Got Oxygen? (Pikes Peak – Colorado Springs, CO)

One of the many “must-see” attractions in the Colorado Springs area is Pikes Peak.  Therefore, on Wednesday, we took our visitors from Germany up the Pikes Peak Highway.  There are a few ways to tackle the summit of this 14,115 ft peak.  You can take the aforementioned 19 mile long Pikes Peak Highway which is famous for the annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, aka “The Race to the Clouds and is touted as the highest….or you can take the Pikes Peak Cog Railway.  Of course, if you are so inclined, there is always the 12.6 mile hike up the Barr Trail.

Pikes Peak from Garden of the Gods (photo credit: Wikipedia)

We chose Wednesday for a couple reasons.  First – the weather report was favorable and the sky was free of clouds, and Second – it fit into the busy schedule of things that Will and Jasmin still have planned for the short time they have left on their vacation.  Their flight back to Germany is this coming Monday.

We paid the toll at the entrance station/tollgate.  The fee was $40 per carload (up to 5 passengers).  I showed my retired military ID and got a couple dollar discount.  The attendant cautioned us that blowing snow near the peak may cause a road closure and stated that we should go directly to the top without delay because the weather was expected to get worse as the day progressed.  When we left the house the skies were free of clouds, however, by the time we arrived at the tollgate the clouds were quickly coming over the mountains from the West.  This is a common problem in the COS area… you never know what’s right over the mountains until it’s on you.

It was just below “tree line“, which is the point where the trees no longer grow due to altitude and climate, that we hit snow from last week’s cooler weather.

Here’s some pics I took through the windshield on the way up.

Clouds coming in fast on way up Pikes Peak Highway.






Pikes Peak Highway (view of Colorado Springs)

After driving almost 19 miles, we finally neared the top.  On the way up, I monitored the transmission temperature on the Silverado which went from ~140 degrees at the bottom to almost 215 degrees at the top.  I have  a “Tow” option on the Silverado, which allows me to press a button on the end of the shift lever to limit the upshifting.  It keeps the transmission in a lower gear and therefore the engine runs at a higher RPM.  This is better for the vehicle because it’s not shifting between gears all the time which is the leading cause of premature wear and overheating.  Higher engine RPMs equal better cooling for two reasons; 1) The cooling fan is pulling a higher volume of air through the radiator and transmission cooler while also blowing more air over the engine, and 2) The water pump is operating faster, therefore circulating more coolant through the system.

Sorry if that’s too much technical talk, I guess it’s the old Warrant Officer “Maintenance Tech” coming out again.  But, I believe a lot of blog readers appreciate this type of info.



The wind was blowing pretty hard at the top of the peak, so we didn’t take too many outside pictures… just too cold 🙁

I made a bee-line for the world-famous donuts and hot chocolate.  The donuts are touted as the only donuts in the world made above 14,000 feet.  I like them… they’re not too sweet or covered in glaze or other stuff.


Here’s Will and Jasmin enjoying their snacks in the concession area.


We braved the elements for a picture in front of the Summit sign.

Summit of Pikes Peak (L to R) Stilla, Joleen, Jasmin & William.

The Cog Train arrived at the top while we were there.  They left the doors open after all the passengers disembarked so we could step inside out of the cold wind and blowing snow.


I took a picture of Colorado Springs below from the window of the cog train.  We were lucky that the clouds that had came in so fast from the West were up high making for unobstructed views.


Joleen and Jasmin inside the Cog Train.

We braved the cold and wind (briefly) for another picture at the observation deck area.


After only an hour or so at the top, we headed back down.


Here’s a couple views looking South and West towards Cripple Creek.

IMG_5005 IMG_5007

The wind continued to blow hard on the way down.  The rangers had put up cones at one point to prevent cars from coming up.  I guess they couldn’t keep up with the snow and ice that was forming across parts of the road.



