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Old 05-15-2009, 08:37 PM   #29
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Smile Start of Full Timing trip

Finally, after many months of planning we will be leaving San Antonio on Sunday, May 24th pm in route to Rapid City, SD for a couple of months. We are planned to arrive on Wed pm. We have had our house on the market for 1+ yrs and still it has not sold. We had a living estate sale on 5/1, 5/2. We didn't sell as much as we would have liked. Still boxing and delivering to storage. We are looking forward to a great 6 months on the road.
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:14 AM   #30
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Chief, when we crossed Kansas several weeks ago we didn't have as much wind, but did have tornado watches and moved fast to get away. In the past few years every time we cross Kansas we cover as many miles as we can, use the weather radio and glue to the Weather Channel when we have cable. It seems from May to June it's bad and we, too, can't understand why people live there. But we have experienced many feet of snow and don't mind it, but others would rather live anywhere but Colorado. We can't stand the humidity in Florida either, so to each his own crazy weather.

Glad you like Denver.

Gene
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:20 PM   #31
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Days 7-9

Denver is a great city, and the beauty of the area is awesome! I would even consider living here if the Winters were a bit more mild. Many years ago, I attended Air Force Intelligence Training at Lowry AFB (long since closed)….the area has certainly grown since then. The altitude is kicking our butts….most activities require a lot more effort and my blood pressure would get most doctors excited. Interestingly, we have found that we do not want to eat very much here…..maybe a few weeks might get rid of some extra pounds.

The Cherry Creek Campground continues to impress. This weekend it was full…..lots of tent campers in addition to every conceivable type of RV. It is amazing that something like this exists within the city limits…….we saw over a half-dozen large deer grazing yesterday afternoon.

We have spent the past three days playing tourists and visiting family. Yesterday included an excursion to Rocky Mountain National Park with our daughter and son-in-law (finally here after missing their flight out of Norfolk….they’re never on time), mother-in-law, and nieces and nephews. Getting this group all headed in the same direction is like herding cats, but it was a nice trip with splendid weather. Part of the road is still closed for snow removal…..should open for Memorial Day, but we will be in Bryce Canyon by then.

We brought the nieces and nephews by the Airstream to show it off…..nieces loved it, nephews thought is was too small. Guess who’s getting better gifts in the future?

Tomorrow we depart for Grand Junction, CO……we’ll see how this half-ton hemi Dodge does on Vail Pass.

Chief

Pics from Rocky Mountain National Park
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Old 05-17-2009, 07:41 PM   #32
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I have my sights set on RMNP. Seeing these pics just confirms we need to go there. By the way, Jennifer is looking as lovely as usual.
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Old 05-17-2009, 08:17 PM   #33
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Chief, best to go to Rocky Mountain NP now since in high season there are traffic jams because it's so popular. Yes, Denver has grown tremendously and we were glad to move way in 2000.

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Old 05-18-2009, 09:16 AM   #34
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Does Cherry Creek State Park have sewer connections? It's always nice to find state parks that include sewer. Cable is also nice, but not mandatory.

My wife also has relatives that live in the Denver area and it would be great to know there is a nice campground waiting on us when we get there (reservation made in advance).
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:27 AM   #35
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Hey Chief,

Love the pics...RMNP is one of our most favorite spots in the world. Kristy and I love it there.

Hope you and Jennifer have a GREAT trip!

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Old 05-18-2009, 09:55 AM   #36
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It's 8:30, we're all hooked up and ready to go but the local news is showing I-70 westbound as being backed up......might as well be comfortable and catch up with the Internet as sit in traffic.

Gene and Greg.....RMNP really is awesome. As Crawford Gene said....it was great being here in the off season. We had very little traffic.....there were more bikers in Boulder than cars.....appeared to be some sort of major cycling event taking place. Some of those folks actually were riding up the mountain. BTW, seniority does have it's perks....the old timers National Parks pass is really coming in handy....one of the last great deals for $10.

