Colorado Vacation – Day 2

Day 2, and still traveling…

  • Departed North Platte, NE around 8:30am
  • Stopped at the Colorado welcome center to pick up some brochures and to let Evan play
  • Lunch and gas in Wiggins, CO (15.3 mpg at 65 mph)
  • Arrived at Dakota Ridge RV Park in Golden, CO around 2:00pm
  • Visited the REI in downtown Denver
  • Came back to camp and chatted with Tim
  • Grabbed dinner around 7:00pm

Today we didn’t have an awful lot of driving ahead of us, thanks to our previous day’s drive. When we stopped at the Colorado Welcome Center, we let Evan plan in the courtyard. Before long the lawn sprinklers came on, and his fortune improved greatly! For lunch we had “Mexican sandwiches” at this little roadside restaurant (which Dusty thought were good enough to blog about!) By the end of the day, in Golden, we still haven’t seen the mountains, since it’s been raining and foggy all day. No big deal though, since we didn’t plan to do much more than relax today anyway. We did make a run over to the REI to pick up the aluminum roll-top table we’ve been wanting. After REI, we met our friend Tim (formerly a central Illinois resident) at our campsite. He’d been out hiking and stopped by on his way home. We discussed a few neat places to see, since actual word-of-mouth is more reliable than pamphlets printed by people who want your money.

Dakota Ridge RV Park is a very nice and clean place for a reasonable price, but our site leaves a little to be desired. Our trailer is 20 feet long when open, and they put us in a campsite that is about 28 feet long. I’ve got the trailer two inches from the fence at the back of the site, but there’s nowhere to put the truck. If I angle very carefully, I can squeeze the truck sideways at an angle, with both the front and rear tires an inch from being on the grass (a big no-no), missing the corner of the trailer by inches, and sticking 2-3 feet into the little circle road we’re on (and nearly blocking the neighbors site). The other choice is the overflow parking a few hundred feet away, but that lot is full of all the full-timers’ extra cars. This site would be fine for a mini motor home, but no trailer, except maybe an Aliner behind a small car, could fit here. It’s still a very nice place, despite the managements apparent misunderstanding of or disdain for popups (there are two of us amongst all the retirees in their Class A’s and 5th wheels). We’re also not allowed to put up our awning, since ours requires poles and stakes, and they’re very concerned about their grass here.

I started to notice the effects of the altitude (5000 to 6000 feet) on the truck. I can feel it not pulling as strongly (though only by a little bit). Of course, even at this modest altitude I’m a little short of breath myself. Towing through downtown Denver and the freeways (after we got lost) in low-visibility conditions was a little stressful. I’m anxious to see how the truck does up Mt. Evans.

More stuff we saw:

  • A semi trailer losing a tire on I-80 (and leaving a black streak for miles as it drug the carcass)
  • Fog where mountains would normally be
  • INVESCO Field at Mile High (the stadium where the Broncos play)
  • Downtown Denver REI (a very big store)
  • Tim, who is no longer a flatlander
  • A Trailmanor and a Hi-lo both pulled by Suburbans
  • A dually Ford pulling a triple axle fifth wheel with a Jeep Grand Cherokee behind it (and bikes on the back of the Jeep)
  • An old half-ton Ford with a slide-in camper pulling a travel trailer (just barely…)
  • Several trucks pulling travel trailers/fifth wheels with boats behind them
  • Our first “full hookup” campsite
  • Our first campground host who insisted on “helping” you back in to your site.

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