It’s important to use low gear going down the mountain.  I kept my automatic transmission in Low 1 and sometimes 2.  I only used the brakes a couple times at the hair-pin curves.  A technique I’ve always used when going down long grades is to only hit the brakes just before a curve… and when I must, I use them briefly and firmly.  It still surprises me how many people ignore this and ride their brakes all the way down which effectively takes a couple years off the expected brake pad life in just one trip.  Several tourists passed me on the way down – and when they did, you could smell their overheated brakes.

The further we went back down the highway, the better the weather.  The winds died down and the temperature went back up to a comfortable 75 degrees versus the 34 degrees at the top.



After an uneventful trip to the bottom, we went back to the house.  Will and Jasmin had plans to borrow Joleen’s car to go up to Denver and see the sights there.

Until next time… hope you enjoyed Pikes Peak.

Overnight Trip (Royal Gorge, CO)

It’s been rather uneventful here at the homestead for the last several days.  Stilla has mostly been playing tour-guide for son William and his girlfriend Jasmin who are visiting from Germany.  I usually stay home and putter around while Stilla is out showing them the local sites or doing more shopping.  I guess our visitors want to stock up on such things as brand-name clothes, shoes, handbags, etc., which can be found cheaper here in the States.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like shopping as much as the next guy… but I’d rather be shopping at places like Cabela’s, Bass-Pro Shop’s, or Western Outfitter’s.  So I find things to do here at the house while they’re out and about.

Although, I did go with on a few excursions.  For instance,  we went to the grand opening (late in the day) to the first Trader Joe’s that opened here in Colorado Springs.  We also visited Fort Carson and wandered through the PX.  One evening, we did drinks and appetizers at my youngest daughter, Joleen’s workplace, The Famous Steak House, and then went out for an evening at SouthSide Johnny’s.  (Click on the green-font names for more information)

We also hosted a small get-together (pizza party) at the house one evening complete with fireworks that someone had brought.

(L to R) Stepmom Elaine, Dad, Stilla, Jasmin, William

William and his girlfriend Jasmin wanted to experience camping in the RV so we pulled in the slides and lifted the jacks on the Urban Escape Vehicle to go visit the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park near Canon City, CO.  We left on Monday and came back on Tuesday.  There are several RV parks near the Royal Gorge but most are already closed for the season.  We found the Prospectors RV Resort which is open year-round.



It was a little more expensive than we like.. it was a little over $40 for 50 amp full hook-ups.  We met the nice owner’s who had just purchased the CG at the beginning of the season.  We wish them all the best in the future… nice campground.



It was pretty empty in the CG.  But it looked like they had some seasonal workers and a few others that were preparing for a cold Winter stay with skirting and insulation.


William & Jasmin walking little Coach around the Prospectors RV Resort near Royal Gorge, CO

Since it was later in the day on Monday after we settled in at the campground, we decided to drive back into Canon City for sight-seeing and dinner.  We’d save the Royal Gorge Bridge for tomorrow.

Before going into Canon City, we took Skyline Drive, which is a ~3-mile one-way paved road with drop-offs on both sides.  Go to the link for more images of this cool, scenic and somewhat scary (for some) side trip.

Stilla, William & Jasmin at the top of Skyline Drive, Canon City, CO
Stilla, William & Jasmin at the top of Skyline Drive, Canon City, CO

Checkout time was noon at the CG but the kind owner’s of the Prospectors RV Resort allowed us to leave the Coach as long as we needed for the day while we visited the Royal Gorge Bridge.


Along the drive from the main highway to the bridge we saw evidence of the fire that almost destroyed the bridge last year.  If you missed that in the news: I linked more info on that here, and here, with some images here.

Royal Gorge area fire damage.
Royal Gorge area fire damage.
Royal Gorge area, single tree damaged by fire.
Royal Gorge area fire damage.

Here’s the view driving into the parking lot.


You can see the fire damage on the back of the coal car.  Good thing the locomotive survived.


And here’s the new Visitor Center/Entrance to the bridge.

