Posted by: Beemer Bob | August 31, 2014

Homeless in Colorado

Let the journey begin.

Enough of the triple digit temperatures in Texas! Let’s head north to Colorado in search of cooler weather. Our first goal is Mesa Verde National Park near Durango, Colorado

We have some family “events” to attend on our way north. We bid farewell to New Braunfels and hit the road. Our first stop is Lago Vista (northwest of Austin). It is our sweet daughter-in-law’s birthday so we make it in time to attend the party bash.
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My eldest son lives in the town of Lago Vista and the property owner association there maintains a nice RV park, so we camp there on our first night on the road after the party. The park is located near the north side of Lake Travis so we enjoy some nice views.
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We claim the park for Two Wheeled Texans (TWT)

Thee Saint (my bride) has decided that she wants to have a mascot that she takes pictures of on our travels. I don’t know why, but anyway, here it is.
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Time to leave and proceed north, but not very far north. Our Granddaughter lives in Waco and it is her birthday soon as well, so we go a tad more to the north to pay a visit. We love our Grandduaghter but for the main attraction for us is actually our great-grandson Kyler.
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We stay the night at Meridian State Park north of Waco.

We claim the park on behalf of TWT
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And the mascot (named ‘hot cakes’), makes his appearance. No, I do not know why it is named ‘
Hot cakes’ – I was not in charge.
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Now all the birthday vists are over. Let’s get the hell out of Texas! It is hot here!

Traveling through west Texas is not very exciting. We cross over into New Mexaco at Texico. It seems that Hunter was not that excited.
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Thee Saint, however, shows a little more restraint.

We were going to stay at the Walmart parking lot in Clovis, but we decite to push on. Traveling through eastern New Mexico is as exciting as traveling through West Texas. We finaly make it to the town of Santa Rosa, NM. There is no Walmart in Santa Rosa so we head to a truck stop. Truck stop was scary busy and too crowded so then we head to Santa Rosa State Park north of town. The park was down a long narrow winding road. It was a very dark night with only a new moon and the trip was not fun. We find the small park and make our way to find an open spot. Too dark to see what is going on and I am too tired to have pushed this far. Pulling into the spot, I manage to scrape the side of the trailer. Only slight damage – but lesson learned. Don’t pull a trailer when you are tired. Next time, I will find a spot before it is dark and before I am too tired to pay attention.

We don’t unhook the truck. We just unload the “goose” and craw into bed and call it a night.

In the morning, we are greeted with a beautiful sunrise of Lake Santa Rosa.
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Thee Saint greets the morning with coffee in hand

The mascot goes for a ride in the cactus
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We pack up and hit the road for Colorado.
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Crossing over into Colorful Colorado.

We stop along the way for lunch. One of the advantages of pulling your home behind you is that your kitchen is always with you. So we just find a nice pull off and declare it lunch time.
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Some of the views from our lunch spot.

Head ‘em up. We make it to Mesa Verde National Park by late afternoon.
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The campground is about 1000 feet higher than the park interest by way of steep twisty roads with sharp switchbacks. This is the only picture Saint took before she closed her eyes and prayed as we made the climb pulling a trailer.
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We miss the campsite turn off and pass a sign that says no trailers beyond this point. Oh well, nothing I can do now except continue on until I find room to turn this thing around. We pass through this cool tunnel with an oversized trailer.

Finally, I find a turnout where I can turn around. Back through the tunnel again and this time to the campsite.
We set up camp, eat something for dinner (I don’t remember what) and call it a day. We have made it to Colorado and a new adventure begins.
We are at about 8,300’ altitude and it got cold last night! We had to turn the heater on this morning. It’s August and we had to turn on the heater! For a Texas boy, this is mighty strange.
A friend from Two Wheeled Texans (TWT) was in the neighborhood. About 800 miles from home! So we decide to meet up in the nearby town of Mancos.

We head down the mountain (without a trailer behind us, it is a much easier drive). When we get to Mancos we find this
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We toured the cute downtown area and bought a bottle of locally distilled rum, We find a very nice restaurant on the main road through town and text our friend the meetup spot location. Our lost Texan friend’s name is Robert or known on the TWT forum as “Zephyer”. BTW, he happens to live in Zephyer, TX.
The restaurant has a very nice outside dining area with flowers and decorations

Robert motors up and joins us.

We all then return to the campsite and Robert sets up a tent next to our trailer

While Robert works on his tent, I go to work stringing cheesy lights.

We take a break from our chores and ride up to an observation point
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The goose looks approvingly down the valley
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Some other views from this vantage point.
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We then ride a little further into the park and reach the highest point in the park (5,572’).
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What a view!

Time to head back to camp. Our campsite.

