Posts Tagged ‘Colorado RV parks’

             “Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.” Ernest Hemingway.

The Blanco River, Colorado. Notice how the details of light against shadow, hard rocks against flowing water are what make this an appealing picture. -- Photo bu Pat Bean

The Blanco River, Colorado. Notice how the details of light against shadow, hard rocks against flowing water are what make this an appealing picture. — Photo bu Pat Bean


Some Details I Love, Some I Flunk

My RV was parked by the Blanco River pictured above at one of my favorite RV parks. I loved the river but I also loved the little details around the park, like this charming owl painted on a rock that gave the campground character. Photo by Pat Bean

My RV was parked by the Blanco River pictured above at one of my favorite RV parks. I loved the river but I also loved the little details around the park, like this charming owl painted on a rock that gave the campground character. Photo by Pat Bean

            “The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.” – William Morris

            I struggled this past three days trying to finish up a magazine writing assignment that required me to stick a lot of facts into only 750 words. In one way it was writer’s block, which thankfully I seldom suffer, but in another way it wasn’t.


This turtle was yet another detail that made the park stand out from the ordinary. — Photo by Pat Bean

            While I had a multitude of facts, I knew that it was the little details – the funny, the weird, the human touch – that were missing from my story. Without those, my article was cold, boring and flat. I knew I had to dig some of these out and somehow make them fit into few words.

            Finding out the details of a thing, in the same way that Ann Zwinger did in one of my favorite travel books, “Downcanyon,” in which she brought the Grand Canyon down to bug and flower size, is part of why I love being a writer.

            I think it’s also why I love birdwatching so much. It’s the little details of eye rings, feet color, head shape, tail length, etc., that allow one to identify a bird. It’s sort of like finding the solution to a mystery book, which is why I enjoy reading mysteries.  

            On the other hand, the details of daily life, like balancing a checkbook,  remembering birthdays, putting everything back in its proper place, proper punctuation, or coordinating errands are details I sometimes flunk.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: A Song for Today http://tinyurl.com/c88458q I started my day with this blog and Fleetwood Mac song. “Go My Own Way.” What I liked best about it was how much fun the band members were having performing it.

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“Life is uncharted territory. It reveals its story one moment at a time.” – Leo F. Buscaqlia

Adventures with Pepper: The End of Day Ten  

Pepper was a little confused when this quaint burro didn’t want to play. It was one of several pieces of garden art that added charm to Wray, Colorado’s, Hitchin’ Post RV Park. — Photo by Pat Bean

When I left Loveland, Colorado, this morning I was facing what looked like a 160-mile drive ahead of me before I would likely come across an RV park — and the ratings for it  in my Trailer Life Directory left something to be desired.

Perhaps that was simply because it was small. At least that’s what I hoped.

My love of driving little-traveled back roads means it’s not usual for me to find myself in this kind of situation. And when it does, the questions start running through my head.

Would I find a safe place to stay the night? Would the people I meet be trustworthy? Would I take a wrong turn? Would my RV suffer a flat tire or engine trouble?  Would the showers be clean?

All these woulds are what made one couple I met decide, after just one day on the road in a  brand new 40-foot RV, that the traveling lifestyle wasn’t for them. Instead they chose a wooded RV park an hour away from their home, bought one of its spaces, parked their RV and used it as a getaway cottage.

Even if they weren’t rat-a-tat-tatting on the post, I found these woodpeckers charming. — Photo by Pat Bean

A creative way to go, I thought, when the female half of the couple told me about their decision as we shared the park’s Laundromat at her home away from home.

But it’s not my way. Not knowing what lies ahead is part of the adventure.

I’ve learned two things over the years that ease my mind about facing the unknown.

The first, which I learned after suffering worn disk brake pads that left Gypsy Lee crying ouch every time I touched the brake pedal, was that I trusted myself to solve whatever problem fate threw at me.  In this case it meant sitting at Wiser State Park near Poteau, Oklahoma, for several days, while new brake pads for my RV were shipped in to a Poteau tire shop, as none were to be found in the small town.

