Sunday, November 5, 2017

Summer 2017 - the Condensed Version Part 2

A few days in Durango isn't complete without a ride on the famous Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.  We enjoyed the ride through the mountains to the little town of Silverton where we arrived just in time to get a quick bite of lunch and a stroll through some of the little shops before it was time to board again for the ride back to Durango.  It made for a long day, and compared to some other train rides (i.e. Alaska) it was not at the top of our favorites.  But if you've never ridden a Narrow Gauge, definitely a must. 

Durango Riverside RV Resort  was our location for this stop.  A nice campground that was busy with lots of families on vacation.  The sites were a little snug, and it's a little ways north of downtown Durango, but we enjoyed our stay. 

I think we enjoyed our drive to Ouray as much as anything.  I've got a pretty awesome experienced mountain driver as a chauffeur, so the famous Million Dollar Highway with it's steep drop offs and tight hair pin curves in a 38 foot motorhome towing a car, was only a slight challenge for him.  Definitely not a road some might not like to tackle, but we're proud to say we made it with no trouble!

Our next destination was Gunnison to prepare for our summer stay at the Tincup cabin!  

Saturday, November 4, 2017

The Condensed Version - Summer 2017

Please just consider this the condensed version of my blogging about this past summer. I really did have good intentions of becoming a better blogger but I blame my failure on the lack of reliable internet and just plain laziness.  

After we left Creede, we made our way to Cortez Colorado where we added another National Park to our bucket with several days exploring Mesa Verde.  

We stayed at the Ancient Cedars of Mesa Verde Campground.   A great location, pretty sunsets and lots of dust. But overall, it was a good campground.  There looks like a new RV park is being built in the nearby town of Mancos. If we ever get back this way, we will check it out.

We even made a side trip to visit the Four Corners area. After standing in line for 30 minutes, we found another visitor to snap a pic!

We enjoyed our stay in the Cortez area.  We found great Mexican food, a cute breakfast place in Mancos and some interesting shopping in addition to the National Park.  Next time we will venture further to the west to visit some Utah parks. Now on to our next stop - Durango!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Creede June 4-11

When I first discovered blogging I was mainly interested in quilting and crafting blogs and tried my hand at sharing my attempts at those things along with our travels which at that time were mainly by motorcycle.  But I was also reading Howard and Linda Payne's RV-Dreams Journal and then gradually added more RV related blogs to my reading list.  One of those I recently started reading was Dave and Diane Throwing Caution to the Wind. Last year they visited Colorado and mentioned staying at Mountain Views at Rivers Edge RV Resort in Creede.  When we began making our tentative plans I remembered thinking it might be a good place to stay in an area that neither of us had been. This RV park has both regular sites and leased sites which have improvements such as patios, gazebos and beautiful landscaping.  We were happy with our regular site in the park side but when we come back, we will try to book one of the resort sites that have been placed in the rental pool.  We did have a beautiful view out the front of our coach looking toward the little town of Creede. 

Unfortunately, this was not our view but one from one of the premium sites right on the Rio Grande River.  Maybe next time!

This was our site overlooking the mountains on the way to Creede.  The size is generous and the rock keeps everything tidy, but makes for difficult walking in the evenings.

This is a zoomed photo taken from one of the jeep roads in the area.  You can see our home there on the front row with the tan awnings.
On our first full day in Creede, we made a stop at the visitor center to get information on the Bachelor Loop tour.    While there we met another couple who happened to be staying at the same campground who were interested in driving their Jeep on the loop also.  So we followed them and had a nice afternoon ride.  It was kind of a cloudy day, so my photos on this trip didn't turn out the best.  

My best photo on this trip was one of the current residents of the Bachelor Mine loop!

Meeting new friends led to meeting more new friends and another off-road adventure another day. It was nice to share our time here with Brenda and Scotty and Margo and Chad!  I'm not sure if they will ever read this, but we hope our paths cross again some day!

We enjoyed a visit to the Mac Mine, a little food truck,  and even got a tour of the owner's new tiny house.  Cute!  But I think we'll stick with our motor home!

Our stay in this quaint little town was during their Birthday Celebration which included a Donkey Dash.  A fun way to send our last full day in the area.  We think we'll be back again someday as there is still much more to explore in the area!

 Campsite visitor - A Mountain Bluebird!

A Month (Almost!) in Colorado

We've spent a little over three weeks in Colorado and plan on at least that much more time here.  Possibly more.  But our next move will test our reliance on "devices" and wifi.  We will have to drive about six miles to get a 3G cell signal so blogging might be delayed more than usual.  

We left Kansas and headed west over familiar roads toward Limon, Colorado.  After an overnight stop at the Limon KOA we drove south through the plains of Eastern Colorado and then cut back over to the west where we picked up US 160.  Our next Colorado stop was LaVeta at Circle the Wagons RV Park.  This was last minute choice for a stop near the Great Sand Dunes National Park and we really felt like we lucked out!  A cute little town, beautiful mountain scenery and very nice campground made our short stay very pleasant.  

