the Rio Grande home.
We left Marshall campground
and down past Creede, CO is Palisade campground. Not to be outsmarted
and miss out as this is a heavly used site, we drove down on Wednesday
to check it out to see how busy it was. We still had paid for Wed night
where we were at but once we found a great site, put our name on it and
headed back to gather our stuff up and move a day early. The host at Marshall
gave us a card to give to the host at Palisade so we could get a free nigth
there since we were leaving early. How nice. Now the normal rate
is $18 but we get half price you remember. And talking to the new
host the campground stays open past Labor Day till it is closed in by snow,
and they stop charging after Labor Day.. Water will staty on till then
end of Sept. since he is staying also. Free we can deal with that.
I will give him our WiFi password.
The must show campsite picture.
From the 5er entrance door.
Like they say a river runs through it.
There are rail raod tracks
that run through the campground and later we heard this loud whistle and
this came through.
Denver and Reo Grande Railroad check it out.
The view from inside our
5er. It makes a potty break stop in the campground.
The line was originally constructed
to bring wealthy and famous to the resorts at what is now the 4UR Ranch
at Wagon Wheel Gap.
The discovery of Silver
and other Minerals further up the valley necessitated the extension for
the Railroad to the Creede mining district.
Do read the rest of the
of this special railraod.
It had been determinded by
me that since Terry was going fishing most every day I would need a better
supply of fire wood so off we went on a wood run. Up a forest service
road called Pool Table. Little did I know how high up this sucker
was going to take us.
came from the highway way down below up the canyon and up and up some more.
Need I say more just take
Once on top it goes on and on forever rooling between vast forests and
Down there is a resort along
the highway and river. And I am up here and not to happy about it
all. But there is wood and plenty of it. Terry did his thing in between
resting due to the alt. and we got a full back end full of wood.
Another pile which is cut
up is stacked under the picnic table.
So we are all set to watch
the winds and rain and hot air swirling around Tampa this week.
to the Rio Grande.
We left the Gunnison area
and headed to Lake City on our way to the Creede area where we had reservations
at Forest Service Marshall Park campground. Drove right on through and
on up the hill to Slugmullion Pass on HW149. Rated the longest highest
percent grade in Colorado. We had dumped all our fresh water and other
holding tanks and sure glad we did as this is a real humdinger. Just up
and up and up. The truck did a great job and I had power to spare.
One at the summit it was
clear sailing own to Creede. No big downgrades or switch backs. Easy on
Now I will say I will never
go the other way down hill to Lake City from Creede as there would
be no relief on the brakes in that section, all straight down with switch
Maps maps gotta have maps...
We are in the second map camped at Marshall Park. This is at a lower alt
and better for our breathing.
We have taken day trips
and explored the side forest roads in the first map which are in great
shape and have some campsites on small creeks but all are higher up and
not so good for us.
Next we will explore the
second map past Creede as we want to stay at Palisade campground again
right on the Rio Grande. As for camping after that it's down south
of South Fork towards Pagosa Springs. But first we will have to head out
on US160 past Del Norte to Alamosa to Walmart to pick up a prescription
that is waiting for us there. Sometimes ya just have to do things like
normal people to continue this lifestyle.
My Oh My the Rio Grande is
something and Terry is getting fishing time in. So far just so so, but
he has talked to the pros in Creede and is picking up tips. As I
type this.. 3 PM local, it is raining pretty good so we are
relaxing inside or home on wheels.
Stop on in, there is plenty
of empty camp sites.
OK time for a look at the
local tourist trap Creede CO. www.creede.com
Now I have to admit I don't
walk, but run from most tourist traps... but Creede feels different because
It's a real town with a
real history and it shows. Nothing fake about Creede. My kinda town.
Time to shut er down and
get rested up for a Friday night in the great outdoors. Campfire and good
TV. Bill Mahr is back on tonight live.
Colorado High got to us...
