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May 2021

2021-05-27 – Springtime in the Rockies caravan… Estes Park, CO – Day 1

We awoke to 41 degrees outside, and 57 degrees inside the Villa. We started the fireplace and we were soon cozy inside. We had a leisurely morning, then went for a short walk around the park. We stopped in at the office to check out their little store, and found a lake in a quiet grassy meadow…

And that was about it for the day. We puttered around, went for more walks. After driving for four days straight we needed a break…

It was great to see the lineup of Airstreams again…

Tonight is our first group meeting. We reviewed the drivers’ manual (a three-ring binder with all the caravan information, itinerary, schedule, assignments, etc.). We all introduced ourselves briefly. We have 7-8 first time caravaners, and several of the “old-timers” have been on as many as 14-15 caravans. (We fall into the middle – this is our 5th caravan.)

The meeting was followed by dinner of salad, baked beans, mac ‘n cheese, and BBQ beef sandwiches…

After dinner the campfire was lit…

And we were entertained by a local musician, who sang and played Colorado-style songs. Mostly John Denver songs…

I am always amazed when I hear musicians like this. This guy – Cowboybrad.com – was very good! He normally plays with a few background musicians, but due to the covid, the others were unavailable. But as good as he is, he is unknown. Imagine how good the really famous musicians, like John Denver, Stevie Nicks, or Glen Campbell (am I dating myself?) really are… Just a thought.

As darkness fell we returned to the Villa. And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2021-05-26 – Springtime in the Rockies caravan…Traveling to Estes Park, CO

This is our last day on the road for awhile… We are headed to Estes Park where we meet up with the rest of the caravaners…

More meadows. Somewhere east of Rock Springs we crossed the Continental Divide, at about 6,500′ elevation… Wyoming is beautiful, except when it’s not… We stopped to stretch our legs overlooking this giant grassland…

We turned south in Laramie, and soon crossed over into Colorado. Again, we almost got a picture of the sign…

More mountain meadows…

We continued to Fort Collins, then headed into the mountains. The road to Estes Park is like this for about 35 miles…

We arrived at the Elk Meadows RV Resort and found another 25 Airstreams… We have driven over 1,150 miles in 4 days…

We setup the Villa; we even were finally able to put out the slide…! We are here for 5 nights. We received our caravan book and drivers manual and met several of our new friends. We already know 5-6 couples that we had previously met on prior caravans.

We shared Happy Hours with new neighbors, and an enjoyable time was had by all…

2021-05-25 – Springtime in the Rockies caravan…Traveling to Rock Springs, WY

We had our first view of magnificent, snow-capped mountains today. We traveled, south to north, almost the entire length of Utah, driving among beautiful mountain meadows and valleys, surrounded by towering mountains.

North of Provo we turned east onto the mighty Interstate 80, which extends from San Francisco to Teaneck, NJ. Again, these beautiful mountain meadows are around 6,500′ elevation, with towering mountains all around.

We stopped for lunch at a great local sandwich shop and walked briskly around the parking lot to keep our watches happy… The shopping center was on the highway leading to the entrance of the Park City ski area…

We’re not sure what this is we’re looking at. Maybe ski jumps?

Eventually we almost got a picture of the Wyoming state line…

More meadows with towering mountains beyond. Those are patches of snow on the meadow floor, although the temperatures are in the mid 60s here…

We continued driving straight across Wyoming. Straight across…

The topography does change on occasion…

And when we drive straight across Wyoming, we also drive straight through the mountains…

We stopped for the night in Rock Springs, at another KOA. This place was very beak, as KOAs go, but sites were spacious, it was quiet, and we has a restful evening…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2021-05-24 – Springtime in the Rockies caravan…Traveling to Fillmore, Utah

So this is what you see when you head north on the 15 out of Las Vegas… We left a little before 9:00 am, fueled up at the Loves truck stop, and hit the road. We will stay on the 15 for 270 miles today…

After an hour or so we entered Arizona. We were in Arizona for less than an hour, making a diagonal across a corner of the Arizona Strip. We had learned about the Arizona Strip in 2018 while we were on the Southwest Adventure caravan. The Arizona Strip is the part of Arizona lying north of the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon. The difficulty of crossing the Grand Canyon causes this region to have more physical and cultural connections with southern Utah and Nevada than with the rest of Arizona. It really ought to be part of Utah. It covers almost 8,000 square miles, and it is virtually uninhabited, with absolutely no cellular service. If you want to drive some of the few wilderness roads you are advised to bring a tent, firewood, and food and water for 3 days. If you breakdown, you won’t be found for 3 days…

And then we were in Utah. One of the few cities in southern Utah is St. George. We stopped for lunch at a “Culvers”, a first for us… We were able to stretch our legs and have a nice break… Parking was a little rough…

After lunch we continued north and northeast…

We are traveling with fellow Airstreamers and fellow Caravaners from Nebraska, Gordon and Debbie Opp. Today was their turn to lead… We are driving through these small hills on the valley floor. The topography is constantly changing, from meadows and grass to hills and rocks…

Here’s a new sight for us:

We actually saw a sign warning of a curve ahead, saying, “Slow 70″…

Best part is that there is no special 55 MPH limit for vehicles towing trailers! We stopped for a mid-afternoon leg stretch at a rest stop…

We arrived in the outskirts of Fillmore, and easily found the KOA. Beautiful, quiet park, lovely trees; it is is surrounded by grassy meadows overlooking the surrounding hills…

Along with us and the Opps, there was another Airstream in the park, but we were unable to meet them.

