One Year Blog Anniversary! (Elks Lodge 309 – COS, CO)

Once again, it’s been a while since my last post.  We’re still just hanging out at the Elks Lodge in COS enjoying time with friends and family.  It’s not easy to come up with interesting things to write about when we’re parked in one place for so long.

Yesterday (30 August) was also the one year anniversary of this blog!  We had already been full-timing in the Coach for a few months before I started writing the blog.    Click (HERE) to see the 1st post.  It took a while for me to get familiar with all the nuances of the blogging software once I decided to get started.  It’s been a great year, except for the part where we had to come back to kick the renters out of the house, fix it up, and then sell it.  We’re looking forward to what this next year brings…

Anyway – in recent news: We continue to enjoy the many amenities here at the Lodge which includes the ever-popular “Taco Tuesday”.  Here we are again with my Dad and stepmom Elaine.  Dad has recovered quite well from his recent surgery.

Dad & Elaine at the Elks Lodge “Taco Tuesday”

We also continue to help out around the pool on occasion when the camp-host/club manager needs an extra hand.




And we even took on the task of re-painting some of the patio furniture:






It feels good to give back and pretty soon we’ll have all the old, faded green chairs and tables re-painted a nice semi-gloss black.


On Saturday evening we were invited to join some friends for a party at their beautiful house in Monument.  We’ve known Rick & Claudia for a number of years.  Rick is a retired Army Command Sergeant Major (CSM).



After an awesome BBQ dinner, the guys hung out with some cigars and watched the Broncos win a pre-season game.



The girls hung out around the desserts and talked German with each other.


Later on Rick fired up the fire pit and we pretended we were camping 🙂



Thanks for the good times Rick and Claudia!  Maybe we can return the hospitality sometime.

In other news: I also finished up the entertainment center/electronics cabinet project I mentioned in a previous post.  Here are the ‘before’ pics:

Entertainment Center (Drivers side) rats-nest
Entertainment Center (Drivers side) rats-nest

And here’s the ‘after’ pic:

Drivers side Entertainment Center & Electronics Cabinet rats-nest somewhat cleaned up

It didn’t turn out too bad… I’d have to cut a new front panel to make it any better.  The cabinet was designed around the old components which have been changed out over the years, so the cut-outs aren’t quite the right size.  The old surround-sound system (at the top) was much larger than the new one, and the satellite dish controller (lower left) is much, much smaller now.

This is the passenger side.  I didn’t do anything to this side except add a USB fan on the side of the DirecTV DVR to help keep it cool.

Passenger-side Entertainment Center & Electronics Cabinet

And that’s all for now.  Check back later to see what we’re up to…

Day-by-Day (Elks Lodge 309 – COS, CO)

We’re still stationary at the Elks Lodge here in Colorado Springs, just taking it day-by-day.  It’s kind of nice being in one place for a month (we got here on 6 August) because we’re saving money on fuel and campground costs.  This is especially good, (saving money, I mean), since we had to buy new tires for the Silverado recently.  I posted about that HERE.  Plus – Stilla really enjoys being near the daughters and grandson.  But – I’m starting to get the ‘hitch-itch’ and  hope to start heading south in early October.  We’ll see…


Meanwhile, we’ve just been taking advantage of our time here to get together with friends and family as opportunities present themselves.  And we continue to take advantage of the reasonably-priced meals here at the Elks Lodge but you’re probably tired of hearing about Taco Tuesday, Friday Dinners, and Sunday Brunch.

Speaking of the Elks Lodge – Several times now, I’ve helped to set-up or move tables/chairs for some of the ever-changing events and activities that take place here.  I often join the former camp-host here for morning coffee in the lodge and one thing leads to another…  A couple days ago, I even helped clean the pool which had been neglected for a few days.  Stilla joined-in and we vacuumed the bottom of the pool after the camp host set up the cleaning apparatus.  It feels good to volunteer our (valuable?) time and help out. 🙂


The only other “news-worthy” thing I can think about to report on here lately; was joining my old Army buddy Tim for a visit to a local gun show event (no pics allowed) that we followed up with a short ride over to Pikes Peak Harley Davidson for their weekend open-house and free grill.


