May 2 – Sept ?, 2017

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 – Left San Diego for some dry camping in Lone Pine, CA on our way to Reno.  On the way, stopped to see the Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp, where over 100K Japanese citizens and residents were forced to live during WWII.    Not a happy place, but they sure made the best of the situation, building gardens, having dances etc.  A resilient people.

As it was now over 90 degrees, we decided we needed electricity instead of dry camping, so we ended up at Highlands RV park in Bishop, site 74, $38.70/night.  We stayed here a few years back, and remembered it as a nice little park.  It still is.  Very friendly, clean, and just as we remembered.

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Wednesday we drove up to the Sierra View Overlook. Above Lone Pine & Bishop on the east side.  The Ancient Bristlecone Pine forest was still closed due to snow, but we got up to the viewpoint – 8,960 ft.  Stunning view of the Eastern Sierra range.

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Of course had to hit the Erick Schat’s Bakkery in Bishop for some chocolate dipped macaroons & fresh bread.  Oh my!

Thursday, May 4, 2017 – Moved to the Mono Vista RV park site #5 in Lee Vining at Mono Lake.  Small park, no view of the lake, but still a nice park.  Cash only!  $41.44/nightly.

Drove around the June Lake Loop – so many gorgeous sites.  Still quite a bit of snow around, but relatively warm during the day.  Had to stop for dinner at the Tioga Pass Chevron station/Whoa Nellie Deli.  Yeah, definite stop after visits to Yosemite too.

Friday, May 5, 2017 – Arrived at Scott and Debbie Sutter’s amazing home in beautiful Reno, NV.  They hosted a big Cinco de Mayo party tonight: (I WANT that kitchen)

(I want the back patio too…)

Saturday, May 6, 2017 – Arleen’s birthday bash day.  Walked around Scott & Debbie’s neighborhood with Deb, Adrian, Jamie, & Jacquelyn.  Fed carrots to horses along the way.  What a great place to live.

Arleen’s bday party was about 15 minutes away in Reno.  Another beautiful home with a view of downtown Reno.  Sadly, it was raining most of the afternoon so we didn’t get the full view.   The party home (of her good friend, Bill) was crazy gorgeous.

Sunday, May 7, 2017 –  Reluctantly left Scott & Debbie’s (2 nights is long enough to host everyone) and moved over to Sparks Marina RV park – stayed here before and like the park.  Just needed to get some laundry done & grocery shopping nearby.

Monday, May 8, 2017 – Lunch with RV buddies Dan & Linda.  We run into them most every year at OMC when we both have yearly maintenance done on the RV.  They have a home in Reno, and it was great visiting with them.  They are in very west Reno and have a great, unobstructed view of the snow capped mountains.

Tuesday,  May 9, 2017 – Left Sparks/Reno NV area and stopped overnight at a Pilot Truck stop in West Windover, NV.  Loud – but free and safe.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 – Moved to Western Hills RV in Rawlins, WY.  A cute, no frills park, with sparkling facilities, wide spaces, strong WiFi, and a little mini golf course.  Drove through the Bonneville flats by the speedway, and thru the outskirts of the Great Salt Lake on the way.

Thursday, May 11, 2017 – Left Rawlins, WY to land at Boyd Lake State Park in Loveland, CO.   Site #E125.  We really like this park.  Nice view of the lake.  Beautiful trail along the lake.  Electric only (dumps & water available at the entrance).  Thought we were here for 4 days, but apparently we accidentally reserved a disabled only site for the second half of the stay.  We’ve talked to the rangers and are now figuring out what we’re going to do as they are completely full otherwise. 😦  May be moving on, on Saturday…IMG_0155

Saturday, May 13, 2017 – Very lucky today, should have bought a lottery ticket.   Walking Poppins last night we met some lovely local Elks Club members who said one of their sites wasn’t going to be used.  After much wrangling with the park rangers and the reservations office, we just moved 2 spaces down and get to use our last two nights here after all. 🙂

Yesterday, we had a long bike ride along the paved Loveland recreation trail that runs along Boyd Lake and another private lake.  Lots of walks along the lake.

