Colorado - Kind of cools a person down after a long hot dry summer in the high desert plains of NM. After a very hot May and June being pretty hot, the first part of July wasn't really too bad. But it sure was nice to get up to Colorado into the mountains where it was a very nice 70+ degrees during the day and low 50's at night.
Patsi's family reunion was the 28th so we loaded up and headed out on the 27th to meet her cousin Donna and her husband, Kirk at their property near Hartsel, Co. We pulled our camper and 4 wheelers up there to camp out and have a little relaxin' time.
Here's our camp.
Kirk relaxing in front of their T@b camper. A really neat little camper
Donna waiting on breakfast.
We got the trailer parked and set up Friday the 27th and decided to go into Denver to stay and Kirk and Donna's house so we wouldn't have so far to drive the next morning to Fort Collins for the reunion. We had made a big pot of asado for the reunion and went off and left it in the camper when we left for Denver. So, we had more than enough food for the week after the reunion.
The reunion was very nice and we had a great visit with everyone that was there and as usual there was more than enough food. So it wasn't too bad that we forgot the asado.
Saturday evening we drove back to the campsite. It was still daylight as we passed through Manitou Springs where the fire had ravaged the hillside right up to the edge of town and the highway. If the fire had jumped the highway, many businesses would have been demolished. Some of the properties on the north side of the highway were not so lucky. A few were saved though.
It was raining as we drove back to camp and it rained every afternoon that we were there. Monday evening it rained so hard we were wondering if we were going to be washed off the side of the mountain. The next day we visited with the neighbor across the street, who just happened to be from Roswell, NM, and he said it had rained only 1.75". From the sounds on the roof of the camper and the length of time it rained, I would have sworn it was in excess of 3". But it did rain hard enough in Manitou Springs for them to have a mud slide and ended up with 5' of mud on the highway. Luckily they got it all cleared off by the time we went into town Wednesday evening for a night of BBQ and Bluegrass at a local restaurant in Colorado City.
Harry Harada, Patsi and Donna's cousin, came up Tuesday morning with his Vista Cruiser and bulldogs to camp out a day or two. So, we sort of had a Harada campout reunion for a couple of days.
This is Harry and Bubba. Babe is out of the pic to the right, guess she was being camera shy. I thought I got some pictures of Babe but somehow I must have missed her. Bubba is 80 lbs large and Babe ain't far behind. But Bubba is the largest of the two. Harry has a handful.
Our camp with Harry's Vista Cruiser set up.
Getting ready for the 1st annual Harada Fishing Tournament!
We arrived a short time after they had started fishing to take pictures and Donna was already through fishing. She'd already caught her limit of 2. Kirk and Harry still fishing hard, but not having much luck.
Harry looking for that big one!
And the Winner Was.....
Drum roll.........DONNA!!!! She ended up catching her limit and catching the biggest one. I think by the time they got them all dressed out they were at least 24". LOL Not sure if Kirk or Harry caught the other one. My memory has lapsed since then. All kidding aside they were a pretty good size and they were awfully good for dinner that evening. Nothing better than fresh rainbow trout.
The area we were camped in is called Wildwood Recreation area. It is a development that has been around for 30 years or so. We looked at some property there and seriously considered buying a lot. The only down side is that it is 10 hours away. The area is beautiful and peaceful. Lots of great views, fishing on the property and also nearby at Spinney and 11 mile reservoirs (both within 15-20 minutes away). They also have RV spots with hookups, a dump station, and restrooms with showers for dry campers. It is also backed up to the national forest with miles of forest roads and trails to explore on 4 wheelers or jeeps. Very beautiful and nice area.
This is one of the lots (4 acres) that we looked at. It had some trees plus plenty of level areas for camping or building.
Another 2 acre lot for sale.
Good view from one of the lots we liked.
Getting ready to ride again.
This piece only had one tree but had some very nice views.
Headed to the national forest to do some exploring.
Group picture. Stump was our tripod.
Nice little camping area just inside the national forest. We had a picnic there one afternoon. Very neat area with large rocks and nice trees.
Drove into Colorado City for BBQ & bluegrass music Wednesday night. Drove past the mudslide area in Manitou Springs. They did have the highway all cleaned off. If they get a lot of rain they'll probably have some more problems with mud slides. We got to the Front Range BBQ restaurant and it was packed. I guess more people had the same idea we had for BBQ & bluegrass and after a wait of about 45 minutes we got a table, but it wasn't out in the courtyard where the music was. But, we didn't really care at that point because we were just hungry. We did get to listen to some music after dinner.
Thursday we packed up and drove up to Denver to stay at the Jefferson county fairgrounds. The campground at the fairgrounds were packed. We thought they were having something really big, but it turned out that a lot of people use this RV campground for a base camp. It is really conveniently located on the northwest side of Denver and is convenient for things to do in the city or in the nearby mountains. The only downside of the campground is they don't have sewer hookups. Once you get full you have to go to the dump station. Luckily we weren't staying that long so we just dumped our tanks on our way out.
They were having a RV sale on the grounds. We looked at some toy haulers but couldn't come to the conclusion that a toy hauler was the way to go.
As you recall my grinder died a week or so ago so I went to Harbor Freight and bought some tools and supplies I needed. I ended up buying 4 cheap grinders to replace my one old one. If they last for a while I'll just throw them away when one goes bad. Hopefully they'll last a little while.
Friday we went to Kirk and Donna's house for dinner where Kirk served up the most delicious filet mignon with roasted corn on the cob and salad. Fantastic dinner and great evening.
Stacey and Keri Harada, Harry's daughters had invited us to come to The Fort in Morrison, Co, Saturday for a surprise birthday dinner for her dad. It was an super unique place, a replica of the historical adobe fort at Bent, Co, a fur trading post on the Santa Fe Trail. They must have kept the dinner very secret because Harry was surprised to see us and everyone else they'd invited. We had a great dinner and a fantastic visit with family again. It was a honor to have been invited to this celebration of Harry's 71st birthday.
We had 10 marvelous days of visiting with Patsi's relatives, at the reunion, camping with Kirk, Donna & Harry and then also more visits while we were in Denver. And to top off the end of the trip we spent a night in Albuquerque and got to visit with Patsi's brother Stan and his wife Suki.
Thanks to Kirk and Donna for inviting us up to camp on their property and for their hospitality. Thanks to Stacey and Keri for inviting us to celebrate their dad's birthday.
A fantastic vacation....
Until next time....