After leaving Silverton we felt we were rushing the trip quite a bit. The longest we stayed in one place was 3 days. Pulling into Durango we were looking to stay 4-5 days at least for a little breather.
While it is cool having this chance to explore many different places one negative is we don’t know much about a place before we get there. We do some research but there is only so much you can do online.
We had booked 2 nights in an RV campground a few miles out of downtown Durango. The pictures looked lovely and they advertised Wi-Fi and laundry which we needed badly. Although the pictures online looked nice this RV park stunk. The sites are packed like sardines, the laundry was a rip off, and the “WiFi” was a big joke. That wouldn’t have been so bad but the campground was in a little canyon and I didn’t even have cell signal to use my hotspot.
Luckily we had only booked 2 nights and had a chance to explore the area and found a really awesome National Forest Campground at Junction Creek. We didn’t have any hookups but the fees were cheap and I was able to bike into town in the mornings to work.
We like it so much we ended up staying almost 2 weeks in Durango. This little break was nice and I was really productive since we weren’t traveling so much. I spent a lot of time at Durango Joes Coffee Shop and the Durango Public Library.
As we left Durango we reached a month on the road. Everything is going pretty well so far. We are finding our expenses are a bit higher than we expected. Camping, fuel, and groceries account for most of the discrepancy. This should level out this next month when we start receiving income from renting our house back in Nevada.
After leaving Grand Junction we headed South along Hwy. 550. We spent one night in Montrose, CO which was a really cool town. It would have been nice to spend more time there but we had already booked camping at Ridgeway State Park.
Old church converted to a pub in Montrose.
We spent 3 nights in Ridgeway State Park. The running was good and the park is really nice. I ended up dropping down the hill to the town of Ridgeway a few times to get work done when I needed connection.
View from campsite in Ridgeway. The park was awesome despite being close to the highway. Cimarron Mountains in the background.
By Thursday we were ready to move on. Our next destination was Silverton, CO. Several people had warned us of Red Mountain Pass between Ouray and Silverton. The warnings were definitely justified as there were several tense moments when there was oncoming traffic and pretty much no room on the side of the road and a pretty significant drop off. What was worse is the lane actually sloped sideways towards the cliff. Luckily the speed limit was between 10 and 25 MPH so taking it easy was no problem.
Silverton was a great time. We stayed at Molas Lake Campground which is about 10 minutes outside of Silverton at ~ 10,500′ elevation. The sun is pretty intense at this elevation and we didn’t have much shade at our campsite. We did some running on the Colorado Trail and I ran part way up Kendall Mountain from town.
We ran into our first semi-major snag while in Silverton. We didn’t have service at the campsite and the air conditioner in our rental back in Las Vegas needed repairs. There was a heat wave and it hit 107 over the weekend. Luckily we had a management company that was able to get someone out for the repairs fairly quickly. The $1000 hurt a bit but it could have been much worse.
Another slight disaster we had was taking our dogs to Andrew’s Lake just South of Molas Lake. We took went out there on the recommendation of a local as a place we could let the dogs run around a bit. The lab was ‘extra’ excited about the lake for some reason when we arrived. We were walking around and playing fetch for a bit when we noticed he smelled really bad. It looked like he had got into something so we took him down to the lake to fetch sticks in the lake and wash off. After a few trips we noticed the smell was a bit more global than we thought and looking around we started seeing all these dead fish along the edge of the lake. Long story short we renamed Andrew’s Lake to ‘Dead Fish Lake’ and the 95lb lab wreaked of dead fish.
Trying to wash him in the trailer bath was quite and ordeal and all I accomplished was making the bathroom smell like dead fish. Both dogs slept in the back of the truck for a couple of days. When we got to Durango the first thing we did was look up a self serve doggy wash. Finally the dead fish smell is gone.
If you didn’t see it here is part one Part One of the family ditching everything in Southern Nevada and deciding to hit the road. We left off as we left Crystal Geyser heading to Grand Junction…
So far in our adventure the longest we stayed in one location was two nights. We had covered a fair amount of ground considering towing a trailer, taking care of trailer utilities (dumping and filling), a seven month old baby, and two dogs is pretty slow going.
My wife Ashlee has friends in Grand Junction, CO so we planned on staying anywhere from 3-7 days there depending on how things were going. Our first stop was the North Fruita Desert Campground. On a map this didn’t look very far from Grand Junction but in practice it was about a 40 minute drive. Fruita itself isn’t far from Grand Junction but the the dirt road leading to the campground was 8 miles and the turnoff to the dirt road was 10 or so miles from the highway.
We ended up moving closer to town to a full on RV park which wasn’t our preferred type of place to stay but in the end was much more peaceful. Grand Junction ended up being a really good time. I was able to get quite a bit of work done and it was great hanging our with our friends who showed us around.
It so happened there was a low key race over the weekend called the Garfield Grumble. It is only about 4 miles but climbs and descends 2000 ft up and down the peak of Mt. Garfield near Palisade, CO. This was my first ‘race’ in over two years since my strange temporary paralysis (another story).
We also met a bunch of people in town who were all super nice and inviting. This was particularly cool because like Las Vegas most people it seems in Grand Junction weren’t from there. Definitely recommend the brewery and distillery in Palisade about 15 minutes away from Grand Junction.
All in all Grand Junction was a lot of fun. Our time there felt a bit hectic because there was a lot we wanted to do while we were there.
From here we are heading down to Ridgeway, CO for a few days.