Sometimes your day just doesn’t go right

Yesterday we left Raton, NM for what we thought would be a stay in the Colorado Springs, CO area. We had planned to stay in Woodland Park  which is in the mountains west of Colorado Springs. We had not made a reservation ahead of time because we didn’t think there would be a problem. As we got closer to Colorado Springs, the wife called the campground to get a spot only to find out that the campground was full. We tried several others in the same area but they were also full. What we had not thought about was that this was a Friday which of course starts a weekend and it is summer.

What was supposed to be a short 3 hour day in the truck, turned into a 7 hour and 30 minute day. When we got to Fountain, CO just outside Colorado Springs, we pulled into the station where we always stop for diesel. The station had a problem and all of their diesel pumps were out of order. I was about to be low on fuel but fortunately there was a Love’s a few miles farther up the road. We stopped there to fill up and to call around for a campground. There were no openings for the evening at any of the campgrounds that we called. The wife called the KOA in Golden, CO and they were also full. However, the lady told the wife that there was a new KOA in Central City, CO. So we called them and they did have openings. Years ago we had gone to Central City and I knew they were up I-70 but couldn’t remember anything about the road grades into Central City. I figured that if there was a KOA there, the grades couldn’t be too bad. Wrong!

The traffic out of Colorado Springs was stop and go for a long way. When we got to the loop around Denver, the traffic became stop and go again. We finally made it to I-70. I think everyone in Denver and Colorado Springs were leaving town for the weekend. The trip up I-70 was 18 miles to the turn to Central City. We encountered 6 and 7 percent grades before we got to our turn. The Central City Parkway was 8 miles into Central City. This road has several 7 percent and several 8 percent grades on it. We didn’t know that because we were going up hill mostly. As we came into Central City we saw the campground on the right and thought that we were through with the hills. Suddenly there appeared another sign that said 8 percent grade. Crap! This decent went into Central City and was 8 percent to the stop sign. I had to make a sharp right turn to the road for the campground. Remember that I had just seen the campground before we started the 8 percent descent which meant that we had to go up the 8 percent to the campground. Half way up the hill was a very sharp hair pin turn with no letup in the grade. We were both a nervous wreck by the time we pulled into the campground.

The campground is really a nice campground with good views and all of the sites have nice concrete pads. For some reason it took us three tries to get the camper level side to side. To add insult to injury, it started to rain as we were trying to get things setup.  Sometimes things just don’t go right but you have to take them in stride or go crazy.  So here we sit at 8912 feet knowing that we have to go back down the 8 percent hair pin turn tomorrow.  Everyone who comes into this campground complains about the steep climb but it is a nice campground.

Tomorrow, Estes Park, Colorado.  Later!


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