And who doesn’t get a smile on their face when a deer emerges from the woods. While certainly not great art, the small wildlife statues did make me feel good about the place I had chosen to spend the night. — Photo by Pat Bean

The second is a Plan B. Once it was a night spent in a Wal-Mart parking lot to escape driving in a storm, and several times it’s been to keep driving until I do find a place that looks safe.

That would have meant quite a bit farther this day if the Wray, Colorado, place didn’t work out, I had noted when planning the day’s driving route.

Thankfully I didn’t have to do that. Wray’s Hitchin’ Post RV Park, despite its faded entrance sign, turned out to be a clean little gem run by a little old lady who used a walker to move about.

Book Report: Travels with Maggie up to 53,606 words.

The Wondering Wandrer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Catch of the Day: http://tinyurl.com/dy2alca There’s more to getting up early to go fishing than catching fish.

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“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day, you shall begin it well and serenely…” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gypsy Lee in a better place than a dinky RV park in Alamosa. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie*

My grandmother believed that trouble came in threes. I can’t tell you how many times in my life she was proved right, which is why I should have been more worried at the first setback of my perfect day.

My two previous overnight campgrounds were Colorado state parks with trails to walk, lakes to sit by, scenic landscapes out my window and birds to sing me awake in the morning. I expected tonight’s stay at San Luis State Park, just 20 miles down the road from the Great Sand Dunes, would offer much the same.

And well it might have if it hadn’t still been closed for the season – even though my Trailer Life Directory of RV campgrounds, my travel bible, said it opened for the season April 15.

The next closest campground I could locate was a KOA in Alamosa. It was another 25 miles to drive, but the directory’s ratings gave it a thumbs up, along with noting that it opened for the season on March 13.

Wrong again. It didn’t open until May 1.

A pair of mallards cheer up any day. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I then realized my RV was pulling to the right and discovered the front passenger tire was low. My nearly new tire, I saw, had a nail in it. Quickly, I retreated to a tire store I had passed about five miles back up the road, thinking it would be an easy fix. Wrong.

Before beginning this trip, Gypsy Lee, which has over 115,000 miles on her, underwent some major wear and tear repairs, including new wheels to replace the corroded and cracked old ones. They were shiny, spiffy and expensive – and required a special key to unscrew their lug nuts, which someone had forgotten to give me.

The small Alamosa tire store, which was also a service station, couldn’t solve my problem. And by now it was after 6 p.m. and every place else was closed for the evening, even the place in Texas where I had bought the wheels. As a last resort, I called them thinking they could FedEx the part to Alamosa overnight.

I had air put in my tire, hoping it was a very slow leak, and retreated to a dinky RV park a few miles away where campers were allowed to dump their gray (dish-washing and/shower) water on the ground. I was not a happy camper. I might have whined a bit, except Gypsy Lee has a rule against such self-pity.

The best thing I have going for me as a lone female traveling this great country of ours is the confidence that I can handle what the road throws at me. This wasn’t the first, or the worse mishap, I had overcome in seven years of traveling.

So while I didn’t get a peaceful night’s sleep because of worrying about my situation, I awoke ready to solve it.

Thankfully my tire still had air in it, and the local Firestone tire shop I called as soon as they were open, said they could solve my problem. If they broke the studs getting the locks off, the sensible woman on the other end of the line told me, then they would just replace them. It wouldn’t be all that expensive.

It turned out they actually had a key for my wheels in stock, which they sold me for future emergencies. I was back on the road, my pocketbook only $22 thinner, within about 15 minutes.

Now let’s see. If I count the two closed RV parks and the nail-in-the-tire, that makes three things that went wrong yesterday.

If my grandmother was right, I had another perfect day ahead of me.

Continuing Day 7, April 25, 2001

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