Posts Tagged “Colorado”

Howdy workampers! We may need a hearty workamping couple for the summer season at Vickers Ranch in Lake City, Colorado. This is a paid opportunity with lots more bonuses like this:

The owners have asked Jim and I to assist in their search for a second couple they might need, to help out doing everything from:

Guest Relations

to Chopping Wood

Building Fences

to Maintaining Guest Cabins

Doing Laundry

to flipping burgers on Friday nights

and more!

It’s not the easiest work in the world and you must not be afraid to get your hands dirty. But the Vickers are amazing, wonderful people and we wouldn’t have gone back for the last six years in a row if we didn’t have a blast every summer! Read about our workamping seasons at Vickers, here.

Plus with scenery like this, what more can you ask for?

Interested? Contact us ASAP for details.

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Life is good, and warm. Last week we went from this 30 degree weather in South Park Colorado.

To the refuge of Southern Utah.
80 degrees and loving it.

and in the process of picking up stakes
from this isolated boondocking spot

We traversed across the Utah / Arizona border and saw
the horrific reality of what’s happened to the Colorado River.

As we headed to Las Vegas to play zombie for Jim’s birthday
I couldn’t help but wonder what Edward Abbey would think.

And on we roll . . .

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Last week after fleeing another snow storm at Jerry’s Acres and descending down into Fort Collins to say goodbye to friends and family, we woke up to this:

Unfortunately that morning we had a 9 AM appointment to get our trailer axles aligned. Little did we know how much dealing with three inches of snow on the RV rooftop would slow us down.

After breaking camp, the last task was to retract the slide. I pushed the button, but no luck. The slide rooftop was weighed down with heavy, wet snow that wouldn’t budge.

The clock was ticking, we had to get going. What did we do? Well, see for yourself:

Yes, that’s Jim standing on a crate placed on top of an icy picnic table. Not the smartest thing to do, but it was our only option. When brushing the snow with a broom didn’t help, he got out the hose and watered it down. Bingo! We were on our way and only 20 minutes late.

And now we know why so many RVers carry ladders!

With that learning experience behind us, we’re headed west to warmer places where we won’t be dealing with his kind of scenario for a long, long time. See you in the desert!

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Every year we push our luck here at Jerry’s Acres, until finally the view outside looks like this.

JerrysAcresOct2013

Obviously, this is a clear indication that it’s time to get moving.

Preparing to fly away for winter takes about two weeks. Our punch list looks like this:

  • Clean the RV
  • Pack the RV
  • Run errands in the big city (vet, doctor, grocery, etc.)
  • Perform last-minute honey-dos on the truck, rig & cabin
  • Get food out of the cabin kitchen, move it into RV
  • Finish critical business-related activities and meet deadlines, since when we get on the road we’ll be out of commission for a few days as we settle into our new routine.
  • Winterize all systems on the house
  • Shut down, batten down the hatches and get the hell out!

It’s a lot easier to do all of this drudgery when we’re not being pummeled by snow but I’m not sure we’ll have that kind of luck this year. Winter seems to have settled in.

We’ve got some axle work that needs to be done on the RV after we leave here, then that’s it, we’re on the road until who knows when.

Look out sunbelt states. The journey is about to commence.

Hope to see you there!

 

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Last week after wrapping up our annual Vickers Ranch workamping gig, we decided to play tourist and visit a part of rural Colorado that we’ve heard a lot about. Known as the North Fork Valley, this region is ground zero for Western Colorado’s small leftie contingent and a blossoming orchard and winery industry.

The main towns which comprise the North Fork Valley are Crawford, Hotchkiss and Paonia. We approached from the south along State Highway 92 (part of the West Elk Loop), a twisty and hairy adventure that meanders alongside the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, a hole in the ground more stunning than the Grand Canyon.

Highway 92 is the best way to enter the Valley but have a barf bag ready; the drop-offs are breathtaking and with no guard rails and few pull-outs, we weren’t able to take any photos.

Highway92

For the first time in months, we had no plans or places to be and zero commitments whatsoever. It was heaven!

We arrived in the tiny cow town of Crawford to find that Verizon cell service is non-existent, which meant we couldn’t look up any places to stay. As I was just about to come unglued because my phone wasn’t working, I decided to have a face to face interaction with the owner of the general store to ask if she knew of any local RV parks.

Turns out, she told me more than my smart phone ever could. She sent us to a new RV park in Hotchkiss, “Farm and Ranch Camp.” Perfect, we thought!

It was rustic and right up our alley. The name was also entirely appropriate; with RV sites set within the actual ranch itself, we were in the middle of the irrigation action. See the water shooting out into left field behind our rig?

We spent the next two days soaking up the last blast of summer heat and playing tourist. First we toured Hotchkiss, which has a few wineries and lots of local produce, but it’s a little rough around the edges as we discovered in a local dive bar, Past-Times.

Paonia lived up to it’s reputation as a culinary destination and hippie haven. We hadn’t seen so many dreadlock-wearing, earthy types since we were in Northern California. It’s easy to see why they flock here. There’s a strong sense of connection to this lush farmland, a very supportive artist community and it’s a relatively cheap place to live if you’re just renting (land prices are another story).

After stopping at a few wineries, we savored a gourmet lunch with all local products in Paonia Town Park.

Even Wyatt got his share of locally-grown delicacies, when a local meat market gave us free elk bones!

Next, we stumbled onto Black Bridge Winery and Orchard Farms, a dog-friendly idyllic destination on the outskirts of town featuring a U-Pick orchard and gardens, tons of local gourmet products and the best wines in the region.

The finale of our visit happened at the end of our day in Paonia, when took the suggestion of a local and ate at the Flying Fork Cafe, which many folks say is the best eatery in the Valley.

We have to agree with the consensus; dining al fresco at this little Italian-style restaurant was comparable to the best big-city dining experiences we’ve had, but without the attitude or the price!

We had a blast and hope to be back someday. It’s been a long time since we did anything so relaxing and touristy. After working 60 hour weeks all summer, it was paradise when we finally got to reap the fruits of our labor!

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