Newly renovated Visitors Center at Royal Gorge Bridge. (front view)
Newly renovated Visitors Center at Royal Gorge Bridge. (souvenir shop)
Newly renovated Visitors Center at Royal Gorge Bridge. (guest services window)

They were charging $16 a person to walk onto the bridge.  It’s usually more expensive but they’re charging less since everything else burned down.  The gondola across and the cable car down into the gorge are gone.


View of Royal Gorge Bridge after exiting the Visitor Center/Entrance building.
Newly renovated Visitors Center at Royal Gorge Bridge. (rear view)
William and Jasmin in front of the Royal Gorge Bridge


The old cable cars that used to take people down to the bottom of the gorge is out-of-service.  I overheard a park representative telling another tourist that it requires $9 million in repairs and may not be fixed.  Here’s a picture of the track.


We walked across the bridge.

William & Jasmin on the Royal Gorge Bridge (holding the Colorado flag)


Here’s Stilla and I on the bridge.  I’m wearing the doggie front-pack I blogged about in an earlier post.  We bought it in Florence, OR back in September.


View from the Royal Gorge Bridge (cables at top of photo)

Will and Jasmin took some photos of the gorge below through gaps in the planks.



Have to include this pic… one of my favorites.


A shuttle service takes people back and forth across the bridge all day.  How do you get that job?


Stilla walking on the Royal Gorge Bridge.

The gondola is gone but we could see evidence of reconstruction.


There’s a lot of rebuilding going on.  This is the South side of the gorge.






We walked on up to the  Sky Coaster.






We chickened out and didn’t do it.  There was a moment when Jasmin and I were ready to go 😉

Stilla, William & Jasmin on the south side of Royal Gorge at overlook near the Sky Coaster
View of Royal Gorge Bridge from the South side.
View of the Royal Gorge from the South side overlook

We walked back to the Visitor Center building and had lunch on the newly renovated deck.




They even put a fire place and heat lamps on the new deck.  Pretty nice!


Many folks probably don’t know that you can stop at the parking lot and take a trail down to an overlook for good views of the bridge and visitor center.  This is good if you can’t afford the entrance fee.

View of the Visitor Center deck from the North looking SouthWest

We returned to the CG and hooked up the Silverado for the return trip home.  Will and Jasmin have plans for the evening.

Tomorrow we plan on driving up Pikes Peak, so stay tuned…

Uncle Alan’s (Floride, CO)

On Tuesday I rode the Harley over to my Dad’s house to help him load a log-splitter into his trailer.  My Uncle Alan (Dad’s youngest brother) needed it at his house for some logs that are too big to do by hand.

Stilla chauffeured our visitors from Germany around town in the Silverado to do their own thing.

Meanwhile, I chauffered Dad and Stepmom Elaine in their Jeep with trailer attached up the pass (I-24 West from COS) to my Uncle Alan and Aunt Beverly’s house.  They live on approximately 10 acres that borders the Florissant Fossil beds.  It is halfway between Florissant and Divide, CO so my Uncle calls his homestead “Floride”.  Get it?

Here we are after unloading the heavy log-splitter from the trailer.


My Uncle Alan (Dad’s brother) got a quick block of instruction on how to operate the splitter from Dad.


Here’s the wood he wants to split.


And here’s some of the wood he already split (by hand!).


And here’s more piles of wood he already split!… Unk – I think you got enough to last awhile…

Here’s a picture of the Hobden homestead in “Floride”, CO.


We then had a picnic, complete with campfire, at a spot near the house that Alan keeps on the ready with picnic table, chairs and fire pit.  Here’s Uncle Alan burning some hot dogs.


Stepmom Elaine and Aunt Beverly set the picnic table.


Dad & Elaine tried out the comfortable swing while waiting for the dogs and beans to finish cooking.


After our fine picnic, Uncle Alan loaded the extra picnic accessories into his little trailer to take back to the house.


We had a little fun touring around the property in Alan’s older model ATV.  Here’s Dad going for a spin.