I’ve known Tim since 1982 or so – when we were stationed together in Schwabach GE with the 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry, 1st Armored Division (1-1 CAV).  Tim even attended our wedding ceremony (1983) in Germany.  I wrote about that in a previous post HERE.


Tim always seems to be looking for that “next great deal” and talked with the salesman about trade-in value on one of his bikes.  Yes, he has more than one…


Tim used the ‘tailor in a trailer’ to get a little sewing done on his vest while we were here.


We didn’t take advantage of the bikini-bike-wash and parted ways again before the afternoon wind picked up.  See you later, Tim!


In other news – my Dad has recovered well from his surgery to remove skin cancer from his nose.  We’re thankful for the positive outcome.  My Dad and stepmom joined us for Friday’s dinner and Sunday Brunch here at the lodge.

And that’s about it for now… oh yea – I did a little work on one of the cabinets at the front of the Coach to minimize the “rats-nest” of cables in the entertainment center.  I’ll post some ‘before & after’ pics later.  Check back soon…

Fixing the Daughter’s Car and Taco Tuesday (Elks Lodge 309 – COS, CO)

Once again, it’s been a few days since my last post.  After driving on Pikes Peak and attending Margaritaville at the Elks Lodge on Saturday (see last post) we just ended up hanging around the Coach and relaxing on Sunday.  It was a rather gloomy day with frequent rain showers; which ruined my original plan to ride the Harley up to Cripple Creek for the 23rd Annual Salute to American Veterans Rally & 28th Annual POW/MIA Recognition Ride.

However, we did get invited to dinner Sunday evening by my Dad & stepmom Elaine.  It was their 34th wedding anniversary and also the first time that my dad’s been out of the house since his surgery.  We enjoyed a great dinner and evening together at Texas Roadhouse.  Happy Anniversary and Thanks for dinner Dad & Elaine!

On Monday, I took my youngest daughter’s car over to my high school buddy’s shop (Chuck’s Auto) for some long-overdue maintenance and repairs.


Her car got a complete check up, along with new shocks, front brakes/rotors, new tie-rod and an alignment.

Joleen’s old blown out front shock.
Joleen’s old front rotor and what’s left of the brake pads.

Here’s my buddy Mike inspecting the rear brakes.


And replacing the front shocks/struts.


Due to delays getting the needed parts, I hung out with my buddy Mike for two days (Monday & Tuesday) and helped out with things at the shop.  It turns out that it’s not so easy (or cheap) to get replacement parts for an Infiniti.


After 2 days of working on the daughter’s  car, it was time for some relaxation at the Elks Lodge.  We joined friends for “Taco Tuesday”.

Stilla and I at the Elks Lodge.

Friends and fellow FCRV members Biff & Linda.


Friends Daniel & Monika brought along their two-month old granddaughter.  They had custody for a few hours and showed her off.  What a cutie! They even hung out with us in the Coach for a little while after we finished our tacos.


Friend and fellow FCRV member Bob McCord also joined us.  Tuesday night was also Bob’s initiation ceremony here at the lodge.


Monika and her granddaughter Dezlynn. Hopefully, I got the spelling right.

And that’s all for now folks.  Here’s a shot of little Coach on the lookout for rabbits this morning near the pool at the lodge.  He knows they hang out under the shed and sometimes he forgets to “go potty” and hunts the rabbits instead… as-if he could ever catch one 🙂


C U later…


Pikes Peak & Margaritaville (Elks Lodge 309 – COS, CO)

After I finished my early morning blog post yesterday (Saturday), I drove over to the start point for the Pikes Peak Ascent & Marathon in Manitou Springs.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I’ve volunteered to drive one of these vans many times in past-years.


