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RE: Colorado State Parks closure

Apartments have their own bathrooms.So does my RV. Another thread that's going to get shut down. Closure threads allowed
Thom02099 03/28/20 05:29pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: What does having an appointment mean?

I found a local mobile service that comes to me. When they set the appointment time, that's when they actually arrived, assessed, and started to work. Their hourly rate is $135/hr. Another mobile service locally also offers the option to come to him and save the service charge for at home service. He gets the rig checked out immediately, advises what's needed, and starts working on it, while I'm standing there. He also goes "off the clock" if he has to put on hold my rig and take a look at another rig he's working on simultaneously. His rate at the shop is $125/hr. These independent repair services are worth their weight in gold, in my opinion. Reasonably priced, all things considered. Guess it depends on how much you're willing to pay for actual on time service. Several of the big box RV service centers in the local northern Colorado area are in the $160-$175/hr range.
Thom02099 03/28/20 04:05pm General RVing Issues
Colorado State Parks closure

Colorado State Parks and Wildlife, as of 03.27.20, has closed all state parks campgrounds until further notice. Prior to that date, the campgrounds were to continue to be open, however, that changed with the order from the Governor for a statewide closure. Source - H E R E . Oddly, the state parks themselves remain open. Hoping this will be resolved by the end of April. First trip of the season scheduled for Golden Gate Canyon SP the first weekend in May. If, however, I have to change it, I'll change it. I have the entire season planned out and reserved. If it means cancelling, then so be it.
Thom02099 03/28/20 03:50pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Spearfish, SD

For North Sterling State Park, H E R E - NSSP is the camping info you'll need. Keep in mind that all State Parks in Colorado are now reservation only, so you will need to plan ahead. There should be no problem getting spaces for your group there, and there are electric sites available. I've not stayed at this SP, but have at a similar SP at Jackson Lake further west from North Sterling. Not an abundance of things to do there, the link will provide information on what is available.
Thom02099 03/26/20 07:35pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Well, They gone and done it

1967 F L A S H B A C K She asks me why, I'm just a hairy guy I'm hairy noon and night, hair that's a fright I'm hairy high and low, don't ask me why, don't know It's not for lack of bread, like the Greatful Dead, darlin' Give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen Give me down to there, hair, shoulder length or longer Here baby, there, momma, everywhere, daddy, daddy Hair, flow it, show it Long as God can grow it, my hair Let it fly in the breeze and get caught in the trees Give a home to the fleas, in my hair A home for fleas, a hive for the buzzing bees A nest for birds, there ain't no words For the beauty, splendor, the wonder of my hair Flow it, show it Long as God can grow it, my hair I want long, straight, curly, fuzzy, snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty Oily, greasy, fleecy, shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen Knotted, polka dotted, twisted, beaded, braided Powered, flowered and confettied Bangled, tangled, spangled and spaghettied! Oh say, can you see my eyes if you can Then my hair's too short Down with here, down to there Down till there, down to where it stops by itself They'll be ga-ga at the go-go, when they see me in my toga My toga made of blond, brilliantined, biblical hair My hair like Jesus wore it, Hallelujah I adore it Hallelujah Mary loved her son, why don't my mother love me? Hair, flow it, show it Long as God can grow it My hair, flow it, show it Long as God can grow it My hair, flow it, show it Long as God can grow it My hair
Thom02099 03/25/20 06:02pm General RVing Issues
RE: I-40 E to I-44E to I-70E? NM to VT

I am asking the best way to get from Tucumcari, NM to Brattleboro, VT in these unusual days. Any hints from current travelers would be greatly appreciated. "Best" is always subjective, depends on whether you want to avoid major urban areas or go a bit further out of the way to avoid them. An alternative to the route you asked about, which includes some (3) major urban areas, would be to take I-40 all the way to Knoxville, TN and then pick up I-81 outside of Knoxville and take it north to I-84 in Scranton PA and then east to I-91 to Vermont. Yes, you have Memphis to go through, but there's a bypass (I-840) around Nashville, so Memphis would be the only real major urban area on this route.
Thom02099 03/22/20 12:50pm Roads and Routes
...and Mesa Verde National Park...

