Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Was Even More Lazy

Today was a sit-around day for sure. Jo had to go to work today because they are upgrading one of the computer systems at work, and they always have to do that sort of thing on the weekends when most everyone is off. So, I sat around and did very little. I think I got out of the house maybe 3 or 4 times, most of which were to go to the fifth wheel for some reason.

I had a forum participant contact me via private message on the forum asking me for instructions on how to post a photo to the forum. Incidentally, not all forums make that easy. So, I sat down and wrote step-by-step instructions for two different RV forums, both of which are related to the DRV Suites models (Select Suites, Mobile Suites, and Elite Suites.)

In doing that, I worked at posting a mountain sunrise photo on both forums so that I could be sure of each step. After doing that, I was asked to send those instructions to another forum participant. So, I offered to send the instructions to any of those that wanted them for those two forums. (The forums are SOITC [Suites Owners International Travel Club] and Fifth Wheel Forums.)

With a lot of the forums, one has to register with the forums in order to see any pictures. So, for the benefit of any readers, I’ll post that photo at the end of this blog posting. It was taken in 2000, with my first digital camera. At the time, we didn’t have a camper, so we were tent camping. It was Jo and I and our two sons and our two Miniature Pinchers, TJ and Lady.

Just as a side story (get used to those), that was a nearly new pickup in the picture and I nearly had to break out the window of it when we got ready to pack up and leave. We had put the dogs in the pickup because of the cold and had the engine and heater running for them. (Do you know where this is going yet?)

One of them managed to step up on the armrest to watch us break camp and locked the doors. (Damn electric locks and dumb owners!) Of course, Jo had left her purse, AND TRUCK KEYS, in the pickup as well. When we realized what had happened, we were trying to coax one of them to the door to step on the electric lock switch again. One of us always had our hand on the door handle, just in case they unlocked it. No good. Then, as the sun was getting higher and hitting the glass, the sunshine and the heater was working to make them sleepy.

Well, I went looking for a club or rock so I could break out one of the “quarter-windows” that are the rear side windows of a club cab pickup. As I walked away, TJ got up to see where I was going and stepped on the switch. Glass saved!!!

The campground is the Purgatoire River Campground that is west and north of Trinidad, Colorado. I had written a kind of review for some of the forums about that campground, so I’ll also put that here.

“Purgatoire River Campground

For those who like boon-docking, I'd like to share a campground that Jo and I have frequented numerous times since about 1976.  The name of the campground is Purgatoire River Campground (and that is spelled right) and it is located in the San Isabel National Forest west and north of Trinidad, Colorado.

Jo and I have had preferences for what our campgrounds were to be like.  We like three things:  lots of trees, at least the sound of running water, and back off of the main roads.  Purgatoire River campground has all three.  As a National Forest campground, it is "developed" in that there are sites developed with picnic tables and fire ring facilities.  THERE ARE NO HOOKUPS!!!

Bathroom facilities are available in the form of outhouses (bring flashlights for night-time visits), and bear-proof trash receptacles are available as well.  (Pay close attention to the reference to "BEAR.")  Also, there is water available in the form of an old-timey hand pump in the lower part of the campground.  (We have refilled the fresh water tank of our 26-foot campers with 5-gallon plastic jugs and a funnel.  It definitely takes a bit of pumping.  But, it's good water.)

As for really large RV's, there are a few places where they will fit, although I only can remember one that would actually be in the trees.  Other sites for large RV's are available in the meadow area that has been designed for those camping with horses and their associated trailers.

Purgatoire River Campground is located about 3 1/2 miles off of Highway 12 (the Highway of Legends) about two miles north of Monument Lake.  I would guess the campground to be about 40 to 50 miles west and north of Trinidad.  There are two entrances, but unless your camper is short, do NOT take the south one.  (It isn't really marked as an entrance, and the nature of the sloping road led us to damage a rear step on a travel trailer.)  The north entrance is marked as Purgatoire River Campground and is the best entrance, although long units may need to veer left in the road before passing through the cattle guards into the area. There is a right turn just before the cattle guard.  That cattle guard is about 1/4 mile or less from Highway 12.

South of the campground area is Monument Lake with a lodge, fishing (bank and boat), restaurant and little store.

North of the entrance to Purgatoire River Campground is North Lake (fishing with boats or on the bank), and further north is Cordova Pass.  At the parking area of Cordova Pass campground, there is a trail that takes one up onto West Spanish Peak.  (Hike in the mornings when there is NO danger of lightning.)  On north of the turnoff to Cordova Pass is a road up to two more National Forest campgrounds at Blue Lake and Bear Lake.  (Blue and Bear Lake campgrounds may be more suitable for larger RV's, although there are some fairly sharp turns going up the mountain.)
On north of that area is a ski resort, the little "touristy" town of Cuchara, and then on further is LaVeta, Colorado.  RV parks are available at LaVeta.”

Now, in that review, I referred to Cordova Pass. That is a beautiful drive in itself. However, don’t be surprised if I call it Apishapa Pass at some time. When we started going up there in 1976 (when the campground was first developed) the pass was called Apishapa, which by the way, means “Stinking Water.” (Apishapa is pronounced “U [like uhh]-pish- [like “wish”] u [like uhh]-paw.

I also referred to Blue and Bear Lake Campgrounds. Those are also National Forest campgrounds, so there are no hookups for water, electric and sewer. Again, there are nice outhouses and bear-proof trash receptacles.

Overall, we still like Purgatoire River Campground, and even though we have a big fifth wheel and truck, I think I would still attempt to go up there to camp. That is another reason that we equipped our Mobile Suites with an inverter and we carry a portable Honda generator.

Life camping now will be hard. If you look above the forum archive list, there are some links to websites. Under “Links Specifically to Me” you will find a link to my Photobucket account. Check out “Our New Home” to see how hard life will be for us when we finally start full-timing.

Mountain Sunrise; Purgatoire River Campground, Colorado; August 2000


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