The Air Up There! Golden, Frisco and Breckenridge. Colorado

This past September, we had so much we wanted to do and see in Colorado.  Its one of our favorite states.  We stayed at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds Campground in Golden, Colorado.  Due to our size, finding a campground able to fit us was a bit of a challenge as well as time of year. Colorado is notorious for their campgrounds being unable to accomodate big rigs like ourselves.  Staying only five days, it was enough for us as a home base; we only were there to sleep and get some cuddle time with our fuzzy crewmembers.

While we were in Golden, we met up with another RV’ing couple, Brittany and Eric from RV Wanderlust.  We met at Woody’s Wood Fired Pizza in Golden where the pizza was good and the company was even better!  Short story, Eric and Brittany began their RV journey about nine months ahead of us.  We started following them on Facebook and through coincidence, found that Eric too, had served in the Coast Guard and Brittany is quite creative.  So, it seemed only natural that our friendship would flourish.  We will eventually meet with them again further down the road (and we DID….keep reading!) in Pueblo…and in Texas this winter.





After an evening of great pizza and RV’er comraderie, the following morning, we took advantage of the beautiful weather taking a day trip to the cities of Frisco and Breckenridge.  In Frisco, we enjoyed walking through the small shops and the Frisco Historic Park and Museum.  We self-toured these neat little historic buildings that replicated life when Frisco was a mining town a century ago.  Each had artifacts dating back to that era.  

 






We had amazing homemade sammiches and soup at the Butterhorn Bakery and Cafe’ before trekking off to Breckenridge.  It was hard not to spend a whole day there but we were pressed for time to move on to Breckenridge.  


We plan to return to Frisco another time because we really enjoyed this cool, busy little city.  One thing to note, as you see, we were wearing long sleeves.  Though down in Golden it was nearing 85 degrees, up in Frisco and Breckenridge, it was in the cool 40’s and 50’s.  We’re not fans of the cold.

We were really looking forward to seeing Breckenridge.  Eric and Brittany from RV Wanderlust raved about it at dinner the night prior about these magnificent Colorado Alpine Slides going down the mountain at the ski resort.


We parked in the Gondola parking lot and road them up the mountain; about a 30 minute ride.  The views were awesome the further up we went; oftentimes seeing snow below us.  We also experienced a little altitude again.  We must have been 10,000 feet up.



The nice thing though was the ski gondola ride up and down the mountain was free.  We had our own gondola to ourselves so we goofed off inside until we got to the top.  Since Dan is not a fan of open-style ski lifts, the gondolas were just my ticket to mess with him.

Once we got up to the summit, we were issued our alpine racer sleds.  We raced each other down the 2500 foot mountain.  We don’t have photos of ‘us’ actually going down the alpine slides because we were having too much fun racing each other.  We did take these photos of others riding the alpine slide from our gondola.   


But it was so worth it!  Psssssst!!  Lisa beat Dan down to the bottom! BIG TIME!!  

For the rest of the afternoon, we walked part of the town until sunset when we headed back to the RV park in Golden.  What a great day of shopping, taking in the breathtaking (literal sense) views, lunch, racing and just being free!!  

Robidoux RV Park – NEBRASKA (Gering)

CAMPGROUND REVIEW


Campground/RV Park: Robidoux RV Park – Nebraska
Location: 585 Five Rocks Road, Gering, NE     (308) 436-2046 or (308) 436-5096
Date(s) Stayed: 8/1/15 – 8/7/15
Length of Stay: 1 week
Site #: 41 (Pull-Through)
Cost per night (with taxes): $135/week
Discount Used:  10% Good Sam
Connections: 50 amp Electric/Water and Dump Station
Stars:  4.0

Robidoux RV Park, managed by the City of Gering, has 35 amply-spaced, nicely manicured, level concrete/asphalt sites, each surrounded by bluegrass and open spaces with a breath taking view of Scotts Bluff National Monument. Though it’s ‘city managed’, its not ‘in’ the city; its on the outskirts.  Each campsite includes paved drives and patios and picnic tables.  
Daily Rates  

Full hook-up with cable
$30.00
Full hook-up
$27.00
Electric & Water
$24.00
Tent Space
$10.00
Weekly Rates

Full hook-up with cable
$150.00
Full hook-up
$135.00
Electric & Water
$120.00
Tent Space
$50.00

There is free Wi-Fi, however, we are unable to report its usage available as we had our own Wi-Fi hotspot.  The dump station was not designed for big rigs; it is located near the entrance but on a traffic circle in the park.  There are some long-term campers and RV’s that reside there however, they were quiet and their sites were mostly tidy.  The laundry and bath houses were clean and within walking distance to the sites.

