This is Tuesday April 8th’s post
Five other rigs spent the night near us at Walmart in Cortez Arizona. Noisiest part was a street sweeper going by cleaning the parking lot early this morning. Other than that it was a quiet night. Quiet nights are always very much appreciated.
Short walk for Pheebers around Wally World’s parking lot & we were back on highway 160 heading East out of Cortez Colorado by 7:25 a.m. Roads were bare & dry, no snow, clear skies, & smooth sailing. I sure had the weather figured wrong for this area over the years. Had always imagined snow & cold for this part of Colorado in early April. Maybe so other years but we have had totally great weather with daytime highs around 60F.
OUR CHALLENGE FOR THE DAY WAS TO GET OURSELVES THROUGH THESE MOUNTAINS
Had the town of Walsenburg in the back of my mind as a destination for today & that is where I am posting this from. Very pleased at how our Ford E450 Winnie Wagon pulled us up the long mountain grades & eased us down the other side today. Amazing how it knows when to downshift itself on the descent grades. With our 2003 Damon I had to always do that manually. Technology eh.
We knew there was another Bayfield besides Bayfield Ontario Canada & this morning we rolled into Bayfield Colorado just East of Durango. Had been looking for a place to dump our tanks & it was in Bayfield we found Riverside RV Park. We didn’t want to be carrying any extra weight through the mountains. Same reason we made several fuel stops at just $50 a pop. No need to carry a heavy load of fuel up & down those 6 & 7% mountain grades.
WE DUMPED OUR TANKS HERE AT BAYFIELD’S RIVERSIDE RV PARK…NICE LOOKING PARK
We knew WOLF CREEK PASS would be our toughest challenge & it was. It’s an 8 mile Eastbound climb to reach the summit at 10,856 feet. Winnie stuck to her lower gears as she worked hard all the way up that mountain grade with our speed not getting much over 30 mph. The higher we climbed the more snow we saw but not as much as I figured we’d see. One time in May of 92 in Colorado’s Este’s Park I saw snow along a road so deep it made the road look like a tunnel. Guess that is what I was figuring on seeing to day. But nope, snow was pretty as a picture & didn’t look deep at all as we rolled over top the summit. Long way down the other side & I barely had to use any brakes as the Ford engine & transmission easily geared us down the mountain.
CLIMBING TOWARDS WOLF CREEK PASS
WOLF CREEK PASS SUMMIT & WASN’T IT NICE OF COLORADO TO PAINT AN ARROW ON THE HIGHWAY POINTING TO WHERE WE COULD SEE THE MOST SNOW
WE BEGIN OUR LONG DESCENT
Saw a million ba-zillion great photos today but we weren’t on a photo tour & I had pay a little extra attention to the driving side of our trip. Nowhere to pull off & take those scenic mountain stream pics. Most all photos were again taken from the driver’s seat so the quality is not exactly there again but it does give you an idea of the type of gorgeous landscape we traveled through. Colorado sure has a lot Pine trees making for beautiful mountainsides of green. How nice it was for us to see big green trees again. And nice to see snow without having to drive in it or shovel the darn stuff.
THIS IS THE ONLY SHOT I GRABBED OF A FLOWING WINTER CREEK
A TUNNEL & A SNOW SHED
Didn’t find any Wal-Mart's or Cracker Barrels in the town of Walsenburg despite it being on the I-25 route between Albuquerque NM & Denver Colorado. We did find a trash littered Conoco Truck stop at the Northern end of town with a big parking lot. We’re far enough from I-25 for the noise not to bother us. Trucks coming & going are another story of course. In the morning we will strike out from here across the Plains. No destination in mind & we will just drive until we feel it’s time to stop. That works best for us. Not everyone’s cup of tea but then again we, like most other folks, are not everyone:))
LOOKS LIKE WE HAVE A NICE PEACEFULLY QUIET SPOT…..UNTIL YOU PUT THINGS INTO PERSPECTIVE (CHECK THE LAST MINUTE UPDATE AT THE END)
Some readers are having trouble in our Archive department. Since having to change templates awhile back a few bugs have arisen here & there. We are going to work at getting those things fixed but it may not be right away. Yes I have posted every day for April & if you scroll down to the end of each post look for the word HOME in the pink bar. ‘Newer’ & Older Posts’ should be visible on either side of the ‘HOME’ word. If not then hover your curser in the pink bar either to the left or right of the word home & Newer or Older should appear. This is one of the bugs we have to work on.
I’m sure I have missed some readers questions since we have been on the road but I do remember JUDY asking about getting a Class A into Goosenecks State Park. No problem. Mike McFall used to haul their 45’ fifth wheel in there with a big 18 wheeler truck cab. Paved road all the way with a few ‘pay attention’ curves & that’s it. There were 3 big 40’ Class A diesel bangers parked when we were there a couple days ago.
And I see Casita Camper Debra Nielsen has joined us as Blog Follower 651. Thanks for dropping by Debra & welcome to the right now travels of the Bayfield Bunch. Appreciate your interest & hope we can hold your interest through the long summer ahead.
And to commenter Jim…..had we read your comment earlier today I would have cracked off a few pics going through South Fork Co. We did see that Walmart in Alamosa you mentioned. Had it been later in the day we would have pulled in there.