...also joins in National Park closures. While the park itself is currently open, most current and future services are not, along with some of the cliff dwellings. Notably, Morefield CG and the Farview Lodge area are closed, along with the Visitors Center and Museum until MAY 1, 2020. Source H E R E
Thom02099 03/20/20 10:28pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RMNP joining other National Parks closing. Announced this evening on local news and confirmed H E R E - ROMO closed, Rocky Mountain National Park now closed until further notice. This was at the request of the Mayor of Estes Park, as sent to the Secretary of the Department of Interior. In part, he pleaded for closure so that health care systems in Estes Park would not be overwhelmed by demand. Estes Park has a sizable elderly population and his belief is that the system can only serve local needs and not the influx of tourists seen each year.
Thom02099 03/20/20 10:23pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Park closures

Yea....they even shut down all the reservation websites across the USA. All that will be left will be private RV parks ($$$$). Not true. I just today rescheduled a reservation thru to a date later in the year as my May COE reservation has been cancelled due to park closure. I also just used to make reservations at 2 different USFS CG in September...and one of them had every campsite open, 18 hours after the booking window opened. Last weekend of the season for both.
Thom02099 03/20/20 09:31pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Favorite campground on the Gunnison River

Great info. I appreciate it. I'm glad I posted about Rt 82. Will avoid it. This suggestion on avoiding Rt 82 has prompted me to go over my Routes heading into Mesa Verde. Looks like research and a new post!!! Thanks again. Some quick advice about going in to Mesa Verde -- fuel up outside the park, and preferably in Cortez where it will be significantly cheaper. There is fuel available at the Farview Campground store but it is insanely higher than outside the park. And distances in the park are very deceiving. It's ~4 miles to Farview Campground and ~11 miles from the entrance of the park to the Farview Lodge area, and then another 10-15 miles to any of the major sites that you might want to visit. There's also 2 mesas to explore, which means a lot of driving inside the park to get from point to point.
Thom02099 03/13/20 04:53pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Vernal UT to Lake City CO.

Going to Lake City CO. from Vernal UT. Googles routes me to Hwy 50 in Grand Junction then on to 26 (Lake City Cutoff Rd) on 149 to Lake City. Does anyone know what kind of road is 26? Google doesn't do a good zoom on it. Full disclosure - I've not been on this road. However, THIS Google Search - Lake City Cutoff Road comes up with this specific review on TripAdvisor. General google search gives other info. Sounds like it's something locals use, but may not be appropriate for most RVs as far as time savings.
Thom02099 03/04/20 06:28am Roads and Routes
RE: Grand Lake, CO from the west

Only thing I might add is the drive up to Grand Lake from Black Canyon would be to get to Silverthorne and then take RT 9 to Kremmling then on to Grand lake - takes Berthoud out of the Picture and other than Monarch Pass on RT 50 is really, as far as passes go not that noteworthy. JMHO If you were to go North on RT 125 as the exit plan then Snowy Range might rate a Drive through. - That would work, right Thom? MAP - Grand Lake to Snowy Range to Laramie. Snowy Range Road would definitely work quite well. From Walden, CO 125 becomes WY 230 and goes up to Riverside/Encampment. Just a ways north of Riverside, WY 130 splits off and heads east toward Laramie. The drive up eastbound is very easy and once you get to Silver Lake, you'll be above timberline. A LOT like Trail Ridge Rd, without the traffic/dropoffs/shelf road, and views to die for. About 1/50th as many people there as in Rocky. Stop up top at the Libby Flats Observation area..and then soak in the views. To the south is the northern part of Rocky. To the north is Sugarloaf Mtn, Medicine Bow Peak and Browns Peak. If you have time, take the hike to The will not be disappointed. The drive down from Snowy Range Pass is not difficult, a couple of easy hairpins and then just your typical mountain drive down to Centennial. A stop in Centennial might also be worthwhile. Libby Flats is on my bucket list this season for boondocking. Lots of open area just begging to host a campsite.
Thom02099 02/24/20 06:42pm Roads and Routes
RE: Grand Lake, CO from the west

The way I see it, there are three options heading out: Trail Ridge up and over through Rocky (my wife is not keen on that), Highway 40 via Berthoud Pass (not sure I'M keen on that) south to I-70, or 125/127 north up to Laramie, WY (I don't know this route at all). Primarily thinking grades and pulls. There is another option to these 3. Take CO 125 north to Walden then take CO 14 east up and over Cameron Pass and down the Poudre Canyon. Beautiful drive, Cameron is not overly difficult. A lot shorter than going up and over to Laramie. If your wife is not keen on Trail Ridge, she will definitely not enjoy the 11 or so miles that you're above timberline with no guardrails and drop offs. US 40 over Berthoud Pass really is not difficult, there are multiple lanes in both directions, no shelf roadway, but it IS a high pass and a goodly incline and decline. Going up CO 125, there's Willow Creek Pass, barely noticeable as passes go. Flat/rolliing terrain to Walden and then north to where 127 splits off. There's a goodly climb on CO/WY 127 but it's not difficult. There's also a drop down to Woods Landing WY, just keep an eye on speed going down. Rolling terrain coming out of Woods Landing in to Laramie.
Thom02099 02/23/20 08:15pm Roads and Routes
RE: St. Louis to Central FL