The volunteer drivers met up at a table on the corner of Manitou Avenue and El Paso Blvd, right next to the old Cog Railway train display.  Click HERE for more info on this 1890’s train from


I was assigned to van #2.  I picked up the keys, a gas card, and a box lunch, courtesy of Subway®.  It was a little after 5 AM when we loaded up the first vans with race volunteers/officials and we headed up to the top of Pikes Peak.  After passing through the toll gate; where you usually have to pay $12 per person or $40 per carload, it is 19 miles to the top.


Once at the top of Pikes Peak, we lined up the vans alongside the summit road and waited for the first runners.  Click HERE to see more on the drive up Pikes Peak.


We set up cones and tape to help direct the runners to loading zones.  There would be two loading zones, one for shuttling people to Glen Cove and the other for Devil’s Playground.  These are the two designated areas that the vans would shuttle runners to and from.   Devil’s Playground is primarily a parking area where many of the runners with friends and/or family could park their cars, and Glen Cove is where the runners can board a bus for a return trip to Manitou Springs.  The volunteers also set up a nice tent with refreshments for the runners at Glen Cove while they waited for the bus.


Rear view of the Summit House at the top of Pikes Peak.


Pikes Peak is the highest summit of the southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The ultra-prominent 14,115-foot (4,302.31 m) fourteener is located in Pike National Forest, 12.0 miles (19.3 km) west by south (bearing 263°) of downtown Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado, United States. The mountain is named in honor of American explorer Zebulon Pike who was unable to reach the summit. The summit is higher than any point in the United States east of its longitude.  Click HERE for more info from wikipedia™.

Here’s a few pictures from the summit just after sunrise:








The battery in my iPhone went dead so there are no more pictures during the day.  Yes, I know you’re disappointed 🙁  I even brought along a charger with a USB connector but my van didn’t have a connection.

The weather was great all morning and I probably made about 7 ‘runs’ once the runners started getting to the top.  I made about 3 trips to Devil’s Playground and 4 to Glen Cove.  As in years past – it was great fun… and when else can you take multiple trips up (and down) “America’s Mountain” for free?  It was also interesting to hear all the stories from the runners about their trials and tribulations during the ascent.  Some runners even encountered mountain goats on the trail.  The general consensus I heard from the runners was that this was a good year weather-wise, and the officials did a good job of staggering the start times so that the waves of runners didn’t bottle-neck as in years past.

For the results of the Pikes Peak Ascent click HERE.

After we got back down about 3 PM, I gassed up the van and drove over to the rental agency (InterMountain Coach) to help shuttle the other volunteer drivers back to the parking area in Manitou after they dropped off their vans.  My van (#2) would be used again on Sunday for the Marathon so I didn’t have to drop it off.  I did a quick-charge on my phone while I waited at the rental agency and snapped a picture of the trip odometer.  I did 115 miles for the day!


If you’d like to volunteer to help out in future race events, contact a volunteer coordinator at this link here.  Or just email Jeremy Jost @

Remember, it’s not just for the free t-shirt –  but the experience!

I turned down the free dinner that was offered for the volunteer drivers and headed on back to the Elks Lodge for “Margaritaville Night”.  Stilla and I had already paid in advance for the buffet style dinner of pulled-pork and BBQ chicken.  This is an annual charity event held here at Elks Lodge 309.  This year, the fund-raising event is to help out an 8 month-old child that is battling cancer.


We met up with friends and fellow FCRV members Biff & Linda.  They saved us a good table out on the grass near the pool.



The food and entertainment was great, but a quick rain-shower passed through that made us take our meals inside for a short time.  It cleared up quickly and we were soon back at our table.  Biff & Linda headed home after the silent auction results were posted; but of course, we only have to walk out the back gate to the pool to be back at our house 🙂  So we stayed on as the party continued into the late evening with lots of dancing and entertainment.  There were even a few people that jumped, or otherwise –  somehow ended up in the pool 🙂





Another good day!  Check back to see what we’re up to next…



Shuttling Vans for the Pikes Peak Ascent & Marathon (Elks Lodge 309 – COS, CO)

This is a very early morning post to fill you in on Friday’s activities.  It’s now 2:30 in the morning on Saturday and since I volunteered to drive a van to pick up runners at the top of Pikes Peak for the 60th Annual Pikes Peak Ascent & Marathon, I have to be at the starting line by 5 AM.  I went to bed early – which apparently was a mistake since I’m up already and ready to go… so I thought I’d get this post done.