We spent over a week at Taylor
Park at (9400 ft and a jaunt up to Tin Cup at 11000 ft. You would
think we would get acclimated to the altitude in that amount of time. It
was not to be. After three, count em, three A-Fib events probably
due to low oxygen levels at night. The Oxygen readings on my pulse oximeter
were reading in the mid 80's. We got scared and I called my Dr. back
in Iowa and was told to get the hell off the mountain. A normal reading
is above 96.
So on Friday morning we closed
up the 5er slowly and got out of there. We had planned to stay through
the weeked but it was not to be.
After trversing thorugh
the road work that is.
Gunnison, CO was our distination
and the Curecanti
National Rec Area west of town. And did I say at 7700 glorisous
Saturday we headed back into
town to get the oil changed at Gunny Lube in north Gunninson. And
I might add at a great price and they go us right in. Downtown was
hoppin with a Farmers Market.
But we didn't stay
for it as when we parked I noticed a large screw protruding from our front
right truck tire. Shit... didn't try to take it out as didn't want
the tire to go flat. Looked around for a open tire place with no
luck Terry called up Gunny Lube and they said bring it on over... they
$15 later and we were good
to go. We got back to them before they closed at 2 PM.
I did make one last stop
downtown after using my Droid to locate a business that sold just what
I was looking for.
Spray bottles of 95% Oxygen
Enriched Air. http://oxygenplus.com/
Now I can take a puff of
Oxygen if I need it. As we are going back up higher along the Rio Grande
river near Creede next week. Not nearly like Taylor Lake but higher
than here where we are doing pretty good. We shall see if this getting
just a little higher in Colorado can still work for us.
on the other side... didn't know about this drive.
We decieded to take a road
out of Tatylor Park, CO that we had never driven before. All we could say
is how had that never happened. How could we have missed this one.
North up the Park (large open high grass valleys) Rd 742 you go west
on 748 and up Rd 744 to Spring Creek Res. and campground.
We could see right away
the road was in good shape... fine for a 2wd car in fact.
Now would be a good time
to insert that we are surprised that the forage all over out here is lush
and green. No Pine Bark Beatle infestation to be seen by the naked,
eye. How wonderful. Must get cold enought to kill the suckers in this area.
One more reason to love this area.
We are staying at Lakeview
CG on the map.
Crossing the headwaters of
Taylor river and heading up 748
The road crosses a couple
of parks (large open high grass valleys) and many beaver ponds for
But the surprise was taking
the short trek up road 744 to Spring Creek Res. I have to say this rivals
How did we ever miss this
one. All on good a road... nothing like you have to traverse to get to
As we drove through the about
10 site CG as we do whenever we find one to see if we might want to came
back. We saw the camp host walking... he didn't smile, the sun was
out and he looked like a mountain man and not happy to be in anything this
organized. His set up looked like he does or could make it through the
winter here. Not sure if there was a camper under all the construction.
Not that our 5er would have fit wery well in the tight sites.
Anyway look at this view....
The campground was higher up in the pines on the right much above the parking
lot. Now if they only had a second open campground that wasn't squeezed
in the pines with no view with room for not much more than a popup.
There is room here to accommodate different camper lifestyles. Just
let larger units boondock in the open area. It's not like electric
service is ever coming to this outpost.
No one would think a huge
MH would want to make it up here but a 5er why not. My blog declairs we
are... A big rig looking for a tent experience. We can try can't
we. After all I'm just to old to get down in a tent. And we promise
not to disturb your quality camping experience if near us..
So not us to back track,
we took 744 down the west side as it followed Spring Creek.
Later on just north
of Almont this Spring Creek joins the Taylor River.
At that point we drove though
a 10 or so site FS campground and I noticed the only water spigot had a
black plastic bag over it. The host was out in the drive talking
to others so I rolled down my window and asked 'No Water' He replied...
Yes he had water in a jug... want some... in a smart alec kind of way.
I didn't but wanted to ask... since no water... the for profit managed
forest service campground must be free. Wish I would have now.
