Yesterday I drove to Telluride. I was very apprehensive because I loved Telluride back in the 70’s when it was a really cool hippie hangout. Then they started building condos…lots and lots of condos! I found information about a free campsite in the national forest about 12 miles from town, and I drove up this tiny forest road. The GPS coordinates took me to a big pullout in front of an old train trestle but that didn’t seem like a legal place to camp, so I kept going. I saw a few rigs just pulled off on tiny pullouts right alongside the road. Drove and drove and couldn’t find a place to turn around so finally when a tiny drive (?) came along, I backed into it to turn around. There was a big dip going across is but I didn’t worry too much; I went really slow. I did hear some scraping but got turned around and I went back to the train trestle site, which was starting to look a whole lot better. When I got out to check the trailer’s level, I noticed that I had completely torn the camper plug receptacle off the car!! The housing is plastic and the “bolt holes” were torn through. So I “fixed” it with plastic zip ties. What the heck did we do before they were invented??!! It’s not great but I’ll have to get to a bigger town before I can find someone to replace it, I’m sure. Probably not til I hit Flagstaff, at the end of the month.
So I dropped the trailer, leveled it and decided I was just not in the mood to set everything up. I get tired of doing that and then packing up again the very next day, and I think this was my 4th day of doing that. So I decided to go on into town. I decided I WAS going to have a burger and fries in a restaurant! Well I have never felt so out of place in my life! Nobody was over 40; nobody was fat; CERTAINLY no one was wearing 10 year old fake Crocs (I forgot to change shoes before I went) and no one was wearing clothes like mine……honest, everyone in that town was young, skinny and dressed in really cool sporty clothes. It had to be bad for me to even notice something like that. All the restaurants were hopping (at 3 pm) so I just walked around a few blocks and went back to the camper feeling fat, ugly and old.
I didn’t mind the condos this trip…they don’t really affect the downtown area. But boy, things in Telluride have sure gone upscale. Last time I was there was in the mid-80’s when the campground in the middle of town was free, and so was the skiing. And I remember I did not stay at the Youth Hostel in town because it was so expensive….$13 a night! Hahaha! (Most other youth hostels were $6-8 a night at that time)
When I got back to the camper I STILL didn’t feel like unpacking it all for just one night, so I folded it down and drove another 3 hours to Silverton, and got here right before dark. There are a number of free places to camp but this is closest to town, a disbursed National Forest site called Kendall. It’s a very large gravel area on the Animas River. There were lots of RV’s already here, and to my shock, they were all lined up about 20’ from each other! ICK!
Then I noticed a little road going off to the side and found another gravel clearing with no one there! So I’m tucked in between some big pine trees, backed up to the river, all by myself, just the way I like it. I will probably stay here a whole week. I’m getting a pretty good cell signal and can get a good wifi signal in town.
I’m about 2 miles from town and really love it here. I went to town this morning and saw two big moose about ½ mile from camp!! They were pretty far off so I had to use both digital and analog zooms to get photos, that’s why they’re not the greatest. But hey, MOOSE!!
Silverton is another really cute well-preserved Victorian mining town of about 4 or 5 blocks. It’s not as snooty as Crested Butte or Telluride. The police drive Dodge Ram pickup trucks!
I swear I AM going to have some pizza there!!! (It’s so hard for me to spend money on restaurant food!) I got a long-sleeve tee shirt on sale for only $18! I asked about a restroom at the tee shirt store and she sent me over to the funnel cake store. So I used their restroom and…..I bought a funnel cake!! YES, I spent nearly $6 on a pile of sugar-sprinkled fried dough. It was the first funnel cake I’ve ever had. I don’t buy them because they are too expensive, but I felt I had to buy something for using their restroom. It was pretty good but certainly not worth $6, and it’s way more than anyone could eat. I brought most of it home and put it in a plastic baggie; I hope it’s not one of those things that are only good the first time around.
On the way back to camp I saw that the moose were still there, and they were up and knee-deep on the pond, eating! So I got a few more poor-quality photos. (But hey, MOOSE!)
The weather forecast for this next week is for cool temps around 60⁰ and low 40’s at night, with intermittent rain. I felt cold last night so I got out of bed at 10:30 pm and got the heater out of the car & cranked it up. It was 39⁰ this morning and when I opened the curtains on the big side window, I realized it had been more than half-way open all night! Duhhh.
Directions to Kendall Disbursed Camping: At Silverton continue N. on Hwy. 550 about two miles. Turn left at the sign “Kendall National Forest Camping”. GPS 37.81938 -107.71307 There are several more smaller free areas on up that road for the next 2.5 miles.