When Travel Gods Smile – Part 2

Let’s continue our easterly trek …… Our stay in Montrose, Colorado, was way too short, but luckily the summer rain held off long enough for me to get in a few hours exploring Black Canyon of the Gunnison.  This would be my third visit exploring this small National Park and I never tire of the view.  It’s like a mini Grand Canyon but instead of the various shades of red sand stone rock that’s common in the southwest, there’s an unusual blend of gray and black granite rock.Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado

Moving on toward Gunnison, Colorado…..   Just off Highway 50 about an hours drive east of Montrose, the highway starts to meander along the Blue Mesa Reservoir.  This is the largest reservoir in the state of Colorado stretching approximately 20 miles long with about 96 miles of shoreline.

Elk Creek Campground, Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado
Elk Creek Campground, Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado

It was near the end of July and temperatures were expected to be in the 80 degree Fahrenheit range, and with no large trees to provide shade, we wanted the ability to run our air conditioner.  Thus, we decided to scope out a campground with electric hook-up (our generator will not power the A/C).

We pulled into the Elk Creek Campground, the only national forest campground along the Blue Mesa Reservoir with electric hook-ups, and started searching the campsite posts for an available site.  By the way, there are several private RV parks on the north side of the highway that offer full hook-ups.  We wanted to be near the lake.

Elk Creek Campground - Blue Mesa Reservoir
Elk Creek Campground – Blue Mesa Reservoir – west of Gunnison, Colorado

The task of trying to read each campsite pole with the dates quickly became daunting so we drove up to the visitor center to ask if any sites were available.  The ranger didn’t squirrelthink so, but informed us the camp hosts pretty much handle the campgrounds and we should check with them.

Just as we were turning to leave the building, she told us about a couple who pulled out that morning for a family emergency.  It was highly unlikely they’d be back, and we should verify with the camp hosts to see if we could have their site.

Bingo!  We lucked out and scored another great campsite which allowed us to visit Crested Butte, one of my favorite Colorado mountain towns.

Oh, how I wanted to linger around this part of Colorado longer, but responsibilities beckoned along with a campground reservation that I had made just a few days earlier.  I figured our good luck in snagging great available campsites couldn’t possibly continue, and since we needed a place to park for two weeks, I managed to reserve the only electric site still available at Lake Pueblo State Park for our time frame.  Whew, I breathed a sigh of relief when I clicked ‘reserve now’, but I did wonder what might be wrong with the campsite.

Site 313 - Lake Pueblo State Park, Colorado
Site 313 – Lake Pueblo State Park, Colorado

Upon our arrival, we were pleasantly surprised with our view from site #313.  Although it was sloped up and down to the left, it wasn’t a problem for us seasoned RVer’s (I still snicker being referred to as “seasoned” – kind of like a good steak, hehe!). I must admit,  Al and I have become quite proficient at leveling up the 5th wheel.  I knew exactly where and how to stack our Camco 44505 Leveling Blocks – 10 pack and signal Al to back up and stop.  I guess after four years of full-time RVing, we should have this figured out, huh.

A familiar view - For ten years, this was the view from my rear deck. Our sticks and bricks home was located four miles from this campsite.
A familiar view – For ten years, this was the view from our rear deck. Our old sticks and bricks home is located four miles from this campsite.

This would be a working stay!  We had a bunch of things to attend to during our time in Pueblo West.  This was our old stomping grounds and it’s still where we have a bunch of things in storage including our construction/utility trailer.  But first on the agenda was my flight from Denver to Chicago.

Al’s sister had recently moved to Denver from Rockford, Illinois, and we were looking forward to seeing her new place.  So the day before my flight, we took the two-hour drive up to Denver and spent the night at her place.

flyingThe following morning, Al dropped me off at the airport and while I visited with family in Illinois, he enjoyed some time with his sister.

