12 days with very little bathing

lake irwin
(click to see the whole set)

Sunday we left home for Glenwood Springs after Jim finished playing at church. We had decided to play our time there by ear and drove around a bit when we arrived looking for a dog friendly hotel. Google via text was my constant companion those first few days. While I made a phone call from the parking lot of one hotel, Jim backed up and ran over one of the tie downs holding the camper to the truck that had come loose, consequently ripping a small portion of the bottom of the camper completely out. That was fun.

We finally found an (expensive) place to stay downtown and settled in. We walked around, ate dinner at subway and then drove to the hot springs to swim. Tuck relaxed in the camper while we swam – luckily he doesn’t mind being in there and it was cool.

The next day we headed up to the GWS adventure park via gondola and poked around a bit, rode the roller coaster and headed back down the mountain. Next we stocked up on food for 6 days and Jim got some parts at Lowes to fix his little tie down mishap. It was a lot of shopping and we finally headed to Redstone around 4. Redstone is a great campground about mile from the actual teeny, tiny town. There is a castle above the town, but we didn’t take the time to check it out. Those couple days at Redstone were pretty relaxed, our spot was mostly out of the way, so the dog didn’t have many passersby to bark at. Jim got the camper fixed and we spent an hour or so down by the Crystal River throwing rocks and relaxing before a bunch of kids pulled up in a 15 passenger van and stripped down, changing into suits to swim in the river. We decided to leave, which ended up being good timing because it started to rain and I had left laundry washed in my new Wonder Clean hanging out. I ran all the way back to the campground which was a good test for my knee and saved the laundry. We got to shower that night and packed everything up so we could leave early the next morning. Eden and Honor made friends with the camp host’s grandson and Tuck got all snarly and mean when the kid tried to pet him.

The next day we took a quick trip back to Carbondale to pick up a few groceries that we had forgotten before we headed up Kebler pass to Lost Lake. This was the campground that we were most anxious to stay at because it didn’t take reservations. I thought we would be fine considering it was a Wednesday but I hadn’t taken into account that it was 4th of July week. The campground was beautiful and consequently totally packed. The drive up the pass had been stressful and I started to freak out a bit because we didn’t have a place to stay. But I consulted our Colorado Camping book, which we used to plan the whole trip, and found a campground on a lake not far from Lost Lake, closer to Crested Butte. The book spoke of the campgrounds popularity, so I was worried that it would also be full. Luckily, we got one of the last spots there.

I ended up being really happy with Lake Erwin, it was so beautiful. The dog, on the other hand, took his opportunity to make us miserable. He barked at everyone that walked by, which happened frequently because we were close to the bathrooms. If a dog walked by he completely lost it. Jim tried every dog-whisperer-trick in the book to keep him under control to no avail. Basically the dog spent our entire trip tied to Jim’s belt loop. (This is where we see that Jim is MUCH more patient that I am.)

We spent some time fishing at Lake Irwin, we took our full day there to walk around the entire lake, fishing in spots. I’m sure Jim would have loved a lot more time to fish, but he did catch one fish when we first arrived. I had a rough week before we left during which I cracked and then completely broke, so dealing with the most. stubborn. dog. was getting to be really upsetting. There was an incident with a cup of tea that I somehow dumped all over my head and smashed into my nose as I was getting up to stop the dog from barking. So our time at Lake Irwin ended with me crying over my dog (and probably the disaster that was the previous week.)

We started out the 4th with a drive through Crested Butte. We would have liked to have taken more time to explore the town, but they were having their parade and the town was packed. I tried to find a kennel in Gunninson to leave Tuck (because we would be back there later) but I couldn’t get ahold of our vet to fax in vaccination records. We drove past Blue Mesa Reservoir (talk about huge!) and along the north rim of the Black Canyon as we headed to Crawford. I had no idea what to expect of Crawford, but I anticipated that it would be something like our nearby state park, Island Acres. Which is kind of like parking lot camping, but they have trees and grass and a playground and showers and real toilets and it’s in the middle of a beautiful canyon, which lends itself to traffic noise, but is still pretty. I was looking forward to the showers.

But it was, instead, a big field of dead weeds without trees or mountains to have any hope of providing shade. The big field was next to a big muddy reservoir that was so full that there weren’t any good spots to fish from. And it was 100 degrees and the swim beach was a mile walk away. There was no way that I was going to stay there. We were supposed to be camping, not roasting in a field of dead weeds. So we drove into the town to make some phone calls. And every single place we called was full. To the brim. And I started crying again, saying over and over again how awful the campground was and the kids were sweet and positive, telling me that it wasn’t that bad. But it really was pretty dern awful and we didn’t know what to do. I was so mad at our camping book because the author wrote of the campground in a pretty positive light, giving it a scenery rating of 6. It was definitely no 6.

And it’s late, so I have to pull a “to be continued…”

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One Response to “12 days with very little bathing”

  1. pretendingsanity » 12 days with very little bathing… continued

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