We enjoyed happy hours (with my signature Old Fashioneds) and a nice dinner of chicken Caesar salad…

But we are continuing on tomorrow, and we just realized that Utah is in Mountain Time Zone! We lost an hour somewhere along the road. So we turned in early. And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2021-05-23 – Springtime in the Rockies caravan…Traveling to Las Vegas

This is an exciting day! We are leaving for our first caravan in two years! Our last caravan was Springtime in Kentucky, which was completed on May 16, 2019. Today we head towards Estes Park, Colorado; the Springtime in the Rockies caravan will begin on May 27, 2021.

Yesterday I brought the Airstream home, and parked it in front of our house. We don’t do this often, because the street is narrow, and it curves. And the trees! They have been trimmed up over the street to a height of 10′, so I know we clear. But it is always a challenge to get parked close to the curb and avoid parked cars. But it’s a real convenience to be able to load for a long trip such as this. We will be on the road for 36 days, returning home late June.

Springtime in the Rockies will bring us to all the scenic points in the Rockies, including Rocky Mountain National Park, Pike’s Peak, and Yellowstone National Park, among many others. We will do some hiking, some white water rafting, and we will ride bicycles on Pike’s Peak – down, not up! They will bus us to the top, we will have breakfast, we will climb on bikes and coast down 26 miles, and then they serve us lunch. Sounds like fun to me!

So we left home at about 10:5 am today. Our destination is Las Vegas – a cheap RV park in North Las Vegas. No casino hopping for us!

Quite by chance we “met” on Facebook another couple traveling to the caravan. They are from Nebraska, but they were spending a week or so in SoCal, visiting family; we are traveling with them. We met up in a rest stop just outside Baker, CA. We traveled along with them to Las Vegas.

The Mohave Desert is quite am amazingly stark place! Note to people who thing Eastern Oregon is a desert: This is what a desert looks like…

We found the unique crossroad of Zzyzx:

We drove the freeway past Las Vegas. ‘Nuff said…

We found the Hitchen’ Post RV Park, and set up quickly. We met our new friends for Happy Hours and turned in for the night.

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2021-04-29 – 05-03: Airstream Club Rally – Newport Dunes RV Resort…

Thursday: Newport Dunes is a beautiful resort on the Back Bay of Newport Beach. We arrived a little before 1:00pm and we were quickly in our site. I did all the set-up, then I left to visit my optometrist in Irvine. I was picking up a new set of glasses and having my sun glasses clips adjusted to the new frames (which are identical to my old frames…). It was a quick errand, and I was back in the resort well before happy hours…

There are about 10 Airstreams here today, with 10-15 more coming on Friday, the official start of the rally. Tonight we have reservations at Bayside, one of my favorite Newport Beach restaurants. Back in the olden days (2002-2009) I came to Bayside for lunch 2-3 days per week, always bringing an employee. I sat at the same table with the same waiter… It is the kind of restaurant I would come to every day if I lived in the neighborhood. (And, if I lived in the neighborhood, obviously, I would be able to afford it…) We are able to walk from the resort…

We had a great dinner with another Airstream couple that we did not know well. It was a great way to make new friends.

Friday dawned bright and sunny and warm – unusually warm for Newport Beach… Lynda went window shopping on Balboa Island with an Airstream friend. She found a cute sundress for our upcoming vacation in the desert…! I, in the mean time, strolled the park and walked around the back bay. Happy Hours were at another Airstream across the way, where we were able to catch up with friends we had not seen in over a year!

Saturday: We had an easy morning… at about noon, we walked the mile or so to Fashion Island, a giant shopping center catering to the Newport Beach crowd. We didn’t see anything we had to have, so we returned empty handed. But we got in a great walk. Saturday evening we shared some happy hours and great wines (Ridge MonteBello and Aubert) with Airstream friends. The club provided a great Cinco de Mayo dinner of tacos, rice, beans, and churros – perfect!

Sunday was overcast, windy and cool. We walked over to Balboa Island and circumnavigated it. It is always a very pleasant walk! Happy Hours were at our Airstream, sharing with Airstream friends old and new.

Monday was our last day. We hitched up and headed for home, arriving about 12:30. And an enjoyable time was had by all…

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