Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cool in Taylor Park

Tuesday, August 7

We left Ridgway on Sunday, with reservations waiting at Cobbett Lake Campground up on the Grand Mesa. It was only a 58-mile trip, but to get up on the Grand Mesa you have quite a climb: the Grand Mesa is 10,000 feet high. The campground we were headed to is right across Cobbett Lake from the Grand Mesa Visitor Center. We realized when we turned off the main road that it was going to be a tight place, as the road was pretty narrow. When we got to the campground, we discovered that someone was in our site. We also noticed that even if it was empty, we couldn't get into it due to some trees that were too close to the road. We found the camp host, who had just arrived that day, and she offered to go make the people in our site leave. We told her about it being inaccessible, and she took me in her cart to look for another site. There weren't any.

After consulting with Don, I told her we'd just go on to Taylor Park, and to assist us in getting a full refund from recreation.gov. Once we got back down off the mesa, I called recreation.gov to cancel and get the refund going.
My next call was to the campground up behind the Taylor Park Trading Post. It's called Colorado Dream Ranch, and we've only been there to use their laundry room. But they have full hookups, and I hoped they'd have a site for us on a Friday night. Sure enough, they did--a nice site on the back row with views of the mountains and Cottonwood Pass. We are here for 9 nights, then we go to Dinner Station Campground, a Forest Service campground about 12 miles further up the Taylor River.

This campground caters to the ATV/dirt bike/4WD folks, with access to the trails right from the campground. There are a few people here for the fishing, but I think we're the only ones here without ATVs, bikes, or 4WD. We've met some really nice people. Wayne and Sheila from Kansas insisted on giving us some coffee when our microwave broke. We'd been drinking instant and were sometimes zapping it instead of using the kettle to heat water--but our first day here it started smoking and we definitely don't want to burn the trailer down! We have a Mr. Coffee, and thanks to those kind people we have "real" coffee. Kay and John from Texas have invited us to share their campfire a couple of nights, and last night they gave us some decadent turtle pie. Steve and Wilma, who work here, came over yesterday to watch the USA women's soccer gold medal game, and brought a cantaloupe and a bunch of fresh jalapeƱos.

Sunday we went to Crested Butte so I could get some fresh fruit and veggies from their farmers' market. It was also the day of a big art festival, and the main street (Elk Street) was closed off and full of vendors. The art was beautiful, but way above my price range. We ate pizza for lunch that had local Colorado sausage on it. It was very tasty. At the farmers' market I picked up some Olathe sweet corn, butter lettuce, and red potatoes.

Right now I'm sitting in the trailer during an honest-to-goodness gullywasher. It started raining heavily about 20 minutes ago, and the rain turned into hail--about pea-sized. Our TV says "searching for satellite signal," so that shows me that the storm clouds are pretty dense. I haven't seen it rain (or hail) this hard since we got to Colorado!

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