Day Three...July 12 Heather & J's First Anniversary

Good Morning All, a cool 48 degrees,

We're trying to adjust to the sleeping mattress being on the ground.. Had a fairly good sleep until I had to get up to go to the bathroom. It was like a comedy of errors @ 4:30 in the morning. Dave got up as well, I couldn't get up without his help, Old knees! The birds were starting to sing their morning song. In looking up, the black sky was filled to the brim with a gazillion stars, what a wonder to behold and I swear that the Big Dipper got bigger up here in the mountains. I then got into the car with my pillow and blanket as it was hard to get down on the mat again, and put the seat back and snoozed for another 45 minutes. The birds were really sounding off as the sky was starting to lighten up. Of course Dave went back to bed and slept for at least another hour and a half. Some people are just able to do that. Unfortunately I am not one of them. I got up and made camp coffee. The little single burner camp stove operated much better, it fired right up with a good solid flame, last night it had trouble getting going, but of course it hadn't been fired up for 6 years. I would be a bit cantankerous too if had not been fired up in that amount of time. 5 heaping spoonfuls of coffee for the little coffee pot. MMMMMM Good Camp Coffee!

Got camp secured and went into town for breakfast around 9. Went to the Feelin Good Coffeehouse and Cafe. Lots of people there and the staff seemed swamped. They had a large mission group in from Kansas for breakfast. The group is in South Fork building a church. Unless the food is super this one won't go on my Facebook site. However I will say the coffee is really good. So far the food is good and plenty. Had one egg over medium, hash browns, bacon and a buckwheat pancake, Dave had the same. Service is just a tad slow although the coffee kept coming. Just found out that the place just reopened last week and they haven't got their system down yet. Will give it a C for now. We will try it again tomorrow to see if there's any improvement.

Big Meadow Campground Manager Bobbie Chapman and her husband Jim.

We went back to the campground as the Camp Manager Bobbie Chapman suggested that Dave get a Senior Pass Camp Card as it allows us to stay in National Campgrounds for half-price and get into National Parks free. She called up to the Creede Ranger Station to see if they still had one. They did, so we headed out to Creede, just beautiful countryside. If you have not been, take the time and go. We got to Creede and toured around. Gas was cheaper than in South Fork. South Fork - $2.85 a gal. Creede - $2.59 a gal. then 3 cents off if you paid with cash. Every little bit helps. Creede is a rather interesting place, in town lots of curio shops, eateries, a performing arts theatre, mine tours etc. and the Bachelor Loop, a 17 mile drive on a very narrow road visiting old mines in behind Creede. http://www.sangres.com/colorado/mineral/bachelorloop.htm we took the girls on the drive when they were young. Decided not to do it this time. Once was enough.

We decided to have a picnic and drove up to the Rio Grand Reservoir, 17 miles up a dirt and gravel road into the mountains. 20 years ago when we came up with the girls the reservoir was totally empty. There was a little trickle of water across the bottom of the reservoir with animal tracks going across it. Keep in mind this is a very deep lake. This time the Reservoir had lots of water in it. I would say that it was still down about 30 feet but it was beautiful. We drove to the end of the lake which is 6 miles long and then on another 3 or 4 miles. Had no idea how far back in Forest Road 520 went but it was getting to be more like an ATV trail plus it was starting to rain and we were not sure what the condition the road would be like and we did not want to get stuck so we turned around and headed back. Besides there's no cell service up there.
After we passed 30 Mile Campground which is below the dam we finally stopped at a fishing site and had our picnic lunch. Dave had some pickles, cheese turkey slices and a peanut butter & honey sandwich. I had a turkey sandwich which Dave said looked like a Dagwood sandwich. I didn't think it was "that big" We took lots of pictures of the valley and lake. Spent time looking for a rock that I saw on the way up that was a beautiful green with a rust red stripe across the top. It was like trying to find a needle in a huge haystack. We never did find it. It would have been perfect to take back home for our garden. There is not a good way to show how big these boulders were, but if I were to stand beside one I would be dwarfed by them. This is the deepest part of the lake. Believe me when I say it is a long ways to the bottom as I have seen this thing empty 20 years ago. It's amazing to see water in it now.
This is the Rio Grande river heading out through the mountains onto the plains. It looks like a gentle river but it is not. On the way back into South Fork we saw a little open car type of train for sight-seeing. It's a Silver Thread project that is yet to be completed. When it is it would be fun to come back up and ride it. We got back into South Fork and drove east to see what eatery places there were for dinner later on. We passed several that were closed and saw one called The Shaft. We had a big laugh over that one and wondered how people came up with these names. We then stopped at the malt shop and got a chocolate malt. It was good. Christie called to say hello. She was on her way back from Tulsa where she went up to see Heather & J at Uncle Frank and Auntie Karen's place. Karen made Grandma Teena's lasagna. Chris said she had two helpings of it. Russ was making chili for Frito Chili Pies for Monday for Heather and J. and the family. After calling Heather and J and wishing them Happy Anniversary we went on back up to the camp site. I piled the sleeping bag and comforter on top of each other on the sleeping mat and took a nap. I finally got comfortable and had a good snooze. Dave went down to the office to get firewood. Earlier in the day when Bobbie was calling over to Creede, I asked her what you had to do to become a full-timer. (A term meaning living out on the road full time) She was so
excited that she gave me a book called "Take Back Your Life, Travel Full-Time In An RV", which is out of print now.Great Information! It was waiting for me when I awoke from my nap. Here is another one about how to work out on the road.We decided to go into town for dinner and saw Bobbie and her husband Jim and asked them where a good place would be for dinner. They both said The Shaft". We had a huge chuckle over that one. Dave and I split a chicken-fried steak dinner. It was very good, lots of food and filling. One leg of the table was held up by a stack of dinner plates. I never said these places were fancy, they just have great down home cooking. Went back to the campsite sat for a bit and looked at the stars. Wow what a day. Time to call it a night.

Amore & Arrivederci For Now

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