After Denver we went west on I-70 to pick up Hwy 40 past Idaho Springs and head north. It’s a pretty steady climb to Idaho Springs, and then Hwy 40 zig-zags up to Berthoud Pass at 11,307 ft. elevation. That’s a tough climb. We were heading to Hot Sulphur Springs where we would meet Chris at the city’s Pioneer Park. They have campsites in the park, right on the Colorado River. We spent 2 days there and Chris had a good time fly-fishing right near our site. It was a great spot, except for the train tracks next door. Lots of trains, lots of train horns, including overnight. Other than that it was a nice little spot. Tiny little town, nice to walk around it in the evening.
Next we were going to a spot that Chris had heard of called Rabbit Ears Pass. It’s on Hwy 40 on the way to Steamboat Springs. I checked the Escapees Days End directory and saw a few listings for the pass area. Looking at Google Maps, there seemed to be a couple of good boondocking spots right at the top of the pass. We pulled in and really liked the site. We were back in the forest, yay! It’s at about 9,700 feet elevation, so the weather was very nice and cool.
By the way, while in Golden we were packed in like Sardines at the Golden Terrace RV “Resort”. But, my neighbors were all just great, and the other residents I met at the dog run were really nice. Again, glad to have a site for a month for $500, no complaints, but it was good to be back in the forest with no one around.
There was a trail-head just across the highway from our site and it took us to the Rabbit Ears Trail, which we hiked part way. Then, on another day, we drove to the trail-head and hiked the full trail. It gets pretty steep near the top. The views up there were great!
While we were at Rabbit Ears the USA Pro Challenge cycling race came through. Rabbit Ears Pass was a ‘King of the Mountain’ site for the riders to earn points. We could see it from our site, but we took our chairs out by the road and sat with another couple that had parked there to watch the race.
It was a great viewing site as the riders came over the hill and started the descent into Steamboat Springs. Jens Voigt had built up a major lead up the mountain and he was first past us. He would later lose the lead as the Peleton caught up to him within a mile or 2 of the end of the stage.
It was really cool to be so close to the action of the race. I had never seen a bike race in person. The number of support vehicles that precede and follow the race was phenomenal. The couple we watched with (they were from Florida) followed cycling and were able to tell us who was who and what was what during the race. It was nice sitting with folks who could answer our newbie questions.
One day we had a visit from our friends John and Linda. We had met them at the Lazy Daze gathering in Quartzsite in January. They were on their way back to Colorado Springs from a trip to Grand Tetons National Park. Their route back home took them pretty close to us so they swung by and spent a night at our spot. It was so good to visit with them again. The day they came I was working on changing out my house batteries, which were about 6 years old and not really holding a charge anymore. So, Chris and John took them out and I drove Chris’ truck to the Napa in Steamboat Springs for a couple of new 6 volt golf cart batteries. Then the guys hooked them up. Linda took a picture in the middle of it and she posted it on her blog, Adventures with Sadie. Our visiting got cut short by rain in the evening, and the next morning it was very foggy when they were about to leave. But, I still got a pic before they took off. Looking forward to visiting with them again in Abiquiu, NM later this month, and at the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque in October.
The next morning was Saturday, so we went in to Steamboat Springs to go to the Farmer’s Market and stroll the town.
It’s a really pretty town. They must have strict ordinances about buildings, even the McDonald’s looked like a ski chalet. There were some very nice statues around town. I liked the ones of Abe Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain. at the benches on one corner.
View down the main street, toward the ski mountain.
While camped at Hot Sulphur Springs and Rabbit Ears Pass I/we did some work on the rig. We (97% Chris) changed my water pump, which was starting to fail. I hung an IKEA LED light above my back window like I did in my prior RV, and another of the same light above my dinette (I love that light fixture.) I put in a gooseneck faucet in the kitchen, same fixture as my dad and I put in the last rig. Mostly I was able to do it myself with Chris supervising and checking my work.
Next we wanted to go to Leadville. I had found a couple of possible forest sites west and southwest of town and, at 10,000 feet elevation, should be cool enough. On the way we stopped at Wolford Campground near Kremmling. I needed to get a full charge on my new batteries (my 85 watt solar panel wasn’t cutting it) and needed a plug in site. The Wolford site was better than a cramped RV park. Chris did a little fishing in the lake, but he prefers fly fishing in rivers.
Will write about our visit to Leadville next.