After picking up the Harley from Mike’s shop, aka “Chuck’s Auto” that I left there on Thursday after the flat tire incident, (link HERE for that post), I rode over to Manitou Springs.


Stilla stayed at the lodge to spend the day at the pool with our two daughters and grandson.


I met up with about a dozen other volunteer drivers in the parking lot behind the Moroccan Restaurant next to Memorial Park in Manitou Springs to pick up passenger vans from the local rental agencies.


It took several trips back and forth from a few different rental agencies in town, but we ended up shuttling in over 40 passenger vans.



We packed all the vans tightly into the small area of the parking lot allotted for our use.


I’ll be back here before 5 AM (on Saturday) to pick up one of these vans to drive up Pikes Peak so we can shuttle the runners back down from the top after they finish their run.


We finished getting all the passenger vans by 3 PM so I wandered the tents that had been set up in Memorial Park.  This is the runner registration area, and vendors (for running-related stuff) had also set up shop under the tents to peddle their wares.  There was also a beer tent set up with tables, but unfortunately it wasn’t open yet 🙁




There was a spaghetti dinner scheduled for later on in the evening here that I could have attended, but I already had plans to meet Stilla and others back at the Elks Lodge for Pizza.

I took a ‘short-cut’ through Garden of the Gods to get back to the Elks Lodge in time for the Friday Night Pizza.


It’s always nice to ride through scenic Garden of the Gods and since I grew up here it always seems like a trip down memory lane.

When I was a kid living down the street on Beckers Lane from the Garden of the Gods Trading Post; I remember the owner’s wife (Mrs. Straussenback) would take me and my brothers into the trading post for treats.  They used to have a little glass-enclosed case with the mummy of an Indian child inside that always fascinated me.  It’s long gone now.


I rode through the balanced rock area of the Garden of the Gods.  (Don’t forget to click on the links in green-font to see more)  We used to walk here from the house as kids and play on the rocks.  There used to be steps and a guardrail so you could go on top of the rock in the middle of the road back then.



The “Kissing Camels” rock formation as seen from a distance.


When I got back to the Lodge it was Pizza time.  It was also initiation night for our friend Bob McCord.  Bob & Mary are also in the same camping group (FCRV Rolling Springs) with my Dad and stepmom Elaine.  You may remember them from previous posts.  Bob finally joined up with the Elks so he can take advantage of the RV parking at Lodges across the country, like we do.

Bob & Mary McCord at Elks Lodge 309 on his initiation night.
(L to R) Stilla, Linda, and Biff at Elks Lodge 309 Pizza night.

OK, that’s all for now… gotta run and pick up my van to drive up Pikes Peak.  Check back later for a recap of the Pikes Peak Ascent & Marathon.

Flat Tire… New Car… (Elks Lodge 309, Colorado Springs CO)

Ha!  Got ya with the title didn’t I?  🙂  Yes, we had a flat tire on the Silverado 🙁 but no, we didn’t buy a new car because of it.  After we fixed the flat and bought new tires, I took my old high school buddy Mike up to Denver to pick up his new ride.  Here’s how it all went down:

On Thursday morning, Stilla was driving over to our youngest daughter’s house on the southwest side of the Springs to visit and do some laundry.  When she took the exit off I-25 at Cimmarron, the right front tire went down onto the rim.  She called me back at the Coach and I immediately rode over on the Harley.


Before I left the Coach, I called my old high school buddy Mike Harris for help.  Mike owns a local automotive repair shop called Chuck’s Auto.  I figured; 1) he’s nearby, 2) he could bring a real jack so I wouldn’t have to use the dinky crank handle jack that comes with the truck, and 3) I planned on taking the truck to him afterwards anyway to get the tire fixed.  Mike showed up on the scene moments after I did.



