The anticipation of pulling up jacks and rolling down the road to a new location is always exciting, but returning to familiar territory can be equally enjoyable. There’s something comforting about revisiting a place.
This summer we find ourselves once again calling Denver home. Last year we stayed in Westminster (northwest of Denver) at the Westminster Elks Lodge. At the time, our daughter lived just a few miles away making it super convenient to hang out with her. The location was also ideal to head into Denver regularly and explore the city, which we took full advantage of.
Last summer also included a few visits to Rocky Mountain National Park. RMNP offers one majestic view after another with wildlife sightings almost guaranteed. Gosh, how I love this place!
Obviously, our main reason for returning to Denver for the months of June and July were to spend time with our daughter. Last year Ashton moved to Highlands Ranch (south end of the Denver area) which meant the Elks Lodge in Westminster was no longer a convenient option for us to stay.
That was fine by me since the lack of views and high density parking were not my favorite. Now, we had the perfect opportunity to check out some lovely state parks.
Our first stop on the agenda was Chatfield State Park, located southwest of Denver. We spent ten days here last year and liked it so much that we ended up booking a two-week reservation in the very same site for a June visit. The views from my campsite were exactly what I was craving.
During my working days, I was one of those people who would go on vacation and would need a vacation to recover from vacation. I’ve never been one to lay at the beach or pool while sunbathing or reading. Oh no, no lying around when there are things to do, sights to see, and adventures to be had.
To some degree, that hasn’t changed much. Before we even travel to a new place, I usually have a list of things to see and do. If nothing else, at least a trail map. That doesn’t mean we’ll carry out the items on that list, it’s meant as a rough idea of what an area has to offer. The kids have plenty of travel stories involving their mom (moi) dragging them off in the rain to go zip lining in Maui or learning to ski in a blizzard. No sitting around for this family when adventure awaits.
That said, I was really excited to return to Denver for the summer. I had such a great time here last year that I compiled a list of places new and old to visit and even picked up the latest edition of 5280, a great magazine for anyone visiting Denver.
However, my health had other plans in mind and this summer I find myself joining the ranks of loungers near water reading. Because I explored so much of Denver and the eastern Rockies last year, I’m actually enjoying the down time and of course it helps to be camped in some pretty awesome spots.
I really like Chatfield State Park …… mountains, water, wildlife, wildflowers, and sunsets. The park was experiencing some serious flooding during our stay. So serious that the western side of the park was closed, as were all the boat ramps.
We even lost the ability for sewer for an entire week causing us to make a trip to Cabela’s to dump our tanks. In other words, the park had no flush toilets anywhere, no showers, and no dump station. We even experienced some power outages. I felt badly for the staff as none of this was their fault and yet some campers and boaters were hostile.
Paddlers were loving it. With the boat ramps closed, the only boaters on the water were either kayaks, canoes, or those that rent a slip at the marina. Even the weekends were quiet at this normally crowded reservoir.
Roads and trails were underwater throughout the park. This all took place the last two weeks of June, and as of this writing, the water has receded and all roads are open/assessable and all facilities are back in operation. Colorado sure experienced an unusually wet May and June in 2015 making for a nice showing of wildflowers which Miss Hummer was loving.
So although I haven’t been out and about exploring much lately, my repeat stay at Chatfield State Park was great. I relaxed outside watching the world go by, or rather hummers whiz by, I played around in the RV kitchen experimenting with some new recipes, we enjoyed lots of visits with the daughter, and even managed to fit in a little socializing.
Next up, we move camp over to Bear Creek Lake Park…….
To check out my first attempt at making Barbacoa click here. And here’s the two latest additions to my library.
I never thought food photography would be so challenging. Let’s face it, anyone can take a photograph of a plate of food and post it on Instagram or Pin it, but making the food look like an appetizing morsel instead of tossed cookies takes a little more work …… as I’m finding out!