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June 24, 2017

Colorado – family and haunts

We entered Colorado just south of Alamosa with the intent of doing a morning hike to Zapata Falls.  A hike we skipped on our previous visit to the Sand Dunes NP.  But there is a Train Fest - Rails and Ales going on and everything is booked, there is not an empty wide spot on the road!  Who knew there were so many train buffs? or is it ale buffs?

Instead of taking the mountain roads thru Salina to Denver we reluctantly head east toward the freeway.  Fortunately we stumble on Blanca RV Park, it’s not much to look at, but a place for the night.  The shade trees offer some shelter from the heat wave and it's at the right time.  Heather, originally from Kentucky, was behind the counter when we checked in – no picture – but she could have been a cousin of Reese Witherspoon and do her voice overs.  I could have listened to her chatter all day.
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We take their last site right in the driveway! FHU for $27, although the breaker tripped twice Smile I’d stay here again.  By far the best WiFi on the trip.  And Heather can talk my ear off anytime.

From here there is not much choice but to endure 25 north, on a Sunday morning.  Not too bad for us northbound folks, but the Renaissance Fair in Lurkspur has southbound traffic backed up for 20 miles (Fran’s driving and measured it … I’m kicking back).

I figured since it was Sunday we’d be able to snag a spot at Cherry Creek State Park, near Bobby’s (Fran’s brother) home.  Oh boy was that wrong!  We waited in line for an hour to get into the ‘day use’ section of the park.  The $9 admission allows us to check out the campground.  No sites!  Without a reservation, to get a site you have to show up at 9AM and place your name on the wait-list, then be present at 1PM when vacated sites are assigned.

We did pay the day use fee and stretched our legs in this beautiful park in urban Denver.
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Littleton WalMart can no longer offer overnight parking (city ordinance) – that was plan B, and we did not have a plan C.  South Park RV did have a single spot available which we settled into for the night.  It’s just dirt with FHU, the sites on either side are gravel with concrete patios.   Location, location, location … but this is the worst value so far on the trip.  At least it is close and we can spend the day visiting with Bobby and family.

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Late afternoon we join the crowded rush-hour traffic heading north.  Son Micheal has lived in several areas around Denver including Loveland, an area we know fairly well.  Loveland RV is just off 25 on 34 west toward Estes Park, where we take a site and take the scooter off the carrier.  The sites are all FHU and ample spacing, but I do not really like the ‘Good Neighbor’ spacing where adjacent sites face in opposite directions, thus sharing a patio area.  At least there is good shade at most sites.
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We take the scooter to the Visitors Center.  Loveland is known as the ‘Sweetheart City’.  At the VC, a map can be obtained of the various locations of the Heart sculptures in the city.
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There is nothing at the VC to really strike up a ‘gotta-go’ urge, so we decide to revisit a few of the old sites.  Although Michael lived in different areas of Denver over the years his first home purchase was in Loveland.  The home is now a rental and lacks the pride of ownership of a first time buyer, it still feels like ‘coming home’.
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Not far is North Lake, an easy scooter ride down Taft.  Loveland is also noted for its public art presentations, although it’s nice to look at the painted electrical boxes, the sculpture gardens can be truly amazing.  There are several other gardens in Loveland, but for an idea here are a few from North Lake.
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And my favorite the ‘Book Peddlers’.
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In the morning WY as we continue on. … and on!
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