The Robidoux RV Park is easy to get to, right on the main road from Route 71 South which blended into Five Rocks Road in the southern part of Gering.  Gering has all the stores and amenities of a decent size small city.  Lots of restaurants, a Home Depot, Walmart and grocery stores are plentiful.  

We gave Robidoux RV Park 4 stars out of 5 because there were no sewer connections at each site and the dump station’s in-accessibility.   As well, some of the sites were not designed for big rigs; although we were lucky as we had reservations and inquired about the best site for our big rig.

However, the sunsets over Scotts Bluff National Monument were spectacular!  The park was quiet and respectful.  The camp host led us right to our site; even changed to the next site over so we could enjoy a better view of Scotts Bluff from our toyhauler back patio deck (ramp). We plan on returning again!  Gering is an adorable little city that is rich in history and great people!  The park is located about a 5 minute drive to Scotts Bluff National Monument and short drive to the old Oregon Trail that hosts Chimney Rock, Courthouse and Jail House Rocks, the Pony Express and others.  It is also a couple hours drive to Agate Fossil Beds.  A beautiful part of the country. Great for families, motorcyclists, and all ages!


Toadstool Geological Park – Badlands of Nebraska

 

Toadstool Geologic Park –This is in NEBRASKA??

 

On a warm, early August day in 2015, we visited Toadstool Geological Park. Seeing the brown touristy signs intrigued us the day before on a motorcycle ride, so we went the next day in our truck.  We headed out of Fort Robinston in Crawford, Nebraska on Route 20 for about 20 miles to a seemingly long dirt/gravel road that led us to Toadstool.  Once we got there, the view was breathtaking.

 

Its sand barren hills and rock-strewn gullies disguise the abundant life it once supported.  We felt like we landed on the moon.  Never, for a million years, did think we would ever see anything like this in the Corn Husker state of ‘Nebraska’!  Gone were the rows to miles of corn rows.  As Dorothy said to Toto in the Wizard of Oz, “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore Toto”.  In this case, it’s Nebraska.

 

 

 

Turn the clock back 30 million years and you would find miniature horses, humpless camels, giant tortoises, pigs and even rhinos roaming these barren lands.  Though hikers can’t see them, Scientist have pieced clues together to capture what life was like in this ancient river valley millions of years ago.  Over time, river water invited habitants to live here.

 

The water current carried volcanic debris that, layer upon later, formed rocks we see today.  Over time, water and wind sculpted the rock into badlands.  These geological processes preserved, and erosion exposed the record of North America’s early Great Plains animals.

 

During our few-hour stay, we were visited by a bunch of small amphibious toads (there were small rock pools from a previous rain), a rabbit, very few birds and remnants of dead small rodents.  What killed them, we will never know but I’m sure what lurks inside the crevices and holes was waiting for us to leave so they could snatch it up for their mid-day snack.

 

 

 

We followed the trail markers along the mile-long loop trail to unravel the park’s mysteries.  The first quarter mile of the trail is easily accessible.  Beyond that, the trail winds along stream beds, through gullies and over sandstone rock.  Toadstools and trackways awaited our every turn and climb.

 

It’s a good thing we both were prepared on this hot summer day for such adventure; wearing good treaded shoes, at least a ‘little’ physically fit, healthy trail snacks and plenty of water (we each went through 3-4 bottles of water!).

 

Why is it called Toadstool?

 

The first visitors here in the late 1800’s (post-Civil War) must have felt they were traveling through a land of giant rocky mushrooms.  They fancifully labeled the jumble of sandstone slabs resting on their clay pillars, ‘toadstools’.  Toadstools are created by forces of the wind and water, eroding the soft clay faster than the hard sandstone rock that caps it.  Erosion eventually collapses the giant toadstools and new ones are forming.

 

Over time, rushing water has cut away the underside of this cliff.  When the bank is undercut enough, the weight of the overhead mass breaks off in large chunks, crashing into the streambed and diverting the stream flows.  These badlands erode away at an average of an inch per year.