Tom.....trust me, Cherry Creek State Park has everything you could ask for.......level concrete pads with nice tables and firepit (no broken, worn out stuff here), all hookups except for cable. I'm getting somewhere around 30 channels with our antenna.....many HD. The wireless network has at least three antennas, so no matter where you are in the park, you are going to hit the internet. I can see that this park is very popular, as it has boat ramps, swiming areas, picnic areas and many bike trails. There were a lot of people here this weekend. Most days we returned late in the evening, but yesterday we returned around 3:30 in the afternoon and there were around 20 vehicles lined up for entry. Day rates are $8.00, that's in addition to the camping fee....total is around $30 per day. There was a sign at the entrance indicating that the campground was full this weekend. It's a bit weird on the registration. We made online reservations and when we arrived the campground registration office was closed. I stopped at one of the many campground hosts' sites and asked if I should just go to my reserved site and register the next day. He said there was a card on the site with our name. Sure enough, we found the very tiny card on the site number pole the next day.....I never did stop by the reservation desk, so I guess that's the way it is done if you make online reservations.

Chief
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:56 AM   #37
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Great pics! We also love RMNP, and feel that almost anything off-season is better than anything in-season.
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:09 PM   #38
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Chief,

Sound like fun...I am glad Jennifer can use YOUR old timers NP pass cause I know she doesn't qualify!!!

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Old 05-18-2009, 12:40 PM   #39
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Thanks for the info. I'll put it on the list.
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:45 PM   #40
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Colorado has many good state parks and they are often reserved was in advance. We may stay at the one near Craig tomorrow, but with only 15 amps we couldn't use the AC and it's supposed to be really hot. We're trying to avoid the KOA there. Decisions, decisions.

Chief, did you see any elk in Estes Park or RMNP? They're all over the place and one time we saw a herd camped out in front of MacDonalds. In the 90's we used to go to Estes every year off season. Nice town when not over run by tourists. Where to next? I-70 is always busy.

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Old 05-18-2009, 10:31 PM   #41
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Day 9 Addendum

Forgot these pics were on the memory card, and decided it was an opportunity to brag a bit. We figured it was our turn to treat the family (12 people) to a late lunch on our last day in Denver. One of the nephews is a very talented musician and had an evening concert, so dinner was out. Being a bit cheap, I choose the Texas Roadhouse…..which also happens to be one of my favorite restaurants.

Pic 1 is outside the restaurant with daughter and nieces….which I have titled “a thorn among flowers.”

Pic 2 is our last sunset, as viewed from the State Park.

Chief
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:42 PM   #42
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Day 10

This was a short drive from Denver to Grand Junction, CO. But, Oh what a drive! It was one incredible view after another. Jennifer was the primary photographer, and we ended up with over 100 shots in just this leg of our journey. I tried to select a few to illustrate just how beautiful this part of our country really is.

There has been a lot of discussion on the forum regarding towing a 25 footer with a half-ton. Now, I’m not saying every half-ton is created equal. This is my personal experience, based on today’s drive through some pretty steep grades here in Colorado. Our truck is a ’04 Dodge Quad Cab, 5.7 hemi, 3.92 and tow package….has around 72,000 on the odometer. I had about ½ tank of fuel, ½ tank of fresh water, and empty grey and black water tanks. Cargo in the truck bed was less than 300 lbs (yes, I’ve weighed each individual piece of camping gear), and has a fiberglass cap that weighs around 100 lbs. The steepest grade was around Vail Pass and the truck handled it with no problem….maintaining 55 mph, and rarely exceeding 3,800 rpm (I think that I remember it starts hitting the 345 hp around 3,500). Descents in 2nd gear were about the same…55 mph at 3,800 rpm. I was very pleased with the truck’s performance. BTW, there are a few “hills” in Arkansas that will challenge Colorado’s grades.

We’ll be touring around the area around Grand Junction for the next couple of days…..that is if it isn’t too hot…..today tied a record of 92 degrees set in 2006. There is also something that is playing havoc with my allergies…..could be the dust in this KOA campground…..whatever it is…..it’s driving me nuts!

Crawford Gene......we did see a whole herd of Elk in one of the meadows.....they were being closely watched by at least three Rangers.

Chief

Pic #1 - I-70 westward bound
Pic #2 - Runaway truck ramp with a customer.....must have been really moving to have made it up that far.....wrecker is attempting removal
Pic #3 - My co-pilot (also known as "Chief of Staff")
Pic #4 - Rest Stop
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