This was a great drive. If
in the area do drive it. One of the best in the state. It just goes
on and on and gets in tight canyons.
At Almont heading back up
to Taylor Park we found the dreaded highway construction. I have
seen people tearing up roads but this took the grand prize. We were
warned about this road by people we met in CO around the pool in Lamar,
CO (remember where we broke down) who had just returned form vacation
from here) This is a real mess and will be no joy trying to pull our 5th
wheel down this stretch of road when we leave this way next week. We cane
into Taylor Park over Cottonwood Pass from Buena Vista via the east route
recommended by the people above. But must leave going south over this.
It will be slow going and I'm not going to rush. Traffic can just back
up behind me if it must. They just might be slower than me, who knows.
I'm not going to twist a trailer frame just to rush through. It's
like mountain driving I can get to the bottom fast in a pile, or go slow
and get there all together in one piece, thank you.
I'm not sure how I got around
The unfinished looked smother
than it was.
The only reason that we
weren't driving on what it looks like on the right side is the traffic
had beaten it down. And this was a good section.
They are behind schedule
and are not making things easy for us who must use this road. It's not
like we have a choice.
Next year they are going
to start on another section of this highway... Don't let that stop
you from coming this way... This is one great huge area of spectacular
views and camping and everything along with that.
persisted and arrived back up past the dam and this view of Taylor Park
looking east. The Trading Post and cabins in the center. We are in the
campground on the side of the mountain on the right. You can see the drive
just past the turnout. .
got out the telephoto lens and took these. How silly... but it must be
done I guess...
will be here till Monday and head out for points south... Lake City and
Creede, CO. To take the stress of rushing to find camp sites I made a reservation
at Marshall Park which is right on the Rio Grande River 6 miles upstream
form Creede. Got a prime spot right on the river for 9 nights.
Terry bought his Colorado fishing lic and this section of the river is
"Trophy Water". It will take the stress off of finding an open site
and we can exploree in all directions from there. Smart move our
our part me thinks. From there we can explore in all directions. Could
have stayed longer but this way leaving on a Wednesday gives a better shot
at securing a midweek unoccupied spot at a next non reservable campground.
is another campground south of Creede on the Rio Grande also rated trout
fishing. And several nice looking campgrounds on streams futher south of
South Park along HW 160... So stay tuned.
all this investigation on the internet with our DataStorm dish on top our
our 5er makes all the difference on how we find where to go and
what is open for camping and with the DirecTV LNB attachment on the satellite...
it all makes it work for us.
It is cloudy and on and off rain and more of the same for a few days...
But Ya know what... we can deal with that after the heat in the midwest
that we spent time in as now we can just relax and enjoy life as we find
it... We are alive and life is good.
on the other side... and
day trip to Tin Cup and Mirror Lake
We left Lamar, CO early and
hit Pueblo, Cannon City, Salida and on to Buena Vista where we headed
up and up to where people pulling a large trailer who have any sense shouldn't
go. But we already knew we were lacking in that department so on we went.
We came up 306 from Buena
Vista Gunnison is to the south on 742.
Above is Cottonwood Pass
which has the road paved on the east side but gravel on the down side as
you will see.
Heading down slowly
as in second gear. People warned us about this road as if it gets
wet the slurry to hold down the dust gets very slick and turns to snot.
Lucky for us no rain today.
Our destination Taylor Park...
at the red dot.
We landed high up in Lakeside
campground in Taylor park at about 4 PM on a Friday and we were still
able to snag this site. The only last one with a view and just enough
clearing for sun for solar and satellite dish. Boy did we luck out.
I didn't know this campground was researvable. But didn't look it
up as thought we would be here on Thursday... but due to our small mishap
we were running a day late and a dollar short.
We get good solar during
the day. But it does cloud up in the afternoon though.
