Fall at Circle the Wagons

26 10 2018

Circle the Wagons, La Veta, CO

It’s been 6 weeks since we arrived back at Circle the Wagons in La Veta and this week was the official closing-for-winter.  Since returning we’ve watched the grove of cottonwood trees turn golden hues of fall before a early frost on October 14th brought all the brown leaves to the ground.  Today, with only 2 campers in the park, things are quiet and peaceful, and almost a bit lonely.  The crunch of leaves underfoot and the nearly constant visits by wandering deer tell us that summer is drawing to a close.  So far we’ve experienced mild temperatures – other than the bitter cold that moved through quickly last weekend, our highs are in the 60’s and lows are in the 40’s.  So far, so good for RVing in fall/winter.

During our time back to southern Colorado we took a short “sun/beach” break to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  We moved the camper out to the Navajo Ranch property on Friday the 5th, just before the La Veta Oktoberfest celebration kicked off.  Then we spent the weekend in Denver before flying to Cabo on Wednesday.  Facilities at the ME Cabo resort were nice, the hotel had good beachfront access and beautiful pools.  We also visited the Grand Solmar Land’s End property – we’d like to stay here if we come back to Cabo.  Returning to pick up the trailer on Monday the 15th, we were relieved to find all systems in good shape after the plunge in temperatures to what was apparently around 15 degrees.

Cabo San Lucas, MX

We’re awaiting final water hookups and septic repair (they nicked the sewer pipe drilling one of the RV port piers) before moving back to Navajo Ranch.  More from there…

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The Spring Fire

12 07 2018

Spring Creek Fire, June 27th

On Wednesday June 27th, in what probably seemed like an innocuous  event, reports say that a man started a campfire in the forest outside of the town of Ft. Garland, Colorado.  Over 15 weeks without rain, strong SW winds, and other “ripe” conditions, that campfire blew up into what would become the 3rd largest wildfire in Colorado history torching over 108,000 acres of forest.

Spring Creek Fire, June 28th

We were staying in La Veta at Circle the Wagons RV Park and after a short walk to town noticed the small plume of smoke on Wednesday afternoon.  The fire exploded the following day and by 10PM the entire Cuchara Valley had been evacuated, and La Veta was on pre-evacuation status.  By Friday morning the fire had consumed over 40,000 acres and was under the control of Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team Black.  With the unknown evacuation status of La Veta, we decided to move the trailer further north, out of the evacuation zone so that we don’t get “locked out” if the fire should move east.

Sunset from Circle the Wagons , La Veta

 

By Saturday, as the fire continued to grow and began moving north of the assumed containment of Highway 160, a second command team was added, Team Blue.  By July 3rd,  being called the “two headed monster”, the fire is well established north of Highway 160 and had consumed upwards of 80,000 acres.  Weather continued to play a factor but Team Black was finally making some headway on south-eastern containment lines.  However, the fire has already destroyed over 100 homes in Forbes Park, a forested subdivision on the south west side of La Veta Pass.  With weather finally improving, the fire’s last major push occurred on July 5th when it expanded to over 100,000 acres.  In the north, Team Blue is finally able to place containment lines that keeps the fire from spreading east of country road 520 and north of highway 69 protecting the Navajo Ranch and Major’s Ranch subdivisions.  By July 10th, with containment at nearly 100% for the south section, the Village of Cuchara is safe and Team Black is on their way home.  By July 16th Team Blue is on their way home with 91% containment and total acres at 108,405.  All evacuations are lifted.  In all, 140 homes were destroyed and 120 damaged.

We still haven’t been back to Circle the Wagons.  But, we’re sure the scars on Mt. Mestas and Mt Silver are severe, but we still have the gorgeous Spanish Peaks, the fun town of La Veta and our new favorite hang-out, the Dog Bar in Cuchara.  And, we’re hopeful that there’s no place much safer from Colorado wildfires than on the back side of a burn scar.

Silver Mountain Burns





Happy Summer Solstice!

