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Old 04-27-2012, 05:53 PM   #15
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I suspect that you're wanting to travel only on weekends so that you are in constant contact (via Verizon) during the week, no?


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Old 04-27-2012, 11:23 PM   #16
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Unless you are an experienced mountain driver. I would avoid pulling your trailer over Red Mountain Pass between Durango and Ouray or Silverton CO. This is Hwy 550.
While there is no limit on length on the Hiway. A 34' trailer may be a handful in some areas. However!
This is an area you don't want to miss. A lot of history and beautiful scenery.
There is an RV park on Hwy 550, 2 miles north of Durango.
"The Alpen Rose". I recommend it highly.
Not sure about the phone service.
There is an easier route just west of Durango by going north thru Dolores over Lizard Head Pass to Telluride.
Durango or Mancos would be a good "basecamp" for touring the Four Corners area.
Going north from Ridgeway to Montrose then east to Gunnison and "The Black Canyon".
Wolf Creek Pass would be an easier route when compared to Monarch Pass for access to the 4 Corners area from Colorado Springs or Pueblo. There are 2 routes from the Pueblo area. The southern route over La Veta Pass to Alamosa then west to Del Norte or the Hwy 50 route thru Canon City to Salida and Poncha Springs then south on Hwy 285 to Monte Vista then Del Norte.
Probably too much info.
Enjoy your trip.

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Old 04-28-2012, 02:35 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by eubank View Post
I suspect that you're wanting to travel only on weekends so that you are in constant contact (via Verizon) during the week, no?

I need to keep basic office hours, so I need to keep my towing time to the weekends. And yes, that means I only need contact while at a campsite.

Thank you everyone for all the suggestions so far.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:33 AM   #18
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I have some of those areas in my sights for this years travel list. Glad you started the thread. I'm taking notes.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:38 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by murreywalker View Post
11. Flagstaff, then I 40 to Alburquerque
The Flagstaff KOA (on 89) has fast wi-fi, nice camp!
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:14 PM   #20
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Verizon is generally better in the west than other cell carriers. You might want to also have an ATT card as well as a Sprint one. The interstates and some major highways usually have cell services all along them, but if you see no towns for many miles, they may not. Canyons and some mountain highways can have spotty service because of obstructions to signals.

Mesa Verde has a campground inside the Park, but I doubt there is cell service there. There are a number of commercial campgrounds near the Park entrance as well as in Durango and Cortez. Sundance CG in Cortez is a nice one.

It is news to me Colorado State Parks are now charging extra for tow vehicles as well as the RV. Since taxes are low here, infrastructure, state universities and parks are suffering. Nuisance fees at the parks are getting worse. I tried to check on a park website, but all I get is the server is busy—this happens a lot with any Colorado state agency because the state doesn't have enough servers either.

And heat can be bad in southern parts of NM in the summer and other places in both states too.

You may have to check with CG's to see if the cell coverage is good there and hope they know what they are talking about.

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Old 04-28-2012, 03:12 PM   #21
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A couple of years ago we stayed at a State Park right outside of Mancos, Colo. I don't think they charged us an xtra fee for the tow vehicle but they did tack on the daily use fee on top of the camping rate. For a park that had no hookups I thought that it made it pretty expensive. Nice park though. Don't recall the cell phone quality there.

Kyle, you didn't mention if you are able to use military base facilities. If so, Air Force Academy at Colo. Springs has a super campground. If not, sorry. It was mentioned earlier as a recommendation, the N. Rim of Grand Canyon. Great stop but maybe not for you. Long drive to get into the park. They have a campground but without reservations good luck. Doubt they have the cell coverage you need. There is a small campground along the way in the National Forest but small sites and no hookups ( if I remember ).
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:22 PM   #22
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You might want to take a look at this months Blue Beret. I'm new but when I was reading in the regional news clips, it said that a balloon rally in Albuquerque is cancelled on Oct 5-8. Check out page 56.

Ill be following this thread as well, thank you. We travel the 160 up from AZ through to 145 and up to Montrose twice each winter. We take the TV and not the AS - we just got that . The roads are not a problem. Ive done it in a storm as well. In fact, we've seen a few AS in Dolores ( someone there is host, I believe). Telluride has Matterhorn CG. They say Alta Lakes is good, getting there is on dirt roads. We'll scope it out. Then onto Crested Butte. There are a few threads in the forums about that. Looks like One Mile CG is a good option closer to CB. Ridgway state park looked beautiful when I drove by in March.

