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…





The End of the Spring Trip 2016

3 05 2016
Lathrup State Park site #32

Lathrup State Park site #32

We’re parked at site #32 at Lathrup State Park, one of our favorite back-in sites on the A loop.  The view of the snow covered Spanish Peaks is extraordinary.  The series of winter storms that have tracked their way across Colorado the last 10 days or so have left beautiful snowy peaks that nearly surround us, and a fair amount of snow in shady places all around the park.  Roads up from Conchas were dry, including the nearly 8000 foot Raton Pass.

Raton Pass

Raton Pass

We’ll spend 2 nights here, hoping to let the remaining snow melt at home, before the final leg of our Spring Trip.  We will have spent 68 nights in the new Rockwood 5th wheel, covered about 4500 route miles along with another 600 or so sightseeing miles. We’ve explored areas just across the state line in California all the way to the southern tip of Texas – with beautiful places in Arizona and New Mexico in between.  We slowed the trip down this year, enjoying extended time in Yuma, Kerrville, Roswell (unexpectedly) and South Padre Island.  Some of our favorite places included Lost Dutchman State Park outside of Phoenix and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in southern Arizona.  We enjoyed the company of great friends and family all along the way.

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

But, the summer is just beginning and we’ll be back on the road in less than 2 weeks to Pueblo State Park, and then our “summer kick-off” trip when we’ll return to Lake Conchas over Memorial Day weekend.  More as summer starts…





Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

7 10 2015
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

We’re enroute to Albuquerque for the world famous Balloon Fiesta!  Our first stop is at the Alamosa KOA.  Fairly typical for a KOA, our $37 buys us a fairly flat, gravel space with electric & water – and in this particular site, a bit of a privacy break with a tree and some sage brush on our slide-side.  Facilities appear to work well, the nearby bathroom is clean but the shower house has a bit of a locker room smell – not particularly inviting.

Our second stop is to a familiar RV park, Santa Fe Skies.  We first visited Santa Fe Skies in the truck camper back in 2010.  Our “thumbs up” impressions sticks – this is a nice park, on the outskirts of Santa Fe, with great facilities.  Our $50 here (we’re close enough to Albuquerque to feel the effects of Balloon Fiesta pricing) gets us a fairly long pull-through site (Aster #7), very tight with a huge coach to our curb site and fortunately no neighbors on our slide-site. The site had electric, water and sewer.  Normal rates at this Good Sam park run about $35/night.

Santa Fe Skies RV Park

Santa Fe Skies RV Park

Arriving at Balloon Fiesta on Thursday morning for the 2nd weekend, we find the Premium and Standard RV spaces very full.  With 5 rigs in our group, it’s not immediately clear that we’ll even be able to park near each other.  But, “Bob”, the friendly and more than accommodating organizer finds us a perfect spot in the last row of the standard (dry camping) area.   With new, more stringent fire regulations being enforced, we’re unable to build the previously planned compound with our trailers encircling an open social space.  But, after a bit of finagling of a couple of the trailers, we’ve built an acceptable space that will accommodate all 12 of us.

Our past few trips to Fiesta have brought some fairly miserable weather conditions and plenty of event cancellations. This year’s final weekend is a beautiful example of why Fiesta is held in Albuquerque in early October.  With cool, clear morning skies and afternoon temps in the 80’s, we’re treated to Special Shapes and Mass Ascensions every morning of our visit.  Only 2 Balloon Glows  end up being cancelled due to winds.   On Saturday, the Music Fest kicked off with performances by Two Way Crossing, Gloriana and The Band Perry.  Splurging on “Premier Seating” for $50/seat, we enjoyed an enclosed seating area, a nearby bar and easy access to a huge line of porta potties.  Well worth the extra $’s – especially on an afternoon when the temps were pushing into the low 80’s.  After the concerts we hang around the Fiesta grounds, grabbing some dinner from the Midway and watching one of the largest Balloon Glows in Fiesta history.

On Sunday morning, after viewing the Farewell Mass Ascension from the RV lot, we are making preparations for watching the Denver Broncos at the Oakland Raiders.  With lots of awnings, towel and blankets we manage to make a shady spot for all 12 of us to crowd around a much-too-small TV screen.  After a tight game, but Denver finally squeaking by, we begin to wrap up Balloon Fiesta 2015, bidding good night and good bye to those that have early plane flights and therefore will be departing the Fiesta RV lot way before sunrise.  It’s been a great 44th Annual Fiesta – with good times had by all.

As it typical, we’ll stop on the way home – this time at another favorite southern Colorado State Park – Lathrup.  Impressions of Lathrup are here:  LATHRUP STATE PARK.  This may well be our last trip of the 2015 RV season.  After winterizing and storing the camper away for the winter – we’ll be back on the road next spring as we hit the road to escape the end of the winter weather…more then.