Off into the horizon…


For the afternoon, Uncle Alan suggested we go on a hike to take a look at a house that sits on over 300 acres located on the West side of Pikes Peak.  Us folks from COS would call it the “back-side” of Pikes Peak but my Uncle says it’s the “front-side” for him.  I guess it’s a matter of perspective.

Interesting story – a gentleman by the name of Harvey Carter owned the land and house until his passing in 2012.  He was a pioneer rock-climber and entrepreneur that envisioned a ski area being developed on his land, but alas, it wasn’t to be.  Here’s a couple links for more information on the guy: Link here for obit and here for a short video.  It seems that the Broadmoor Hotel bought the land and house after Harvey’s passing and worked some sort of trade deal with the National Forest Service.  It is now NFS land.  The Colorado Springs newspaper, “The Gazette” did an article on this here.

My Uncle is a real-estate agent by trade and met this guy a couple years ago.  He got an exclusive personal tour of his land and first- hand account of Harvey Carter’s vision.

We had to park about a half-mile away from the house and hike in.  The spot where we parked at is at the end of the dirt road past the Crags campground.  It was good to walk off the hot dogs we had for lunch, but it was slow going due to the high altitude.


Here’s a view of the trail we hiked on the backside of Pikes Peak.


Many of the Aspens still have their leaves, but not for long…


And here you can see one of the peaks just coming into view as we hiked the road on the back-side of Pikes Peak.


We came upon a tree that had fallen across the road.  Unsure what could have caused it – maybe high winds.



Pikes Peak as viewed from the West side.

Once the trail we walked joined the main road.  We could see that the road had been clearly widened and graded recently… not a good sign.  Alan speculated that the forest service may have already demolished the house and had widened the road to get the dump trucks and bulldozers in.



We hiked and hiked… Alan kept telling us that it’s “just around the next bend”.  And he’d say the same thing after the next bend…

View of Pikes Peak from the West side (you can see the “Crags” on the left)
Uncle Alan at the end of the road ahead of us where the house used to sit.

When we finally got to the end of the road, we found that the house had been demolished.  All that’s left is dirt and boulders.  Hardly any evidence that a house was ever there.


Sure must have been a nice view from the house back in the day.


We tromped around on the dirt that had been brought in to cover the old homesite.  There was still some glass and electrical wiring mixed in with the dirt.  Whoever did the demolition for the Forest Service must have been the low bidder as usual.

We enjoyed the scenic views… and then headed back down to the Jeep.


We said our goodbyes to Uncle Alan and Aunt Beverly when we got back to his house.  Thanks for another memorable day Unk!  See you soon.

We hooked the empty trailer back up to the Jeep and headed back down the pass.  Dad treated at Wendy’s in Woodland Park where we stopped for supper on the way down.

It was already dark by the time we got back to Dad’s house.  So after storing the trailer, I jumped on the Harley and went straight home to see what Stilla and the Germans did for the day.  I think they spent some time at Helen Hunt Falls and did some more shopping.

In other news – I heard about the eclipse of the moon tonight, so I set the alarm for 4:15 AM and got this picture.


Hopefully you can see the moon almost eclipsed.  I took the pic with my iPhone and probably should have pulled out the Canon S100 but didn’t.  As usual, if you click on any of the photos in this blog, it should enlarge for easier viewing.

Until next time… stay tuned…



Yay! Willi’s Here (Colorado Springs, CO)

I spent most of Sunday detailing the Silverado after I downloaded the Harley and everything else we’ve been carrying around in the truck for the last several months.  I put the bikes, the motorcycle, the inflatable Sea-Eagle boat, the trolling motor, metal detector, firewood, etc., into the garage because we needed the room to pick up son William and his new girlfriend Jasmin from the airport in Denver.

They came in on Iceland-Air from Frankfurt, Germany to DIA.  I was supposed to drive to Denver to pick them up with Stilla and youngest daughter Joleen, but I got bumped at the last moment when oldest daughter Jennifer and grandson Kaan wanted to go too.  So I stayed home and waited while Stilla took the rest of the family to meet the flight’s expected 7 PM arrival time.

