Monday, August 1 (continued)
My plan to wait out the weekend at Clear Creek Reservoir so that we could enjoy a quiet camp during the week doesn’t “pan out,” as the prospectors say. The commotion from nearby party-people forces me to move the Best Little Trailer to another part of the camping area for the night.
Ahh . . . Peace at last! We will hit the road first thing in the morning!
Tuesday, August 2
The crew and I leave Clear Creek dispersed camping area shortly after breakfast. Route 24 takes us north to Leadville.
Leadville, Colorado, where summer temperatures rarely reach 80 degrees!
To tell the truth, I don’t give much thought to altitude this morning until I see the message in the next photo.
Wow! We’re really high this morning!
Bridget, Reggie, and I aren’t feeling any ill-effects.
We breeze up and over Tennessee Pass (10,424 feet). In fact, Bridget and Reggie nap right through it.
I must say that today’s drive turns out to be one of the most enjoyable we’ve experienced in our five years on the road.
What incredibly beautiful country!
I wish I had photos of the views from Route 24 north through Red Cliff to Minturn. It just isn’t the kind of road where one can safely pull over to take photos.
I admit I got into a serene “zone,” drifting along around bend after bend, awed by the mountains, valleys, streams, and canyons, and it was nice not having that mood interrupted to take photos.
A few miles beyond the pass, the forest opens up to reveal a lush, green valley.
Eagle River Valley
I pull over and park the Perfect Tow Vehicle.
“Ready for a break, crew?”
Bridget and Reggie scramble to the ground and take off.
“Daisies! Look at all the daisies . . . . “
If you look on a map, this pond is near the group campground, “East Fork,” a few miles north of Tennessee Pass.
A guy at the fishing pier practices casting with his fly rod.
An instructor trots between him and two other people.
My boondocking sense tells me there are several really great sites along the roads leading off Route 24 in this area of White River National Forest.
Gee, I’d love to camp here. I doubt there’s internet signal though.
Oh, a beaver lodge! I haven’t seen one of those in ages!
“Okay, little guy. We need to go now. C’mon, Bridge. We have miles to go before we sleep. . . . Well, at least I do.”
When we return to the Perfect Tow Vehicle, I turn on the Verizon jetpack.
Nothing. No signal at all.
If I weren’t so far behind on the blog . . . sheesh . . . I could find a camp around here and we could stay for one night. Oh, well . . . .
We continue northward.
North of Minturn we board Interstate 70 east.
What a shock to go from pristine forest, mountains, and valley to the pressured speed of an interstate and the houses, condos, shopping centers, and hustle and bustle of Vail. The steep mountainsides are striped with ski runs. I shudder at the thought of careening down that!
I’m very happy when the sign appears for Exit 180, east of Vail.
A short drive and we pull into the campground!
Gore Creek is big on reservations.
We don’t have one, of course. Post after post has a “reserved” ticket on it. I find one that is reserved but has a note on it “Open one night only.”
It’s a tricky back-in that goes up with a slight turn mid-way. I commence backing in when a man runs toward the PTV out of the neighboring site. He has a concerned look on his face and his arm is raised to flag me.
“I’ll help you!” he calls out.
“No, no, that’s okay. I do better by myself. Really. Thank you anyway!”
I write a check for $8.50, the senior discount rate. Regular price is $17.00. No hook-ups, but there’s internet signal!
Later, the crew and I climb down the bank to walk along Gore Creek.
Gosh, we had a full day today!
That drive from Leadville to Minturn on Route 24 is a highlight of our exploration of Colorado. I’ll never forget that deep canyon with a river at the bottom and the mountains soaring high as the road curved around the rock face . . . .
I faced a challenge . . . Tennessee Pass . . . . We didn’t have any trouble . . . . I feel good about that.
It’s been a wonderful day. . . . I couldn’t have imagined such a day as this . . .
And now we’re here . . . .
NOTE: This post has been edited.
After publishing this post and responding to several comments last night, I turned off the computer and went to bed. As I lie in bed, I reflected upon the post. That’s when it hit me.
Oh, no! I goofed up!
Those of you who opened up this post when it first appeared will recall reading about Vail Pass. This morning I removed that segment of the story. I will insert it in the next post.
You see, it’s physically impossible for me (or anyone) to drive east of Vail on I-70, go through Vail Pass, and, continuing eastward, reach Gore Creek Campground. One comes to the campground BEFORE the pass. Apparently my memory melded two days into one! Amazing!
What a mind, eh?
I apologize for the confusion. In the next post we will travel through Vail Pass and, wouldn’t you know, that same white SUV will box us in again! — Sue
THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!
Our campsite at Gore Creek Campground, East Vail, Colorado