I just returned from St. Louis to Central Florida last summer. I took I-55 south to Memphis,( I-269 is a loop around Memphis that is an easy drive to I-22) picked up I-22 to Tupelo, MS then turned south on US 45 to Meridian, MS then east on US 80 to Montgomery, AL then south on US 231 to I-10. I avoided Birmingham, AL as there is all kinds of road construction around that area and it is slow going with traffic delays plus rough road.This is a good choice with less traffic. Atlanta is a nightmare to get through due to traffic and construction. I live out side of Orlando so if I can be of additional help let me know.Safe travels and enjoy the trip! Thanks for the input. I've done the drive through Atlanta multiple times (usually coming from SE WI, and the detour is more significant from there). I'm curious, though, about your decision to avoid Birmingham. Google suggests that your side-route adds about 45 minutes to the trip - that seems like a lot to add on just to avoid a city of 200,000 people. With limited travel time, is it really worth such a substantial detour to avoid Birmingham? Short answer...Yes. Though the city itself is ~200,000, Jefferson County is ~650,000 and the metro area is around a million or so. Birmingham has several major interstates coming together there, and it's both major north/south route as well as east/west. And also a major trucking hub for the southeast US. Hence significantly heavy traffic. In the past, I drove between St. Louis and Tuscaloosa AL. I would take I-55 south to I-155 at Hayti, MO and head east to Dyersburg, TN. Then took US 412 south to Jackson, TN and there pick up US 45 south all the way to Columbus, MS, where I'd pick up US 82 east to Tuscaloosa. From there you can continue on US 82 to Montgomery and then follow any of the prior suggestions. For me, this route was deceptively easy. The small cities such as Dyersburg, Jackson, and Tupelo were easy to get around, far easier than going through Memphis or Birmingham. Both of those are metro areas of around 1 million people and traffic can be horrible around both. The route is also good 4 lane for practically the entire length and is a rather direct route from St Louis to head southeast.
Thom02099 02/23/20 09:09am Roads and Routes
RE: Invalid VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)

A police officer or Motor Carrier (Diesel smokey) may be able to help you as a favor.... I know back when I worked dispatch I had a book I could use to de-construct a vin (Tell you what it was) and if he's good enough (I was) construct a vin for the most part (I can't do the xxxxx part ) many dispatchers also have a program on their computer (I helped the author test it) that can help too. The leading 1 means "Made in the USA" but beyond that. I can't tell you much after many years retired. I too used to be able to "read" VINS; it was part of the job when I was in Public Safety. I remember the switch in 1981 to the standardized format. Also retired. H E R E - VIN Config is the meaning of each digit and some other useful information. There is a check digit, the ninth character, that is a calculated digit based on everything else. The 10th digit is the year. The actual serial sequence is the last 6 digits. This VIN format is standardized, regardless if an automobile, a trailer, a motorhome, a semi tractor, etc. From the original post, it appears there's an error in the 6th character; a lower case f. Lower case letters are/were never used in the standardized format IIRC. Depending on the source of the OPs input for the sample VIN, that could be what's causing the problem. As suggested, a Law Enforcement Officer should be able to help, and specifically a certified truck inspector, who would know where the hidden VIN is (all vehicles also have a hidden VIN somewhere).
Thom02099 02/14/20 06:26am General RVing Issues
RE: Another Oldie Not Mine. What can I pull with this?

I don't think that should be towing anything. It should be TOWED (covered/enclosed) by a Prevost or Newmar. :C
Thom02099 02/13/20 06:18am Tow Vehicles
RE: Two Questions in Colorado

I like "best and safest" and also "least stressful and most relaxing." Do you have a time crunch? I would double back to Fort Collins and enjoy the drive up 14. However, Thom definitely is the authority here. One aspect of doubling back from RFL to US 287, then south to CO14, is being able to fuel up with gas/diesel at a competitive price at Teds Place, which is the intersection of CO14/US287. About 90 miles from there to Walden, with peace of mind that fuel will not be an issue.
Thom02099 02/11/20 07:11am Roads and Routes
RE: Two Questions in Colorado