We have taken to put stickers on the back side of our trailer. When we traded the old toy hauler for this larger one, we lost our collection of stickers and had to start anew. Robert was aware of our sticker deficiency problem and had been collecting some stickers for us. Robert did the honors of affixing the stickers or our toy hauler.
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“Hot cakes” makes his appearance

Cheesy lights are up and site decorated.

We claim the site for TWT.

Our site at night. We are easy to find.

We grill some hamburgers on the grill, have a nice visit and call it a night.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Next morning, after breakfast, Robert heads back to Texas.
The Saint and I take the “Goose” to view some ruins. We ride to the Wetherill Mesa area of the park, Meza Verde National Park is HUGE and seems to go on forever. The roads are paved but twisty with breathtaking views At the Wetherill area there is a tram one can take going to some of the ruin areas.
Following is what we saw today.

We ride some more of the park enjoying the roads and views. Returning to our campsite we cook some chili and enjoy the cool Colorado evening. Chili was provided by Tango and Green eyes. They gave us frozen blocks of homemade chili before we left Texas.

Thank you Green Eyes (I doubt Tango had that much to do with it)
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

At a nearby observation point we view some clouds below us. Gee, I think we must be in the mountains.

Today we ride to the Far View area and take a guided tour bus of the Chapin Mesa Area. We would stop at locations and get out and most of the time is was a short walk to view the various sites. We had a very good and knowledgeable guide that explained about the Pueblo Indians that once lived here.

From our tour;
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Our time of short walks is over. To view this last one, we got up close and personal. I forgot to take pictures of the steps and ladders we had to conquer. For two old fat people, it was a task but we succeeded.

You cant see it well in the picture, but as we were down in the alcove it started raining. A cold rain that had us all scurrying into the dwellings for protection.

The rains clear and we return to viewing the ruins

Thursday, August 27, 2014

Today we head to Durango to ride the famous Durango-Silverton Narrow gauge train. This is an authentic Steam powered locomotive. We choose to ride up in an open air gondola to better enjoy the scenery. IT WAS COLD!!
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We arrive in Silverton (AFTER A FOUR HOUR RIDE). I mean the scenery is nice and all that but after 4 hours, I have seen it. I inquire about taking a bus back but the Saint wants to take the train back.
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We take a walking tour of Silverton and find a nice place for lunch
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We find an interesting place called Montanya’s. We have some pheasant on rice and then elk empanadas both delicious Thee Saint chose this place because of a lavender lemonade with a kick drink they had. The ‘kick’ was that this lemonade had a shot of vodka. By time we are done, I am prepared to endure the train ride back.

For the trip back, we opt to move to an enclosed car. Much more comfortable. Some more pictures on our trip home.

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We return to Durango and go in search of Dinner. After 8 hours on a steam powered train, I am ready for a beer. We find a nice place called Brew Pub and kitchen Among fine crafted beers they are famous for their buttermilk fried chicken. The beer and chicken were GREAT!

Durango was preparing for the Four-Corners Motorcycle Rally to begin the next day. The streets were already loud with Harley’s thundering in for the big event. I noticed on a poster that one of the big events for this rally was going to be extreme midget wrestling. Gee, what a shame to have to miss this. Thee Saint and I decide it is time to get out of Dodge and the next morning we head to Gunnison.

October 6, 2014

Well rested, we go see what mount magazine state park has to offer.

Our picturesque campsite



We tour some of the overlook areas. One can see several miles from these vistas



This park has a very elegant lodge that we went to tour.


Waterfalls at entrance

Decorated for fall

Great views from the back


Nice seating areas for soaking in some rays.

The lodge has a very nice restaurant that looks over the cove lake valley. The lunch was good, but desert was fabulous.

Possum Pie

I don’t know how many possums were sacrificed in the making, but it was good good. Made me smile like a possum.

That afternoon, the lodge was having a weaving workshop. Tree wanted to attend, I declined.

So while the Saint is weaving, Hunter and I went exploring.

The closest town, Paris, is about 20 miles away, so we head in that direction.

We tour Cove Lake

Continuing towards Paris I noticed a side road that I thought may be interesting.

Looks to be a nice wide well maintained gravel road. What could possible go wrong?

I travel on for a while and noticed this interesting little side road.

I discussed it with Hunter and he said “what could possible go wrong?” So down the road we went.
Friday, August 29, 2014

For this leg, the homeless trio pack up and head to Gunnison, Co.

Along the way we pull over at a wide spot in the road for lunch. The altimeter says we are about 10,000 feet altitude. Cool! When you haul your kitchen behind you, there is no searching for a place to eat.

Hunter grabs a bite to eat as well.
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Enjoying a glass of ice tea before we hit the road again

On the way, we happen to go through the small town of Ridgeway. Thee Saint is on high alert for a farmer’s market. Well guess what?
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And yes I was told to find a place to park so she could tour the market and I obediently did as instructed.

