We are staying in site 8 at the Aspen Basalt Campground initially for 2 nights. The campground needs work but does have full hookups. The Wi-Fi was very poor and we could not access. The cable TV had 5 stations. However, the bathrooms were very clean. Not a great place to stay but seems to be the only one in the area. The price of the CG like everything else in the Aspen valley is high.
September 7, 2014. Sunday: We decided we did not want the Scotty. Therefore, we spent a couple of hours on a list of what we wanted in a camper. Finally with list in hand we met with John and Dennis at 1:00 pm to discuss renovation of the 1957 Aljo. The list included several modern modifications including a low profile roof air conditioner with heat strip, stainless steel sink, new stainless steel cook top, several 110v outlets, two TV cable outlets in case we wanted a TV later, a 10 gallon fresh water tank and a 10 gallon grey tank. We decided on several other design modifications and colors. We spent 6 hours with these guys talking about our wants, their suggestions and small campers in general. We agreed on a price of $16,000 and gave them a deposit of $8000. We parted company about 6:20 pm. Tonight we ate at another of the nice restaurants in Basalt called Smoke Modern BBQ. Very good.
September 8, 2014. Monday: We awakened at 8:00 am and decided to stay another night in the same site. Later in the morning we met again with John and Dennis and spent another 3 hours reviewing specifics on renovations of the Aljo. We have growing confidence in these guys and wished we could do something to help them become successful. We thought that if we could take our final product to a couple of get togethers and perhaps help them advertise the Scotty Hylander their cash flow would increase. We then met with John’s daughter, Lindsey, at Carpet One in Glenwood Springs about 20 miles away to select flooring colors. We chose a very pleasant blue and white. Then off to the local grocery store to restock. I had checked out the river with a fisherman camped next to us, but it was running high and muddy with all of the rain.
September 9, 2014. Tuesday: John and Dennis came to our rainy campground to repair a leak in the skylight and talk more about renovating travel trailers. Jeanne is so excited. We left on I-70 heading west about noon. We decided to stay at the Monument RV and Storage CG in Fruita, CO only driving 122.8 miles today.
September 10, 2014. Wednesday: Departed at noon and got gas at the Shell station in Fruita for 3.839/gal (87 octane). Ate lunch at a great Mexican place in Fruita called El Tapatio close to our entrance to I-70. We drove onto Moab to the Arch View RV Park and Campground close to the entrance to Canyonland National Park. Finally hooked up around 4pm in site 53. Rate was $36.64. Final mileage showed we drove 102.4 miles today. We talked with Dale and Barb Dietz from Clarksville, AR, our neighbors at the CG about how their Airstream anti-sway bars worked. We may get some for pulling the new camper
September 11, 2014. Thursday: We moved to the Moab Valley RV Resort 9 miles away. When we arrived, their computers were down so we drove a few miles into Moab for lunch at Pasta Jay’s and washed the car at a self wash place. Finally checked into the campground in the afternoon. They had great cable TV and better than the usual wifi. Then off to Canyonland National Park, followed by a visit to the adjacent Dead Horse Point State Park. Fabulous vistas of deep canyons and rock formations. The Colorado River could be seen from some of the vistas. Terrific color. Lots of pictures. We meet a couple from Cullman traveling with their friends from Australia also talked with two couples on three wheelers from Ohio.
September 12, 2014. Friday: Up early and off to Arches National Park. Spent most of the day there and hiked several trails to get closer to the various arches. I think we walked over 6.5 miles today. So much to see. Lots of pictures. We drove back into Moab about 3pm and shopped for T-shirts for ourselves and Jim and Marion then found a great gift for Jennifer to thank her for watching our house and mail. We ate dinner at the Moab brewery and returned to our campground pretty tired. Best lager I have ever had.
September 13, 2014. Saturday: Up early and made reservations at the Alpen Rose RV Park located about 6.5 miles north of Durango, CO. We washed the RV and rewashed the car as we were leaving town around 9:30 am. Our route takes us south on US 191 where we stopped at Wilson’s Arch. This was named after the same man who built the ranch located in Arches NP. We drove onto Monticello, UT then route US 491 to Cortez, CO then US 160 into Durango then north on US 550 to our campground. Stopped at Dove Creek for gas at $3.869/gal (87 octane). The LD was really struggling to pull the car up some of the hills. Arrived at 1:45 pm our mileage today 173.1. The Alpen Rose CG is located about 6.5 miles north of Durango and sits among mountains. It's a great setting. We paid for 2 nights in full-service site 78 for $92.92.
September 14, 2014. Sunday: Although it was recommended, we decided against taking the train from Durango to Silverton. The cars are open and you end up with soot all over you. In addition, we could not justify the price or the use of an entire day for the ride. Instead we drove the jeep to Silverton on US 550 taking us up and over a couple of high mountain passes. There was a picture every direction you turned. We walked around for a couple of hours visiting shops and taking pictures of one of the trains that was ready to depart on its trip back to Durango. We also ate lunch in Silverton at the Handlebars Food and Saloon. Perhaps the best hamburger we've ever had. Driving onto Ouray we encountered part of 550 that was even more challenging with hairpin turns, steep incline and, in places, no guardrail. We didn’t stop in Ouray, but drove the streets taking pictures. Both towns were situated in Alps like settings.
