Summer Chill-Out – US road trip recap

I was sitting in Tucson during June 2017, trying to work on some Zennie projects in temps that reached 115 degrees. ๐Ÿ™ Eventually, I came to my senses, and realized that I shouldn’t be there!

It was definitely time for a US road trip! My first thought was to get to some mountains, FAST, in search of high elevations, tall pine trees, and brisk alpine air…

Free camping in Montrose, Colorado

posted in: Colorado | 4

Montrose may not have the eye-popping scenery of Ouray, but this farming community near the end of the Million Dollar Highway makes a good place to stop for a night.

The town provides free RV campsites by the trail along the river, and it’s also easy walking distance to downtown. If you’re passing through, it’s an easy place to stop and make use of the town’s facilities.

Zennie vs. The Rockies – Driving the Million Dollar Highway

posted in: Colorado, Life, Vehicle | 0

The Million Dollar Highway is one of the most spectacular drives in the country. It winds through the Colorado Rocky Mountains, crossing 3 passes over 10,000 feet. It’s a narrow, twisting, two-lane road with hairpin turns, steep drop-offs, and no guard rails.

When Zennie and I drove the Million Dollar Highway, I was afraid she was a goner… ๐Ÿ™

Five-star boondocking – East Fork Road, Colorado

posted in: Colorado | 6

A lot of free boondocking campsites are great for a night or two, but occasionally you find a prize spot that’s glorious enough to be a destination in itself!

In my book, this free campsite at East Fork Road qualifies. It’s stunningly beautiful, between towering cliffs and a lovely river. There are also plenty of cool things to do in the area. I didn’t want to leave! ๐Ÿ™‚

Free electricity! Cool campsite near Great Sand Dunes

posted in: Colorado | 2

Who ever heard of a free campground that even provides free electrical hookups? It’s a rarity for sure!

Now let’s add a few other things… Nice campground with good facilities, short drive to the Great Sand Dunes, view of the lake and mountains, plenty of space and privacy, quiet nights, and good cell service. All that, and it’s free?

Free camping, giant dunes, and a ghost town too!

posted in: Colorado | 2

For free camping near the Great Sand Dunes, here’s one good option. This Colorado boondocking spot along Lake Como Road is near enough to the National Park that it’s easy to visit. But here you get a free campsite with wide open views, and hiking access into the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness.

Those who are energetic can use climb the three local peaks that are over 14,000 feet. Or if you’re like me, there’s a cool old ghost town to explore!

Echo Amphitheater campground, New Mexico

posted in: New Mexico | 6

If you’re looking for a lovely free campground while you’re exploring the O’Keeffe country of New Mexico, here’s a great option for you!

Just over 10 miles north of Ghost Ranch is the Echo Amphitheater campground, and though they used to charge money to stay here, nowadays it’s free. ๐Ÿ™‚

Finding campsites using a Motor Vehicle Use Map

posted in: Life, New Mexico | 4

When I’m looking for a good boondocking campsite, I usually research it beforehand. I have some standard information sources, that usually turn up a few good alternatives.

But sometimes I come up empty. Some parts of the country just haven’t been traveled that much, or at least not by people who write about it! So what’s a person to do?

On the Trail of the Hidden Treasure

posted in: Life | 2

One of the great pleasures of traveling is meeting cool, interesting people along the way. Sometimes they can give you glimpses into ways of life that you never imagined. Whenever that happens, I feel like my world got a little bit larger.

That’s what happened when I met Tom the Treasure Hunter.

Taos Junction – Free camping near Ojo Caliente, New Mexico

posted in: New Mexico | 2

Ojo Caliente is a famous hot springs resort west of Taos, and quite a luxurious place to stay. But if you don’t feel like paying the big bucks they ask for a room there, there is free camping nearby.

Just boondock at Taos Junction (about 10 miles north), and you can use the resort’s facilities – soak in the hot springs, hike the trails, or get a spa treatment. And think about how much money you’re saving while you do it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Eeek! Zennie has a mouse! How do I get rid of it?

posted in: Life, Vehicle | 6

It all started the night I was camped at the ghost town cemetery. There were strange noises in the night, but they didn’t sound very ghostly!

Later, while tossing and turning during a sleepless night, I got up and turned on the interior light. Even without my glasses, I could see a pointy little head sticking out from my dinette area. Eeek!

Dawson, New Mexico – Grandpa and the ghost town

posted in: Life, New Mexico | 4

Dawson is a ghost town in northeastern New Mexico. Like so many abandoned places, it was a mining town whose fortunes rose and fell with the mine itself.

But this isn’t just any old ghost town. No, this one is special, with a unique family connection so that I had to visit it. You see, for a brief moment in time, my grandpa owned the old Dawson Hotel.

Ouch! Getting hurt on the road

posted in: Life | 4

Nobody likes to get sick. Or hurt. Or anything that leaves you feeling like less than your normal capable self.

But stuff happens, right? Even when you’re on the road, traveling by yourself through who knows where. Perhaps you’re way off in the boonies, with miles of nothing between you and any kind of help.