It felt so good to arrive in Colorado on Tuesday—tears came to my eyes as we first glimpsed the mountains and Aidan and Fiona shouted in amazement from the back seat. It felt like we finally “got somewhere”—a destination.
We pulled off the highway into Golden and slowly made our way through the downtown and west on 10th Street toward Clear Creek RV Park—we passed cool shops, funky houses and a fun-looking playground and questioned if there really was an RV Park down this way. . . . and then there it was, a small campground tucked at the end of the street and we had the first site—backed up to the walking path and creek. Oh my goodness—the sun was shining, the creek was flowing, Coloradans were smiling at us—the whole vibe was chill and warm and friendly.
Clear Creek RV Park, Golden, Colorado. Clear Creek Left, RV Park Right.
The good feeling was heightened by the fact that we were meeting up with family—my brother, Dave, his wife, Heather, and their two girls, Chloe and Caitlin, were waiting for us at the park we’d just passed. They’d traveled down from their home in Broomfield to see us and grab some dinner—yay!! Hugs, hugs all around and games of tag and hide-and-seek and climbing and sliding—well, the kids did that, the adults stood around catching up a mile-a-minute before herding everyone toward the restaurant which we could walk (and run and skip and piggy-back ride) to.
The kids loved playing in Clear Creek every chance they could get. This spot was right across from our Airstream.
The next two days: with our Colorado family we drove up Mount Zion to visit Buffalo Bill’s grave and museum in Lookout Mountain Park, visited Golden’s local history museum, went tubing down Clear Creek and ate at an awesome vegan GF restaurant in Denver called Vital Root. Those days went too fast—with morning walks on the path, Aidan and Fiona in the creek every chance they got, only a 15-minute walk to downtown Golden, only a 20-minute drive to be up in the mountains, and excellent wifi for Jimmy to work at the campground—we were home. . . for three days at least.
The view from Lookout Mountain Park where Buffalo Bill is buried.
Amazing all gluten free/99% vegan food at Vital Root. (Made it in time for $2 Tacos – bonus!)
We were so sad to leave Golden (tried to stay! But, not surprisingly, there were no cancellations and, therefore, no open sites for Labor Day weekend) but headed north Friday morning toward Boyd Lake State Campground in Loveland, Colorado. So, it can’t compare to our golden stay in Golden, but it’s a nice campground and the lake looks beautiful. We were unpleasantly surprised to discover that this campground doesn’t offer full hookups (oops! Our bad—thought they did!) but there is 50 amp electric so we can run both air conditioners during the 98-degrees-and-that-one-tree-barely-shades-our-fire-pit days. (Full hookup means there would also be water and sewer at the campsite. Without water we can only use the water in our Airstream tank for washing hands and dishes (bottled water for drinking, cooking and brushing teeth) and we’ll have to dump the black and gray water tanks at the communal dumping station at the campground—doesn’t that sound like a fun job for Jimmy? Imagine Cousin Eddie on Christmas morning but with better hair). Anyway, we were all exhausted from our on-the-go days so, while Jimmy ran errands to Target and Trader Joe’s (SO thankful my husband doesn’t mind running errands even though he was tired, too!!!) the kids and I chilled out with some movies and snoozes.
Boyd Lake State Park
We got going early Saturday morning to head south to Broomfield for my niece’s 4th birthday party (woo hoo, Caitlin!). I thought it was convenient that Cass took an early morning nap in the truck on the way there, but I should’ve been more curious about it because she woke up 4 minutes from our destination and threw up all over herself. 😳 She seemed as surprised as the rest of us. A quick call to my brother who generously offered his home (and bathtub and bed and anything else we could need!) for cleanup and recovery time for Cass. Luckily, Aidan and Fi did not miss their cousin’s party and Cass and I had a snoozy afternoon.
When everyone came back from the birthday pool party we made ourselves at home in Dave and Heather’s lovely house—the kids played and we chatted while Cassidy snuggled in my and Jimmy’s arms. Thanks to Heather for a lovely dinner (and after hosting a birthday party that day, too!). Thankfully, Cassidy began to perk up that evening and announced, “La bugs got out my tummy.” We all FaceTimed with my sister back in Illinois to wish our nephew/cousin a happy 6th birthday (woo hoo, Miles!)
Today is Sunday, September 3rd and my brother and his family are heading up to spend the afternoon with us at the beach in our campground and we’re hoping for a campfire tonight, too! I can’t believe tomorrow will mark 3 weeks on the road—it seems long and short; sometimes I forget we’re in the camper.
p.s. we spent last Sunday and Monday traveling through Kansas and, contrary to what we’d been told, Kansas is not flat! At least the eastern part of the state isn’t—we thoroughly enjoyed traveling through the first half of Kansas, gazing at the rolling hills and billowing skies. . . .
Dealing with a sick kiddo on the road—Cassidy looked up at me at one point, her hands on her hurting tummy and said, “I going to throw me up,” heartbreaking and adorable all at once. (Big thanks again to my brother and sister-in-law for letting us convalesce in the comfort of your home!!! So, so wonderful.)
Tubing down a creek—I was thrilled Jimmy was able to take a short break from his crazy work schedule (so many deadlines to meet!) and go tubing down Clear Creek with Aidan & Fiona, my brother Dave and his daughter, Chloe. They had a great time (with some minor instances of getting stuck hanging over a small waterfall, popping off an inner tube and having to chase it down, scrapes, and one instance of Fiona and I completely bottoming out at the top of a very small waterfall (think water slide at a toddler pool), luckily we had 3 strangers sitting 5 feet away at the edge of the creek to witness our struggle and shake their heads with pity as we scooted and floundered about like upended turtles trying to get back to flowing water).
Clear Creek, Golden Colorado – Tubing Adventure (the water was quite chilly)
Driving up a mountain to an elevation of over 7,000 feet—Aidan and Fiona exclaimed over and over about the views—they were breathtaking—and as we rounded one switchback, I slowed to a stop as we saw a doe and her half-grown fawn slowly crossing the road.
The mama leaped over the guardrail to continue down the mountain and her baby gingerly began to follow her, but after one glance down the mountain, said, “Woah, Mama! If you think I’m frolicking down that steep mountain after you, you’re crazier than a pickle in a fry pan!” (At least that’s what it sounded like she said). Instead, the fawn backed up into the street again, looked around at us, hesitantly went back to glance over the edge, shook her head and scooted back up the mountain to perch several feet above the road, bleating and waiting for its mama to come back for her. The kids and I were mesmerized by this little drama* (yes, this type of wildlife is all new to us!) and Fiona caught a photo as we slowly passed.
*When we drove down the mountain an hour and a half later, the fawn was gone, presumably her mother gave her a piggy-back ride down the mountain—or would that be a doe-back ride?
Few more pics from our time hanging out in downtown Golden.