Alternative Options

We’ve hit our one year anniversary of moving into the RV full-time.  It’s been an eventful and enlightening year.  But before I post a recap of our highs and lows of the year, and oh yes, there were plenty of lows, I’d like to share where we’re currently camped and the best part of this lifestyle; the new folks we meet everyday.

Al and I have come to realize there’s a common bond amongst RVer’s and a willingness to share or help.  We share tales of our travels via our blogs, over drinks, and through our photos  We share favorite campgrounds and those to shy away from.  And then we share the places to camp that require thinking outside the box; a friends driveway, boondocking in the wilderness, parking lots, and organizations with camping facilities.Fred Flinstone Water BuffaloIt was through new friends that we met via the Escapees RV Club that we learned about parking at Elks Lodges.  Al and I went into research mode and started the membership process during our winter stay in Phoenix, Arizona.

Elks Lodge Flinstone Water BuffaloAl was unanimously approved and is officially an “Elk” which opens up alternative options of places for us to park the RV.

Lodges located in major cities rarely have room for RV’s while other lodges, especially in the west, actually have an onsite RV Park complete with hook-ups.

Most offer the ability to park in the parking lot and some of these lots even have electric hook-up.  Each lodge facility has varying amenities, but most lodges have a restaurant, bar, and the friendliest folks around.

We’ve been happily camped at the Elks Lodge in Westminster, Colorado, for the past three weeks – just 15 minutes northwest of downtown Denver.  Our daughter lives only 5 minutes away, allowing lots of visits with mom and dad.  This mama is a very happy camper being able to see her ‘favorite’ daughter on a regular basis.happy camper Elks LodgeAside from regular visits with our daughter, we’ve had the pleasure of socializing with neighbors, bloggers, and fellow Elks members.Camping options in Devner Colorado

The Westminster Elks Lodge does have an onsite RV Park with different types of hook-ups.  They have everything from full-hook ups (sewer, water, electric) to electric and water, to their temporary sites offering electric only.  The later is where we find ourselves camped.

Our original plan was to stay here for ten days.  However, we seem to keep extending that stay.  We’ve had several opportunities to move to a site with full hook-ups, but Al and I are content with our level parking lot site with electric only.  We don’t normally like camping in a sardine can scenario, but the pluses FOR US seem to be outweighing the minuses.  Gosh, how many options does one have to park a RV in a major city like Denver?  So, no complaints here.  That said, I’m not sure how much longer we’ll stay …. perhaps until the daughter says, “Isn’t it time for you guys to move on?”

Geeks on TourDid I already mention the nicest folks we’ve been meeting?  Last week Jim and Chris from the blog Geeks on Tour pulled in just a site over from us.  We’ve enjoyed visiting with them and they even gave me a copy of their book; Beginners Guide to Picasa.

Thank you …. it’s enlightened me on a few features I didn’t know about.  Now I’ll be checking into a few of their other products.  Perhaps they can enlighten me further on the use of my phone that’s too ‘smart’ for me LOL.

Geeks on TourGeeks on Tour

Then there’s fellow Coloradans, Rick and JoAnne of Rick and JoAnne’s RV Travels.  We shared a very enjoyable luncheon visit just days before they were heading out for Yellowstone National Park.  We’ve also taken the opportunity to reconnect with some long time friends that live along the Front Range

And then of course are the every day meet ups with the folks coming and going.  The Elks Lodge restaurant and bar makes it very convenient for congregating and socializing over drinks during happy hour.  Keep those $3.50 margaritas coming!bike trails wildlifeWe do have plans to stop socializing and drinking just enough to get out and about to take in some of the sights.  For now, here’s a couple of photos snapped while enjoying the bicycle trail that passes right by the Elks Lodge ……Denver bike trail wildlife

Wildflowers Elks Lodge RV Parks
P.S. Here’s my latest RV kitchen purchase – a collapsible salad spinner …. now why didn’t I think of that?

Prepworks from Progressive International CSS-1 Collapsible 4-Quart Salad Spinner

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78 thoughts on “Alternative Options

    • It’s a fun life for US but not for everyone. The RV allows us to explore to our hearts content while never leaving ‘home’ because home is where we park it. Thanks for commenting and stopping by 🙂

  1. Lovin’ that salad spinner..gotta get one! Dennis has been a member of the Loyal Order of the Moose since he was 20 (52 YEARS!). We often socialize at the Moose Lodges and have a US directory in the glove box of our truck..FYI, the VFW’s and American Legions are frequently open to the public and you couldn’t meet a nicer group of people than our country’s veterans!

