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So Long to Summer Trip

REDONE

Active Member
I'm working on another trip before it gets too cold to camp with toddlers! Nothing set in stone just yet but pitching some goals and a time frame.

Due to work and school considerations, I think Labor Day weekend is probably the best bet for time off. The downside is that there's usually a lot going on that weekend with family and events that many may find to be a higher priority than leaving home. There's also the possibility that it'll be crowded as everyone with nothing better to do will be out in the wilderness as well. If this trip gets pushed to middle/late September, that should still be predictably warm enough. A snow dusting is one thing, sub-zero temps are definitely a no-go. I don't think there will be either but in wonderful Colorado, it's totally possible!

Just as an initial first thought, I'm thinking 1st day ghost town tour down to San Luis, CO and seeing their Stations of The Cross thing. We've seen it from town just stopping for lunch and have intentions to see it more thoroughly. My wife is Catholic, I'm not, but the history of the area dates back to Spanish Conquistadors so I find it all really interesting in a reverent holocostic way. There's a ghost town named "Duncan, CO" in the Rio Grand National Forest that may have dispersed camping nearby. A fallback is the San Luis State Wildlife Area. This was a State Park until they drained the reservoir and people stopped coming. I've been there when it was a SP but after they drained the lake, and have wanted to go back with a metal detector and hunt for free fishing lures, haha! It's barren, but with awesome 360* views of mountains and the Great Sand Dunes.
Second day I'm leaning towards Bent's Old Fort to keep the pioneer/settler/historical theme running. If this is a three day trip, from there I think we'd go to John Martin State Park, which is in the middle of nowhere but has a great tree-filled campground where we could have a potluck, shoot-the-bull, campfire and libations.
The trip home, be it the third day (or the second day after Bent's Fort) we could shoot up to the Sand Creek Massacre site before headed home.
http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/co/co.html
https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/costillacounty/shrine-stations-cross
http://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/SanLuis
https://www.nps.gov/beol/index.htm
http://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/JohnMartinReservoir
https://www.nps.gov/sand/index.htm

https://goo.gl/maps/DTNG7md5rfJ2
I don't know how to imbed a google map here.:confused:
 

ExplorerTom

Well-Known Member
San Luis State Park is like camping on the surface of the moon. ZERO shade and super dusty (and windy). You could also shoot for dispersed camping on Medano Pass- the west side has designated spots (with bear boxes), the east side doesn't.
 

REDONE

Active Member
Haha! San Luis SP isn't Jellystone Forest camping by any means and also not a first choice, but it does have its post-apocalyptic charm. I'm completely open to adjustments that reduce highway time and enhance the experience!
On a related note, our EZ-UP is definitely the best camping purchase we've made in recent memory! I thought it would be more of a novelty or emergency rain cover, but that thing is awesome in any weather.
 

Morris Yarnell

Well-Known Member
Their website (San Luis) shows a lake. Possibly before draining it as noted above. It does look a bit desolate and there is no shade except what you bring...also bring your own water and firewood.
Sounds like from a historical perspective it may be worth it to see the places Matt noted. I have read Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. Really a frightful rendition of the conflict at Sand Creek.
 
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ExplorerTom

Well-Known Member
On a related note, our EZ-UP is definitely the best camping purchase we've made in recent memory! I thought it would be more of a novelty or emergency rain cover, but that thing is awesome in any weather.
This was the first place I used my EZ-UP. The wind bent it.
 

REDONE

Active Member
Bummer! Mine has a steel frame and the weight to prove it, $65 at Dick's.

I'd like to hear more thoughts (I know this thread is only a few hours old) on those that would be interested in a trip at this time frame. I like the historical theme, the south/southeast direction for the weather prospects, and I'm leaning towards 1 or 2 weekends after Labor Day. I think that traffic and crowds may make Labor day more suck than sweet.
EDIT>>> channel 7 news just showed the travel stats for DIA for labor day weekend. I think that's a good weekend to stay close to home. Looking at a 2-day weekend trip after Labor day.
 
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ExplorerTom

Well-Known Member
I think my multi-day trips are behind me for the summer. Soccer and gymnastics start this weekend and go until it's too cold to camp.
 

Morris Yarnell

Well-Known Member
So that is the 8th, 9th and 10th of Sept or 15, 16, 17? It helps me to know the number of the day. As I am retired every day is a holiday and needs to be properly identified to plan for an adventure.

Possible Moab trip coming up for me Oct 12,13,14 and 15. still in the hopeful stage.
 
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REDONE

Active Member
I have to be honest Morris, I'm looking at a 2-day trip as reality sets in. Already I feel the weight of the fall schedule, but I'm still pretty determined to get another trip in before winter! I haven't ruled out either weekend yet, though. I'm working some other options right now that will accommodate both a 1 or 2 day trip for those who want to flex their springs and those who want to sleep in Fall air...
 

REDONE

Active Member
Well, this trip is going to have to be done another time, or organized by someone else. Next weekend my little tribe is headed south, but we'll be staying in hotels. My wife was part of a big clean up effort outside Questa, NM and we have an awards thing there on Friday. My aging grandmother lives in Alamogordo, and since we'd be halfway there on Friday it only makes sense that we'd head down so she can meet her great grand daughter for the first time.;)

With my fall schedule, my next shot at adventure will be Thanksgiving when I take my annual drive to Eugene, OR with my dogs.