I had to break out the owners manual to brush up on how to lower the spare from underneath the rear of the truck while buddy Mike loosened the lug nuts.


I had to empty the back seat to get to the tire changing tools hidden under the seat.  This was no easy task, because as some of you already know, we carry around our Sea Eagle® Inflatable raft in the back seat along with trolling motor, floorboards, seats, life vests, fishing gear, etc.,


We managed to lower the spare out from underneath the bed of the truck…


and then we got the flat tire off the truck on the uneven ground…


and mounted the spare.


After the successful rescue, Stilla drove the truck straight over to Chuck’s Auto.  Mikes son went to work jacking up the truck.


We couldn’t find a reason the tire went flat.  There were no nails this time and no cuts.  You may recall from previous posts that I’ve had at least two other incidents with the rear tires before.  And, since we had to move the truck onto the median while the tire was flat, it rolled off the bead and I couldn’t trust it anymore.  Nothing would be worse than having a flat tire while towing it behind the Coach… I don’t have sensors that tell me when a tire goes down when we’re towing it.  I only have sensors on the Coach tires and wouldn’t know anything was going on with the Silverado unless someone flagged me down.  I just couldn’t trust these Goodyear Wrangler tires anymore with 39,000 miles on the truck and probably another 10 or 15,000 miles being towed.  (The truck odometer doesn’t register towed miles).


Mike got me a smoking deal on 4 new tires.  Thanks Mike!


My youngest daughter picked up Stilla for the rest of the day while I helped get the tires swapped out.

And since Mike was going to Denver later to pick up his new car, the least I could do was give him a ride.  Besides, how better to ensure a quality job on the new tires with balancing and lug nut torque, etc., than transporting the guy responsible 🙂

My high school buddy Mike Harris.

Here’s my buddy Mike taking delivery of his new Subaru BRZ.


A pretty nice looking car, even if I do say so myself…



We were probably at the dealership for a few hours while they finished detailing the car and Mike did all the paperwork.  Here he is getting the keys to his new ride.


Mike looks pretty good behind the wheel of his new ride.


Mike quickly passed me on our way back to the Springs.  That’s him in the left lane on I-25.


And then so much for the detailing the dealership did… we hit rain on the way back.


Now, I have to go back to pick up my Harley at Mike’s shop.  I had to leave it there overnight.  I’ll bet you Mike stayed up all night reading his new owner’s manual.  🙂

Then, I’m supposed to help shuttle vans from the rental agency to the staging point for tomorrow’s race (run) up Pikes Peak.  I blogged about that HERE.

Check back in for a full recap of our next adventure…

Sitting Still (Elks Lodge 309, Colorado Springs CO)

Not a whole lot going on… it’s been about a week since I last posted.  Here’s a quick summary of what we’ve been up to since we parked at the COS Elks Lodge again:

• We’ve visited with our daughters Jennifer and Joleen a couple/few times and showed off all the pictures of our most recent trips with the grandson.

• I washed the Coach… front , back, and drivers side… still need to do the passenger side and roof.  Now if I could just get some waxing done in between rain showers.

• I went swimming with grandson Kaan in the Elks Lodge pool in between rain showers.  Are you seeing the trend for rain showers here?

• I got my South Dakota plates through our mail forwarding service Americas Mailbox.  I wrote about this HERE.  I hope to get personalized plates; “URBNSKP” for the Coach when it’s due for renewal next year.

New plates on the Silverado – Urban Escape Vehicle 1 (UEV 1).
New plate on the Harley – Urban Escape Vehicle 2 (UEV 2).

• I helped dad pick up his Coach from Pikes Peak Traveland.  He had new slideout awnings put on.  Dad is still recovering from surgery on his nose where the doctor’s removed some skin cancer.  The surgery turned out to be a little more extensive than expected and he still has to go back this Friday for one last procedure (hopefully).