We are going to be staying at Dowdy Lake Campground at Red Feather Lakes, CO in August. When we leave we are going west on Hwy 14. Does anyone know of a dump station going west before we reach Walden? Also, we are towing a 30’ Arctic Fox fifth wheel camper. Map shows quickest way is to take the 12.5 mile gravel road which is W CR 74e (Manhattan Rd.) which becomes N CR 69 and comes out at Rustic, CO on Hwy 14 where we go west. Forest Service mentioned some “steep” places and some “switchbacks”. Has anyone towed this road? Would you recommend doing this? Otherwise we will have to go back towards Ft. Collins and go south and get on Hwy 14 west—take twice as long, but we can do whatever is best/safest. THANKS There is only 1 place between Rustic and Walden (about 60 miles) to dump and that is the Colorado State Forest SP facility outside of Gould. It's right off CO 14 at CR 41, by the North Park Campground and Never Summer Nordic yurts. Make a right and bear left for the entrance to the SP, just past the entry make a left heading toward the shops and there's a loop for the dump. It doesn't have water there though. CR74E is the Red Feather Lakes Road. You can go west from Dowdy Lake to the intersection with the Manhattan Road (CR69), or you can double back on the RFL Rd and pick up CR68C, AKA the Boy Scout Ranch Road. Of the 2, I prefer CR68C. These 2 roads intersect and become CR69 to Rustic. This is where it gets interesting. It is steep, it is very narrow and it's 2 directions, so you are likely to encounter traffic heading uphill as you are going downhill. There are no pull offs. There are a couple of very tight turns and if you commit to them, you are committed. There is no backing up; the uphill traffic would need to back up for you. This is a short segment however. But it is definitely a challenge. If you are comfortable with steep and narrow and willing to commit once you are approaching the curves, it's doable. If it were me, I would put flashers on, honk my horn a lot because some of the curves are blind, and hope for minimal traffic. This way does save you time; stop at Rustic Resort or Archers Resort and take some deep breaths :E You don't have to double back to US 287 on the RFL Rd and go south to CO 14. From Dowdy Lake, you can continue past the Manhattan Rd on CR 86/the Deadman Road (named for a mountain, not the condition of the road!) It is an all season road like all the others in that area, and there are a lot of curves. But it is doable and can be scenic as well. You'll be dropping down into the Laramie River Valley and as you are nearly down, you'll intersect with CR 80C/the Sand Creek Pass Road. Make a left on CR80C, and that will take you to CR103/the Laramie River Road. Make a left and stay on the Laramie River Road all the way to CO 14. Yes, it's all dirt, and there are some rough spots, but there's also some scenic portions. THIS is wild Colorado. This is my stomping grounds. Been going to this area since the early 80s when I moved to Colorado. THIS is what Colorado is all about. A fuel caution. Fill up with gas/diesel in Red Feather Lakes. Full tank. There's a very hard to get to pump at Rustic Resort and also one at Archers Resort, but IIRC, there's no diesel at either. From Red Feather to Walden, either way you go, there's no diesel. There's 2 stations in Walden that have gas/diesel.
Thom02099 02/10/20 06:57pm Roads and Routes
RE: Phoenix to ALBQ to CO Springs to Leadville CO (at capacity)

Nothing wrong with your route, have driven it many times. Just keep in mind that for every 1,000' of elevation you will lose 3 percent of your available power due to the thinner air. At 8,000' you have 24 percent less power to get the job done. Also, IMHO:If you get pushed around when towing in windy conditions you need more TV or less trailer. Whatever you decide, good luck. As always... Opinions and YMMV. :C ...And keep in mind that Leadville is over 10000 ft in elevation, so that 24% less power becomes more like 30% less. Also in May, you can pretty much count on snow still being around at elevation. If you have an inclination to do some mountain exploring, good luck with that. Independence Pass and Cottonwood Pass, both over 12000 feet likely won't open until Memorial Day or beyond. Leadville will have snow on the ground, and if it's anything like last season, could be a goodly amount.
Thom02099 02/05/20 06:48pm Roads and Routes
RE: Ridgway State Park to Leadville

What is the best way to go to Leadville/Buena Vista area from Ridgway State Park? We have a large dually pickup and will be towing a 34-ft fifth wheel. This is planned for July 2020. We prefer ease of towing, and would like to keep steep mountain passes, etc to a minimum. Thanks for any information you can give us. Big :) here. You are in the Heart of the Rockies - As will usually be the case any trip from Here to There will likely involve a Mountain or Two! Suggested Route - with one pass - First time over this I just thought I had gone over a Mountain "Not a Pass" - Note here I love Driving in the Mountains. Might be fun to Stop at Monarch Mountain Ski Resort to rest and stretch your legs - One more note - Wal*Mart is in Gunnison to Resupply - and - is worth the stop for dinner. Hope this helps, as the Alternative is Vail Pass and that's Big. Best of Luck, edit Another Post to Read on the Area. What Bill/Busskipper said... US 50 east to US 285, north to US 24. Lots of photo ops, the heart of the Collegiate Range of mountains. Monarch Pass is the only pass to deal with and as Colorado passes go, it's not difficult. At the top, there is an aerial tram that takes you to the top of the ridge on the south side of the pass, and is definitely worth it for the vistas and magnificent mountains to be seen up there. Drop down and take in Poncha Springs and Salida while you're there. Buena (Byoona) Vista also worth a stop.
Thom02099 02/04/20 05:57pm Roads and Routes
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