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Old 08-10-2014, 05:55 PM   #1
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6 weeks on the road - Visiting Colorado

We are working our plan!!! My wife and I decided last year to buy a toyhauler (April 2013), retire in March 2014, and to get out and do things while we still can. We just got home from our 2nd big trip - a month in Colorado. Most of the story will be told with pictures. Feel free to ask questions or comment.

Here is our truck and trailer:

I'll start with a pic of the scene of my biggest mistake.

This is a Google Earth view of the McDonalds in Woodlands Park, CO. We were driving up 24 from Colorado Springs when I saw a sign advertising a McDonald's with bus and RV parking. I turned right on the road just before the restaurant, turned left into the zig-zag driveway, drove along the right side of the building (by the drive through - you should have seen the look the guy at the window gave me), to the back of the lot where I found 2 40' RV spaces to fit my 52' rig (truck and 38' trailer). It goes without saying that some of the car drivers in the lot cleared the way for me. I was sweating bullets. To add insult to injury, as we walked in, the manager announced that breakfast was over. We left without getting anything to eat. Getting back on to 24 was almost as much fun as getting into the lot. I don't think my rig was meant to be good in the S turns. I'll never trust those signs for McDonald's again.

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Old 08-10-2014, 06:04 PM   #2
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The first part of our trip was from South Carolina to Colorado. We took a few pictures along the way.

Pup stop in Illinois

Narrow lanes on a Missouri River Bridge

Crossing America one Chicken Leg at a time

Kansas morning sky - we got out of there ASAP


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Old 08-10-2014, 07:46 PM   #3
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Congrats on retirement and hoping you have many miles of fun. I retired in May and we hit the road June 6 and plan to get back home in late September. There is so much in the US to see for sure.

We learned with our first motorhome to be wary of parking lots. We've been in some Cracker Barrel lots that have been a challenge, especially when they have untrimmed trees in the lot. My rule is to never enter a lot unless I can see my clear exit.
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:53 AM   #4
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We my wife and I decided to start Rving, one of the things we bought was a book named, "Casino Camping: Guide to RV-Friendly Casinos" by Jane Kenny. We use the casino RV spots when traveling to and from our destinations. We camped at:

Prarie Band Casino, Mayetta, KS

The Sky Ute Casino Resort, Ignacio, CO 81137

The Sky City Casino, Acoma, NM

And at the Hollywood Casino, Tunica, MS

Our experience has been that the casino RV lots are always clean and inexpensive. The restaurants in the casinos almost always have good food. There is always good security on the casino grounds. I am not sure I am saving money camping at casinos. My wife enjoys testing the one arm bandits too much.
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Old 08-11-2014, 02:19 PM   #5
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Our primary Colorado destination was Buena Vista. I was meeting some friends there for a motorcycle ride during the month of July. We folowed the recommendation of friends and stayed at Valley Mobile RV Park. We reserved a spot for the month of July for $450 + electric usage. We found the park to be old (47 years in business) and well maintained. We didn't have much grass on our lot (Buena Vista is very dry), but we had good utilities and great views. The park was almost full of campers. Many of the other campers were there for 3 months. We would be very happy to get a chance to go back to this location.

We had a beautiful rainbow one day. I have never been this close to the end of a rainbow. Like a dummy, I ran for my camera instead of going for the pot of gold.

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Old 08-11-2014, 09:23 PM   #6
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We were in Colorado to ride and sight see. We did!

South Platte in South Park

Arkansas River in Buena Vista

Buena Vista with Mount Princeton in the background

View of mountains from Leadville

Colorado is different

Old railroad tunnels

View from Cottonwood Pass

Taylor Reservoir

Can you find Waldo? Gene did.

Last one for tonight - Creek below Hagarman Pass
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:02 AM   #7
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Mt riding buddies showed up in mid-July and we explored old roads in the area.

