Saturday, July 01, 2017

Summer of Fun: Chapter 3

Fun with Mueller State Park

 Up until this trip, all our RV camping adventures had been just the two of us.  
 Shoot, we hadn't even brought along a Thing or Two on our trips.   However, this trip we'd be joined by not only Thing 1 ...
But we would spend the next few days with our friends, The Machidas...
Thanks to the gift of the internet and blogging, hubby had befriended Richard a few years back.   And while I had met Richard during his past visits to CO, and Dom had met Bridget (during his Alaskan adventure of 2013), Bridget and I had never met...until this past week.

Suffice to say we hit it off marvelously...with common interests of working for the school system, to being married to men who own URALs, it was as if we'd been friends for years.   Bonus points that Machidas have two adorable dogs traveling with them.  (Sidebar:   Nope, we don't own dogs, but I am a bit like that spinster auntie when it comes to dogs...I love on them but return them when the work involved becomes too tedious.)

  Going into this trip, I knew that sidecars had to be involved, and I found myself agreeing to driving the RV by myself, towing a sidecar while hubby followed behind in the spare sidecar.    As I'm not really a fan of driving in the first place (if I ever win the lottery, forget the maid, I'm hiring a personal chauffeur), it was a bit nerve racking, but in the end, all worked out just fine.

Day 1:   Primary objective was to check out Canon City's URAL-friendly, Skyline Drive.   Built along the Hogback hills west of town, its sole purpose was to offer visitors and residents views of the city.   Dating back to the early 1900s, it does indeed offer some one-of-kind views..
at one point you really feel like you are riding off into the skyline, with no signs of the road continuing on the horizon...
While in Canon City, we checked out the Royal Gorge Bridge. 
At  955 feet above the Arkansas River, it is considered to be the highest bridge in the US.   In 2013, a horrible fire took out most of the supporting buildings and entertainment options.  Luckily the bridge itself was spared.   We opted not to walk across the it frugal, call it fearful, call it hot, none of us were really feeling the need to spend over  $20 to experience the thrill first hand.

What we were willing to spend $ on was a quick visit to the Colorado Prison Museum.
Canon City and nearby Florence are known for the plethora of prisons (something like 9 prisons between the two communities) so it makes sense that there would be a museum that explores the history of prisons in Colorado.

 Housed in what had once been the women's section of the prison, the museum is adjacent to the Colorado Territorial Correction Facility which has been in operation since the1870s.     It's a small museum that is perhaps a bit dated in some of the  displays but well thought out and detailed in terms of the history presented.   I'd say it was worth the price of admission!

Day 2:   Hello?!!!!  you have to make sure that the music teacher in the group gets to see the place that inspired the classic song America The Beautiful, so off to Pike's Peak we went today...
 A near perfect day for riding, we bundled up for the cold but found ourselves shedding layers on the way down.

Yes, I've been to Pikes Peak on several different occasions but with each trip up the road, I still find myself amazed by the talent it took to build this road to the top and the efforts it takes to keep this road open year round.   While they've raised the rate to $15/person, I'd have to say this too was worth the cost of admission.

Final thoughts:

  • Mueller State Park is a keeper!   Each spot is spacious and nicely forested to offer natural shade.  Flat sites that even I was able to pull through without too much cursing involved.  From our house to campground was just over 2 hour drive, a great place for a weekend get away.  Yeah, too bad the rest of Colorado knows that to be true, as the place is booked solid on the weekends through this year's camping season.   
    • One thing to take note of:    The park does sit on top of a ridge line, which is ok, except for the campers across the way from us. Lightening struck their vehicle, shorting out something in the computer of their RV.    So, if you are there, and you see lightening and thunder, take immediate cover.  Mother Nature doesn't mess around!
  • Camping (or Glamping) with friends is also a keeper!   Sharing meals and conversation made the time speed by WAY.TOO.FAST....usually a 3 day adventure is enough, but this time I was wishing we had 3 more days to spend together.   But alas, our friends needed to head on to Glacier for what I'm sure will be a fabulous adventure as well.
  • Uma is big enough for 3 of us...I was worried that with another full sized person in the RV we'd be regretting the suggestion that Thing 1 tag along.  Nope, it all worked out just fine and his remark on the trip home was "wow, that was the most fun I've had this summer, we need to go again!"  Yes, son, yes we do...and we will!  

Until Next time....See You on the Road!


Charlie6 said...

Good writeup!

LB said...

Sounds like it was a great week. Good times + good friends = great memories. May you have many more such wonderful adventures this summer.