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Old 08-09-2012, 11:33 PM   #225
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Gene, were you salivating or drooling? We've talked about this problem before on another thread.

Adios,
Dan
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:59 PM   #226
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I thought if I drooled on the tools they would give them to me when I told them I had Ebola, but they just threw me out. Actually I was salivating over the tall thin blonde who was working there, but the tall slender brunette (a/k/a, wife) I came in with is used to my behavior (brunette's hair is real, the blonde's was not).

Wife Barb bought more stuff than I did, but I was not allowed to buy the professional table saw or other high end tools that are so pretty.

We're back, more news of Taylor Res. and photos later. After 3 days relaxing, I'm exhausted.

Gene
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:23 PM   #227
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Gene, is Cottonwood Pass paved from Buenie to Taylor Park? We took the western route up from Gunny in June and the road construction/delays were horrendous.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:12 PM   #228
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Gene, glad you had a good trip. That relaxing sure wears you out. We went to the south end of the Hood Canal for several days and didn't do a thing but read, sleep and eat. Lots of fun. The Dungeness crab were as thick as I've ever seen them. We didn't even have to fish. People were giving us them at the camp site. Two other AS there, one from our area and one from Vancouver.

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Old 08-13-2012, 12:56 PM   #229
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Mojo,

The east side is paved, but over the past 20 years or so the pavement has been deteriorating and it needs resurfacing. The west side is dirt and gravel. Both sides are steep, but the east side has fewer switchbacks. We returned via Almont and fortunately the construction crews had the day off, so although the "road" was pretty bad, we didn't have to stop. Stops when they work can be 30 minutes. The road from Taylor Park to Almont is a FS road and they must have had every piece of federal construction equipment in Colorado there.

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Old 08-13-2012, 03:01 PM   #230
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We arrived at Lakeview CG Thursday after a 170 mile trip from Denver. We took I-70 to Copper Mountain and then drove the long climb up to Fremont Pass where the massive Climax molybdenum mine is located. This mine, which used to employ a lot of people in Leadville, seems to be closed more than open in recent decades.

Then it was about 10 miles down to Leadville which bills itself as the highest incorporated city in the US. This has been a mining district for well over a hundred years and once was Colorado’s largest city. Now it relies on tourism and lots of them were there. It has some cool Victorian era buildings and a pretty interesting mining museum. The area is dotted with long dead mines and some toxic waste dumps and bad water from the mines. There are a number of 4WD drive roads over the mountain passes that will take you to some amazing places. Long ago we drove most of them, but we got tired of bouncing around.

Cottonwood Pass from Buena Vista is paved to the top on the east side and the views from the top are amazing. The west side is gravel and dirt and lots of very slow switchbacks as you descend to Taylor Park. A slow and bumpy trip down, but the washboard was mostly on the curves (when people brake, the washboard is created). We stayed in 2nd and 1st gear most of the way down. In Colorado a “park” is a broad high valley—this one is more than 9,300’. They usually have a lot of water from the mountains surrounding them and reservoirs for big cities are common in them.

Lakeview is one of the campgrounds that have been leased to a corporation. This increases the price substantially and some sites have electricity. We reserved a non-electric pull thru, but it is just a wide spot in the road and we watch trucks go by a few feet from our door too often. The view of the reservoir and mountains is spectacular.

We seem to be sleeping a lot. I guess we need to rest after our usually busy lives wear us out. Last night thunderstorms came through in the evening and maybe during the night. No leaks. But the tank monitor is acting up and doesn’t say anything about the back or grey tanks.

Friday we went to Tincup, an old mining town with about 8 year ‘round residents and more in the summer. We stopped at Frenchy’s Place, a small log restaurant with high prices. “Frenchy” came from Quebec in the early 1880’s and started selling liquor from a plank on two barrels. Eventually he opened a restaurant and occupied different buildings. Fires, common in these old mining towns, destroyed them and he was rescued from the last one and, seriously harmed, possibly from smoke inhalation, he was taken to Salida. This wasn’t easy as passes had to be crossed and he weighed something like 300 lbs. He was then taken to Buena Vista and didn’t live long and was buried in an unmarked grave there. He was well liked and helped the less fortunate. His real name was Perrault. The present restaurant was never occupied by Frenchy.

A few pieces of pie (apparently frozen) later we drove out of Tincup to tour more of the valley. There’s a dump station with nonpotable water between the CG and Tincup ($5), so we’ll head there first when we leave. Between the reservoir and Tincup there is a lot of free camping in the fields and hills near the road. Some have awful roads that would tear out the bottom of an Airstream, but the 5th wheels can make it. We are only about 125 miles from home and when we return here we may look for a free site. They are very popular and finding one that is alone from other RV’s may be difficult. Most are exposed except for a few at the base of hills with Ponderosas.

After we got back to the reservoir (no free camping within sight of the reservoir) and drove north and saw more dispersed camping and a formal one, Dinner Station. Dinner Station has some RV sites with nice views up and down the valley, but no trees. It is no better than the free sites, though the roads are better. Since the FS map we have is about 25 years old, another CG north of there may not be there anymore. The FS has closed lots of campgrounds and leased the rest. If you continue north, you get to the Taylor Pass Road, a 4WD road that crosses the Elk Range and will eventually get you to Aspen. About 20 years ago we crossed on that road during early October and the aspen and scrub oak were at the peak of color on the north side. The south side is exposed and a steep drop off the edge. The road requires driving through a river for about a 100 yards—best to go south because the river rocks are brutal when you go north.