Our cell service is spotty in the 4 corners. DH has ATT which isn't as good as my VZN. And still, it's not reliable on the reservation past Tuba City and up to Kayenta and spotty again past Kayenta and up to Ute Mtn area.

But please check that posting in the Blue Beret May 2012 there's a contact number as well.

Ironically, I shot this pic on 550 looking south:
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:55 PM   #23
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The 4CU Balloon Fiesta is not cancelled. The New Mexico Unit was going to have a Special Events Rally on the same dates, but their rally was being held at the New Mexico Fairgrounds. The New Mexico rally has been cancelled, not the 4CU rally which is held on the grounds of the Balloon Fiesta.


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Old 04-28-2012, 07:45 PM   #24
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We stayed at Mancos SP last year and there was no separate fee for tow vehicles, but the board that sets fees meets in the fall and raises rates then. The state server is still down and was yesterday too, so I can't check rates.

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Old 04-29-2012, 10:05 AM   #25
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Hey Kyle:

Durango is a great town to spend some time in. We had a home in town when one of our sons attended Fort Lewis college there. I have Verizon and never had any problem at all in town. You will be off the grid south of Bloomfield, NM as you head to ABQ. You won't get much service on 550 pretty much until you get near Bernalillo, NM.

As for Durango:
Easy trip to Mesa Verde
Easy day trip to Pagosa Springs or Silverton.
Four.....yep....FOUR microbreweries in Durango: Ska, Steamworks, Carvers and Durango Brewing
Great people and a cool downtown with many good restaurants, historic buildings, cool shops.
Tourists in summer/fall are outdoor athletes, bikers, rv'ers, artists, crafts types.
Fly fishing, tubing and rafting in the Animas River which rolls right through town.
Amazing breakfast at Carvers, great bakery aptly named Bread, dinner specials at different places every night of the week.
Great hiking and mountain bike trails leaving right from town.
Did I mention the microbreweries?
And say hi to Chad, the bartender at Old Timers for us.

And the drive between Durango and Albuquerque is beautiful. Good roads. Just watch the speed traps especially in Aztec.
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:08 PM   #26
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Balloon Festival- Albuquerque, NM

If you are flexible for hook ups, water and electricity... as there are NONE. Water is available to the north of the RV park area and south of the employee building at the edge of the parking lot area. It is about ten feet off the pavement and the pump is painted blue.

The Sandia Casino offers FREE RV parking in their east parking lot area. It will be marked off for only RV's during the festival. They will have you fill out some small form so they know who you are and your plates for reference. It overlooks the festival and obviously must provide great viewing.

Since we are the shy types when it comes to crowds, when the festival is getting close to begin, we head off to our back country camping plans and have not stayed for the show. We happened to be there just before the festival was to begin and there was plenty of space three days before it began.

There are exact directions to get to the Sandia Casino in the Boondocking Forums. The Casino has great facilities for food, golfers, swimming pool and of course an outstanding variety of gaming options. The early birds get the flatter spots to pull into a position to view the festival, so come several days early to pick a spot.
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:09 PM   #27
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Here's a chart that shows where Verizon should work for you. Having traveled recently through the general area of interest to you carrying a Verizon iPad and a Verizon MiFi card for the laptop, I can say that service ranged from excellent to barely useable in areas reportedly supported by Verizon. Some times it was as simple as which side of the hill I was on.

Maps from
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:55 AM   #28
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Thank you everyone for your help and advice. I've decided on our itinerary. From Colorado Springs, we're going to head over to the Great Sand Dunes National Park area, over to Durango and then down to Albuquerque. We'll use Durango and Albuquerque as bases for day trips out to the surrounding sites. Given only having a month and a half and needing to stay connected, this is probably the best bet.

We looked at some of the other suggestions (especially Moab) but either couldn't make the timing work or everything was already full due to local events. I know there's a lot that we're not seeing, but that just means we'll need another trip next year.

Thanks again everyone.

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