Friday, May 23, 2008

Elk & Moose on the loose

Great start to the holiday so far. It appears we’ve a lost very expensive pair of sunglasses (while trying on an $18 hoodie) and one of our camera’s (somewhere between Heathrow & Denver Airports). Still, it’s not the end of the world. We’ll be ringing Safeway later today regarding the sunglasses and emailing British Airways to see if they can locate the camera. Although if BA can’t deliver passengers luggage or open a new airport terminal I’m not sure they’ll be able to find my camera.

We arrived at Road Bear HQ at 1pm after a morning hanging around in the airport hotel. Not having a vehicle really limits your options so we went down to breakfast twice and watched a movie. Road Bear’s depot is situated in Commerce City, a rather industrial looking place next to a huge Department of Defense Chemical Weapons facility. Not somewhere I’d want to relocate to. Loads of truck parks and heavy equipment depots. Abi was very exited to see lifting equipment and cherry pickers. I’m sure she’d have a field day out here.

Check in was simple although I really resented having to pay a $200 vehicle preparation fee. I detest fees and taxes. Include them in the price is what I say. Why should I have to pay a preparation fee? I mean, you don’t have to pay a preparation fee for a hotel do you? It doesn’t make sense. However, all that was forgotten when we were taken to our RV. What a difference from last year. We had a brand new 32ft C Class Winnebago (A real Minnie Winnie). If this baby hasn’t got it then it’s not worth having. Carpets, LCD TV, DVD player, surround sound, slide outs, blinds, awning, powered steps, fridge freezer, microwave, convection oven, central heating, air con, carpeted storage and a picnic table. Although I don’t think I could full time (RV expression for permanent travelers) in this it’s a home from home.

After signed my life away and had the 40-minute orientation we hit the road. I like to point out to all the readers that I drove first. I couldn’t let Abi drive like last year. Even though I was nervous about driving it all came flooding back and we were soon cruising down the highway. 3 miles later we stopped at Abi’s shopping mecca – a Wal-Mart Super Store. A huge warehouse where you can buy your groceries, get your oil changed and pick up some ammunition for your next hunting trip. 2 hours later we’d provisioned for the trip, had a McDonalds and were back on the road heading for our first stop, Grand Lake in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. We took I70 West from Denver before heading up Route 40 and climbing into the mountains. Lots of hairpin turns, and steep climbs. The sun was shining when we left Denver but worsened as we climbed into the mountains. Snow showers, rain and mist. The temperature dropped from 70 to 35 degrees in an hour. We stopped at Winter Park to try and buy a duvet but all we ended up with was peanut butter M&M’s and a couple of coffee’s. Leaving my sunglasses behind we traveled another 40 minutes up to the road to Grand Lake.

STOP PRESS: As I type this I’m listening to the news and they are talking about a Tornado in Northern Colorado/Southern Wyoming!!!!!! It seems someone was killed in their Motor Home!!!!! I think I’ll be paying more attention to the weather over the next few days.

So here we are out our first campsite, the aptly named Elk Creek Campground. Apparently Elks wander into the campsite. We’ve been told not to approach them, as they can be a bit temperamental – a bit like me then. Last year a guy was killed after his dog barked at one so I’ll have to keep Abi on a short leash :)

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