The drive home and random thoughts on Colorado.


They consider this a shady full hook up site at Green River, Utah, KOA.


If it’s July and you’re in Colorado there’s no way to get home to San Diego without suffering in the heat.  We chose the I-70 to I-15 route.  From Steamboat Springs to Green River it was six and half hours.  Green River to Vegas, eight and half hours, but we stopped often to take in the beauty of the San Rafael Swell.  Then Vegas to home, six hours.



Green River


One of the most interesting trails I’ve ridden. Named after the Athena missile which was based here in the early days of the cold war.  It’s a 5.5 mile loop.


An overlook of the Green River on the Athena Trail


You can see the trail going through the crazy moonscape like terrain.


There was also a stretch of rock to ride.


Seems like the kind of place “we” would launch missiles from in the 1960s.


These are concrete tent pads from the old missile base.


One of our stops on I-70 after Green River. We love this scenery.


Another stop, Amelia just had to walk the rock.


Our not so lovely site at the KOA Sam’s Town in Vegas. 104 degrees when we arrived.


Miserable Vegas heat, so the girls were standing under the AC. It’s hard to cool off the Airstream when it’s 96 degrees inside when you turn on the AC. It took hours just to get the inside to 84 degrees.



Some random notes and thoughts on our trip and Colorado:

The trip was 33 days long and we drove 3,390 miles. The Mountain passes in Colorado are beautiful but stressful when towing. It was the first time we’d been in second gear going down a steep grade, and we did it often.

Texans love Colorado.  There are a lot of Subarus.  Every town we passed through sold pot. There’s actually a place called Stoner, Colorado.  Unlike previous trips, I brought my fishing pole, but never used it.

In all the years we’ve been together we’ve never grilled hot dogs, until this trip!  They were quite tasty.  We drove through six states: California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada.  All this talk about our infrastructure being in poor shape is true.  The roads were horrible, even the Interstates.

I had no idea so much coal is being mined in Colorado.  In 2018, Colorado was ranked the 10th highest coal producing state.

There are a lot of rivers and they are all beautiful.

Duh, we know there are mountains, but geez the cell service was horrible.  It makes it difficult to work while on the road.

People love their campfires.  It was 85 degrees and they were lighting them.



View from a trail on Emerald Mountain in Steamboat Springs


Phlox in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park


Fleabane Daisy in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park


There’s a trail in Salida called Chicken Dinner and it has nothing to do with being a winner.  It’s named after a popular candy bar introduced in the 1920s, that had nothing to do with chicken or dinner.  It was a chocolate nut roll.  Some folks consider it the first nutrition bar.  This is a genuine metal sign that came off the truck that used to sell them in the area, or some story like that.



New mile markers at Phil’s World


Rattlesnake Sandmat in Prescott


It’s not all go, go, go.  The Puggle needs quality cuddle time.


The Great Sand Dunes National Park is magical.





Steamboat Springs: July 2-7, 2019


Swamp Park Trail, a few miles outside of town.


Before we left on this trip our friend, Dennis, gave us a quick summary of his top spots to visit for mountain biking in Colorado.  I would say his description of Steamboat Springs was spot on.

“Off the charts beautiful, great climbing trails, not much fun technical downhill stuff though.”

That pretty much sums it up.

The town was super crowded, but that’s to be expected during a major holiday week.



Eagle Soaring RV Park, Site #16.  Eight miles west of Steamboat. Just another ho hum spot, but thankful for the full hook ups. We needed to run the AC every afternoon.


Getting the RV Park ready for the 4th.


This dude was spraying the heck out of everything, hopefully not with DDT, but whatever he was using worked. There were minimal mosquitoes.


Sorry for the poor picture.  I absolutely love the artwork.


This is the first one of these parking meter like things we’ve seen, makes sense.


Just like the RAT (trails at Ridgway), Emerald Mountain had directions for four different rides. We did this one.


Lupine Trail


Start of Morning Gloria


Mid way up Morning Gloria


We didn’t do Root Canal, but I had to take a picture.


We hit two breweries in town, Butcherknife and Storm Peak.  Both were just okay.  Storm Peak had a bunch of customers on the patio and inside smoking pot.  That was interesting.


Yampa River runs through town.


We did the famous Alpine Slide one afternoon.  You ride a chairlift to the start.  First time in years either of us have been on a chairlift.


There’s two tracks that run side by side.  I can’t believe it, but Amelia beat me to the finish line.


“I’m ready to go home and chase lizards in my backyard.”


Ute Lodge, Middle of Nowhere Colorado: June 29-July 2, 2019



Our dear friend, Dianni, and her family were heading home to Fort Collins after a long stay in Corvallis, Oregon. They picked this spot for our three-day rendezvous. It’s also cool that they know the owners, Mona and Karl. It’s always insightful listening to owners of a business. For them it’s definitely a lifestyle choice.