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Wildlife at Boyd Lake

Beautiful, warm weather with snow capped Rockies to the west.

The cottonwood trees are starting to shed.  Looks like snow drifts in places along the ground.

Spent the last evening at Boyd Lake with our new friends enjoying a blazing campfire. 🙂

Monday, May 15, 2017 – Moved a couple hours down the I-25 to Cheyenne Mountain State Park in Colorado Springs, CO.  Raptor Glen Loop Site #9.  Beautiful view of Colorado Springs below and Cheyenne Mountain/NORAD above.  VERY WINDY.  They have a lot of great hiking trails around here.  Loving them, but getting a little winded on the uphill treks at this altitude!

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Before the storm
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Colorado Springs evening
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Poppins enjoying the wind

Thursday, May 18, 2017 – Storm blew through all night with fierce wind and about an inch of rain.   Snowing north of us in Denver and parts of Colorado Springs.  We got a dusting on top of the mountain, but just slushy ice here at camp.

 

Had a leveling system issue as a solenoid on the air cartridge dryer malfunctioned.  Greg pulled a MacGyver, which is a great hold over fix until we get to our annual repair visit at OMC in August.

Spent the last two days hiking the great trails around Cheyenne.  Acorn Alley/Bobcat Way/Soaring Kestrel/Coyote Run/Boulder Run/Blackmer Loop & Cougar’s Shadow.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 – Moved from Cheyenne Mtn back north a bit to Cherry Creek State Park in Aurora, just east of Denver, site #86.  Walking/biking trails and took our new inflatable Sea Eagle kayak out for its maiden voyage in the Cherry Creek reservoir.

Moved to site #140 on Saturday, 5/27.  Great site with a view of the lake!    On Monday, 5/29 had a nice walk across the dam to the marina.  Then a crazy hail storm that afternoon for about 30 minutes!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 – Celebrating our 39th anniversary a little early by enjoying a great show at Red Rocks Amphitheater.   Got to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 40th anniversary tour with Joe Walsh as opening act!   Beautiful venue (our favorite).

TPatRedRocks

Had an unplanned 20 minute intermission for a lightening storm to pass, otherwise one of the best shows ever!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 – Heading south again.  Over night at Lathrop State Park  in Walsenburg, CO.  Quite a nice state park.  Large, with a couple of nice lakes.  We’ll have to come back and spend more time here kayaking.

LathropSP

Thursday, June 1, 2017 – Drove over Wolf Creek Pass < 10K feet above sea level.  Thankfully, pretty good weather.  A little rain and light hail, but mostly dry (however very winding, especially in a 40′ RV) roads.

WolfCreekPass

Arrived at Wolf Creek Run in Pagosa Springs, CO right on the San Juan River which is rushing right now from all the snow runoff from the local mountains.

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Our backyard at Wolf Creek Run RV Resort.

Sunday, June 4, 2017 – Hit Kips Grill and Cantina for lunch today.  Delish, spicy shrimp tacos and Pacifico.  Great flavor and a really fun atmosphere!  We may come back for our actual anniversary dinner on the 10th!

Then up to Treasure Falls for a quick afternoon hike with the pup.   Gorgeous.

Monday, June 5, 2017 – Scoped out Echo Canyon & Williams reservoirs in the Pagosa Springs area wanting to get out kayaking again.  There are several small lakes in the Pagosa area, but all of them are private to the homes around them and their guests. 😦

Echo Canyon looks like the closest and it’s quite beautiful.  Going to try there tomorrow as long as the rain storms expected in the afternoon STAY in the afternoon!  Williams creek/reservoir is gorgeous  with surrounding mountains and trees, but about 20 miles of gravel/dirt/mud road to get there – – our little Honda got a good wash after our trip out there!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017Monday June 12, 2017  Several nice hikes in the San Juan National forest, Pagosa Springs.  Turkey Creek Trails and Coyote Hill loop.  Drive down to little town of Chama, NM.  Pagosa classic car show on Saturday morning in the park and 39th anniversary dinner on the river at Borde Rio restaurant.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 – Another long river walk in downtown Pagosa Springs, then lunch at Riff Raff Brewing & then ice cream at the Malt Shop (oh my!).