No such adventure for us and we returned to our campsite by mid-afternoon. It had been raining lightly for a few hours and when we got back the thunder and lightning got going. It rained hard on and off and featured some small hail.

At 8:30 pm it has dried out a little, but there are lots of clouds and it may rain more. The forecast was for sunny and a small chance of rain. The temp got close to 70˚ today, a welcome relief from Denver’s upper 90’s. We’re getting a lot of reading done between eating and sleeping.

Nothing planned for Saturday.

The solar system Lewster installed is working perfectly and even with some tree cover and clouds the batteries charge to full capacity by mid morning. With LED’s, a kitchen, a bathroom, a table and a bed we never have to go outside and are fat and happy. A collection of the blues on CD’s helps too.

I did nothing on Saturday but eat, sleep and read, a wonderful day. Actually the dead bolt was sticking and I took it apart and greased it and now it works fine. Barb took a half hour walk; those young people are so adventurous.

On Sunday we came home. The 8 miles of radical construction were quiet as the crews had Sunday off. This meant no half hour waits, but the “road” is bumpy and slow. Fortunately the rain hadn’t turned it to mud. We stopped at the City Market in Gunnison where the gas pumps are a challenge to get in and out of, but we managed. It was good to get home and now we have several weeks to do some more improvements on the house. First impressions are important, so we will install some split rail fence at the driveway entrance.

Despite all the rain in Taylor Park, none here at home, though a light shower today. But the rains of the past month have meant the whole area looks like April should—green with flowers. Because of no rain, the cheat grass didn’t grow, a very good thing.

Next trip is just after Labor Day on Grand Mesa to camp with friends.

Gene
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:11 PM   #231
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Photos time. All are at Dakota Ridge CG. It costs in the $40's, but is a lot better than the rest of the CG's on the west side and is convenient to expressways.

1 and 2. Photos of a 1957 7 panel Airstream.

3. Reflections on the pad from the Airstream and reflections of the gravel on the Airstream.

4. Our trailer with a ridge behind the CG. Long ago this was the edge of the inland sea and ridges just before the Rockies were the shoreline. Many fossils have been found here.

Gene
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:22 PM   #232
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1. View of the paved road on the east side from the Cottonwood Pass summitó12,126'.

2. Looking west at a tarn (high altitude meltwater pond without an outlet) from Cottonwood Pass summit. In the lower left you can see one of the older roads down the west side if you blow up the photo.

3. Looking further to the NW from the last photo, the present gravel and dirt road down to Taylor Park.

4. Taylor Reservoir though our streetside windows at Lakeview CG.

Gene
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:30 PM   #233
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1. Our rig at the "pull thru" at Lakeview Campground. By driving to the loop at the end of this area, we were able to have the windows face the lake.

2. Tincup's town hall and it is used as a church on Sundays.

3. View in one direction down Tincup's main street. For the most part people have remodeled old mining cabins and made them summer homes. There are fewer newer houses.

4. View in the other direction.

Gene
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:34 PM   #234
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1. Frenchy's Place. Kids can fish in the pond. Open for breakfast and lunch with high prices.

2. One of the free "dispersed camping" sites north of Taylor Reservoir. The Excella required a photo, but the rain required taking the picture through the windshield. This is looking south toward the reservoir several miles away.

All through the Tincup and Taylor Park areas you will see no power or telephone lines. They must have been buried to protect views. Only the feds could have funded that.

Gene
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:55 PM   #235
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We leave for Grand Mesa's Jumbo CG today and will meet friends who have a pop-up. When I see what they go through to set that thing up, I am even more glad I don't have one.

Weather looks good—60's day and sunny; low 40's at night and clear.

We've added split rail fence at the driveway entrance and replaced some rotted landscape timbers in the past few weeks. I can say that digging holes for fence posts is not only harder than it used to be, but the clay here is nearly like digging through cement. I still feel the pain after 10 days. No bites on the property for the last several weeks, but we keep hoping.

Trees are changing, rain comes sometimes and fall is in the air. Fall is the best season in Colorado.

No phone or internet up at the campground, so I'll be in the void for 5 days of agony. Well, I hear there's a coffee shop about 10 miles away with wifi, so maybe I'll be going there. I have lots of reading to catch up on too. Plus sitting and staring into space. Oh, hiking is possibility. One of our friends is 79, so it would be embarrassing if I can't keep up with him.

Gene
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:23 PM   #236
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene
We leave for Grand Mesa's Jumbo CG today and will meet friends who have a pop-up.

No phone or internet up at the campground, so I'll be in the void for 5 days of agony. Well, I hear there's a coffee shop about 10 miles away with wifi, so maybe I'll be going there. I have lots of reading to catch up on too. Plus sitting and staring into space. Oh, hiking is possibility. One of our friends is 79, so it would be embarrassing if I can't keep up with him.

Gene
Have a good trip, and I understand.

I HATE how tied I feel to phone and Internet connection and HATE how much I HATE it when we are without!

Ugh! Never thought it would happen. Have to always be checking local and national news, email, seeing what the market is doing----and, of course, checking AirForums!

The times we live in.


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Old 09-10-2012, 09:15 AM   #237
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I recall my father remarking in the 1960's that the first two weeks of vacation were just sufficient to feel untangled from the responsibilities of normal American life. The second two weeks were the real vacation.
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:09 PM   #238
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Just got back, so I'm not getting two weeks of anything but cutting firewood, fixing things and thinking about the next trip.

Aspen is changing a bit early.

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