Accidental Snowbirds

I Love Colorado

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If you have yet to camp at the Mount Shavano Wildlife Refuge outside Salida, Colorado, add it to your list of must-see places, and the reason I can say, “I Love Colorado.” We ended up in this area GPS: 38.5542, -106.1177.

Often when telling people that I am a full-time RVer. the first thing people ask is, “What has been your favorite place?” Hands down, it has been Salida, Colorado and I immediately pick up my phone to show them how beautiful it was because words just don’t do it justice. 

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This view never got old.

Check out a little bit more about the area and boondocking from our friends at Hebard’s Travels. And of course, check out our post about boondocking etiquette.

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We had this view 360 degrees around us.

Mount Shavano Wildlife Refuge

The road up to the entrance was amazingly beautiful, lined with lush green cow pastures, babbling brooks, and snow-capped mountains in the distance. 

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Even the drive in was amazing.

As we always do, we parked near the main road entrance and walked up to where we thought we wanted to camp. I used the Google Maps satellite view and had an idea of where we wanted to go, but we hiked up to find the best spot to live for the next 14 days. This is another reason we are so glad we walked it first.

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We always hike in to find the spot.

Finding the Best Spot

We found the first two turnoffs were the most “big rig friendly.” Since we were the first ones there out of our group, we had to find the best spots to fit large toy haulers with semi-trucks. The second turn off ended up being our home.

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Our home for 14 days.

Further up the road, the third turnoff had a beautiful meadow and even more amazing mountain views. The hill to get up there, however, was not an easy one. It was perfect for vans, small rigs, and extremely brave big rigs. 

We had a heck of a time getting to Central Colorado- truck issues, trailer issues, Wolf Creek Pass.

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At least it was a beautiful place to break down.

Side note: DO NOT USE USPS GENERAL DELIVERY IN SALIDA. They will charge you shipping on any package they receive from any other carrier (UPS, FedEx, etc).

Solar Installation

We had been inspired by all of the knowledge and self-installation of other Xscaper’s RV solar systems, so we decided to pull the trigger and install our solar system. After ordering all of the supplies to the general delivery in Salida and figured with the extensive knowledge around us, now was the time to get it done. We strategically parked next to some of the solar experts we met in Santa Fe. For the whole solar installation project, click here for the blog.

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We couldn’t have completed this job without a little help from our friends.

Working Out in the Mountains

I have heard about people training in Denver for sea level races I understood why but had never experienced it. I’m not a runner, but I know how far I can go before I think I am going to die. However, at close to 8,000 feet, that distance was much shorter. I had no idea what was wrong with me. I’d jog a short distance and then have to stop. After the first Garage Method workout, I asked Lance what was wrong with me. I had forgotten about the elevation and quickly it made sense. I love Colorado! Read more about our fitness journey on the road here.

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Bear crawls in bear country.

Dumping in Salida

The Poncha Springs Visitors Center has a dump station for $10. They also have potable water. They have overnight parking as well. We chose to dump and spend the night there before heading over to the fairgrounds for the Xscpaers 4th of July Convergence.

 

If you find yourself in Colorado during the summer, we cannot recommend this little town and this amazing camping spot. It is the reason I love Colorado. What has been your favorite camping spot? Let us know in the comments below.

Other Related Blogs:

St. Elmo Ghost Town

Wolf Creek Pass: A Cautionary Tale

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