately, to get to most of the dwellings, you have to take the guided group tour. We don’t do well with these sorts of organized activities. The pace alone inspires a nap. See paragraph above for some perspective on the rest of the group. The tours themselves vary depending on your guide – articulate, well informed with accurate historical information or Baby Huey from Texas who would not stop saying “these people”. For example, BH insisted that the kivas served a purely ceremonial purpose rather than more of a family room with places to sleep, cook and eat. Regardless of the information you get, it’s well worth the $3.

From Mesa Verde, we drove to Telluride and stayed at Matterhorn Campground at close to 10,000 feet. The Aspen Trees are green, leafy, with white trunks. I liked them. I think I got a little altitude sickness though. Headache, nausea, super irritable. Or maybe that was just an excuse. Hard to say. Telluride is cute, exactly what you’d want in a small mountain village. Exactly what I was hoping for in Moab. There’s a yarn shop in town, Needle Rock Fiberarts, but sadly, it was closed by the time we made it out of Smuggler’s Brewery and the North Face store. Note to self: avoid expensive mountain retail environments where you're likely to convince yourself that you NEED active girl clothes after pints of raspberry wheat beer.

After a couple days at Matterhorn, we drove down towards Montrose to Centennial RV Park and Campground and by campground, they mean that they have 3 grassy tent sites. Full hook ups and laundry. The Mr even got the satellite up and working. In fact, he got lots of practice finding the satellite signals since the crazy wind blew the tripod over. But practice makes perfect and since then, we’ve been working the HD-DVR.

Two nights was just enough at the RV park. 5 loads of laundry. 4 hours of work. I always like the hook ups, but the Mr can only take a few days of the trailer park feel. It was just a short drive up to Black Canyon of The Gunnison National Park. It’s sort of a dark, mini grand canyon. Getting into our spot at the campground was a little hairy. It’s technically a pull through, but not very wide or level. We’re balanced at a crazy pitch and had to use all of the blocks to get one side high enough. The space is wide enough for our mini slide, is very green and teeming with wildlife – birds, chipmunks and deer. Lucy’s a little slow to notice the deer, but definitely has the scent of the chipmunks and imagines herself quite the hunter.

The Mr kicked off today with The Who on the ipod while I was making breakfast. New Dave Mathews Band in the afternoon as we drove around the rim. Family photo. A good day.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

97. Arches and Canyonlands National Parks

What can I say? It's spectacular rockitecture.



As much as I would like to stay put, the Mr has kept me pretty active.


We've been hiking and driving and sight seeing and going to town. The Mr has been mountain biking a couple of times. Lucy has been hanging and napping since dogs can't go on any of the trails. In fact, in Canyonlands, dogs aren't even allowed in the car on the dirt roads. We snuck her in and she's getting a little better in the car. She's still a lap bandit and can't not be on me. Apparently, Lucy just doesn't like to ride bitch.


And in return, I annoy her with the camera. It's fun.


I think we're fully into our camping groove. We've fallen into horribly traditional male / female roles. The Mr deals with the outside trailer stuff - the hitch and leveling and stabilizers and the tanks. I've got the inside, domestic donna stuff. I find myself doing most of the cooking, cleaning up, doing the laundry (5 loads yesterday), making the bed. It's strange for us and there is no way it would be ok at home, but for whatever reason, it's working out here. We each have a particular ways of doing things and sometimes, it's just best to stay out of the way. Like I said, it's working out here. When we get back, things WILL go back to normal.

We've spent a little time in Moab. Stocked up at King's Market (like Ralph's), burger and beers at the Moab Brewery, beers at Eddie McStiff's where we had to buy a $4 temperory membership to drink at the bar (in exchange for your membership, they do give you $4 off your meal, but since we weren't eating, I bought an Eddie McStiff's t-shirt instead), thai curry at Singha and a lunch back at Eddie McStiff's where the Mr had a buffalo burger.

Yesterday, while he was riding, I ran a few errands that included a stop at the local yarn shop, Desert Threads. It was ok. I walked in on two women knitting on a couch and had to say hi first. I hate that. Considering that I was the only other person in the store, they were surprisingly indifferent. I was hoping to find some good local yarn, maybe buffalo (they have to do something with the rest of the body; don't they?). They had some local wool, but it was itchy and crunchy. Disappointing, but I did find some buttons for the cardigan I'm working on.

We had planned to head to Mesa Verde this morning, but decided to take another day to work on the leaky tub and defrost the fridge and freezer. Fun stuff. It hasn't been the nicest of days - dark, windy, stormy - so not the worst day to be inside. And on that note, here comes the Mr with my Salty Dog...

Friday, June 5, 2009


It's interesting, for me at least, to see the other campers. Once again, we don't fit the profile in that we're simply too young to be taking this much time. When I told a guy from Louisana by way of New York that we were traveling for five months, he said "how the hell you swingin' that at your age". I just smiled at him and said: internet money. He didn't need to know that it was temporary.

I like to watch people set up camp. You just never know what you're going to see. I should say that we're not perfect in our process, but I've learned enough to offer an opinion and then leave it alone. Tenters seem to have more issues that the other RVers, but then those poles can be a real bitch to get in right.

I'm particularly curious about the solo travleres. The other day, late in the afternoon, a young guy pulled into a tent site on a motorcycle with one backpack and two very small side bags on the bike. He was quiet, didn't interact with anyone, had a tiny single tent and was gone before we woke up. And now, right next to us, less than 10 feet away, is a woman from Colorado. She's driving a huge Expedition, has a triple sleeper tent, a lounge chair and a full set up with a large ice chest and a couple of tubs of stuff. I don't know that I'd do that - drive from out of state to a campground to spend 2 nights all on my own. Would you? Last night, she read her book well into the night and drake some white wine. Yes, we're that close. Today, she's facing the opposite direction, still reading and hasn't left except to go to the little store for ice and chips.

That also means that I've been sitting here all day too. Time to take the dog for another walk.

UPDATE - A dude showed up on a motorcycle Saturday afternoon. Shortly there after, they took off in her car. When they got back, they packed up her stuff and haven't been back. I'm thinking motorcycle guy is a wuss and insisted on a hotel room.

Monday, June 1, 2009

95. Utah = Morman

Let me just say that you have to appreciate the pioneer work ethic. These people were seriously dedicated to getting to wherever it was they were going for whatever reason they were going there, setting up their homesteads not just in the middle of nowhere, but in the middle of these mountains, surrounded by all this rock without any sort of trail or road. Bryce Canyon? Named after a Morman couple who settled in between the hoodoos. When asked about it, Mr. Bryce's comment had something to do with what a bitch it was to lose a cow in the hoodoos.

And remember that dirt Hole in the Rock Road back in Escalante? It was called that because as the Morman settlers were working their way to wherever, they actually came to a hole in the rock and instead of stopping there, or turning around, they lowered their wagons through the hole and kept on going. THAT is dedication. Or something.

But what I really wanted to say is that this state has apparently never heard of the separation of church and state. LDS is everywhere. All over the paper. All over the news. And it's not even remotely subtle. Blatent the LDS church this. The LDS church that. LDS officials state blah, blah, blah. I had to turn the news off tonight. I can't take it. We have to get out of this state soon. Unless, of course, we should happen to see more Sister Wives. Should that happen, we will take chase and photographs!