I got the dish pointed after
many hours of trial and error. Thought we were going to have to move forward
or back a bit to get out through the trees to the south. but I tuned it
with manual controls watching for a DirecTV signal. Now all
This above view is looking
The last users left piles
of firewood... look to the left side. And on a drive we found a mother
load to almost fill the rear end of the truck.
If need be we have a small
electric chain saw, power cord and the Honda 3000 gen. is in the truck
So we are set for some great
campfires and the views... nothing can describe them.
You can drive for many many
miles up the valley to the north where many people boondock. This area
is vast and open. Running ATV's is a huge thing to do and the locals
flock up here for that. And to fish.
The only drawback in this
treasure, is that it is at 9500 feet. You can only take a step or two and
you loose your breath.
But what's a little oxygen
among friends. Always got to give up something. I'll give up air for views
We saw a sign that the Nugget
Cafe was having a Saturday Prime rib dinner so we went on down the main
Taylor Park traiding post area for it. It was real good, may have
to go back for their Sunday Brunch next week.
pic from their web site
Now for the day trip...
day trip to Tin Cup and Mirror Lake
Cup Colorado is one of those places that once you've been there you just
have to go back. So today was that day. Just to see if had changed.
was found in the Tin Cup area in 1859, and the first big strike in 1879.
Tin Cup got its name from one of the prospectors that carried out his gold
dust in a tin cup. The underworld ruled Tin Cup and there never really
was any law. Every time an honest sheriff would arrive, he would be told
what to do by the leaders of the underworld. If he didn't comply, he was
killed. And so the cemetery at Tin Cup is filled with honest sheriffs and
other good people that did not comply with the underworlds demands. Around
the turn of the century there was said to be about 2000 people here and
shortly after that the population dwindeled. Now there are only ruins and
a popular recreation area.
Mirror Lake and
10 campsites above Mirror Lake with mountain views of Sawatch Range. Popular
with OHV riders since several OHV-4 wheel driving trails are in the area.
Mountain biking, hiking, horse riding, picnicing in the area. Fishing in
the creeks and lake. Big game hunting in season.
I and friends spent many
a vacation at Mirror Lake when doing vacations was what you did way back
when I you got time off. Now I'm just OFF, all the time. 3 miles
of bone jawing bumps.
There is a so called road 4 more miles up to Tin Cup Pass. To
think I once drove a compact car up there. Getting out to look under it
for clearance. How stupid we are in our youth.
out this guys trip up to the pass.
The parking lot for the lake.
This was Saturday so you can see this is a popular place.
I had the wild idea of going
back to Mirror Lake to camp as I had hoped they had improved the one lane
(more like jeep trail) since I had been there many years ago. No
such luck, obviously the locals want to keep it just the was it's always
been. And good for them I guess. Wouldn't have worked as I
can hardly breath at 9500 ft at Taylor Res let alone 11000 up there. We
were smart enough after a few stays to bring winer coats.
(Note this is the place
the keys got locked inside our vehicle one time.) Back then a coat
hanger did the trick. Whew...
My favorate camp site...
high up right in the middle of the sites overlooking everything including
the view below.
On the way back down foorm
the lake to Tin Cup there are still beaver ponds... Some things never change.
A wonderful day trip down
The road back to the edge
of Tin Cup.
Hope you had as much fun
as we did on our day trip...
it aint so.
Hang on I'm gunna get there.
Your gunna LOVE this post.
We left Iowa on Tuesday
and first stop was Concordia KS at our favorite free city campground.
Off across Kansas and our
plan was a stop at Lamar, KS at Sportmans RV Park and Horse Motel HW 50
west side of the city.
We made it there but... not
how we thought we would.
Now for the Say It Aint
This was taken five miles
to the Colorado border in Kansas on HW 69 where we came to a screeching
Got out the lawn chairs
and sat in the sade.
We were out in the middle
nowhere... engine stopped running and would not start. Withoiut power steering
didn't even get it off the traveled portion of the highway. No shoulders
and they sloped off pretty fast. It would turn over but not start.