Once again, the travel Gods smiled upon me and my flights, weather and visit were perfect.  I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

Back in August, Delta Airlines had a serious computer melt down which caused massive delays across the country.  I was booked back to Denver the day after the melt down.  I was a tad nervous!  Between possible security lines at O’Hare Airport and issues with Delta, I arrived at the airport three hours early.  It took me a total of ten minutes to get through security.  That’s got to be some sort of record for fast airport security.  I literally walked right up, no line, set my purse and bag down on the conveyer, shoes too of course, and through and out I went.  I remember thinking, “Wow, did that just happen?”

MFlighty flight to Minneapolis/St. Paul (yeah, I needed to connect through MSP) left on time and arrived early and the same with my flight from Minneapolis to Denver.  I felt so badly for all the folks around me who had spent the night at the airport and were still scrambling to get a flight home not to mention the gate agents having to deal with distraught passengers.  It was an unfortunate mess for a lot of people.

Ok, ok… if you’re anything like me, you might be wondering why I didn’t book a direct flight from Denver to Chicago and back?  Well,  I could’ve if I had flown another carrier.  My original airline reservation was from Idaho Falls, Idaho to Chicago, Illinois and Delta was my best choice connecting through Salt Lake City.  Thus, I booked on Delta, and apparently Delta Airlines does not fly direct from Denver to Chicago.   I had to connect in either Minneapolis/St. Paul or Detroit, thus MSP it was.

Let me just say, it was a crazy six months for us with lots of twists and turns. I’ll eventually get around to sharing all the highs and lows of our adventures, but do note, overall it was mostly fun and filled with a lot of unexpected delights.

One of my favorite adventures occurred in mid August when we bid farewell to Colorado and said hello to New Mexico.  In most situations, timing plays a key role in how we feel about a place.  And after a very hectic month, we needed to find a spot to relax and regroup.

Aaahhh! Just what I needed to regroup and rejuvenate the soul - a fabulous hike!
Aaahhh! Just what I needed to regroup and rejuvenate the soul – a fabulous hike!

Our two week stay at Lake Pueblo State Park was anything but relaxing.  I was out of town for six of those days.  Al played handyman for his sister during my absence.  When I returned we cleaned and prepared the utility trailer to be moved, rearranged/sorted through things in storage, worked on our RV air conditioner and all the while Al was dealing with an injured back (he had been dealing with the back issue all summer long since the work camping gig 😦 )  Yep, we needed to find a place to chill and relax.

Camping in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Camping in Santa Fe, New Mexico

And we found it in Santa Fe…….  The travel Gods continued to smile upon us…..

Hmm, what’s on your Christmas wish list?  Al likes this GPS while I’ve been eyeing this pressure cooker!


42 thoughts on “When Travel Gods Smile – Part 2

  1. I’m so behind in reading my favorite blogger’s posts!!! Lol
    So good to catch up as you play catchup!!!
    Bill only wanted good health for Christmas (and we’re working on it) while I got an IPhone Watch! I love it 😍!


  2. Back pain is no fun, that’s for sure. The one thing we took away from working at Amazon (besides back pain) was the need to stretch. They really pushed it there. We hope Al continues to feel better and better.

    You’ve put the Black Canyon on our list, Ingrid! So beautiful!


    1. Yeah, Al does his stretching regularly. Unfortunately, the downside to the work camp gig was doing stuff we wouldn’t normally do. I know you can relate. Colorado is beautiful and I can certainly point you in the right direction if you’d like any suggestions 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great see your blog waiting for me this morning:) I long to get to that area of Colorado and New Mexico. Late summer and fall is the best time for us to do the hiking we want to do in Colorado and it seems this is the best time visit family back east. So we have yet to get to this area but this coming year we are staying west and just flying back east for visits so we can get to areas we need see in the west and in the summer and fall. You certainly had some beautiful sites as traveled. Sure hope Al’s back has improved. Back problems seem to be with a lot of us. Looking forward to reconnecting this winter:)