The Ute Lodge is between Meeker and the Flat Tops Wilderness. It’s isolated and a totally different camping experience: kind of like boon docking with full hook ups. It’s a large property with eight cabins, eleven RV sites, and a yurt two miles up a 4×4 fire road. They also have a pond, horses, pigs, laying hens, twenty-seven chicks, of which only one will be a laying hen while the other twenty-six will be used for meat, and finally, there is zero cell service.

It has been years since we’ve seen Dianni in person, so we had a lot of catching up to do, especially her and Amelia. The two of them are kindred spirits. So there were many meaningful conversations and a lot of socializing. It was quite a treat to see her and particularly interesting to see what characteristics and traits her two kids inherited and learned from each of their parents.

It was hard saying goodbye. It’s too bad we all don’t live closer to each other. One of the most heart breaking and tender moments of our entire trip was when Dianni started crying when saying goodbye to Sara. I’m tearing up a little writing about it.



Colorado Columbines


Site #6


The view from our site


Amelia feeding Junebug, a 5 week old filly.


Sara was quite fascinated with the pigs.


Trappers Lake, about a 30 minute drive from Ute Lodge.


Tony, flyfisherman extraordinaire


Dianni & Amelia in the Flat Tops Wilderness


One-eyed sphinx moth


Leo, Amelia, Dianni, and Jasmine prepping dinner


The three ladies in the Aspen Cabin


Occasionally you see some white lupine.


Myself, Amelia, Tony, and Dianni on Papoose Creek trail, right from the campground


Jasmine and Dianni


On Monday morning I went for a drive looking for cell service to check in for work.  The white faced cow did not want to move.


Sara looking for her mom


Sig Alert! Sig Alert!

We encountered a 30 minute delay on County Road 8 when leaving Ute Lodge.  Three large groups of sheep were being herded eleven miles to National Forest Land.  It was a highlight for us city folk.  Sara was going bonkers.  Of course with sheep comes sheep shit and it was all over the road and now up inside all of our wheel wells and on the front of the Airstream. I’m betting it’s still there when we get home.



Baa baa!




Ridgway State Park: June 24-29, 2019



Ridgway State Park is conveniently located between Montrose and Ouray. When we arrived the lady at the entrance gate was super chatty. She told us the state parks only allow 3.2% beer, but they are not really enforcing it, wink, wink, just be careful. Noticing our bikes she also told us about the RAT Trails, but more on that later.

Colorado is finally evolving with their liquor laws. It always struck me as strange that you can buy weed legally (and I guess now shrooms in Denver), but you couldn’t get a real beer in the grocery store. As of January 1st that law finally changed. Now all the supermarkets are advertising real beer for sale. Sadly though the selection isn’t that great, too bad, Colorado has a lot of good breweries. Maybe they are all struggling with the distribution. It’s silly the state parks are still stuck in the 3.2% era.

The campground was exceptional: full hook ups, affordable, and plenty of space between sites. I’d rate it 4.5 out of 5. The minor negatives are too close to the 550 Highway and not enough shade. It hit 90 degrees a couple of days and we had to turn on the AC. The other bummer, the state parks charge an $8 per day use fee, on top of the camping fee. But if you are a resident, for $40 you can buy an annual pass, non-resident is $80.

The RAT trails are amazing! Another great trail system on BLM land. At the main trailhead sign it had directions for putting together different rides and travel directions for the trails. What a great idea. Hopefully more biking areas start doing the same. It was fast, flowing single-track. A little reminiscent of Phil’s World. All the trail names were rat themed. If you can’t have fun, then what can you do? Unfortunately there wasn’t a Socrates or Ben trail. They need to get building, because certainly those two famous rats deserve their own trail.

We put on our tourist hats and did a couple of day outings with Sara. One was to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. It’s dramatic, not too well known, extremely steep, narrow, and quite different from the Grand Canyon. Our pictures really don’t do it justice.

Then one evening we drove up the Million Dollar Highway from Ouray, past Red Mountain Summit, almost to Silverton. As advertised, it was steep, plenty of S curves, no guardrails, terrifying, and at the same time beautiful. I don’t think we’d ever tow on it. On the way back we stopped at Red Mountain Brewery for dinner and beer. The little town of Ouray has three breweries, but only Red Mountain allowed dogs, and only on the patio.

More often than not, I celebrate my birthday on the road. I’m pretty sure I turned twelve in Elko, Nevada. This year I turned fifty-nine at Ridgway State Park, Colorado.



Site 236


Geez, finally


View from Rat Trailhead


RAT is Ridgway Area Trails



Rat Trap Trail


Ridgway Reservoir

Another one bites the dust.  Amelia said it’s time to get rid of my 25 year old Dipsea shirt from 1994.


Black Canyon of the Gunnison


One of the many overlooks


The Painted Wall, at 2,300 feet it’s the highest cliff in Colorado


Old Juniper with Painted Wall in the background


A viewing platform on the Million Dollar Highway, Amelia is looking down on a raging waterfall.


There’s a Red Mountain #1, #2, and #3. This is #3.

Remember the TV Series McCloud?  This is one mile north of Ridgway.


Uncompahgre River, don’t ask us to pronounce it.


Kind of a decent sunset