They came in on time and Stilla got everyone back home by 9 PM.  They were pretty jet-lagged, so we didn’t stay up too late.

The next morning (Monday), Stilla made us all a hearty breakfast of eggs, sausage and toast.  Then we all piled into the Silverado again for a fun-filled day of sightseeing and shopping.

We started off by driving through the Garden of the Gods park after a quick stop at Wells Fargo bank to exchange Euros for Dollars.

Here’s William and Jasmin in front of the Balanced Rock.

William and Jasmin in front of the Balanced Rock in Garden of the Gods park.


William and Jasmin in front of the Balanced Rock in Garden of the Gods park.
Rock formations near the Balanced Rock in Garden of the Gods park.

After checking out the Balanced Rocks, we stopped at the Trading Post in the Garden of the Gods to look at souvenirs and then we went on over to the Kissing Camels to walk around a bit.





Kissing Camels rock formation in the Garden of the Gods


L to R: Joleen, Jasmin, William, Stilla and little Coach in Garden of the Gods park.

I almost forgot what the Silverado looked like without the Harley sitting in the back.


After our tour of the Garden of the Gods, we stopped by my Dad and Stepmom Elaine’s house.  They live just down the street from the Trading Post and were glad to see William again.  It’s been over 2 years since he was last here.  We didn’t stay long because everyone was getting hungry and it was almost time to pick up Kaan from school.

The rest of the day was spent shopping at the various stores in the Broadmoor Towne Center aka Southgate.  William and Jasmin were interested in stocking up on some new clothes to take back to Germany.  We also ate at the Panda Express located there.

I think I’ll take a break from the sight-seeing and shopping tomorrow.  I’ll let Stilla be the chauffeur for the day.  I think my Dad could use some help getting a log-splitter up to my Uncle Alan’s house near Florissant, CO.

So, til next time.. stay tuned.


FCRV Rolling Springs (Colorado City KOA)

Friday was another wash & wax day since I was so rudely interrupted by the exploding expandable hose that I talked about in my previous post.  I decided to get another pocket hose from WalMart on Friday after doing some research on-line.  It seems that no matter which version of expandable hose you choose – there are many negative reviews on each.  The pocket hose is cheaper than the x-hose and this time I saved the receipt.  Anyway, I finally got the whole coach washed… it’ll take awhile for the waxing though – one section at a time is the best approach 🙂

On Saturday, we decided to go see the folks in the camping group we belong to – the Rolling Springs Chapter (FCRV).  So we jumped into the Silverado and drove down to the KOA in Colorado City where the group is having their weekend campout.  We “crashed” the party and got caught-up with folks… especially my Dad and Stepmom.  This KOA is about 65 miles South of Colorado Springs.  We stayed here with the group once last year.  Nice campground, but of course at KOA prices…

When we arrived around noon-time, most folks were out enjoying the local sites so we hung out with Biff & Linda Anderson outside their Monaco Coach (we still had our folding chairs in the back of the Silverado) until my Dad and Stepmom Elaine got back.  It was great catching up with them… Biff & Linda were especially helpful to us before we started our trip up to the Pacific NorthWest back a couple/few months ago… they provided us invaluable tips on routes and best places to stay because they had been before.  Thanks Biff & Linda!  It was great seeing you again.

Finally, my Dad & Stepmom Elaine arrived back at the CG.  It was really good to see them again too!  We haven’t seen each other since late July when we convoyed together to Lake Tahoe and spent an awesome week together at the Sugar Pine Point CG with some cousins that live in California.

This is the first opportunity we had to see Dad’s new Jeep!  He hasn’t gotten the baseplate installed yet to tow it behind his “FRED”.  That’s short for Front Engine Diesel.  It is made  by Gulfstream and the model is the Crescendo.  Elaine drove the Jeep down from COS, following Dad in the Coach.  Next time, I’m sure he’ll have it set up to tow.

