Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Cool Colorado--Finally!

 At The Views RV Resort, Dolores, Colorado...

This has certainly been a circuitous and expensive journey, compared to our usual fairly direct escape northward from the Texas heat for the summer. Our trip to Red Bay, then Branson, then back to Red Bay and finally to Colorado required the better part of 3,000 miles but, luckily, we had our friends, the Turleys and their family, who helped us pass the time. This was Phannie's lengthiest maintenance experience, but her long and faithful travels with us had reached a point where multiple preventive services needed to be done, in order to ensure she stays in top condition. When we reached Colorado, she got a terrific wash and wax job, so Sandy declared that Phannie has had her well-woman check and a spa day! She should feel pretty good about herself! 

Ain't she purty, all shined up in the photo below? For those of you who worry about buying an aging motorhome, you need to have a good knowledge of the care it has received. Properly maintained, they will run dependably for a very long time. We have every single record of any maintenance or service ever done. When the day comes that Phannie will have to find a new family--and who knows when that will be?--we may have to do interviews with potential buyers. She will not be able to cope--nor will we--with a new owner who doesn't treat her as family.

She now has new shocks, belts, coolant hoses, sway bar bushings, A/C drier, touched-up paint, and a new rubber slide gasket, not to mention her usual annual service on the engine and generator. No, it wasn't cheap, but mere pennies compared to the more than $400,000 for a new one that could join a host of other new ones that are already accumulating lots of problems and complaints. Properly maintained, Phannie should serve us faithfully as long as we are on the road. 

Since we were past the point in the dreadful summer heat where we would take our time and check out places along our daunting 1400-mile trip from Red Bay to Colorado, I tried to figure out how to make the trip as quickly as possible, especially since we would be crossing Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, parts of Texas, and New Mexico--all of which were cauldrons of the hellish July heat. Most legs were about 300 miles, with a 600-mile trek on one day from Oklahoma City to Albuquerque. That was the longest leg we've ever done in Phannie, but it was worth it to make good time across the superheated plains and desert.

We also found out something else: the roads in New Mexico are a mess! We will definitely avoid that state at all costs when we leave here. Added to all the cost of the service performed, diesel fuel ran us about $1500, but it was still worth it finally to reach the mountains and a climate manageable for humans. Here at The Views, it has been a little warm this week, with high temps in the 80s and nights in the 50s. We can't help but look at the 100-plus degrees daily back in Texas and be thankful we can escape.

Speaking of The Views, here is our view from the pavilion here in the park:


And here's a view of McPhee Reservoir, across the highway:

An evening walk or just sitting outside are so pleasant, and before long, you need to put on a jacket.

We had the great good fortune of meeting up with Dean and Ronda Dutton, fellow Lone Star Corral neighbors, so we enjoyed spending time with them in these terrific surroundings. Here we are at a local Dolores, Colorado restaurant, where it's actually very pleasant--almost coolish--to eat out on the patio:

We also had dinner with longtime friends, Bubba and LouAnn, who are camped at a park about 25 miles east of Dolores. Notice everyone is wearing a jacket:

At the Dolores farmer's market, we scored some ridiculously fresh veggies, including Olathe sweet corn (famous in these parts). So good!

Naturally, we had to do some sightseeing, so we took a drive to  nearby Telluride, where we toured this interesting residential neighborhood up at the 10,000-foot elevation. 

The scenery was spectacular, but there were few homes yet built, probably for a couple of reasons: There was nothing for sale up there under $5,000,000 and, at this elevation, the houses are probably a bit difficult to locate in the snowpack, so we're guessing these are the owners' summer homes. The area also had a view of the beautiful Dolores River to cross as you began your journey up the mountain:

So, if any of you are looking for a gorgeous summer home in the Colorado mountains, be sure and let me know; I know where to find it.

One of the good places to eat we've found up here is Bubba's, a cafe about four miles from our RV park. My friend Bubba especially likes it, because it bears his nickname:

We are so delighted that we are going to be joined by more friends in the weeks to come, and we will, of course, be posting about their visits. It is a wonderful summer in a delightful place, and we wish all our friends could enjoy it with us.

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I don't appreciate it as I should every day.

We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing. 
 ---George Bernard Shaw

"I get up every morning, and I just don't let the old man in." ---Clint Eastwood