Wednesday, July 27 (continued)
The crew and I continue summer camping in Colorado . . . .
Today we break camp and leave Mt. Antero. The Perfect Tow Vehicle easily pulls the Best Little Trailer northward on Route 285. At Buena Vista she picks up Route 24 which takes us further north along the Arkansas River. We approach the turn for Clear Creek Reservoir.
“Let’s take a look!”
We aren’t on the dirt road more than three minutes when this scene opens up before us.
Clear Creek Reservoir, between Buena Vista and Leadville, Colorado
The road traces the north side of the reservoir.
A few people fish from shore.
Not many people fishing this Wednesday morning. The day is warming up fast.
We continue on the wide, dirt road.
There’s the stream that feeds the reservoir.
Anticipation mingled with a touch of apprehension makes the search for a new camp exciting.
What lies ahead? Will the road become narrow, twisty, difficult, scary? Will there be a good camp for us? Is this the beginning of a wonderful experience?
Clear Creek Canyon Road (Forest Road #390)
About a mile past the reservoir, we come to a small sign. It says simply, “Campground” with an arrow pointing left.
RVs dot a large grassy area.
The river probably flows at the treeline. Hmm . . . . This is interesting.
Clear Creek Recreation Area dispersed camping
I park the PTV at the information kiosk.
What? No pay station? No iron ranger? This is FREE?
The crew is anxious to get out and explore!
“I’ll let you out in a little bit. You can help pick a campsite.”
I drive us around the maze of dirt lanes, looping back to where we started.
A man leaves his Class A motorhome, gets into his truck, and drives toward us.
He stops and waves. I wave and stop. We both get out of our vehicles and greet each other. His name is John.
“What’s the story with this place?” I ask. “No pay station?”
“Nope. It’s free,” John responds, grinning. “It’s great! I’ve been here over a week. . . . Just drive around and pick a spot.”
He immediately explains the lay-out of the campground and gives me a warning.
“Don’t take that big site, the one with the little tree. I was over there and the ants are bad.” He points toward the river. “There are some nice sites over there though.”
John compliments me on the BLT.
“I’d like to get myself a little trailer . . . .”
Bridget and Reggie take on the task of campsite inspection with great enthusiasm.
“Hey, this site looks nice!”
Thickets and trees provide privacy. The river is a few steps beyond the fire ring.
“What ya’ think, crew? Is this one good?”
“EWWWWW! Forget it. This is bad.”
Used toilet paper! What is the matter with people?
A bit more searching and we find the perfect campsite!
We hurry to the PTV and quickly I claim the site by backing in. All this walking around in the sun has us needing to cool off! Set up can wait!
“Go ahead, Reggie! It’ll feel good!”
“You like that, Bridgie?”
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