Dad “Bill” and his new 2014 Jeep Sahara


Nice Jeep Dad!

Of course as soon as a hood goes up, others come by to check it out too 🙂


I got to test drive it.  We all piled in and went over to Graneros Gorge which is just minutes South of the CG.  Although we didn’t need 4-wheel drive – it was still fun hitting the dirt road to get there.  Here we parked near the edge of the gorge.


There are the remnants of a gazebo on the edge.  At least that’s what my research determined this was.


View down into the gorge.


And here we are looking down into the gorge.  You can see Dad’s new jeep in the background.


I posed for a picture near the edge… Stilla kept telling me to take one step back…


We got back to the CG in time for happy hour with the group.



It wasn’t long after happy hour was over and we all gathered together again inside the community room for our traditional Saturday evening potluck.  Tonight’s potluck theme was chili.  We had every sort of chili known to man and as usual there was more than enough to go around.


Again, it was fun seeing all the great folks again in the Rolling Springs Chapter of FCRV.  C U all next time!

I started this post yesterday morning (Sunday) but just now (Monday) got it posted due to interruptions.  We picked up our son William and his girlfriend from the airport in Denver (DIA) on Sunday evening and have been running around all day today doing some sight-seeing and shopping… but I’ll do a separate post on that shortly…  I need to post this one first.


Reunion with old Co-workers (Colorado Springs, CO)

We’ve been parked at the house since my last post and I’ve been taking my time to wash and wax the Urban Escape Vehicle while Stilla is inside the house cleaning in preparation for son William’s visit from Germany this coming Sunday.  The undercarriage and especially the wheelwells got pretty muddy when we left Westley, CA in the rain as I mentioned in this earlier post:  (  We also drove through a lot of rain along I-70 while hurrying back from Las Vegas.

My washing efforts got slowed down yesterday when my expandable hose burst.  I’ve been carrying around one of those “pocket hoses” that I got from WalMart which has been great for it’s storability characteristics but apparently not so great for durability.  When I went to use the hose, I noticed that water was squirting out of a pinhole.  It wasn’t long before the green outer covering split and the clear plastic inner hose oozed out… it looked like a big fat sausage skin that bloated up until it exploded in a shower of water.  This incident made me think about the commercial regarding the X-hose where they warn you not to be fooled by imitations.  Wish I saved the receipt.  Anyway, I got rid of all of my old hoses here at the house when I was down-sizing to go full-timing, so I need to go buy a new hose.  I certainly don’t want to use my drinking water hose for washing, it’s important to keep it clean and free of contamination for filling the water tank and hooking up at campgrounds.

The Urban Escape Vehicle parked in front of the house.

I got a surprise message from my good friend, old co-worker, and former roommate, Maile Unten, who follows the blog and noted that we were back in town.  She kindly invited me on behalf of the agency that I used to work for, the Missile Defense Agency Integration & Operations Center (Schriever AFB), to come to their “end of fiscal year” celebration to be held at Cheddars on the North end of town.  The end of the fiscal year (FY) is a big deal for the Contracting Directorate that I used to work for… a lot of long hours and hard work is put into getting all the funds obligated and contracts awarded before the end of the FY when funds expire.

I went alone since Stilla was in the middle of cleaning the house as I mentioned earlier.  It sure was great seeing most of my old co-workers again.  There were a couple new faces too.

The MDIOC “Contracting Directorate” crew. Maile Unten is at the bottom left.
The MDIOC “Contracting Directorate” crew. The director (Bob) is at the head of the table.

We caught up on things while we passed around appetizer dishes between folks.  Bob, the “Contracting Directorate” Director, graciously showed his appreciation for everyone’s hard work and dedication by paying for the first round of drinks.  Thanks Bob!



And Maile surprised me by paying for my appetizer and drinks… Thanks Maile!  You didn’t have to do that.  And thanks for the invitation!  It was nice seeing everyone again, I just wish that my old boss, Sandra Yaden, had been there as well… I was told that she is on a well-deserved vacation.  Take care Sandy – hope all is well with you.

