Sunset in PV

Sunset in PV

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

August 28, 2013 – “Exploring Montrose, CO and Beyond”

We’re all settled in here at Cedar Creek RV Park, and decided to extend our stay due to 1) Labor Day Weekend approaching, and not wanting to worry about finding a campsite, and 2) There is so much to see and do in the area.

Montrose is an excellent spot to see some of the most scenic parts of Colorado. The vistas are all around, everywhere you look. No visit to the area would be complete without stopping at Black Canyon National Park.

Understandably, Painted Wall is the most photographed location in the park; looking back in history over 2 million years of geographical formations.

Another great day trip is Ouray, CO. As most mountain towns in the area, this originated as a mining town in the late 1800’s

Carla and CC enjoyed the shopping in all the quaint and unique shops, and Carl and I wandered from bench to bench, just visiting and taking in the scenery.

The following day Carl went fly fishing, while Carla and CC did laundry. I sorted through the hundreds of pictures taken, and culled the unfavorable ones. Dinners are always a co-op effort, and are definitely ad lib, and if I must say, outstanding.

The next day we covered 130 miles, mostly off-road, across Owl Creek Pass, which served as a backdrop for the filming of the classic John Wayne movie, “True Grit”.

Also in the area is Chimney Rock, a unique geological formation similar to Devils Tower in Wyoming, and according to locals, is larger. Personally, having seen both, I have my doubts.

We met a couple from Florida that recommended a visit to The Double RL Ranch just south of Ridgway, CO, describing it as “the most beautiful place we’ve seen”. Well, alright then.

This 17,000 acre ranch is owned by Ralph Loren. For an in depth sneak peak at the inner workings of the ranch, click here to view a video produced by Oprah.

On yet another day trip, we traveled 60 miles south, to the mining town of Silverton. Today, this town would dry up overnight, IF the Durango to Silverton Railroad quit running. As it is now, it serves the local merchants well as it runs two trains per day during peak season, and one train per day year round.

Main Street has been saved by the National Historic Society, as well as many of the buildings in town, and except for the cars, looks the same as it did in the late 1800’s.

A local watering hole, Handlebars, came highly recommended, so being lunch time, decided to give it a try.

While the ambiance is very unique, displaying an eclectic mix of new and old, the food did not match our expectations.

And yet another day trip, we traversed back eastward toward Gunnison, and The Blue Mesa Reservoir, to Morrow Point. The National Park Service has a guided boat tour through the Black Canyon, a few miles downstream from the Blue Mesa Dam. After 236 stairs and almost a mile hike we reached our starting point, and boarded the boat.

Even this late in the season, Chipeta Falls is still flowing at a fraction of herself during the Spring thaw.

The trip lasted almost 2 hours, and the scenery was overwhelming. Steep canyon walls carved by the Gunnison River for over 2 million years; at some places the cliffs raise some 2,400 feet above the water.

That sums up a few of the things we’ve been doing to keep us amused and occupied since our arrival in Montrose. In a mere 6 days, we’ll say good-bye to Carl and Carla, and Montrose, as we journey back to Forest City, IA and our appointment at Winnebago. Thanks for stopping by, and until next time, take care and stay well…………………………………

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19, 2013 "Hurry up and Wait"

While in Central Iowa, we made our way by Newton for a stop at Maytag Dairy, for some of their fantastic blue cheese. After sampling some white cheddar and havarti, those were also in our shopping basket.

Hurry up and wait, is what we are now doing. Making our way to Leach RV in Lincoln, NE for our August 6 appointment, we decided on a stop in Papillion, NE for a week long stay at Walnut Creek Lake RV Park. We have stayed here before, and even though they only have electric, the peace and quiet offered outweighs the absence of full hook-ups.

In keeping with our travel theme this year, CC planned a visit with her longtime friend, Dixie, who lives nearby. Plenty of laughter is always present when those two get together.

While in the area, Dixie and her family treated us to pizza at Big Fred’s, an Omaha tradition since 1965. CC and I ordered a small, and we had leftovers. The others in the party ordered larges, and also had leftovers times 10. Later in the week, Dixie invited us for a family meal with Nathan, Nicole, Elijah, Dixie, Noah, CC, Lindsay and Mackinsey.

On the morning of August 6, we traveled the short 55 miles westward to Lincoln for our 8 o’clock appointment at Leach’s. We had three items for them to repair; the passenger side front slide needed an adjustment (or so we thought), the door awning was not fully closing, and the fiberglass engine access door had separated from the steel frame, most likely on the roads of Indiana. Shortly before noon we were notified to door awning had been adjusted, and the engine access door would need to be removed. According to Leach, Winnebago did not use enough adhesive when they attached the cover to the frame, and the adhesive would need to cure overnight. OK, no problem. The slide was another matter. They diagnosed the problem as a broken slide roller, which was beyond their expertise to repair, and we would have to go to the factory in Forest City, IA if we wanted it repaired. The following day when we returned to have the engine door reattached, Leach presented me with the bill, and I was not a happy camper. It seems the Extended Platinum Warranty they sold me in 2011, would not cover any of the repairs, part of which was $165 to diagnose my slide problem, which they did not or could not fix. To say that I am not pleased with my experience at Leach would be an understatement. IMHO, they are just like most of the RV Dealers we have visited; maximize profits with minimal effort.

OK, more hurry up and wait. Our appointment at Winnebago in Forest City is September 9. Do we hang out around Lincoln / Omaha for the next month or move to a cooler climate? We normally spend the month of September in our old home state of Colorado, so this year will be different and we’ll do August. With that decision behind us…….westward ho! As we traveled along I-80, needing fuel, we pulled into Flying J. When we were ready to pull away from the pump, I realized the two truckers on each side of me had pulled out at an angle, fencing me in. I’m sure they were having a good ol’ time knowing exactly what they were doing, so we just sat and waited them out.

We arrived in Elizabeth, CO, and pulled into our usual spot on C and D Loop at Rick and Zoe’s RV Resort. The following morning I got up early enough to capture a shot of the rising sun.

While our time in Elizabeth was short, we had an enjoyable visit and caught up on the past years events of our mutual friends and immediate families. Dinners were always memorable with lively conversation, great food and wine.

While we were in Troy, MO last month, we tentatively made plans to spend August and/or September with Carl and Carla, playing tour guide for them in our old home state. Carl and Carla arrived in Elizabeth, and Rick and Zoe were gracious enough to let them camp overnight before our departure to Buena Vista, where we spent two days sightseeing.

The drive from Buena Vista to Gunnison over Monarch Pass had CC white knuckled, as she buried her head in her Kindle as we descended the steep, winding road. After we arrived and got settled in at our campground, Carl was anxious to experience some off-roading in the National Forest around Lake City.

After a brief two day stay in Gunnison, we moved westward on US-50 to Montrose, where the Cedar Creek RV Park will be our new home for the balance of August. We have numerous sights to see and things we want to do while we are here, so I’m sure the time here will seem short. After Labor Day, CC and I will head eastward to Forest City, IA, and Carl and Carla will continue their journeys through Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time, take care and stay well………………….