Yertled to Steamboat Lake State Park in North Central Colorado last Friday. Very nice, very nice. Darn near in Wyoming. Had a ball in the Dutch Hill — Wheeler campground. The BATmobile had to chug to more than 12,000′ over Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park with 12-foot snow drifts on the sides of the road in order to get there by the shortest route. Spectacular! And the BATmobile did its job. Worked our way through the Grandby/Grand Lake Area, then picked up Route 40 to Steamboat Springs, then County Road 129 to the lake. The BATmobile averaged 14.2 mpg. Not bad, not bad at all!
We set up camp, and I only made two mistakes. First I unhitched before chocking the wheels. Big mistake, huge. Next, or first actually, I set up everything before checking to see if the campsite electrical connection worked. It did, fortunately. Then, we drove back to Steamboat Springs for dinner, and later back to camp. We lit a fire in the pit and sat in the chilly evening drinking champaign and chatting about how wonderful life can be.
The next morning, Saturday, we took a short hike, then fixed eggs and sausage for breakfast on an outdoor grill. It rained off and on much of the day. Later that morning we visited nearby Pearl Late State Park. What a gorgeous place for primitive camping. Well, not exactly primitive, but there’s no electricity, water, or sewer hookups available.
Lunch was sandwiches. Then we headed back into Steamboat for gas so we wouldn’t have to do that the next morning while towing. Around 4:00 pm we headed to the Hahn’s Peak Roadhouse bar and grill to watch the Belmont and witness Triple Crown history. How exciting was that! Then it was back to the campsite where we fixed burgers on a charcoal grill and veggies on an outdoor fire pit. Drank a bottle of champaign and crashed by darkness. Woke up at 1:00 in the morning to a vibrating water pump that wouldn’t shut up so I turned it off and back on. Finally it stopped. At 3:30, it woke me again. Bad, bad news that can only mean a water leak somewhere in the plumbing that we’d just gotten overhauled. Bummer! I’m beginning to feel like campers are like boats — money pits.
Sunday morning we took a short hike, then broke camp around 10:00 and visited the dump station for a new experience. Not exactly a fun thing to do, dump your sewage, but we got er done. Backtracked to Route 40 by heading south on CR129 and took Route 14 east down to Walden, then Fort Collins. At one point, I hit a severe dip in the road that shuddered Yertle so badly it shook me and BATmobile to the bone. Pulled over thinking I’d blown both tires on Yertle’s curbside, but everything looked fine, and everything rode fine later, but it sure put a big dent in my towing confidence. I slowed way down after that, and I was already holding up traffic. Took US287 and parallel roads to Loveland, and then US34 into Estes Park, a beautiful little town in the mountains and eastern gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. What a trip! We covered 450 towing miles and 100 non-towing miles for an average of 16.1 miles per gallon. Not bad, not bad at all!
Stay tuned for more YertleLing.