    1. Fortunately Al’s back is doing much better, thank you. I did end up driving a lot more this summer and even backed’er up a tad at a gas station. If I hadn’t stepped up, there’s no way we could’ve done the driving we did. Hopefully I can help point you in a few directions regarding Colorado and New Mexico. Beautiful states worth spending plenty of time exploring. See you in March 🙂


    1. Thanks Sue. This visit, I drove to the bottom of the Black Canyon. Next time, I want to take the ranger lead boat tour. I make Al nervous with my photo taking near those cliffs 😆


  4. Very cool rock formations in the hiking photo. Also Black Canyon of the Gunnison looks beautiful! I drove past once a few years ago but didn’t have time to stop and since then I’ve been wanting to go back. Great photos!


    1. Thank you! Definitely visit Black Canyon. The north rim isn’t worth the out of the way drive but the south rim isn’t too far out of the way. If you go on a weekend, it’s not uncommon to see climbers/repelling on the north wall. Also, Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks in New Mexico is worth visiting.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I read someone else’s post about Kashe-Katuwe recently and immediately added it to my list. It’s just looks so cool! I really need to spend more time exploring New Mexico.

        And thanks for the info 🙂


  5. You’ve been lucking out on getting spots to stay, but it sounds like you need a rest my girl!
    Of course I should talk…we’ve been painting like mad and finally have the kitchen finished. The bathroom will wait until next week because we will host the Packer game on Sunday. I’m glad you said to do both the upper and lower cabinets in gray – it looks great. I could have even gone a little darker, but the hardware has all been changed out and that really made a huge difference as well.


    1. Rest indeed….. thus, the 3 months in Phoenix before we head to Texas. Isn’t it amazing how changing something as little as cabinet knobs can make a major differend? I look forward to seeing all the changes you’ve made around your new home.


  6. Isn’t is so nice to be mobile and just zig zag around this great country?..I love Colorado too. We had friends that lived in Buena Vista for 10 years..I hope you two get a chance to slow down a bit…and hoping Al’s back is better…It sucks pond water to have a back problem..That brought us back from our Winter trip one year when Den’s back went out..


    1. Al’s back is fortunately doing much better, thank you. I did a lot more driving this summer, which helped immensely. If I hadn’t, I don’t think we could’ve covered that much ground. We spent 20 years living in Colorado and we still want to go back and explore more but that zig zagging around is so much fun 🙂


    1. I saw your post on Facebook about the black Friday deal. I’m still on the fence due to storage issues. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Instapot though. You’ll need to share!


  7. Sounds like you have a number of adventures to share in the coming days Ingrid! In the meantime, hoping you find a little respite & time to unwind.


    1. I was following your Colorado posts closely. We thought about following your tracks and boondocking spots near Buena Vista/Salida, but time got away from us and that airline reservation kept us moving.


  8. Your flight plan cracked me up. All my husband’s flights from Boise were weird connections like that. I love that picture of the white domes everywhere in New Mexico. So cool. Hope your December is nice and relaxing.


    1. Thanks Char, We’ve been taking full advantage of spending plenty of time with our children since hanging in Phoenix. They’ll probably be ready for us to head to Texas at the end of the month if not sooner LOL. If your husband still has to travel, I’m sure living in SLC is making airline travel a lot easier.


      1. Glad to hear it. Moving here has made him have to travel way less. Now the Vegas guy has to travel here since this is central since so many employees have transferred here.


  9. A busy summer, Ingrid, and oh what beautiful places you saw. It must have been a bit odd to be RVing in the same neighborhood where you once lived. Hats off to your adventurous lifestyle. I really like the photo of you with those cool cone-like structures in the background.


    1. Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks NM, was my favorite stop this summer although the Grand Tetons were pretty spectacular. With our obligations behind us, I think I was able to relax once we got to Santa Fe and thus my fondness for the area – a very pleasurable stay.

      Liked by 1 person

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