Our actual destination is an RV park about 15-20 miles west of Gunnison near the Blue Mesa Reservoir. This reservoir is 20 miles long and provides beautiful views as we approach our campsite (Blue Mesa Recreational Ranch)
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Finding our campsite, we setup and call the day complete.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

This morning we head into the town of Gunnison for a needed RV part. While in town, Thee Saint sniffs out a another Farmer’s market. How does she keep finding these things?

Afterwards we take a walking tour of picturesque Gunnison

We enjoyed a nice lunch at a quant sandwich bar where I also partake in a local brew.
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I had no plans to buy pot or a firearm, but I found this notice in the window of a gun shop interesting.

Makes me wonder if this law curbs gun sales or pot sales. Or perhaps neither because everybody is going to do whatever they want to do anyway.
That afternoon we go in search of an area called the “black canyon”. On our way
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We pass the Blue Mesa Reservoir dam and ride down a little gravel road going down in the canyon. The road ends and now we start to follow a nice trail downward.

On the way, we come upon a flowing stream. I had to put my feet in it to see if it was cold. WELL I’M HERE TO TELL YOU, IT WAS COLD.
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Thee Saint was too chicken to put her bare foot in it, but she did at least put her hand in it.
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We continue down the trail for a while, then headed home
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On the way back to the campsite, we stop by a little one-horse town for a refreshment. The extent of the town Sapinero was this little store and an attached bar.

Some photo ops from the parking area in front of the store.
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Some folks amble out of the adjoining bar to take a close up look at this strange vehicle that had pulled up.
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Back at our campsite, God paints a nice watercolor sunset for us.
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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Today we pretty much hung around the campsite and enjoyed the Colorado weather.

The resort here hosted a Luau to celebrate Labor Day and the end of the season. Colorado seems an unlikely place for a Luau, but what the hey. Any excuse for good food is OK by me. You could have brought a pot luck dish or just paid cash. As we were too lazy to make a dish, we just paid up but we got our money’s worth in great food.

Our original plan was to leave here and then head to Colorado Springs. We decided we really liked it here so much that we canceled our Colorado Springs reservations and extended our stay here.

Monday, September 1, 2014

The homeless trio is still in the Gunnison area and this morning we head to Lake City. We climb through a well paved but twisty road up through the San Juan Mountains to the mountain town of Lake City.

We pay a visit to some picturesque churches
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It’s lunch time and we go in search of food but there was some freak power outage and none of the restaurants are serving.

We do, however, find this cute bakery and were allowed to buy some stale pastries. The place was pretty but the food was bad.
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But all is not lost. We find this !!!!
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I have a root beer float with generous amount of ice cream heaped on.
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Thee Saint had a chocolate soda
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After ice cream we head over to a local coffee shop

Tour of a local museum
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On the way back home, we visit the “Beach” of the Blue Mesa Reservoir. The lake is so large, and the winds are brisk so it actually has waves
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This guy was parasailing across the lake
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We head back to the campsite in time to catch the sunset.
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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Thee Saint has fallen in love and wants to return to Lake City again. But we feel bad about poor hunter having to stay in the trailer all alone, so today we take the truck so Hunter can come. We have yet to find a way for Hunter and Thee Saint to ride in the sidecar at the same time. They both have claimed some sort of territorial rights to the limited space in the tub, so when it’s the full trio, we take the truck. When Hunter and Saint start fighting for space, it ain’t pretty.

Of course a lot of good scenery on the way (but better when in a motorcycle). We tour some of the downtown area and its cute shops. We also casually look at some real estate there as Saint says she wants to live here. When one of the locals told us about the 30 – 40 BELOW temperature here in the winter, the desire to live here full time was not that appealing. But we did tour a few RV parks as well to pick some areas for next year.

We find a nice sandwich shop on the edge of town with a nice outside eating area. Hunter soaked in some rays while we ate.
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Played with Hunter at their very nice town park
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Bought some stamps at the old post office.

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In our tour of the area, we came upon the “Alfred Packer Massacre Site”. The story goes that Alfred Packer was hired as a scout leader for a group of mine prospectors. Thy got lost in a snow storm and after a long period of absence, Alfred Packer shows up by himself at the destination by himself and apparently well fed. It was presumed the Alfred Packer killed and ate the other members of the party. This is the site where the remains of the miner party were found.
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I thought this quote that someone had yelled at Packer at his trial was hilarious.