This was our view of the Spanish Peaks from our walk one evening, just a block or so from the campground.  A beautiful welcome to the Rocky Mountains!

Our long back in site at Circle the Wagons with the sound of the Cucharas River behind us lulling us to sleep at night!

They even had a couple of little vintage campers available to rent for those without an rv. I didn't get a chance to peak inside, but I bet they were cute.

For my quilting friends, I discovered by accident that LaVeta is the home of Ricky Tims' quilt studio where he hosts quilt retreats and special events.  There are several cute shops and nice galleries in this little town which seems to have become a favorite of several artists.

While we were "sort of" close to Great Sand Dunes National Park, we drove the Jeep over to explore the Park.  It was about 60 miles to the park entrance.  Dennis got his NP passport stamp, we watched the informative movie and took a short walk around the Visitor Center. These are the tallest sand dunes in North America and the park covers more than just the dunes.  There is a diversity in landscapes and many more activities than one would expect.  In the Spring the Medano Creek flows at the base of the dunes and a popular place for families to come to the "beach".  There are many hiking opportunities here if one wants to climb the dunes, but we chose to drive the Medano Pass Primitive Road.   If you know my husband, once he heard the pass had just opened up the entire way, he was up for the challenge.  The soft sand wasn't as big of challenge as we were led to believe, but the stream crossings were "exciting"!

The dunes were quite impressive as we approached the park!

 It was a beautiful day at the "beach"!  There were lots of families setting up their sun tents and preparing to spend the day wading in Medano Creek and even trying to sand surf.

We didn't find it necessary to lower our tire pressures, but did require our 4 wheel drive in many places.

This was one of the many stream crossings on Medano Creek Pass.  I tried to upload a video but I couldn't get it to work:(  There were a few times the water came over the hood and we've still got a few remnants of  mud splashes inside!

We made it to the top and I think we were probably one of the first vehicles to come the entire way from the Park this year as they had just cleared several downed trees and opened the road for traffic. 

From LaVeta we moved on to one of our new favorite destinations.  I'll go ahead and post this and tell you about Creede and Mountain Views RV Resort next time!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Indiana to Kansas, Home Base to Home Town

Once we returned to Indiana we had a busy schedule for a few days.  Much of that was fun stuff, like Mother's Day with a wonderful meal prepared by our daughter and son-in-law, meeting their new kitten,  catching up with friends and neighbors, sleep-overs with our grand daughters, ice cream dates with two of the grandsons and picnics in the backyard with family.  But then there were the dentist, doctor and accountant appointments along with some housekeeping and every day chores.  

 Our only regret with this quick stop was missing our two other grandsons!  Since our next stop was for our  45 (!) year High School Class Reunion on Friday we had to get on the road before they arrived at their Dad's.  Sometimes schedules just don't work out, but we've promised to see them when we are back at the end of August.  

So on May 25 we headed West!  With a quick night at the Cabela's parking lot in Kansas City, we made it to our destination of Alton and Osborne, Kansas.  Our parking stop for the next few days was on a farm driveway courtesy of good friends Greg and Sherri.  Many, many years ago, we were young parents together in this small community.  Sherri and I were having babies and Greg was helping  Dennis  on his construction  jobs. Now those kids are all grown up and having babies themselves.  Though G & S are ahead of us on the grandchild count!  

Sherri is currently facing some health challenges so it was good to see her  looking so good!  Prayers are still needed but she is a strong woman!

Friday night we made it to our High School Reunion.  It was great to see all the other "old" folks and catch up on the last few years since our last get together.  It really doesn't seem like it was 45 years ago that we graduated from high school.  Our class only numbered 66 (I think?) and we have sadly lost six.  We took a  fun photo of three of the original four Methodist Girls, who attended Sunday School, choir and youth group together for most of our early years!  Missing our 4th member who still was teaching school in Minnesota. It is a tradition to hold class reunions on Memorial Day weekend in our home town.  It's unfortunate that many who live out of the state cannot attend because they are still involved in school and grandchildren's activities until the first part of June.  Dennis attended grade school and the first two years of high school in the even smaller town of Alton until our two schools were unified.  We also were able to attend a short reunion hosted by one of his grade school classmates on Sunday.

Sadly most of my close family relatives in town have past, but Dennis still has several and we were lucky enough to visit with most of them.  That included a trip out to North 40 Alpacas owned by his cousin.  Aren't these guys cute?  Just stay out of spitting range!

Of course we made a visit to two cemeteries to "decorate" the graves of some of our deceased relatives.  I have many fond childhood memories of this tradition.  It was almost like a family reunion and it seems there was always a photo of the cousins lined up near our Grandparents grave sites.  

It's hard to imagine that this was Saturday night on Main Street.  Forty-five years ago, it would've been busy with kids dragging Main in their cars.  Maybe these old folks were just too early this evening!