Our goal for this trip was mostly to get out of town and to escape the heat of Boulder. When we pulled out of Boulder it was 95 degrees which is way above my comfort zone. After researching various locations, we decided it would be best to go up into the mountains to a much higher elevation, and so we ended up in Leadville, CO which is located at about 10,000 feet. Our first night we camped at Mt. Massive Golf Course which is part of our Harvest Host membership. We arrived around dusk and got set up just in time before a thunderstorm pulled in.
While looking for nearby hikes for the following morning, we discovered that there was some dispersed camping sites right nearby. For those of you new to this, dispersed camping is free camping off of dirt roads in National Forests with no bathrooms, services or hook ups. It also means Buddy doesn’t have to be on leash which means freedom for all of us. Fortunately we are now self supporting with water tanks, solar panels and a generator. We got up in the morning and our dog walk led us through the dispersed camping available and we found a fantastic site.. There were about 100 sites on a variety of dirt roads with some majestic views. We packed up the Airstream and moved to a new site.
That afternoon we played golf at the Mt. Massive Golf course which is the highest golf course in the US. It wasn’t the most manicured golf course, but considering it is located at 10, 152 ft it isn’t surprising. Ross and I both had a great round of golf (maybe because the golf balls flew farther at this altitude or maybe due to skill). As is typical in the mountains another thunderstorm rolled in just as we finished the 9th hole and headed back to camp. The skies cleared after a nice BBQ which allowed me to do a quick watercolor painting of the beautiful evening light from our campsite.
Poor Buddy had a rough night and wasn’t feeling great, which was our first experience of having to get up several times in the night to let him out. I had visions of running into a bear in the dark, but fortunately that did not happen, but it did mean we had a slow morning on our second day. Because we were concerned about leaving Buddy alone in the camper after not feeling well we decided not to play golf and instead we spent the day at Turquoise Lake. There is a beautiful trail that follows the shoreline and links to lots of campgrounds. After exploring the campgrounds for future visits, we both felt that our current camp spot was a much better option for future days. There appeared to be lots of hiking, biking and beautiful vistas to paint, so I’m sure we will come back. The daily afternoon thunderstorms rolled in which meant that the light for painting wasn’t very inspiring, so we spent the afternoon reading and relaxing.
Our last morning, I really wanted to paint at the lake while the sun light was low. It was a cool beautiful morning, the water was flat and it was so peaceful. Ross sat on beach and read while Buddy thoroughly enjoyed playing in the water.
We headed back to camp, packed up to head home and return to the heat. If you are an RV’er you can appreciate when everything goes smoothly including finding a good dump station. This was one of those trips. We felt as if finding our camp spot was easy and were pleased when we found out that there was a dump station about 5 minutes from where we were and on the way home. We had a good laugh because we were hooked up and draining our black and grey water (aka sewage) when a few other campers pulled behind us. Just as we were about to pull out the driver behind us got out of his RV to tell us that he liked my art and blog. Who knew that you could get a new follower from having our website on the back of the Airstream at a dump station…The moral of the story is: May you find beauty wherever you go.