    • Al was a member of the Moose when we lived in Illinois and many a time we were there (at your lodge) for the Friday night fish fry. Always nice to know we have a place to park. Highly recommend the spinner 🙂

  2. Another great Ingrid post. Witty, very informative, and always from a clever woman’s perspective. Our 2700 mile trip concluded without incident and my rig is solid. It is now going to stay parked for awhile while we recharge.
    Nice photos too!

    • 2700 miles in 3 weeks is A LOT. Time to sit back and chill and gear up for a winter migration 😉 Hopefully you’ll share lots of photos on the excursion.

  3. I’ve enjoyed your intrepid adventures, Ingrid, and appreciate you sharing all the breath-taking places you’ve been to in this country. Best of luck in the times ahead. 🙂

  4. I am totally jealous. I would love to try that lifestyle out. We’re transplanted to Oregon after three decades in Denver, and summers spent camping and hiking the Collegiates. I can appreciate the challenges of finding camping in the Denver area.

    • I did not know you and Cee lived in CO, small world. The Pacific NW will hopefully be on our schedule next summer, but Colorado always seems to have a strong pull and hold on us for obvious reasons. Thanks for stopping by and commenting 🙂

    • Ever since my kids were very young, I would tell my daughter she was my favorite ‘daughter’ and tell son he was my favorite ‘son’. It always made them feel special until they got old enough to say, “Hey, I’m your only daughter (son)” LOL. They still like it though when I call them a fave 🙂

    • Thanks Sylvia….And to think, I only covered half of what I wanted to. I guess that leaves lots of options for year two 🙂

  5. Typed a big reply yesterday and it’s not here. Bummer….I probably went over my digit count 🙂 We gave up Elks and should have kept it….bummer. Biking around. Denver….cool!! We’ve been going over the last year, just a few weeks behind you. Gosh traveling sure makes for an interesting recap…”Like” Enjoy all that girl time!! And may year 2 be even more special!

    • Hate it when that happens….bummer. Yep, you and I headed out full-time within weeks of each other. It’s been an enlightening year, hasn’t it? Here’s to lots more fun and adventures during year two 🙂

  6. Happy first year anniversary! We just celebrated our first year as full-time RV’ers, too. How wonderful that you’ve found the Elks to be a good option for visiting your daughter. That’s one reason we’ve camp hosted on Lopez Island for the past four summers — that way, we’re only a short ferry ride away from our daughter and grandson. I know it will be hard for you to leave — but as you said, adventure beckons! 🙂

    • Happy Anniversary to you as well. I thought you were out on the road longer than us. How wonderful for you to be a short distance from your daughter and grandson. In a couple of weeks our son is flying in and all four of us will spend a week together. I can’t wait. That was the main reason we changed our summer plans around. I know I’ll be very ready to hit the road come fall but until then I’ll savor as much time as possible with my children 🙂

    • Thanks Larry. Currently our plans are all over the place. Once we start rolling, I’ll figure it out and tell hubby which way to point the RV lol.

  7. We stay in Elks lodges all over the country. When we are in Houston, we stay for extended time at the Elks. The people are awesome, great activities at the lodge, swimming and much, much more.

    Glad you discovered the Elks. I never thought to tell you about them.

    • I definitely remember reading your posts when you were in Houston last winter and you do get credit for enlightening us 🙂 This is our first stay at an Elks and I can assure you it won’t be our last. You’re so right – awesome people!

  8. I forgot to mention the salad spinner! I have had one for awhile now. A few months ago the knob that you hold to do the spinning snapped off. I went to the Progessive website and told them what happened. I hated to buy another when there was nothing wrong but I needed a new knob. I asked if I could purchase one because I liked the spinner so much for the MH. They wrote back and said no problem and they sent me a whole new lid for free. How nice is that!

    • Yes, the year has gone by quickly. We still have so much to explore around the Denver area and have barely touched the surface. Hope you’re enjoying better weather in the Tetons than what you had in Yellowstone.

  9. Hey there! I was wondering if you could tell me what the requirements are to becoming an Elk? What do I need to do to become a member?

