Sunday, October 7, 2007

Holding on to Autumn

The forecast for Saturday was supposed to be nice but not so good for Sunday. I wanted to sneak up the the high country sometime during the weekend to check out the leaves and it seemed like early Saturday was the ticket.

I had also wanted to explore an area not too far from Kenosha Pass that presented opportunities to "boondock". Boondocking in RV lingo is to camp outside of a sanctioned campground and to camp without city electricity and water, using the RV's internal systems. In the 2 years I've owned Bivouac I have only boondocked a few times. I really want this to be my primary means of camping but in order to do this you have to know where the spots are. Hopefully I'd find some spots on this trip.


I left early Saturday with the goal of getting up to the pass, doing my exploration and being back home by noon. I took the new old Contour as I wanted to see how it would do in the mountains and I reasoned that if I could get the Contour into any discovered boondock spots, Bivouac could make it for sure.

The colors were a little past peak between 8000'and 9000' but once you got to 10,000' not only was the color gone....but so were the leaves.

In the picture above and to the left you can see one of the boondock spots I discovered. It was obvious that others had camped here and I can see why. A great view of the mountains and a nice large level spot for a trailer. If you will click on the photo and enlarge it you can see that there is some snow on the mountains in the background. You can also see that all the leaves are off the aspen on the hill in the middle of the picture.

I found four different spots that looked suitable to boondock and that I thought I could get Bivouac into. Now all I need is for the snow to
hold off for a while so I can try them out!

After my exploration, I headed back down the mountain and once I got back down about 1000'
the aspen colors came back. Going through the little crossroad village of Grant, I caught a glimpse of an old pickup truck camper on the side of the road and slammed on the brakes....turned around and went for a look.

To the uninitiated observer, the object of my interest was a big ugly piece of junk....and it was...but for me it was a forty year flashback. The picture shows a very, very abused and beat up Travel Queen Camper. In the last post I described driving across country in a pickup truck and camper in 1964. That camper was a Travel Queen. Travel Queens were the Cadillac of campers in their day. The distinctive rounded top and boat front made them stand out from everything else on the road at the time. A lot of my love of the out of doors comes directly from the adventures I had with my parents and brothers in our Travel Queen camper.

Travel Queens are a rare find today. In the last 10 years I have come across maybe 6 or 7 of them. Most are not in good shape. Every now and again I see one on the internet that has been restored with the original birch or knotty pine interior.


If I ever win the lottery....no I mean if The Bride ever wins the lottery, because I don't play the lottery, I WILL find and restore a Travel Queen and put it on a restored 1963, 3/4 ton Chevy truck.

The owner saw me taking pictures and came out to make a sale but I was not buying this day. He did let me look inside and that also provided lots of memories....and kinda brought me back to reality because if you think the outside looks rough...well, you get the idea.

I had one final thing to do on the way home. For years I have driven Hwy 285 and past the little cemetery on the other side of Crow Hill from Bailey. There are a number of plain white wooden crosses visible from the road and I have long wondered about them. This day was a perfect day to finally stop and check it out.

The sign identified it as Horn Cemetery and the wooden crosses all lacked any kind of identification of the occupants. It appears as if these were very old graves whose tombstones had long since disappeared. There were a few older headstones dating to the 1880's and a surprising number of newer stones.


One particularly interesting stone identified the owner as a former motorcycle rider. The inscription read "Ride Free, Forever Ride, The Tough Part is Over". I also noticed an unusually high number of Vietnam Veterans for such a small cemetery.

It was now time to get on home and do the weekend chores...and I did. The weather remained windy but sunny for the rest of the day and at this altitude (5800') I was able to continue to hold on to autumn.

Thanks for visiting.

3 comments:

Odat said...

What beautiful country!
Peace

Marian said...

Beautiful pictures of the countryside. Love the leaves when they change. It's fun to go exploring and see things...even from your past. You have a great weekend. :)

Sharee said...

I have an early 50s model Travel Queen for sale. $800
I bought it a few years ago and used it for caming wiht our horses. I do LOVE it but haven't had any time to use it and would like it to go to someone that will restore it, interior is great and appliances STILL work! You are correct, you don't see many of these. They are even hard to find on the net!

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