Monday, August 09, 2010

After Leadville...

I left Leadville on Saturday July 17TH and drove to the Silverthorne Elks Lodge where I had planned to stay for a few days. The lodge is closed on Saturdays and Sundays so I thought it would be nice and quiet and I wouldn't be in any ones way. I got parked way back in a corner, but before long someone from the lodge came to ask me to move closer to the building because there was a wedding reception there that evening and I was taking up too many parking spots. The spot by the building wasn't really parking spots. I didn't understand why the reception guests couldn't park in the non-parking spots by the building, but after discussing the fact that there would be loud music until the wee hours of the morning I decided to try to find somewhere else free or cheap in the area. I had no luck, so I drove to the Black Hawk/Central City casino area. I heard about a huge RV/truck parking area called Miner's Mesa where I could park and a shuttle would take me to the casinos. Not only was it a very steep drive up to the towns, but an even steeper drive up to Miner's Mesa. I promised my truck he could rest for three days before I made him do anything like that again!!

Here' a sign posted in Miner's Mesa. I never did see a Bear or a Mountain Lion.

Well, the fridge quit working when I got to the Mesa, so I called Camping World in Golden, CO and pleaded for an appt. ASAP!! I was scheduled for Tuesday and of course, shortly after I called Camping World the fridge decided to start working again. After 2 mights at Miner's Mesa I went down the hill on Monday evening and spent the night at Camping World and decided that if the fridge wasn't working in the morning I would keep my appt. and if it was working I'd cancel the appt. I cancelled and moved on to an Englewood, CO Wal-Mart for two nights. Then I moved to the Englewood Elk's Lodge where Elk members can park overnight free for two nights. While there I did some shopping in the area and rode to 4 area Harley shops.

After my two nights at the free Elk's Lodge I spent one night a the Loveland Harley Shop, not far from a "No Overnight Parking" sign. No one bothered me and the next day I continued on to Cheyenne for the WIN RV Club's annual Frontier Days gathering. Every year Ila puts a notice in the WIN newsletter that she will be hosting a gathering at the VFW in Cheyenne during Frontier Days. If you put it in the newsletter, they will come!! Well, this year I CAME. Another lady had been there before Frontier Days started, and left. And two local ladies stopped by for visits, and I stayed for 10 days. Hey, two can make a gathering.

Here' some pictures I took at one of the three free pancake breakfasts put on by the town of Cheyenne every year during Frontier Days.

They feed a lot of people!!

Here's the chuck wagon where all the cooking takes place.

One morning while awake, but not up yet up I heard a loud BOOM!! My first thought was, "Oh great, the oil refinery 1/4 mile away blew up." I got out of bed, did a few morning rituals, then thought I'd better look out the window and check out the refiner. Sure enough, the refinery was on fire.

I was parked a little farther away, but if you look close you can see Ila's motor home in the lower right corner.

We both were ready to hookup and pull out quickly if things got worse. But I did have a thought that this could be a solution to my trailer back wall problem. = )

The fire burned for over an hour.

Here's what the refinery looked like before and after the explosion. Even when it wasn't burning it was noisy and smelly. I was more than ready to leave after 10 days.

While in Cheyenne my refrigerator stopped and started about every other day. I made an appt. at a local RV repair shop for a week and a half out. So, I stayed at the VFW until the day of my appt. While there I purchased an ice chest and 20 pounds of ice. The ice lasted until the fridge started working again. = )

Frontier Days and the WIN gathering came to an end, and a few days later my fridge appt. came. Of course the fridge was working on the day of the appt, like the last appt. They say it's impossible to figure out what is wrong with it if it's working. The RV tech cut out a small piece of aluminum saying it just wasn't getting enough oxygen. There was a recall several years ago and apparently this small piece of aluminum wasn't removed when I took it in for the recall. I left there feeling so hopeful that I would have NO MORE problems!! WRONG!!

I left Cheyenne and headed to a really nice rest stop just east of Laramie. The next day the fridge stopped working again. This time I transferred all the still frozen water bottles from the freezer to the ice chest. That worked well.

My next over night stop was the RV friendly Laramie Wal-Mart. The next day the fridge was still working when I left Laramie to head to a Rawlins truck stop. It was very noisy, but convenient. I had checked out a few free spots in the area but they didn't work out too well. One I couldn't find and the other had no cell phone service. After a so-so night of sleep at the truck stop I unloaded my motorcycle and rode to the Rock Springs Harley shop for raffle ticket #14. There were soooo many bikes on the road heading east to Sturgis. I so much wanted to go, but it wasn't meant to be this year.

Before I left the truck stop, the fridge had stopped working. I bought 16 pounds of ice, and then it started working again.

Now for true confessions. Not only is the fridge malfunctioning, but the back wall of my toy hauler trailer is separating from the side walls. I have visions of driving down the highway and having the whole back wall falling off and dragging down the road. I've changed the last two months of my summer travel plans. I decided not to go any farther east (Sturgis) or north (Jackson, WY) but rather start heading west and south, back to Arizona and the dealer where I purchased the trailer in 2005. I've come to accept that the back wall problem probably has something to do with negligence on my part resulting in water infiltration, wood rot and separation. I might be wrong, but I'm preparing myself for the worst. $$$$$$ =(

Shortly after the Rawlins truck stop I headed south toward Colorado.
I checked out a free spot I had read about in my very old "Free or Cheap Campgrounds" book. It went from free to $16/night with no phone service. So I spent the night at the Craig, CO Wal-Mart instead, where I didn't see the "No Overnight Parking" sign. Or so I was prepared to plead. = ) No one bothered me.

The next day I continued south to the town of Meeker and a delightful $5/night city park campground. Well, way-back-when it was $5/night. Now it's $15/night. And muddy from the previous nights rain, and my phone and Internet service was on Global Roaming. That sounded scarier and more expensive than Global Warming, so I left. I ended up at the Grand Junction Moose Lodge.

The Grand Junction Moose Lodge has RV parking spots out back with electrical hoop-ups. I parked in the first spot, got my dogues out of the truck and tried to usher them back to the trailer. They both just sat down and looked at me like I was really mean!! They were sitting in the middle of a goat head sticker field. Poor puppies!! And the bottom my rubber sandals were solid goat heads!! I decided that if the RV spots with electrical hook-ups and goat heads was my only option I would have to go to the noisy Elk's Lodge instead. But, a nice gentleman at the lodge told me I could park on either side of the building. = ) so I stayed.

That brings us to today, August 9. Today I rode to the Grand Junction Harley shop for raffle ticket #16. It took me 15 minutes to get there and an hour to get back to my trailer. I got lost. In the rain. Tomorrow I ride the 280 mile round trip to the Vernal, Utah Harley shop. The free spots I checked out earlier would have made for a shorter ride to Vernal, but I'm here and Vernal is there, and I will ride the 5 hour ride to Vernal and back tomorrow. It will be a long day, but it will be worth it when I win that brand new 2011 Harley Street Glide next month. =) I might have to sell my beloved Sportster to pay for my trailer repair bill, so I sure could use that new Harley Street Glide.