Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2020
It seems that we’ve been stymied at most every turn, not from illness, not from mechanical failure, nor weather. As I’ve said before our problem is too many people out enjoying our great nation rather late in the season! A lot of folks have figured out that they can work while on the road, home school from the road and breathe COVID-free air in states that may or may not only require a face mask when entering into buildings.
In the same vane I’ve talked to some private RV park work kampers- retired folks that want something to do in places they like to visit for and extended time and make a little cash doing it. I asked to refill our RV’s onboard propane tank at the park we are currently in. The workcamper fella said it’s a little difficult to maneuver to our propane filling station as I look over his shoulder at the easily accessed station. I said it doesn’t look too bad, I can do it. He says to me “I don’t know how good a driver you are.” Really, a real novice should be able to negotiate to that propane filling station!
As he is filling our propane tank I drum up a conversation. I says “Boy, there are sure a lot of people out camping for this time of year”. He says “Ya, and a lot of them are new to RV’ing and are very demanding”. I ask how so? And he says they expect services that they would receive in a 5 star hotel. Wow! And he says, “they are bad drivers!” Oh good, that’s all we need is a bunch of bad drivers driving rigs weighing anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 pounds highballing it down the highway.
We all want to enjoy the out of doors, new to us places and the beautiful scenery in between. So to all, slow down and enjoy life! Heck, I like to adhere to Tiffin RV’s motto “Roughing it Smoothly”- that’s my philosophy while on the road. Don’t believe me? Just look at the sign on the back of my coach!
(Sounds of me stepping off of soap box) So our plan was to visit Dinosaur National Monument after visiting Rawlins. No go- no RV site availability. Sigh. So since we are still in Plan B mode (Yellowstone NP was Plan A) we set our sights on anyplace that sounds interesting that has a campsite available. Aha, let’s try Yampa River State Park in Colorado! It’s not too far away, has site availability over the weekend and is located 20 minutes from Steamboat Springs. Plan B of Plan B= Yampa River State Park.
We catch WY 789 west of Rawlins and head south. The terrain gets more hilly with a more lush growth on the prairie and some pinyon type pine trees here and there. The bottom lands are occupied by farmers mostly growing hay and alfalfa raised for livestock. At the Colorado border the highway’s designation becomes Colorado Hwy 13.
We’ll be turning at remote Craig, CO (10,000 souls) onto US40 and heading east to Yampa River State Park. Craig is the county seat of Moffat County. Downtown is surprising large with a several square block mercantile district and a Walmart located on the edge of town. It’s known as the elk hunting capitol of the US as most of those hunters stay in town. In the early 1970’s and 80’s the largest coal generated power plant in Colorado and several coal mines were constructed near Craig. The Craig-Moffat Airport is busy during winter season as folks flood Steamboat Springs to enjoy winter sports.
We camped at Yampa River State Park for three nights. The park is right on the banks of the Yampa River, has a lot of wildlife around, has electricity for our basic needs and has trails to explore. It proves to be a good stop. It’s a basic campground that offers power and that’s what attracts us. Fall colors are more in evidence now.
Hayden, CO (1800 souls) is the nearest town to the State Park. We go into town to the grocery store and find it firmly attached to the Ace Hardware store! Both stores are well stocked. It’s just a bit unusual being able to walk from grocery to hardware in the same building.
While there we cruise up to Steamboat Springs (12,000 souls). Steamboat is the seat of Routt County and is an internationally known winter ski resort. The city has produced more Winter Olympic athletes than any other town in North America. The town/area got it’s name when early trappers heard chugging sounds coming from the area’s many hot springs and believed a steamboat was coming down river.
“The Boat” as the locals call it, is a nice town with a walking path next to the Yampa River. Walking the path we noticed signs stating that due to low water levels and high water temperatures, the river was closed to swimming. Sheesh! Steamboat is an affluent town that caters to the more affluent young folks- a “woke” town. . We find their life’s philosophy quite different from ours. A storefront sign babbles “Be kind”-why wouldn’t you?- while a young fella wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt holds a hand written sign “Deport Melania”. How is that being kind?
We also visit the nearby Elkhorn Reservoir where our Lab Megan goes for the gusto and actually goes swimming, fetching a stick thrown out into the lake. Ollie runs up and down the bank barely getting his feet wet. That water must have magic traits- as Megan dries off her fur shines!
Tomorrow we’ll head down to Fruita, CO. The town is just west of Grand Junction so there should be plenty to do. See you there!