Thursday, June 15, 2017 – Moved a whole hour west to Bayfield Riverside RV Park, Bayfield, CO, about 15 miles west of Durango.  Beautiful flowers all around this park with creeks running through from the Pine River next to us, and a pet Alpaca named Couscous (sp?).

Walks to the very small town of Bayfield, day trips to Durango, visits, hikes, and boating on the nearby lakes Vallecito and Lemon.  And a wonderful birthday/fathers day/anniversary dinner at The Ore House downtown Durango – outstanding!

Getting into the surf is a bit different along the Animas River in Durango than it is in San Diego:

And I just love this Alpaca, Couscous (Koozkooz?) Cousie.  He loved apples, carrots and sugar snap peas every afternoon we were there.  Such a sweet guy:

Thursday, June 29, 2017 – Left Bayfield for Silverton, CO.  A white knuckle ride for me on the outside of very steep thousand foot drops, narrow road, no shoulder with construction along the way.  Silverton is a very small old mining town in a canyon surrounded by a beautiful array of mountains all around.  Waterfalls everywhere. Checked in to the Red Mountain Motel & RV Park with great views all around.

SilvertonCO

Friday, June 30, 2017 – Rented a brand new Jeep from our campground hosts Jim & Amy and took the Alpine loop OHV trail through Animas Forks, an old mining ghost town from the early 1900’s:

 

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Sunday, July 2, 2017 – Walked around Notorious Blair St.  The old red light district for the miners.  Very rustic.  Had a loud lightning/thunderstorm this night.  The thunder really reverberates in the mountain valley of Silverton.

Monday, July 3, 2017 – Visited the Silverton Museum.  The place used to serve as a jail & hospital.  Very well done museum!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017 – 4th of July parade down the main street.  Lots of horses, loads of Jeeps & 4 wheel vehicles.  Fire trucks from Silverton & Durango shooting water & having water hose fights with the crowd and each other. 🙂  Were supposed to have a military flyover, but they didn’t make it.  Nice BBQ at the campground that afternoon, and a spectacular firework show right above us!

Hiked up to the waterfalls on Kendall mountain on Wednesday.  Dusty, rocky and hot.

Thursday, July 6, 2017 – Left Silverton and arrived at Monte Bello RV park in Taos, NM about 1:15pm.  Site #10.  Very small park, 1 washer & dryer.

Saturday, July 8, 2017 –  Did the Habitat for Humanity tour of homes for sale fundraiser.  Several very energy efficient homes for desert living.

Took the Enchanted Circle drive around the mountains, and did some shopping downtown.  Found a great soap shop called Blue Feather.  Very windy afternoons and warm.

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Thursday, July 13, 2017 – Left Taos/Monte Bello and sat at the Rocky Mtn Cummins shop to get the shocks swapped out and the jake brake calibrated.  Arrived at Santa Fe Skies RV – site #Y30, in Santa Fe, NM about 4:20pm.  Rain/lightning/thunder and wild winds started as soon as we got set up.

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Visited the farmers market on Saturday (one of my favorites), toured Loretto Chapel again (such a cool story about the staircase there).  Visited the New Mexico museum of art where they had a great exhibit of daVinci, Rembrandt, & other artists first sketches of some of their works.  Interesting to see their trial and errors before the masterpieces! Also, visited the Georgia O’Keeffe museum for the first time.

Checked out Conchiti Lake about 35 minutes away, drove along the Turquoise Trail to the cute little town of Madrid.  Also took a day trip out to Los Alamos.  We like Santa Fe. 🙂

Friday, July 28, 2017 – Left Santa Fe and spent the night at a BLM in Devil’s Canyon, Blanding, UT #8.  Small nature trail hike to see old cave dwellings.  Nice park.

