Ultimate Summer Camp(s)

Autumn is coming at least a week later this year, and I don’t mind at all. I’d meant to write and post this at least three weeks ago when we would have celebrated the equinox with a color drive, but we still haven’t really taken that drive. We did head to Colorado Springs the first weekend of October to pick up our rebuilt transmission. The aspen were changing, mostly on the east side of the Divide. A week later, the Gamble oak in our yard started to change.


But I’m getting ahead of myself. We’re just beginning to celebrate the harvest, put the garden to bed and enjoy the colors and cooler temps, and I haven’t posted up anything about our camping trips since June when I wrote about a trip we took in April?!

Here’s the not-so-short but sweet re-cap, highlighting some of our adventures:

Middle Fork May 2-4

As soon as the roads open up, this area has been our first, local camping spot of the season for the last several years. Close to home, it’s less than a half hour away; and if we choose to, we can take all dirt roads to get there.

Mosca I June 13-15

My husband discovered this little gem last fall when he took an unprecedented solo trip. Eager to share it with me, it was another one we jumped on as soon as the roads and our time would allow us. It was also my first time to drive the bus.

Cumbres June 27-29

This was another all new spot for us. It was a little more ‘crowded’ than most places we go in the woods, but we found a spot away from others to let the dogs play. Seems like every time we head over Cumbres pass, we run into the train.

Ellwood July 11

We play on the Divide all the time, but hadn’t been up and over Ellwood pass in a few years. This seemed like a good day for it, and the columbine and wildflowers did not disappoint. It was a good thing we started early as the monsoons continued to build and lightning was in the area as we hit the top. This was one for the Toyota, not he VW.

Mosca II July 18-20

We enjoyed Mosca so much earlier in the season, that we were really eager to return and see what the wildflowers were doing there.

San Juan Vacay July 26-30

This was a bitter-sweet trip in many ways (or what we called a ‘yay/boo’ story as kids). As we packed up, our 14 yo. Golden had a seizure that he couldn’t recover from, and we had to help him say goodbye. Deciding we needed to get away, we still took the trip with two of our girls; but the monsoons hammered us most of the time.

We visited both familiar and new places. One of our favorite spots had succumb to beetles. Even though the place looked sad and the trees rained needles on us, there were tons of strawberries and we gathered enough for half-a-pint of jam. Our 8 yo. ‘puppy’ also had our first-ever dog-meets-porcupine experience, which luckily we intercepted and was pretty minor. I lost a bottle of wine to a flash flood on a creek where I’d left it to chill, but recovered it about twelve feet downstream, the next day, when the water receded.

In the end, we bee-lined it towards Taos, but found our friend Mark at home and leaned heavily on his hospitality. Feeling restored the next day, we lingered too long and flash floods drove us back from the bridge crossing and the shortest way home. We took an extra long detour, and then white-knuckled it through marble-sized hail from Antonito and back over Cumbres pass.

After the bus got stuck in reverse on Cumbres coming home, and another one of our dogs went down with an injury; we’ve stayed closer to home, decided it was a good time to pull the transmission, and been preparing for the next adventure.