Rocky Mountain Getaway – 2020

Having not traveled in the motorhome since February, we’ve been itching to hit the road! We had planned on a 7000 mile trip earlier in the year, but then stupid COVID hit and everything started shutting down. We decided to go to Colorado to some higher elevations where it is cooler. I’ve always wanted to stay at Tiger Run RV Resort in Breckenridge, so that’s where we are headed. We are planning to do some hiking, offroading in the Jeep, tour a gold mine, visit Georgetown, and hopefully ride the Georgetown Loop Railroad. The weather is looking awesome, albeit not that much cooler than it will be at home! It seems like every time we try to go to cooler temperatures, the weather at home suddenly gets better.

The 50 amp outlet we had installed at home has sure been nice! It’s so nice to have the air conditioners going and the refrigerator running as we are loading up.

The jeep is all ready to go with everything I think we would possibly need.
Lily would drive if she could!
Day 1: Carla about to roll the beast out of the driveway.
Almost got out of the driveway on the first shot.
Safety first! 😂
Iola, Kansas – neat little town that looks like you could shoot a western movie here
Kansas. Nuff said.
Ready for adventure!

We made it to the KOA in Wakeeney, Kansas. Good overnight place to stop.

Avin helped me disconnect the jeep.
We ate at a little place called Tropical Mexican Restaurant. Really good food!

We then stopped at a little grocery store called Malays Market and picked up a few things. It reminded me of the old IGA store in Port Aransas, TX. We really like going to these older grocery stores.

Day 2: Had a clear but windy night last night, which sounded like a roaring sound all night. It was making a small tree branch rub against the RV wall where our bed is, so we had to retract the slideout a bit. Woke up to beautiful sunny sky in the low 60s!

Roadschooling in full force as Carla drives us toward Strasbourg, CO.
We made it to KOA Strasburg, just east of Denver. It’s a pretty tight little campground in a pretty ugly part of town, but fine for an overnight stop. Next time, I would preferred to just push on toward the destination or stop before reaching this part of Colorado. We found a spaghetti factory just north of Denver. The one downtown Denver that Dad and I ate at in 2008 was shut down.
Avin’s monstrous bite!

Day 3: We drove to Breckenridge and are staying at Tiger Run RV resort. As we gained altitude, most of us started feeling a little queasy or had a headache. We reached 11,000 feet in elevation by the time we got to the Eisenhower tunnel! Breckenridge is at 9600 feet.

Legos and Eggos
Into the Rockies we go!
Eisenhower tunnel! Boy it was a long one!
Note the elevation on the GPS!
Incredibly nice RV resort! Easily the nicest one we’ve ever stayed at. As you can see above, our site was massive! There were million dollar RVs all over the place, and tons of beefed up Jeep Rubicons!
At the backside of our site, there is a little private patio overlooking the Blue River! What a view!
We took a quick trip down to the shopping and restaurant area of Breckenridge to see what it looked like. Super trendy…we don’t fit in here. We think it would look really neat in winter when there’s lots of snow though.
We took the kids fishing down on the Blue River, just down the hill from our RV site. They didn’t catch anything, but it was fun anyway!
We love our boys!!
Did I mention the RV site is massive? You could easily fit three cars plus the RV.

And while all of the above looks fantastic, the truth is that today has been pretty stressful and most of us felt pretty crummy. It was a stressful drive through the mountains on I-70, and the high altitudes yo to 11,000’ made three of us have headaches and feel queasy. Also, Avin has had a stomach ache all afternoon. The lack of oxygen has kind of sucked the life out of us. It’s a similar feeling to when Dad and I camped at Echo Lake and got altitude sickness at 10,000’. It’s also like the time I hiked up Mount Evans with some friends back in the 90s and got altitude sickness at 11,200’. We all drank lots of fluids this time around, and that probably helped, but it was still rough. Hoping tomorrow is easier!

Day 4: Today was a much better day! It was the first day to not be traveling, and we felt more acclimated to the elevation (but it still wears us out to do much of any activity). We started off the day with breakfast at the Log Cabin Cafe in Frisco, which is a really neat little town just a few minutes from here that has lots of shops, bike rentals, and food places.

Frisco, CO
I told the kids some Chuck Norris jokes while we were waiting for our food. Their favorite was “Chuck Norris once killed two rocks with one bird”.
Really good cinnamon rolls!
Tripp just happened to be wearing his Rocky Mountain shirt! We didn’t even buy it on this trip.

We then went back to the RV and got ready to go off-roading in the Jeep!

GAIA GPS maps ready to go!

We headed for trails around Mineral Hill.