 

 

While navigating on foot, we found the walking surfaces to be very sandy and silty; reason for wearing good treaded footwear.  We had to do a bit of climbing to stay on the trails.  This type of hiking is not for young children or elderly as one wrong step could slip into a serious injury or fall.

 

There were several small cliffs that offered us a minute to take in the view and grab some great photos.  Around every bend of the trail offered us a new view.  We touched, we smelled and we got to experience such great hidden treasure.

 

 

There was a small primitive camping venue at the entrance which would be great for the lone camper or small boondocking RV wanting to camp near something ‘different’.  The small park had two individual compost toilet shacks provided by the National Forest and Grasslands district.  There was also a replica of a sod house which gave an idea of what folks back in the day lived in.  We went in and noticed it was a good 10-15 degrees cooler.

 

 

What was odd was we and only two other couples were the only ones there.  It was awesome having wonderous place like this all to ourselves and not worrying about others getting into your photography shots or interrupting this incredible experience with noise.

 

We think because of its location off the beaten path and the long dirt road leading to it is what keeps people away.  Seriously, you can only see a tiny part from the main road so.  If it weren’t for the small brown landmark signs, no one would know it was there.  The best kept secrets of America’s past and history are the hidden ones and not well advertised.  We are grateful we found this one.

 

Fort Robinson State Park Campground – NEBRASKA (Crawford)

Campground/RV Park:  Fort Robinson State Park Campground-NEBRASKA
Location:  Fort Robinson (Crawford), NE
Date(s) Stayed: 8/2/15- 8/6/15
Length of Stay: 4 days
Site #: #57
Cost per night (with
taxes): $24/night
Discount Used: None
Connections:  Electric
Stars: 2.5
Phone: 308-665-2900
We stayed at Fort Robinson State Park to take in the local historic and
geological attractions.  Fort Robinson is located on Route 20 near the town of Crawford, Nebraska.

Continue reading “Fort Robinson State Park Campground – NEBRASKA (Crawford)”

Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park – Burwell, Nebraska

Nebraska Native American Sioux vs. Civilian Introductions
We visited this Fort through
recommendation from a friend we visited in Broken Bow, Nebraska.  Knowing how we appreciate military history of
our Country, this proved its worthiness and made a few of our brain cells shine. 
We two-upped on Lisa’s Harley through a couple small towns to see this quiet, out
of the way, historical state park located on a lonely county road ten miles southeast of Burwell, Nebraska.  Today, we
were only amongst three others who were touring the Fort, so we got to take spectacular photos.
 

Now, to show you we’ve learned something. Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park is located near present-day Elyria, this fort came into
being in the 1870’s because of confrontations between the Indians (mostly Teton
Sioux) and settlers in the North Loup River Valley.


After the Civil War, homesteaders
streamed into the region, eager to lay claim to free government land.  As more and more settlers arrived, they
encroached farther onto lands the Indians had traditionally roamed.  One skirmish between the Indians and settlers
took place in 1873 on the Sioux Creek, 15 miles west of the Fort.  It resulted in the loss of $1500 worth of
horses, which today, would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  A year later, Marion Littlefield of Clay
County was killed by Indians at Pebble Creek near the fork of the North Loup
and Calamus Rivers.
A fort was needed on the North
Loup not only to protect white settlers, but the friendly Pawnee as well. 
The Pawnee Reservation near Genoa was raided
periodically by their traditional enemies, the nomadic Sioux.
  


Another influencing factor was the
abandonment of Fort Kearny on the Platt River to the south.


General E.O.C Ord, famed Civil
War Solder, lead the detachment that selected the site for a new fort.  Construction began in the fall of 1874 and
cost $110,000.  The nine major buildings
at Fort Hartsuff were built of lime and concrete, since ample supplies of
gravel were available locally.  This
contributed to the ability of these structures to survive.  All the buildings seen in our pictures have
been restored.

To enter this Nebraska State Historical Park, you need to have purchased a Nebraska Annual Park Entry Permit or pay a small fee.  Since we had not purchased the pass yet, we, through the honor system, placed $6 in an envelope with our travel card and placed it in the lockbox at the door outside their office.   The Park Manager was mowing the grass.   Budget cuts??