After visiting this morbid site, we are hungry for an afternoon bite and visit the Cannibal Grill for some nourishment. Perhaps a “Packer Burger” or miner shish-ka-bob
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Some scenery shots on our way back home.
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Back at the campsite

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Today Thee Saint wanted to go back to Gunnison to shop and tour. So Hunter and I used this time to explore some back roads while Saint was doing her thing, we did our thing. A parting comment of advice from the Saint before we headed off. “Think about it before you do it?” What on earth could she be talking about. Does she think I go down trails or roads without thinking? Surely not.
We decide to tackle one of the easer passes in the area. We head out in search of Pinion Pass.

On the way, I happen upon this sign.
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Spencer? Spencer what? Is it a town? Well this question needed to be resolved, so I head down the dirt road.
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The road ends at a locked gate, but I do find this.
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The area is fenced off but there is access by foot so Hunter and I go investigate. It seems that Spencer was once a mining camp and the school and some buildings remain.

With the mystery of Spencer now solved, I take the dirt road back to the main road and continue our quest. Apparently there is a famous ski resort called Powderhorn, so when I saw a small sign for Powderhorn, I went to go find the resort. As I later found out, The ski resort is actually near Grand Junction and the town of Powderhorn was nothing more than an small unincorporated farming and ranching community.

Powderhorn is actually a fertile valley that from high up resembles the shape of an old powderhorn.
We continue down a back road past the powderhorn area and as we gained altitude we were able to get a better view of the Powderhorn valley.

Hunter looks approvingly at the valley

Most of the road was well maintained gravel and easy going but according to the altimerter, we are at about 9,000 feet here

Reaching the pass, we are now about 10,000 feet and Hunter approves of the view.

BTW, I really like that picture. I’m going to have it professionally enlarged and framed.

Continuing through the pass, the road continues nicely but there were a few rough sections like this.

I hit that section a little too fast and my muffler hit a rock and was knocked off.

Not much to do but wait for it to cool down and reattach it. I had bought us some lunch so it was a good time to eat and rest.

After lunch, I got out tools and proceeded with the repairs while Hunter takes a nap in the sun, then the shade, then the sun, then the shade … But not once did he ever offer any assistance.

Well I get the Goose put back together and we continue on. The route I took kept us in the National Forest for several hours. Good gravel roads and pleasant riding. I’m not quite sure where I am but I come across this sign.

I finally hit the highway (CO-114) well east of Gunnison and begin the long journey back home.

I finish off some nice Malbec that I got in a cute winery in Durango.

We need to head back to Texas in the morning, we get in our obligatory TWT banner shot while in Gunnison.
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Thursday, September 4, 2014

There are thousands of back roads to explore here and I wish that we could stay longer and explore them all. But sadly they will have to wait until next year for now it’s time to head south.
Now its time for some explanation. If we are retired, living in an RV full time – why head back now? It’s still hot in Texas. Well I need to have hernia surgery. I knew this before we left but this kind of surgery can be safely postponed so we opted to wait and get in a short trip to Colorado first. But it is now time to get this done.

So today we pack up and head out. Our first stop is Santa Fe, NM. I had intended to pick an RV park near the center of town so we could do some sightseeing in Santa Fe, but I goofed and the park I had made reservations was well to the south of Santa Fe and too far to take goose back for sightseeing.

We did find this neat place near the campground. It had some fantastic classic New Mexico dishes and the beer was cold. Life is good.

A nice shot of a rainbow on our way back to the trailer.
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Friday, September 5, 2014
We leave Santa Fe and begin the fun drive through east New Mexico and west Texas. For those that have made the trip, know what a boring ride that is. One highlight on the way was a stop in the town of Adrian, TX. Adrian’s claim to fame is that it is supposedly the halfway point on the old Route 66. We stop at the Midpoint café that is famous for their ugly crust pie.

We had fried bologna sandwiches and apple pie I didn’t think the crust was ugly – but the pie was good. With full tummies, we head on.

We stop at a small town southeast of Wichita Falls. The original plan was to just pull into Wal-Mart parking lot. Thee Saint had said she was OK with that plan, but …, then she chickened out, so we found a RV park next door. In the Saint’s defense, there were a lot of truckers using the lot for a rest stop and if there would have just been RV’s she might have gone along with it.

After needing to turn the heater on every night for the past 3 weeks, it was a shock to need the air conditioner blowing full blast just to make the trailer tolerable. We must be back in Texas.

Saturday, September 6, 2014
Continuing the “enjoyable” ride through Texas we did have a fun lunch stop in the northwest DFW area. We met some good TWT friends for lunch at Hard 8 BBQ in Roanoake.


Days that follow …
This is pretty much the end of our Homeless in Colorado Trip report. After some stops along the way for some family events we end up back in New Braunfels. Not at our old house, but an RV park just down the road from where we used to live. We will be staying here a while for my surgery and recovery with plans to head out again In October to go to the North Carolina area.

Still Beermerless and Homeless.


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