PIT STOP AT A REST AREA EAST OF WOLF CREEK PASS
Last minute update:: It was about 6:30 tonight when yet another truck rolled in & parked beside us. Had an 18 wheeler on the other side & the truck lot was filling up fast as the truckers came in off the road. Both trucks on either side left their engines running & we had diesel fumes coming in our open door. (it was warm out) Kelly & I both looked at each other about the same time & said it’s time for us to get on out of there, the truck stop idea just wasn’t going to work. Next town along our journey was a little place called La Junta 75 miles to the East. Kelly checked our Walmart Atlas & by golly they had themselves a Walmart there. Well that was a no brainer & 5 minutes later we had things stowed away & were Eastbound & down slipping back through Walsenburg & picking up highway 10 for La Junta.
UNUSUAL TO SEE A BIG WATER POND OUT HERE IN THE DRY GRASSLANDS
What a beautiful drive this was. Not another vehicle on the highway. With a slowly setting sun behind us we gave Winnie her lead & she just sailed us across the gently rolling grassy Plains. Mountain shadows faded in my rear view mirror as old Sol with his hues of pink & gold eased himself down over the horizon. An hour & a half later we rolled into Wal-Mart's parking lot in La Junta Colorado. What a nice feeling, Walmart parking lots after a long days travel kinda feel like home. Kelly slipped inside to buy a toaster, Pheebs took up position in the driver’s seat watching for Mom to come back & me, well I’m just sitting here working away on today’s post. All is well with the Bayfield Bunch:))
GROANER’S CORNER:(( A buyer was considering purchasing an aging thoroughbred but wanted a veterinarian's opinion of the horse before finalizing the deal. When the vet had completed his examination the potential buyer asked, "Will I be able to race him?"
The veterinarian looked at the buyer, then at the horse.
"Sure," he replied, "And you'll probably win!"
glad you found a good place to stop for the night!! Walmart's are great for those overnighter'sReplyDelete
We also found Wally docking to be a lot better than the truck stop thing for the same reasons. We have a Ford 450 V-10 with that same fabulous transmission thing. It is the very best part of going downhill, having that engine downshift as needed. Travel safe.ReplyDelete
We other bloggers admire your way with words: "but then again we, like most other folks, are not everyone". The philosophical and semantic implications of that one are complex enough to send me to bed. Good night and thank you for a fine post!ReplyDelete
We once found a perfect place to stop for the night, but after 11pm we were joined by four big trucks and idle engines. We were boxed in and just had to deal with it. I learned to never stop there again. Great pics, was Pheebes driving?ReplyDelete
I started following your blog when you had just arrived in AZ. I must say, it's strange to see you post pictures of pines and snow instead of cacti :-) I look forward to seeing your stories and pictures of Canada.ReplyDelete
Glad all is well on the journey North ..... Be safe and keep having fun !!!ReplyDelete
You're making hay on the miles toward home. Glad the mountains were no problem. I have the exhaust brake on my Ford pickup....amazing how well it works! Love it!!!ReplyDelete
Enjoy the trip and be safe!
Enjoying the drive, the scenery and a friendly Walmart along the way, Travel safe.ReplyDelete
Al, I'm like Kelly. I hear EVERY truck, car...whatever. I never would have been able to sleep at the truck stop...just too much noise! Thanks for sharing your gorgeous photos with us! I feel like I am on the trip with you guys!ReplyDelete
We found that in Arizona, some WalMarts didn't allow Wallydocking...Seems the RV parks put up a fuss about losing overnight business..I believe this was in Benson...We have only done it twice...Because we thought we should only pull our bedroom slide out, I didn't enjoy it...couldn't get to the living room at all.ReplyDelete
You are making your way home in fine shape. I sure wish you would check your mileage on that V10,,,,,,ReplyDelete
I must say, that snow don't look inviting to me at ALL!!
Keep travelin safe my friends!
More great pics, Al. "Newer" and "Older" are not showing at all for me. (hovering or not)ReplyDelete
Sorry Al, I'm not going to agree with you on this one--snow is not pretty, even if it is not on the road. Safe travels as you continue toward home!ReplyDelete
La Junta ... I was born there. Hope they are taking care of the place while I'm gone. Great photo;s as always.ReplyDelete
Any snow I don't have to shovel is beautiful. :c)ReplyDelete
Lovely travel day, good move away from that truck stop. I've never had good luck at truck stops for the same reason as you found.
Walmarts sure are handy!
I have the same Ford truck - Al, when you're going downhill, which gear do you have it in?ReplyDelete
I don't mind truck stops at all, but I try to get there early enough to pick my spot - an end spot. At least then I don't have diesel fumes and generators running on both sides. Same for overnight rest stops on the highway. Sometimes, though, I'm not that lucky.
But I agree - Wal-Marts are the best. Usually quiet, clean and safe, and I can do my shopping! :)
Donna Cave commented about the WalMart in Benson, AZ not allowing overnight camping. I found the same thing on a website but for what it is worth I have never been refused parking in Walmart's that were so posted.ReplyDelete
I rarely use WalMart any more but I did two tours around the US that included all of the continental 48 states and stayed overnight in a lot of WalMarts. A few of them had signs but I did the same thing at them that I did at any other. I went to the Service Desk and asked to see the Manager. I then asked permission to stay in the lot overnight. I was told in every case where there were signs that it was a City Ordinance but as far as WalMart was concerned I was simply a customer that was parked in their lot. I was asked to not unhitch from my trailer and not put anything outside - neither of those things did I ever do. If I had been in a rig with slide outs I would not have put those out either.
I believe that the idea about staying overnight at WalMart should be that you are "parked" not "camped".
I enjoyed your post. Thank you :)ReplyDelete
Oh how I hate trying to sleep in truck stops. Good move.ReplyDelete