Pikes Peak Traveland didn’t complete the work the first time we went to pick up his Coach.  The technician(s) forgot to put in the additional screws on the awning rail that Dad requested.  So they had to keep the Coach an extra couple days to remove one of the awnings again and do the job right.


• We attended taco tuesday at the Elks Lodge with Biff & Linda.

Stilla, Linda, and Biff at Elks Lodge 309 “Taco Tuesday”. Seems like we picked up right where we left off a couple months ago before we took off…

• I attended a Drivers meeting for the Pikes Peak Ascent & Marathon.  They even had a free meal from Rudy’s BBQ.  I’ve volunteered many times over the last 7 years or so that we’ve been in Colorado Springs to drive a van.  I’ll be shuttling the runners back down from the top of Pikes Peak after their run, usually a half-dozen trips or more.  Check back in for a recap of that event which is scheduled for this upcoming weekend (14-15 Aug).

Park Ranger discussing braking techniques at the Drivers and Volunteers meeting for the 2015 Pikes Peak Ascent & Marathon.
Transportation directors Brett Iverson and Joe Simpich provided detailed instructions at the Drivers and Volunteers meeting for the 2015 Pikes Peak Ascent & Marathon. (Joe is in the orange shirt)
Rudy’s BBQ at the Drivers and Volunteers meeting for the 2015 Pikes Peak Ascent & Marathon. (Transportation director, Brett is in the purple shirt on the right)

If you’re interested in volunteering for this event click HERE.  They’re always looking for good drivers and when else can you drive up Pikes Peak (numerous times in a day) for free?  It’s a lot of fun.

Stay tuned…

Back in the Springs! (Elks Lodge 309, Colorado Springs CO)

We took our time Thursday getting packed up.  I wouldn’t have minded staying at the Westminster Elks Lodge for another day or two, but Kaan’s mother (our oldest daughter) was expecting him back.  It’s been fun having the grandson for the summer and I think we were able to give him memories to last a lifetime, but it’s almost time for him to start another school year.

We walked over to Jim & Sally’s Coach to say our “see-ya-later’s!” We didn’t get a chance to see our neighbor Ray again, but we’d said our goodbye’s the evening prior.

Jim & Sally’s Coach at the Westminster Elks Lodge.

So eventually, we pulled in the slides, raised the jacks and moved over to the dump station to lighten our load.  After taking care of the dirty deed, we hit I-25 south and braced ourselves for Denver traffic.

We rolled into Colorado Springs 75 miles later and unhooked the Silverado in the newly-resurfaced Elks Lodge parking lot.  Did I mention how much we hate going through major cities with the Coach?  “It’s called ‘merging’ for a reason people… you’re not supposed to just drive onto the highway and force people over… arrgh!”

Then we took the Urban Escape Vehicle over to the nearest gas station to fill up the 115 gallon fuel tank with 75 gallons of diesel.  Ouch!  Since we’re going to be parked for a while, it’s important to completely fill up the tank in order to minimize condensation.  I also put in a fuel additive called Biobar JF that prevents microbial growth.  Condensation and algae are among the two biggest killers of fuel filters, injectors, etc.,  Our friends Mike & Donna Kuper @ turned us on to this product a while back.

Stilla already decided for us that we’d stay for the month of August here at the COS Elks Lodge.  This is fine with me.  At least we can save a little money on fuel and campground fees.  We only have to pay $350 for a month here.  We pulled into our 30 Amp spot facing the pool and I downloaded the bikes and the motorcycle.



And here we are again in our old spot.  We look forward to spending time with our two daughters, our relatives and friends here in Colorado Springs.IMG_1599

I can use the time to get a little maintenance done on the Urban Escape Vehicle.  Yesterday (Friday), I already broke out the sealant to touch up some roof seams where I noticed the old sealant was starting to crack… there’s supposed to be some rain in the forecast over the next week.  I’ve got a lot of washing and waxing I’d like to get done as well.

Little “Coach” walking his squeaky toy around the Coach.