21 06 2018

Winter’s Last Blast, May 2nd, 2018

Here we are more than half way through June – and not an entry in the blog since the end of April upon our return to Colorado! Well, things have gotten a bit crazy. Some background…

Over the past few years we had decided we were ready to relocate to an area with more summer and less winter than afforded by our location at 9000 feet outside of Denver. We’d looked at homes and land options in several locations west of San Antonio in the Texas hill country. We’d also investigated options near cities around New Mexico and Arizona. After returning from the Spring Road Trip last year, we decided to investigate land in the Lathrup State Park / Spanish Peaks area. In July of 2017 we purchased a 6+ acre building site between Walsenburg and La Veta and started interviewing home builders. We selected a company in Pueblo to work with us on a custom home design and build. Expecting this design work to be completed and ground breaking to be in early May, we turned to the sale of the current home in the foothills outside of Denver. After selecting a realtor to assist…we begin planning the Spring Road Trip leaving the sale of the house until after our return…

However, just before our departure we had agreed to place the house on the market in early April with a move-out no earlier than the end of May. Then, somewhere along the way we agreed to list the property even earlier, in late March. So by the time we arrived back in late April, the sales process was well underway with a signed contract, completed inspections and the new buyers had their financing arranged. After more than 2 months away, the daunting reality of moving set in. And, as the design process on the custom home elongated, it began to look like the reality of ground breaking in May, or even June was doubtful.

An Early Rendition of the New House

So, here we are well into summer and we are “homeless”, living in the RV. All of our stuff is in a storage unit in Pueblo and we’ve only gotten as far as a driveway, the “guest” RV pad, 50/30/20 amp RV power and a septic system on the new southern Colorado property. We have a finalized the floor plan, are close on a budget and hope to have permitting and HOA approval completed by the end of June. Whew…it takes a long time to design a custom home!

Circle The Wagons – Snow on West Peak, May, 2018

As for the “homeless” living. We’ve spent a few nights on the new property. But, with the cellular signal just a bit better than non-existent, we can only slowly limp along on interest access. So, our new home-away-from-home has become Circle the Wagons RV Park in La Veta. We had a great stay at Circle the Wagons last October and decided to return for longer-term this year. In addition we’ve spent time at Lathrup State Park near Walsenburg, Chatfield State Park outside of Denver, the Glenwood Springs KOA (actually located in Silt) and at Peak One on Lake Dillon for the annual Frisco BBQ challenge.

Silt KOA – New Riverside Patio/Gazebo sites

Peak One Campground Site #15

Frisco BBQ Cookoff, 2018

In 2 weeks we’ll return to Northern Colorado to Boyd Lake, Riverside RV Park in Loveland and the Ft. Collins KOA before Cheyenne Frontier Days kicks off on July 20th. After CFD we’ll be back in Southern Colorado except for a quick trip to one of our favorite fall campgrounds, Hecla Junction on the Arkansas River north of Salida. Hopefully by then we’ll have some good news on the groundbreaking and house building progress!





Springtime in Colorado

18 05 2017

Spring in Colorado

After arriving home on May 4th to comfortable temperatures in the mid 60’s the following two weeks were above average with temperatures nearly reaching 70 degrees a few times,  which is not bad considering normal averages are the 50’s.

Returning to Lathrup State Park on the 11th, we had one chilly day in the mid-50’s and then beautiful weather in the upper 70’s.  With a bit of windy weather we opted to tour “The Highway of Legends”, the 50 miles or so loop of highway 12 that runs near Lathrup State Park to Trinidad.

Spanish Peaks, Lathrup State Park

After returning from Lathrup, we held onto the mid 60’s for one day, dropped into the mid 50’s and today are struggling to get above freezing.  Unfortunately this storm seems fairly well embedded with forecast temperatures not much above freezing until next weekend.  Known as a “4 corners low”, when positioned just right these storms push plenty of moisture toward the Colorado front range.  In Denver, temperatures are expected to keep all but a few inches of snow from accumulating.  However, at 9000’ we have at least 12” so far, and expect another 12” to 24”.  Needless to say, as much as I hated doing it, the trailer has been re-winterized and all of the liquids unloaded into the garage.  Hopefully the forecast of mid-60’s by mid-next week are correct – if so, all of this snow will be a distant memory.

On Thursday we’ll restock the RV and head west, this time toward the Grand Canyon.  More as we head into Southern Colorado and Northern Arizona…