  10. We noticed that our Elks lodge has such a camping area, too, and we have wondered how that benefit works. It is a decent place to RV camp for those that need it, next to the lodge that has a swimming pool. Our only concern would be the fact that it is just an open parking area with no fence of any kind, next to two major streets in town. It is close to some nice shopping and entertainment options, too. Have fun!

    • It’s not always the perfect scenario but usually an ok place to crash for a few days. From what I hear, some of the newer lodges specifically in the Pacific NW have lovely facilities. For us it’s most important to be near our daughter to take in plenty of visiting because once we head out of town we won’t see her for quite some time. This lodge is also located near shopping and downtown Denver 🙂

  11. It is amazing how active our social life has become now that we are retired and traveling the country. We are loving all the nice people we have met.

    We haven’t done the Elks things yet. We talk about it but… Earlier, we were towing our trailer and found that almost all Elks are back ins which is a nightmare for us. So now that we have sold all that and tow four down, we may have to rethink joining as move back west.

    I am sure you have the same struggle we have every time we go to York. Our daughter is four miles away. It makes it very difficult to pull up the jacks and move on. But, York doesn’t have much to keep us except for Jessica. Colorado would be a different story.

    • From what we’ve gathered the Elks membership is really a huge plus in northern CA, OR, and WA, which are states we hope to visit. However, with daughter in CO and so much to explore around here, who knows when we’ll make it to the Pacific NW. I’m sure you and I can agree, it’s tough being separated from our girls, but adventure beckons 😉

  12. Has it really been a year? Time does fly. Interesting post – especially about the Elks. What a wonderful benefit they offer their members. Interesting. have a great week and enjoy your travels.

    • I know, it was last summer over the 4th that we were camped in the Denver area having just moved out of the house. The year whizzed by. Enjoy your summer up at the cabin 🙂

  13. Indeed we do meet the nicest people while RVing. It was great to meet you and Al – wish we had more time. We head out Saturday for Lake of the Ozarks State Park and then North to Glacier. BTW – love the salad spinner.

    • We very much enjoyed meeting you as well and can’t believe how much we have in common. Hopefully our paths will cross again, especially out on the road when there’s time for a leisurely chat over drinks.
      I was really missing a salad spinner so this was a great find!

  14. I found this post extremely interesting specially the Elks portion… this sounds to me very similar to the Free Masons, just a little more open… I love that there are people that dedicate a portion of their own time for the good of mankind and those not so well provided for… I have just done a very interesting research of the institution and known an awful lot about the Free Masons, I find this a more open and welcoming group without the broadcast apparent secrets… Good for Al for joining the group or have you also joined.??

    • The organizations do sound very similar. The Elks provide some wonderful charity contributions, more than we realized. It used to be only men could be members but that changed years ago. For now, hubby is the member and I’m the spouse. When we spend more time in Phx I’m sure we’ll occasionally volunteer. For now, we support the efforts via eating and drinking in the lodge 🙂

      • When we visited the USA I took the tour of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.. talking to a few of the members I was informed their donations to charities per month amounted to $ 2 000 000 as a fairly senior member of the fraternity I have no reason to doubt him… it was just fantastic for me to realise that so much was being done for the unfortunates in the USA… wish we could get the figures to that height here… but the USA with the Buffalo’s, the Elks and the Masons… it is just wonderful to think there are still so many people that care for the well being of their fellow man…

  15. Terry and I were just talking the other day about you two and the Elks Lodge parking available to members. We passed by a VFW and saw a couple of RVs parked in their grassy lot and wondered if some of them did the same for their members. Wish you were still going to be in the Denver area when we get there later this year. I will just have to track you down, perhaps in Phoenix, later this winter? Enjoy your summer!

    • I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before you and I bump into each other again 🙂 RV accommodations for a lengthy stay are few and far between near Denver so this Elks Lodge is working out great. Chatfield and Cherry Creek SP are nice options but have a 2 week max stay and are not conveniently located to our daughter 😦

  16. I’m an Elk’s Member at the Venice-Nokomis Lodge in North Venice, Florida. I’ve seen the RV’s parked there, in the past. I can see how it’s a great place to land for awhile, while exploring the area and meeting new people from Elk’s. Great bunch in Venice.

    • We’re enjoying our stay here with the Elks very much. Thanks for stopping by and commenting…..I haven’t seen you in awhile. Are you still writing a blog? I can’t seem to find it!

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