Friday evening we enjoyed dinner in the lodge.  But this time we were alone since the usual cast of characters that have joined us in the past here at the lodge are all otherwise occupied.  My Dad is recuperating from his surgery, Biff & Linda are at a weekend campout with the FCRV Rolling Springs group, the kids are at work, etc, etc…

I’ll try to find interesting things to post about while we’re here, so stay tuned…



Another Alpine Coach Mini-Rally! (Elks Lodge 2227, Westminster CO)

We enjoyed a quiet evening at our free boondocking spot in the Cavalryman Steakhouse Restaurant parking lot in Laramie WY. Thanks to the Escapees Day’s End Directory for turning us on to this spot!  In the morning (Wednesday), we woke up to a herd of pronghorn antelope in the open field next to us.

The Cavalryman is located alongside US-287 just south of I-80 in Laramie.  We did a GPS check and saw that we could just continue south on US-287 to Fort Collins and then get on I-25 in order to reach Colorado Springs.  We’ve been to Fort Collins before, but had never been on this stretch of road… it was a good choice.  It’s a much more relaxed and scenic route to get between Laramie and Fort Collins as opposed to going east on I-80 to Cheyenne and then south on I-25.  And it’s 20 miles shorter.


There was a little traffic and road construction with detours to negotiate once we reached Fort Collins, but I’d take this route again.

We set our sights on the Elks Lodge in Westminster CO and plugged in the address on our GPS.  We’ve heard about this lodge a few times from other Elks members and Alpiner’s.  The Gidden’s and the Foster’s recently stayed here.  We got on I-25 at Fort Collins and headed south into the dreaded Denver traffic.


So, 125 miles later – we pulled into the parking lot and the first thing we see is another Alpine!


We went into the lodge and asked about parking.  Wow! What a nice facility with huge, beautifully-decorated dining room(s).  The nice bartender called the camp host, who came down from her site in the RV park to greet us in her golf cart.  Julie gave us a ride back to our Coach and set us up in site H for the night.  Only $12 for 30 Amp power.


We got set up in our site right next to the other Alpine.  The owner wasn’t in, so I left a card in his door handle.


The Urban Escape Vehicle at Elks Lodge 2227 in Westminster, CO.

We went back into the lodge for a nice lunch.  Again, nice!  What a difference this lodge is over our not not-so-good experience in Cody WY that I wrote about HERE.

After lunch, we took a walk through the RV Park and guess what we see?!?  Another Alpine!  And we know these guys… Jim & Sally Beswick.


We know Jim & Sally from the Quartzsite ‘Desert Rat Rally‘  we’ve attended over the past 2-3 years.  As a matter-of-fact, we even linked up with them again earlier this year at Fortuna de Oro RV Resort in Yuma and again at the Cocopah Casino.  (click on the links above in green-font to see those postings)

At first, they weren’t in their Coach – but we saw them come in a little later, and after hugs and greetings… we agreed to get-together for “Happy Hour” at 5 O’Clock…

(L to R) David, Daniel, Jim & Sally at Westminster Elks Lodge 2227.

We forgot to go back to the lodge for dinner we were having so much fun catching up.


We hung out at Jim & Sally’s Coach and enjoyed adult beverages along with good conversation late into the night.  We even met their neighbor Daniel, who owns the Class-C next door.  Again – we get to meet the nicest people in the RV community…  we might have talked Daniel into trading up to an Alpine Coach in the future.  Ya’ never know…


A little later into the evening, the owner of the Alpine Coach that we were parked next to, showed up.  He saw the card I left in his door and Stilla brought him up to Jim & Sally’s site when she went back to our Coach briefly to check on the grandson who was playing video games.  Meet Ray, (sorry, I never caught his last name), but he was a really nice guy that spent the rest of the evening with us.


And so, another Alpine Coach mini-rally comes to a close… I think as a general rule – that if there are more than two Alpine Coaches in one spot, we can call it a mini-rally.  What do you think?  If memory serves; I remember reading that Western RV only built around 1,700 of these fine Coaches between 1999 and 2009, so there aren’t a whole lot out here on the road.