Did I say it was 103 outside. So what do you do but call your roadside
assistance company. In our case we have Allstate Road Service. I had cell
service so when someplace in India answered I knew I was in trouble.
After a million electronic questions... press one for this and 6 for that
adn say yes or no... they offered to send someone out to my address of
record. Our mial box service in South Dakota. That'll work. Try to get
them understand I'm out in the west part of Kansas on a rural state highway.
They then asked for the zip code where I was at. I was told they couldn't
't find a tow company for me. Then asked if I knew of a tow service in
the area. Got on my Droid and found a couple and called them and
they both said they do towing for Allstate. Got Allstate to call one and
was set to go for a 2 1/2 hour wait... and in this heat. Called 911
to tell them we were on the traveled portion of the highway. They
sent out the county sheriff and he was real nice. Said not much traffic
on this HW (which I already knew) so not to worry about where we were parked.
We like to take the back roads but may have to rethink that idea.
Turned out the sheriff was orig. from northeast Iowa same area we grew
up in. So it was like old home week.
Must say some nice locals
did stop and offer help. Thanks guys.
After trying to pump
and prime the fuel after a couple of hours all of a sudden it started but
still with the check engine light . We took it slow and got to the next
town... no services but at lest we were off the road. Called the tow company
to let them know that we had moved and they told us Allstate called them
and canceled the call. I about fell over at that point. So tried to call
Allstate and about then while trying to negotiate the menu options another
tow company pulled up which Allstate had changed to them for our service
call. Whew... at last help on site.
He took us to the RV park
in Lamar, KS About 60 miles.
We had landed....
The manager came out to direct
the tow truck where to dump us and told to come to the office the next
day to sign in. No rush. Told us we looked like we could use a swim
to cool off after hearing our tale of woe.
We did jump in and it was
just what we needed.
Now for our plans on how
to get back on the road... We had had fuel filters go out in the past and
make the truck go into limp mode but this was different as it wasn't acting
that way. But Terry got a new fuel filter this AM and installed and
we got it started and off for a test run we made it to town and it went
dead again. We were close to a truck repair place and this time off the
road. They didn't work on light trucks but got us connected to Stanger
Inc. Who did. The came over pull towed us to their shops.
But anyway they got us right
in and took off the new fuel filter and he said this smells like gas not
diesel. Did you hear me reg. gas in the diesel fuel tank. How
could that happen. I remembered where we last got diesel about 20
miles from where we came to a dead stop. I called and they went back
over the receipts as I told them they must have gas in their diesel holding
tank. They checked and found our credit receipt and it showed we
bought reg. gas not diesel. Now don't look at me... Terry did the
filling... I think he was about to shed a tear or two when I told
him what they said. I didn't even yell and said that was OK at least we
now knew what the problem was.
We went and told the mechanic
that we could confirm that there was gas in the diesel tank. He didn't
think it would have harmed the engine as it didn't run but shut down.
They pumped the tank dry
got some diesel in it and replaced the fuel filter again and we were good
to go. Red faces and all.
With thier pump set up I
think they have been through this before. And they didn't rip us
off... fair prices.
After that we checked in
and paid our bill at the campground. Would you believe it was only $27
for two nights. 50A and nice swimming pool. Sportsman RV and
Horse Motel in Lemar HW 50 west. DO STOP... Super friendly people. Tell
them the guys with the gas in the diesel tank sent YA. Oh and by the way
the free WiFi is super fast.
Now that I'm done with this
post off to the pool again. Got to get used to these pools so when
I get mine in AZ I'll be ready for it. And after today how could
Terry say no...
UPDATE: It is
raining big time here in Lamar at the campgrpound... 8:30 PM Mt time It
started to sprinkle much earlier so we got out of the pool and had showers
in the RV. Now the rain has hit. How wonderful.
While at the pool we met
the owner who called over a person who has been spending a day or two here.
He is Bike Trekkin' across the country. Please go to his web site...
SO cool... Globetrekkin’
question or comment email firstname.lastname@example.org