I was told that the group’s annual Christmas Party is already scheduled for Dec 10th at the EdelWeiss restaurant here on the South side of COS.  Our current plan calls for us to be far South by then to stay ahead of the freezing weather, but you never know…

I made it back home in time to watch the sun go down behind Pikes Peak from our front porch.  Our house is situated at the end of a cul-de-sac, so we get a nice unobstructed view of the mountains up the street from the front of the house.  The back of the house overlooks downtown COS.

Stilla, oldest daughter Jennifer, and grandson Kaan on the front porch.

In other news – the camping group we belong to along with my Dad and Stepmom; the Rolling Springs Chapter of the Family Campers & RV’ers – is holding the last group campout of the year this weekend.  It is down in Colorado City at the KOA.  Unfortunately, we won’t be able to attend since William is coming in on Sunday and we have to drive to Denver to pick him up along with his new girlfriend.  If time permits, we plan on maybe driving down in the Silverado on Saturday to visit with folks.  My dad already went down a day early on Thursday to get the most out of the weekend.  Hope you guys are having fun Rolling Springs FCRV!

Welp… I have to go find a new waterhose, so that’s all for now.

Stay tuned…


6000 miles later – Back at the House (Colorado Springs, CO)

On Monday we left the Elks Lodge in Saint George, UT early in the morning.  I really would have liked to stay here, what a nice lodge and RV park area!  The lodge had brats and nachos for donations in the bar area, so that was our dinner.

We needed to get back home to prepare for our son William’s visit from Germany.  He’ll be here the 5th of October and he’s bringing his girlfriend that we haven’t met yet.  So we made a bee line straight for our house in Colorado Springs.  Sorry, no pictures today… I know you’re disappointed, but with the fast pace and often rainy windshield, the pics wouldn’t have turned out very good anyway.

We continued North on 1-15 until we hit I-70.  We made it all the way to Grand Junction, CO by Monday evening.  A grand total of 392 miles!  If you’ve never seen the San Rafael Swell along I-70, it’s definitely worth stopping at the rest areas to view.

We researched the website and found a lodge in downtown Grand Junction that claimed to have 4 electrical hook-up sites.  I didn’t call ahead figuring that since it was Monday, they were sure to have a spot.  Sure enough, they had 4 electrical hook-ups all on the same pole in the middle of their empty parking lot.  The lodge was closed so I called the number listed on the website, which was the same as the number posted on the door, and got no answer.  There was a box on the pole with empty envelopes in it, so I put $10 along with our business card in it and slipped it under the lodge door.  We hooked up to the 30 amp, watched a little TV and went to bed so we could get another early start in the morning.

On Tuesday, we continued on I-70 and drove through the rain at times.  It sure was beautiful near Vail with all the aspen leaves changing colors and snow on the mountains around us.  I was a little worried about the rain turning into snow on the Eisenhower Tunnel Pass so I researched a “short-cut” over Hoosier Pass and the weather outlook said it was dry.  So, we turned South at Dillon Reservoir and took 9 through Breckenridge and then over Hoosier Pass.  Sure enough, it was dry and easy going.  The weather even cleared up nicely the closer we got to I-24 and then home.


So, after another 290 miles for the day, here we are in Colorado Springs again.  We’ve put a grand total of 6,100 miles on the Urban Escape Vehicle since we started full-timing in May.  It’s good to be back for a short time and see daughter’s Jennifer and Joleen again.

I’ll post again soon to keep you apprised of our status… hopefully we can get back on the road again soon.  Maybe, I can use this “downtime” while son William is visiting, to update the blog with the places we visited before I started the blog… I’ve got some great pics of our time at such places as: Lake Tahoe, Crater Lake, the RV Rallies in Portland and Redmond OR, Mt Rainier, and Mt Saint Helens, etc.,

So stay tuned…