See you next time Jim & Sally!  And hopefully, we get to see Ray again down the road sometime.  Nice to meet you Ray!

We’ll head on down to Colorado Springs today (Thursday) and get the grandson back to his mom, who’s looking forward to seeing him again.  I called ahead to the Elks Lodge in Colorado Springs to make sure they have a spot for us.  We’ll decide how long to stay once we get there.  My Dad recently had some surgery to remove some skin cancer on his nose, so I’m sure he could use some help around the house.


A looong travel day and a free boondocking spot (Cavalryman Restaurant Parking Lot, Laramie WY)

We left the Wyoming Gardens RV Park in Thermopolis by 11:30 (Tuesday) and headed south on WY789/US20 towards Shoshoni.  Our initial goal for the day was the town of Riverton.  We knew that the local Elks Lodge there had RV parking, but once we were in town, it was still pretty early in the day so we decided to keep going.

We followed our GPS directions for the best route back to Colorado Springs.  We need to get our grandson back in time for the start of the school year.  The Rand McNally RVND 7720 led us through Sweetwater Station, Jeffrey City, Muddy Gap, and then Rawlins.  When we didn’t find any decent campgrounds or boondocking spots, we continued east on I-80 after Rawlins.  We consulted the Escapees Day’s End Directory which turned us on to the Cavalryman Restaurant in Laramie, where we are now.  Over 275 miles driven today… whew!

The drive through Wind River Canyon between Thermopolis and Shoshoni was beautiful and when we passed Boysen State Park and the Boysen Reservoir, we made a note to come back and check this place out when we have more time in the future.

We stopped briefly at the top of one of the steep grades to take in the wide open view.



After 275+ miles for the day, we rolled into the parking lot of the Cavalryman Restaurant around  5 PM.  The Days End Directory said this is a free overnight stop as long as you talk to the management.  And of course, since we’re here, we might as well eat, right?



The Cavalryman Steakhouse is located on the parade grounds of historic Fort Sanders, established in July of 1866. Originally named Fort Buford, for Major General John Buford, the post was designated Fort Sanders on September 5, 1866, in honor of Brigadier General William P. Sanders.  The building was built in 1925 to serve as the clubhouse for the local country club. Just to the east, remnants of the nine-hole golf course can still be found. (ref. this website)


We parked along the edge of the big parking lot and went inside the restaurant to make sure we were OK to park here overnight.  The hostess introduced us to someone who we think was the manager, although he never introduced himself as such.  He looked out the window to see where we were parked, and said, “sure, no problem”.  We thanked him, gave him one of our cards, and promised to come back in for dinner.IMG_1561

We hit the automatic leveling system to drop the jacks and put out the slides.  After running up the satellite dish and taking little “Coach” for a walk, we went on into the restaurant for a pretty nice dinner, albeit a somewhat expensive one… but that’s alright since we don’t have to pay for an overnight stay 🙂


Here’s a couple pics I snapped while we waited for our meal… it started filling up with more customers as we ate our fine meal.



We’re still not sure if we’ll drive straight-on through to Colorado Springs.  The earliest we really need to be back is the 10th of August.  That gives our grandson a little time before school starts around the 13th, and I made a commitment to help out for the Pikes Peak Marathon on the 15th.  I’ve volunteered in years’ past to drive one of the vans to bring the runners back down after their ascent and have been getting multiple requests to help out once again.  I’m supposed to attend a drivers meeting (and a free meal) on the 11th.  So, check back to see what we decide and where we end up…

In other news: Little dog “Coach” had another small ‘episode’ today.  He was acting antsy and kept pacing back and forth at the doorstep while we were driving.  So we pulled over to let him out at a pullout.  He threw up a little (more spittle and foam than anything else) and then he flopped over on his side with his little legs flapping in the air… we think he has trouble getting air when he throws up.  He’s always had a weird cough, kind of like a cat spitting up a hairball.  He recovered quickly and seems alright again, but we’re going to have to take him to the vet pretty soon.