Meal Planning

Nothing fancy….

I wanted to share our primitive method of meal planning. One of the big perks of camping is that we can take our own food and cook it how we see fit. When the electricity situation allows, we can even take things like an Instant Pot or an air fryer. Depending on the menu choices. Continue reading “Meal Planning”

Royal Gorge This Weekend!

Highest Suspension Bridge in the U.S. - Attractions in Colorado
Our destination this weekend. The Royal Gorge Bridge is the highest suspension bridge in the U.S.. You can place the Chrysler Building underneath it!

This weekend we’re taking Bojack out again. We took a break for a few weeks, our last trip with him was over July 4th weekend. In August, we did go camping — tent camping — with our neighbors at Mueller State Park, near Divide, CO. This is the 4th year in a row that we’ve been out with our neighbors, usually on our anniversary weekend in early August, and it’s a highlight of our summer. Continue reading “Royal Gorge This Weekend!”

Set Up and Teardown Tales

Early morning Bojack, parked at Chatfield State Park, near Littleton, Colorado, October 2020.

Dave and I have now taken four weekend trips with our Bojack. Wow…four. We have two more trips planned this season, but not till September and October. Bojack’s on a break these next few weeks as we focus on our sons activities, including moving our oldest to college in August.

We’re slowly feeling like we’re migrating out of the “newbie” phase and starting to get used to things. Dave and I seem to have a great groove going, we communicate to each other what parts we will play in setup and teardown, and so far that has worked well. And our marriage is still intact after numerous back-up-the-trailer experiences.

As we get more comfortable and confident, we have started discussing being able to take longer trips, as well as venturing into boondocking: camping without electricity, water, or dump hookups. Continue reading “Set Up and Teardown Tales”

Traveling With the Whole Gang: Leveling Up on Space

Here’s Bojack’s layout — for the 2016 Palomini 179RDS — when the slide is extended. Not bad for two adults and a dog…but not great when you add in the two full grown kids.

This past weekend’s trip was the first one where our entire family of four, plus our dog, came along. It was a really tight fit. So tight, in fact, we kicked our youngest son (who is 6’1″) out to the neighbor’s Class A camper. They had plenty of room over there. Continue reading “Traveling With the Whole Gang: Leveling Up on Space”

Camping Trip Review: Mt. Princeton RV Resort, Buena Vista, CO

Another beautiful site, in front of another beautiful Colorado 14er: Mt. Princeton, elevation 14,196′. I took this photo not long after we arrived, so we hadn’t set out our chairs, rug, or set out our awning.

Statistics

Name of Campground: Mt. Princeton RV Park

Location: About 1 mile north of Buena Vista, Colorado, just off U.S. Highway 24

Dates Stayed: 2-5 July 2021 (3 nights)

Miles Traveled: 108 miles each way

Site #: B1,  Pull thru

Hookups: Full hookups!

Amenities: Playground, pay showers (50 cents per 3 minutes), activity room with books and puzzles, very active social scene, dog park

Cell Service/WiFi: The park has WiFi, but the further you are from the central part of the park, the weaker the signal is. Cell service was hit or miss. Continue reading “Camping Trip Review: Mt. Princeton RV Resort, Buena Vista, CO”

Buena Vista or Bust!

Summer Mountain Towns Close to Colorado Springs - Monica Shea

Definitely a perk of living in Colorado — having such beautiful places to visit!

This weekend we are heading out with Bojack to Buena Vista*, Colorado, a town near the headwaters of the Arkansas River.

*It’s pronounced “Bew-nuh Vista”. I don’t know why….but this history lesson may provide a little insight.

We have reservations at the Mt. Princeton RV Park, which has a lovely view of Mt. Princeton itself, but isn’t super close the other famous attraction with “Mt. Princeton” in the name: the hot springs, which we may visit this weekend. The RV park has very high reviews, but we were a little stunned at some of the policies. For example, there’s a limit of one dog per reserved site. Also, they are quite strict about not arriving after 6pm, they don’t want folks trying to set up camp late at night, waking up neighbors. We hadn’t experienced either of these policies before.

In an hour or so Dave and I will go get Bojack from storage, to load up and head out around lunchtime. He went out there a couple times earlier this week to do system checks and fix the carbon monoxide detector (it was factory-original: it was time to replace it since Bojack is now 5 years old).