September 15, 2014. Monday: For some reason, the power kept popping off, so we didn't get that much sleep. We obviously had brown outs that caused our surge protector to shut down and 2 minutes later, restart. Jeanne was up at 5:30 and Ed faked sleep until 6:45. We left the campground at 8:20. We bought gas at a Conoco in Monticello, UT. Mileage for $3.799/gal. We returned today to the Aspen Basalt Campground taking US 550 to Durango, US 160 from Durango to Cortez, US 491 to Monticello, UT then US 191 to I-70 to Exit 114. Before going to Basalt, we stopped at Lowe’s to pick up sink hardware for Jeanne's Aljo and then continued on US82 to the campground. Today, we drove 383.6 miles in 9 hours.
September 16, 2014. Tuesday: This morning we visited with John and Dennis to talk about some of the modifications to the Aljo, then stopped at Carpet One to change floor tile selections and back to Lowe’s to return some lighting. Today was a difficult drive through several winding canyons, some road repairs, and two high mountain peaks. Vail peak which is over 10,500 feet high was too much of a challenge for the Lazy Daze towing the jeep so we stopped half-way up, unhitched the car and drove separately to Golden, CO. Here we stayed at the Clear Creek RV Park. This is a community run park with some really nice sites and many not so nice. We had reserved the only available site for $33.05. We arrived after the office closed at 4:00 pm. Our site was a tight squeeze, but on the end and close to the river. We drove into Golden, a really nice town, and ate at the Old Capital Grill. Our mileage since arriving at Basalt, CO was 182.7. We had stopped at a Shell station in Gypsum, CO and got gas for $3.65.
September 17, 2014. Wednesday: We drove about 209.3 miles today stopping at a KOA in Goodland, KS about 3:00 pm. We stayed in site 26 for $33.50. Kansas is flat and windy.
September 18, 2014. Thursday: We left the campground at 11:40 am MT. Stopped for gas at Colby Truckstop, Philips 66 for $3.259/gal. We arrived at Deer Creek Valley RV Park in Topeka, Kansas at 6:00 CT. We were in site 46 for $37.80. This is perhaps the nicest campground we have stayed in. Just off I-70, but no noise. Eight years old and owned by a concrete company, all of the roads and the pads are concrete. Each site is well separated from the next by grass. Our cable hookup provides loads of stations. This is a definite repeat if we come this way again. Sometime early on our journey today we passed into the Central Time Zone. As we passed the Manhattan, KS exit we encountered a huge traffic backup. It wasn’t until we turned on our TV that we realized that Auburn was playing Kansas State in Manhattan tonight. Today we drove 346.2 miles
September 19, 2014. Friday: We decided to spend another day resting, updating our blog and doing some laundry. We plotted our stops for the rest of our journey while we awaited word on the birth of our 10th grandchild, Brynn Casey Gaffney in Maryland. So now we are off to Baltimore planning to arrive on Tuesday.
September 20, 2014. Saturday: We left at 9:20 am and stopped for gas at a Philips 66 in Kingdom City, MO for $3.059/gal. We arrived at 5:10 pm at Camp Firewood in Effingham, IL, site 5 for $29.75. We drove 402.1 miles today.
September 21, 2014. Sunday: We left at 10:00 am CT. Stopped for gas at 2:30 ET at a Shell station in Greenfield, IN. for $3.299/gal. This gas station had no exit so we had to unhook the car. Ugh!!!. I-70 is in the poorest condition of any interstate we have ever traveled. So at Dayton we headed south on I-71 and then US 35 east for about 70 miles. Stayed at Sun Valley CG near Chillicathe, OH in site 57 for $30.60. Although there was nothing special about this campground it was in a peaceful country setting and we wished we could stay another day. We drove 332 miles today and arrived at 5:40 ET.
September 22, 2014. Monday: Fall begins tonight. We left at 12:00 noon. Stopped for gas at 2:45 pm for $3.499/gal. We arrived at a county park, Chestnut Ridge Park and Campground in Bruceton Mills, WV. The CG was so far back in the woods, we had neither data nor cell service. We decided not to stay there and fortunately, they refunded our camp fee and directed us to Coopers Rock State Campground directly across I-68. There we stayed in site 11 for $20.70. Although this park was also in the woods and pretty rustic, we were able to get cell and data and picked up a couple of TV channels. The bathrooms were old and needed work, but if needed we would stay here again. It was 5:30 pm by the time we got set up. Today we drove 229.8 miles.
September 23, 2014. Tuesday: We left Coopers Rock at 10:00 am and got gas at Myervile for $3.399/gal. I-68 through WV was very hilly and the trees were beginning to turn color at the higher altitudes. We arrived at Patapsco Valley SP close to Ellicott City, MD about 2:00 pm ET. The entrance to the campground was confusing at first. We were assigned site 408 for our six day stay. We paid 27.60/day or $182.60 total. The campground is set in the woods and very pretty. We had a water/electric site. Since we were so close to Baltimore we got great TV reception on dozens of channels. Lots of shopping nearby for basic needs and tonight we ate at Kelsey’s Irish Pub. This state park is only 20 to 30 minutes from Ann, Katie and Butch so it is a great central location when we bring the RV back to the area.