Airing down the tires
The Jeep crawled up this like it was nothing!
The thin little trail going up from the main dirt road is called Prospector Hill/French Gulch Connector. The highlighted section was pretty scary. On the left side is a steep hill, and on the right side is a big drop into a valley. The road we were approaching was tilted at a pretty big angle. I got out to walk the trail to get a feel for it and to see if it got worse up ahead. It didn’t get worse, but the section we were about to drive on was pretty bad and I didn’t want to back down the whole rocky way we had come. When I came walking back to the Jeep, Carla knew by the look on my face that I was a bit worried. I had Carla and the kids get out of the Jeep, thinking that if the Jeep rolled off the trail, at least it wouldn’t be the whole family taking a tumble. Carla was in able to spot me and I had her line up my passenger side with the edge of the hill so that the jeep was not tilted any more than it needed to be. Everything turned out fine, but what an experience!
I was too preoccupied with navigating the trail to take a picture to show this section of trail, but I did find an image on the Internet from this trail and it’s sort of shows it. Our jeep is much taller and more top-heavy than the pick up in this photo. Also, as any off-roader knows, photos always flatten out everything, but you get the idea (and everything is worse when you’re actually in the vehicle and can look down the hill to see your possible fate!)
After that crazy section, the trail got pretty steep before cresting the top of Mineral Hill.
Happy to be at the top of the hill!
And what better place to set up a potty tent! 🙂
Tripp found a stick to carve with his nifty new pocket knife.
Really pretty meadow at the top.
Note the elevation!
Neat old cabin!
We had a beautiful view of the Breckenridge ski resort across the valley.
We headed back to the RV and I aired the tires back up. Sure was a fun!
We ended the day watching Alone outside. Beautiful night!!
I love the silhouettes of evergreen trees!

Day 5: Had a rough night with a sick dog that needed to go outside at 3am…ugh…dogs…. Today, allergies were really really bad for Avin and me. Lack of sleep + allergies made for a rough day working. I was on PTO for the afternoon, and despite wanting to sleep off the Benadryl, I didn’t want to waste the day. We went to the Breckenridge Fun Park, where we rode the Gold Runner alpine coaster! It was so much fun, and it was Avin’s first roller coaster!

You first take these gondolas from the parking lot up to the main ski area. They are free to ride, and similar to the Disney Skyliner (but smaller and not as nice… and they get hot inside). Really pretty views on the way up, though. We’ve heard you can see bears down below sometimes. We definitely saw animal tracks all over.
They have a neat Alpine slide that you go down in a little coaster cart. We didn’t ride it today, but might come back to do these later.
On to the Gold Runner Alpine Coaster! Having to wear a mask while at 10,000 feet in elevation, combined with really bad allergies made for a miserable time trying to breathe. Most of the time I was pulling my mask away from my face. Stupid masks. The hike from the ski lodge up to the Alpine coaster was quite a trek due to the elevation! It reminded me of backpacking up Mount Evans over 20 years ago. You take several steps and then stop, take several steps, stop.
Each person has their own roller coaster car. I rode with Tripp.

Day 6: After I got off work, we headed to Georgetown to ride the Georgetown Loop Railroad! It was so much fun! The drive to Georgetown required us driving up to over 11,000’ high at the Eisenhower tunnel, which was a real chore for the jeep. The jeep was revving hard and not able to do the speed limit. I kept it at around 4000 RPM, going around 50 mph, and the engine was staying pretty warm. If I had tried to go the speed limit, we would have definitely been overheating like other vehicles we saw.

You can see the train trestle in the background that we would be on later.
Ticket to ride!
It was really fun to hear the steam engine chugging along and blowing the horn once in a while. The kids really had fun!
We got to seed so many really pretty views!
This neat old train was sitting on a side track.

We then drove down I-70 a bit more to the Phoenix Gold Mine in Idaho Springs where Dad and I went in 2008. It was so neat to be back there! Just like 12 years ago, there were chipmunks running all over the place that would actually climb on you and eat out of your hand. I meant to do that after the gold mine tour and forgot.

After the tour, our guide showed us how to pan for gold in the creek near the mine. I’ve always wanted to do this, so it was neat to finally pan for gold in the Rocky Mountains!

What better way to end the day than with a Tillamook ice cream root beer float! I sure wish we could buy this ice cream at home.

I forgot to mention the other day that it is crazy how many Jeep Rubicons there are at this RV resort. Virtually every one of them is modified. It’s like going to a Jeep show! There are also tons of really high end motorhomes here. Several that are well over $1 million! Crazy! Here are just a FEW of the ones we’ve seen here.

We changed RV sites today, because they didn’t have any more nights at our previous site. The new site is nice because it has grass for the dogs to use as their personal restroom. However, it ended up not mattering. We hadn’t been drinking enough water the last couple of days and today it really took a toll on us. I woke up gasping for air this morning and a few times throughout the day. Every little thing I did really wore me out. So, we decided to go ahead and head back home to lower elevations. We have already done most of the things we wanted to do anyway, and the kids are ready to head back also.
Carla making some headway on I-70 in the beast. Look at all those lights and buttons!
Windmill lights all blinking in sync. We’ve seen larger fields of these lights on I-40. It seems like it wouldn’t be fun to live around these and have to look at these lights every night. They go for miles!
We decided to stay overnight at a rest stop in Grainfield, KS, instead of going to a campground. it’s so much easier in the morning because you don’t have to unhook any utilities or connect the jeep. You simply pull in the slides, with the jacks, and hit the road. We will be home tomorrow, which is a good feeling.

3 thoughts on “Rocky Mountain Getaway – 2020

  1. You should have a great trip…..lucky dogs (and I don’t mean Marley and Lily) We’re looking forward to lots of great pics.

  2. Looks like y’all are having a great time wish I could go on that off road trip that look like a lot of fun and exciting love yall

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