That’s all I’ll write for now….you’ll hear more from me after the trip…maybe during? I don’t know! Ta!

Zapata Falls Hike: Get Ready to Get Wet!

I wish you could have heard how LOUD this is!

The day after our trip to Great Sand Dunes National Park, Dave and I took a trip to the nearby Zapata Falls trail for a short hike. Our neighbors told us to be sure to experience the hike, and we’re so glad we did! Like Medano Creek, Zapata Falls will be most exciting to visit when the snow is melting most aggressively: so the month of May is probably best, if you can.

The turn off to the trailhead road is about 3 miles before the main entrance to the National Park. There’s a 3 1/2 mile rocky unpaved road full of switchbacks that needs to be driven up to the trailhead itself. The views during the drive are gorgeous, but it’s also important to keep your eyes on the road — you don’t want to accidentally drive over a large rock! There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the views of the sand dunes from up there.

Continue reading “Zapata Falls Hike: Get Ready to Get Wet!”

Great Sand Dunes National Park: What Can Be Done in One Day?

Relaxing in a camp chair on Medano Creek in Great Sand Dunes National Park.

I figured I’d peel off two of the activities from our weekend in the San Luis Valley into separate blog posts. I realized I didn’t find a ton of consolidated information about spending a day at Great Sand Dunes National Park, so I figured I’d write about our personal experiences.

The Great Sand Dunes are exactly that: this unusual feature of sand dunes sitting in the middle of Colorado. A geologic abnormality, although it is well explained why this fine sand ended up in a pile nestled up against the Sangre de Cristo mountains. You definitely experience the southwest prevailing winds — which are responsible for the piling of the sand against the mountain range —  while you’re there.

The creeks nearby and in the park also play a role in the geologic formations. Read about the park’s hydrology here. Continue reading “Great Sand Dunes National Park: What Can Be Done in One Day?”

Camping Trip Review: Base Camp Family Campground, Alamosa, CO

Bojack parked at Base Camp Family Campground with Blanca Peak, one of Colorado’s 59 Fourteeners, behind him.

Statistics

Name of Campground: Base Camp Family Campground

Location: Approximately 7 miles east of Alamosa, Colorado.

Miles Traveled: 170 each way

Dates Stayed: Friday, May 21 – Monday, May 24 (3 nights)

Cost Per Night: We paid $45/night: rates vary depending on season, holidays, etc. The rates go up to $53/night starting Memorial Day weekend.

Site #: 5, Pull-thru

Hookups: Full hookups, with 50/30/15 amps available

Amenities: Small campground, but growing // Massive 112’x40′ pull-through sites // Sites are angled strategically such that your camper door faces northeast, shielding you from the prevailing southwesterly winds // Currently only 13 sites, but the owner has plans to expand // Opportunity for overflow dry camping (boondocking) to accommodate busier times, such as if you can get a Friday and Sunday reservation, but not Saturday // New shower/laundry building: 4 large private individual shower rooms that include toilets and sinks, too

Needs Improvement: No shade: the owners have planted numerous ponderosa pine and aspen, but it will be a while before those provide useful shade // No playground for the kids (there is a basketball hoop on the premises but the wind knocked it over)

Cell Signal/WiFi: Good but not great. WiFi is transmitted from the roof of the shower building. The closer you are to the building, the stronger the signal. Signal deteriorates during high usage (such as in the evenings when everyone is back at camp). We were able to use our Roku TV and laptops well, but our cell phones struggled with the WiFi. There is a cell tower less than 1/2 mile away, but our cell signal was hit-or-miss.

Who Came on This Trip: Dave and Patricia.

Continue reading “Camping Trip Review: Base Camp Family Campground, Alamosa, CO”

Excited for Our Next Trip!

Great Sand Dunes
Image credit: NPS.gov

Hi! This is Patricia! As I’d said before, Dave and I have reserved weekend camping trips with Bojack for almost every month during the “warm season”…April through October.

Our 2nd trip of the year is coming up this weekend, and I’m getting excited for it! This will be the longest trip Bojack will have taken with us, to Base Camp Campground east of Alamosa, Colorado. Alamosa is a 2.5-3 hour drive from Colorado Springs, in the heart of Colorado’s San Luis Valley, home to many of of the state’s potato, lettuce, and (interestingly) quinoa farms.

Continue reading “Excited for Our Next Trip!”