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Old 08-12-2014, 06:30 PM   #8
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Thanks for the great pictures. Wish more people would do that. Hope you have a wonderful retirement.
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Old 08-12-2014, 06:40 PM   #9
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What a great thread you started Andy!!!!! Looks like you guy's are having a blast!!!!! for sure, Love all the photo's.......keep them coming please. What a great trip! Thanks for sharing with us!
Someone has picture taking skills! WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:52 PM   #10
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Guys, Thanks for the encouragement. I also participate on a motorcycle riders forum, ADVrider.com, where writing a reports about your trips is part of the fun.

Here is the link to a report on the week my buds and I rode our bikes in the mountains.
Riding in Colorado - Thinking About John Saurer - ADVrider

Here is the ADVrider motorhome thread:
nwgs motorhome addiction and therapy thread - ADVrider

My wife and I had planned to stay a month in Buena Vista, but neither one of us was doing well with the altitude. I was fine as long as I was active, but when I was trying to sleep, and my breathing slowed, my blood oxygen levels would drop, and I would wake up. My wife was suffering from some different symptoms and was ready to move too. We decided to move near Mesa Verde National Park which is ~1500' lower. Moving was exciting - we had to go over Wolf Creek Pass. Wolf Creek pass is 10 miles up and 10 miles down at a 7% grade. It is easier than some of the passes I have been on because there aren't very many switchbacks or tight turns. Going up was easy. Going down had me fully focused on the road and my rig, but I used techniques I learned here to ease my way down. It wasn't bad, but I was glad to have it behind me.

We moved to Mesa Verde RV Resort, Mancos Colorado, directly across from the national park. This was a very nice place to stay. The staff seemd to be all work campers, and they were friendly and professional. The park was in great shape. We had a spot in the back with some good views.

Our first morning there, one of the staff told me that Mancos was having their annual town festival. We decided to attend.

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Old 08-12-2014, 08:21 PM   #11
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Great narration for some wonderful pics! It's fun to "travel along" with others on their trips. Thanks for taking us along.
Karen & Gary Glamping is not for the faint of heart!
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Looking for our next adventure!
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:06 PM   #12
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Awesome thread Andy,I really enjoyed this one.
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Old 08-12-2014, 10:03 PM   #13
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Great posts, Andy. My first big RV trip was to Taylor Park in 2012. I rented a TT toyhauler and had heard Taylor was a paradise for off road riding, which it proved to be. Did you take your rig over Cottonwood pass to get there? I did, and boy was that exciting (and tense) for a native flatlander like me. But I made it, but when I left Taylor I took the west route out through Gunnison. There was no way I was going back over that pass again!

Anyway, the next year I started reading these forums and purchased a motorhome toy hauler. I read a few posts on here about Cottonwood Pass, and most of the posters said they would never take a motorhome over that pass. So when I returned to Taylor Park in 2013 (where my avatar photo is from) I heeded that advice going in and out. I've been over probably 15 different passes in CO the last 3 years, and Cottonwood is my gold standard for white knuckles! Live and learn!

P.s.: One fun and unique features of Taylor Park is the abundance of various water crossings like you illustrated, especially for a Arizonan like me!
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Old 08-13-2014, 06:44 AM   #14
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JeffAZ - We didn't camp in Taylor Park - just rode over there from Buena Vista. Taylor park is an outdoor sports mecca!

My wife and I decided to start RVing so we could travel with our pets. Think about that statement. How much money did I spend so the dogs could lay on the RV couch? Anyway, we are not the only ones. I loved seeing all the dogs in the RV parks along the way. I wish I had taken more dogs pics.

Here are our dogs. "Mine" is the brown and white Terrier. My wife's dog is the black and white Common Miniature Lap Dog. This pic was taken in downtown Crested Butte. My dogs had not been out to eat before this trip.

We stopped in a rest area in Oklahoma and found this spot. Somebody in the OK Highway Department has a great sense of humor.

Our neighbors at Priest gulch RV Resort had the most pampered pets. I didn't actually see the dogs get a glass of wine, but I think they did.

My dog loved the Chipmunks, Ground Squirrels, and Rabbits we saw nearly everywhere in Colorado.

My dog also enjoys looking at Facebook.

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