In this little camping area there are only 7 or 8 sites. Seven are filled, and we have an interesting array of camping styles. There’s me in my mini-A-frame camper; a truck camper, a Class C RV, a cartop tent camper, a tent, a van camper and a motorcycle popup camper! What an assortment!
Right across the river is another camping area (Sultan) that had 8 campers all crammed together, plus 3 utility trailers. It was a group of men who went around in camo and blaze orange, so I guess they were hunting. They used noisy generators (and not nice quiet Hondas; more like the cheap Harbor Freight kind). They all left yesterday and I noticed a huge rack of elk antlers in one of the trailers, so I guess at least one of them went home happy. So glad to see the generators leave! Now I can hear the river’s song again.
I found out there’s a Fat-Chance-Belly-Dance convention here in town this week! You don’t suppose that’s why there are so many campers here now? Surely not. Here’s the photo from the event ad…….hmmm.
I am missing my friends a lot today. I’m usually OK with being totally alone since I’m an Extreme Introvert, but even introverts need friends. And mine are all far far away, and busy with their own lives. I haven’t seen any of them for more than a year and a half!
We’ve been having brilliantly sunshiny days and cold nights….in the low 30’s! I see snow on the higher mountain peaks pretty often in the mornings. The daytime temps are only in the high 60’s but the sun makes it seem warmer. The fall colors are brilliant and very beautiful, but I just can’t capture it on camera.
Between my campsite and town there’s a marijuana farm, offering free farm tours. The sign says you have to be over 21 to take the tour, and I wonder why. Surely they don’t give out free samples at the end of the tour??
I went to town today and saw 5 moose near the side of the road! There was one young bull, two cows and two half-grown calves. I got a couple pics of the bull but the others kept hiding in the bushes so all my photos of them were the kind where you have to say “There’s a moose in that picture, really there is!”.
I’m in Silverton! I decided not to go to New Mexico this trip, but just head towards home. Silverton is about 50 miles out of route, but I love it here and I wanted to see the fall colors. They haven’t even started in the lower elevations, but they’re looking pretty good here. I think peak color is probably another week or so away. At the top of Molas Pass (between Durango and Silverton) they were brilliant!
I was here at exactly the same time last year but this year the campsites are crammed full of people!! Last year I had a whole cul-de-sac in Kendall camping area to myself, and that same place now has 5 campers in it! So I ended up at Anvil, which is just a little ways farther up the road, and much smaller, only 6 sites. I got a nice pull-through site right on the Animas River. It’s only about 4 miles from town so I even get a bit of a cell signal.
I left Poncha Springs and drove about half way; stayed overnight near Pagosa Springs. The sites I was aiming for were 4 miles from the main road. It was one of the worst roads I’ve ever been on!! Full of potholes; it took me 30 minutes to go less than 3 miles! I saw a pulloff with a few sites there and didn’t even bother to go the extra mile to check out the ones that were listed on FreeCampsites.net. It was right on the East Fork River but there were a bunch of bushes so I couldn’t actually see it, so I didn’t even unhook, just stayed overnight and went on in the morning. It took 30 minutes again to get back to the paved road. This is a scene of one of the ranches off that road.
Along the way I was stopped for 25 minutes for construction, then as the long line of cars got moving again, I saw a moose swimming across a lake! There was no possible way to pull over and get a photo so I hope you don’t think I’m making this up, LOL!
I decided I needed a little hand-held DVD player so I stopped at Walmart in Pagosa Springs and Walmart in Durango, and they didn’t have the cheap $49 one I wanted. I even tried to order one on Amazon and have it delivered to General Delivery in Silverton, but for some reason they couldn’t ship it to a Gen. Delivery address. ?? So I guess I have to dig out my TV. It has a built-in DVD player but it takes up an awful lot of counter space in here, plus the cord has to run right across the doorway over to the inverter, and every time I need to go outside, I have to unplug everything. I am pretty bored with my only entertainment being books and the few games I have on Kindle, and I did bring a bunch of favorite DVDs plus a few bought at a yard sale right before leaving.
I forgot that I had to go over two mountain passes between Durango and here. It wasn’t too bad., as I had the road pretty much to myself. Here’s the view from the top of Molas Pass (10,910’)
It was 31 degrees this morning! The “official” low for Silverton was 28 so maybe my little $3 thermometer is off a bit. I had heavy frost on the car….sure glad I put the plants (Ivy and baby Rosemary) in the car last night. The elevation here is around 9200’ so we could actually get snow at any time. In fact when I was here back in the 70’s, there was a lot of snow and ice on the road going over Red Mountain Pass to Ouray, and that was in July! (Talk about white-knuckled driving; that pass is really scary even in good weather!)
I love Silverton, as long as the train from Durango isn’t in. Then it’s a madhouse of people everywhere. It reminds me of how Telluride used to be, back before it was “discovered”.
I caught a photo of the Durango-Silverton train leaving:
View from the other side of camp
Here a couple Amazon product links that you can use to access Amazon, then you can use their Search Bar to find everything you ever wanted! Thanks!
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.