2019 Summer Western Trip

This will be a very long post as I catch up the past few days.

July 5, 2019: Yesterday we moved from the KOA Lakeside Park in Fort Collins all the way down to the KOA in La Junta, Colorado. We could not stay in Fort Collins because they were booked solid. After hours of searching this was literally the only place in Colorado where we could camp until Sunday through the July 4th holiday weekend. We’ve never seen such full campgrounds out here this time of year.

This is a fairly decent KOA, although it appears they are still doing some improvements and there appear to be at least three to four permanent residents. The staff is friendly and helpful, but the office/store has been inconsistently open; maybe due to it being a holiday weekend. There are several nice rigs here. Very fast Wi-Fi here! This morning I ran some speed tests and was getting 24-30 mbps. About the best free Wi-Fi we have encountered anywhere.

Yesterday evening we met a couple in a huge, 43′ three axle toy hauler fiver with both a rear and side drop down decks.

We drove out north of La Junta and parked alongside the highway with lots of other folks and watched a very nice fireworks display.

Our campsite:

Some fireworks last night:

On the way down here we met one of our sons, Billy, for lunch at the Chili’s on south Kipling Avenue just a short distance from C470. It had a very large parking lot and easy in and out for our rig.

South of Colorado Springs we ran into a brief thunderstorm with some HAIL. It was making some noise hitting the truck, even at low speed, but when I checked later I didn’t find any dents. 😁

Did I mention how hot it is here in La Junta? No? Well, when we arrived here late yesterday afternoon it was 98 degrees. Sure glad we have two 15,000 btu air conditioners on our fiver! They cooled it down pretty well.

Okay, now I will try to get us caught up since my last post.

July 1, 2019: We went to the laser show at the Crazy Horse Memorial last night. It was a bit chilly, but didn’t rain. Small crowd. Good story to the show, but since the mountain is 3/4 mile away some of the pictures the laser displayed were kind of hard to make out detail. We probably would not bother to go again. I do want to stress that the memorial, though far from finished is worth seeing, the facility is beautiful and the food we had was good and reasonably priced. Did I mention the coffee is free?

A couple of pictures:

Today we took a picnic lunch in a cooler and spent most of the day touring Custer State Park. Beautiful place. The Needles road has a couple of very narrow one lane tunnels carved out of the rock. I had to close the outside towing mirrors (a touch of a button) on our big F-350 to fit through them. Beautiful drive though with lots of scenic overlooks.

A picture of one of the road tunnels.

Here is our picnic spot.

After lunch we drove all around what they call the Wildlife Loop Road. We saw a couple of bison, a couple of deer and antelope and Jeri said, “where are all the buffalo.” Then we got off the paved section and drove further in on the gravel Fishermens Flats road to the right of the Wildlife Station Visitor Center. We came upon two herds of 50-80 bison each and spent some time watching them, then turned around and headed back toward the Wildlife Loop road. Suddenly Jeri spotted this HUGE herd of bison up on a hill to our right and they were slowly feeding and moving down toward the gravel road we were on. We moved further along the road until we were stopped by other vehicles waiting for the bison to come down and pass through. Some of us wisely left a few car lengths of gap between our vehicles so the bison could pass through.

And pass through they did!! For the next hour we pretty much just sat there while bison passed through beside, in front of and behind us as they crossed the road and spread out. Lots and lots of mommas and their calves.

And some more.

In the upper part of the above picture a mother bison is nursing her calf right in the middle of the road.

We estimated there were probably somewhere around 1,000 bison that passed by. It was one of the most spectacular wildlife encounters we have ever had. We could only imagine what it was like 160 years ago when tens of thousands of bison would pass by!!! It was AWESOME!! Definitely a big highlight of this summer trip!

I have to leave this with this little video. LOL

July 2, 2019: Dumped tanks and topped up the freshwater tank and headed south and west to Wyoming today. We managed to snag a coveted campsite in the Reno Cove campground of Glendo State Park. While we did not get the really primo site #8 we did score the primo site #4 for one night and had a great view!

We had a 50 amp hookup. A bad thunderstorm moved through and there were tornado warnings for the area, but luckily none developed. We had a nice night, although it did rain a bit more during the night.

We are having trouble finding campsites with our apps and phones down in Colorado because of the impending July 4th holiday weekend. But we will figure something out; we always do. 🤪

July 3, 2019: We left this beautiful campsite around 10:30 this morning and headed on south on I-25 as Jeri frantically searched for someplace to camp. We stopped in Fort Collins, Colorado to try and find something and finally found one night (and one night only) at the KOA Lakeside on the northwest side of Fort Collins. This turned out to be a nice place with very friendly helpful staff. It was full. We spent most of the evening trying to find a campground for the long holiday weekend, with no success. We have been out here before over the 4th of July and have never seen it as hard to find a place than this year! We could stay at some friends’ 5 acre ranchette outside Parker where we have stayed a couple of times, but I am not sure we can maneuver our larger fiver into there driveway from the road.

July 4, 2019: Okay! This morning I found us a campground with openings through the holiday weekend. That’s the good thing. The bad thing: it’s clear down in La Junta, CO. But at this point we have no choice. After many phone calls and searching with our apps this the only thing we can find. Colorado is very busy this holiday! The KOA in La Junta is the only KOA in the entire state with openings!

Author: Bill & Jeri RV Travels

This tells about the RV adventures around the country of Bill, Jeri and our intrepid dog, Sugar Belle.

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