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Saturday, July 29, 2017 – Left Devil’s Canyon for Pony Express RV in Salt Lake City, UT.  They tried to stuff us into two different sites that were just way too small for our coach.  Finally, put us in B10 which was doable.  This park is right on the Jordan River and has a nice long paved trail that we enjoyed – however it was SOOOOOO HOT the few days we were there.

Visited the Utah Natural History Museum.  Gorgeous architecture and displays inside.  What a treat, well worth the small entry cost.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017Left Pony Express/Salt Lake for the Ambassador  RV park in Caldwell, ID.   HOT – 101 on Wed.

HotCaldwellID

Thursday, August 3, 2017 – Left Caldwell, ID for a COE on the Columbia Gorge in Plymouth, WA, site #13.  Hot and buggy – no access to the Gorge, otherwise a nice enough park at a good price.

Friday, August 4, 2017 – Left Plymouth for Tillamook, OR along the coast.  Very winding, curvy, a bit harrowing, drive down Hwy 6 for 26 miles between Portland and Tillamook.  Staying for 3 days at the Tillamook Elks RV park, dry camping, as their full hookup sites were all booked due to an annual picnic planned for the weekend.

Visited the Tillamook Cheese Factory (twice during our 3 day stay…) for ice cream, grilled cheese sandwiches, and cheese to go.  Small walk to Munson Creek Falls in a full on rain forest:

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Took a picnic lunch over to Cape Lookout and Oceanside

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Sunday, August 6, 2017  Short hike at Cape Meares to Big Spruce.  A 750-800 year old huge tree.  Then a visit to the lighthouse, and then the 300 year old Octopus tree.

Also saw our first whale of the trip from the lighthouse! 🙂

Monday, August 7, 2017  Left beautiful Tillamook to head down to Pacific Shores in Newport, OR for 3 weeks.   Cool, foggy & windy.

Lots of day trips around Newport, Yakima Bay, Agate Beach, Nye Beach, Otter Rock/Devil’s Punchbowl, Cape Foul Weather, & Depot Bay.  Saw the total Solar Eclipse on the 21st!  Lots of whales all up and down the coast – so cool to see!   The neighbor across the way in the park went crabbing every weekend and we bought some fresh crabs from him.  Our first time getting crabmeat out of the shell – time consuming – but the crab cakes were delicious.   Daily walks up and down the mostly private beach at Pacific Shores, Poppins loves the beach.

 

10 thoughts on “May 2 – Sept ?, 2017”

  1. Safe Travels! Looking forward to your posts, We’ll be in New Mexico on the way to Denver always nice to have ideas of things to do along the way.

    1. Hey Jeff! We got a place for the eclipse after all! We’ll be in Newport, OR. We’ll compare experiences! When are you in Denver? We’ll be in the area around 5/23.

  2. If you’ve been to the Bristlecones before you know they are worth the effort! We’ll stop near Lone Pine for the night (Fossil Falls is a favorite) so as not to arrive in Bishop before 10AM when Erik Shatts opens! If you make the stop I’ll take a white meat turkey on Sheepherders w/ cranberries 🙂

    1. Haha! Too bad we missed the top of the Bristlecones 😦 I’ll have to check Fossil Falls – lots of places we don’t fit with our beastie. And yes, we did have the turkey on Sheepherders as a picnic at the Sierra overloook! 🙂

      1. Awesome! I see you know of Whao Nellie too, nothing but the best for you guys! Son Michael used to live in Loveland we’d like to do Estes Park on our visits

  3. Odd I’m not getting notification of your updates, so I’m catching up…. Did you make it up to Taos? We liked both Taos and Sante Fe for the reasons they are so different. We did not do the ‘Loop’ from Silverton but did make it up to Animas with a load of wedding gifts in the back of the truck. We turned around, but what a fun site to visit! Thanks for taking us along!

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