Travels with Pickles

August 2016 Travelogue

August saw us leave New Mexico and slip into southwestern Colorado.  We have fallen in love with the Cortez/Durango area of Colorado.  The landscape is a beautiful mixture of farmland and mountains.  Temperatures and weather patterns agree with us.  We celebrated Tammy’s birthday, had an unexpected trip to the vet, discovered dry casinos are an actual thing, ridden a narrow gauge train, and discovered paddle boarding.   All in all, August in Colorado has been an excellent month.DSCN0335[1]

Pickles has enjoyed his time in Colorado immensely.  He got to watch Michael Phelps swim for gold medals outside after dinner on more than one occasion.  He thought it was the coolest thing ever and is slightly disappointed our current site at Sky Ute doesn’t have the space to sit outside and watch television quite as comfortably.


We stayed at the KOA in Cortez for two weeks.  It was an incredibly nice park with helpful staff.  We ended up there quite by accident after our planned spot for the month of August was a complete bust.  We had booked reservations at Ute Mountain Casino RV park which is on the Ute Reservation about a half hour south of Cortez.  The Casino and RV Park are dry, which was NOT mentioned when I made our reservations.  It is illegal to bring alcohol onto the reservation or to consume it within our own RV.  Sorry, but while not big drinkers, if I want a glass of wine or a cold beer I don’t want to feel like a criminal or a rebellious teenager.  Needless to say, we declined to stay for the month and landed at the KOA.  


I got to spend my birthday month in a beautiful locale and doing things I never thought I’d do in my lifetime.  Usually, I’m more than content to read a book, see above as a squint at my phone, and enjoy dinner at home.  This year, I did that but also went paddle boarding for the first time, rode a narrow gauge railroad, got to wander around a great used bookstore, and fall in love with Dave all over again.


Paddle boarding was an experience I fell in love with, despite the 25 mph headwind.  I’m looking forward to trying it again next spring when it warms up.  The peaceful but strenuous activity was amazing.  It’s just you alone out there on the water.  You easily lose yourself on the water and besides it’s pointless to try shouting across the water.


Wally and Sangria were thrilled with the lake at the KOA.  Long walks around the lake with the pet sitter while we were on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad kept them amused and exhausted.  Rover is a wonderful service that allowed us to find a great pet sitter for the day and let us explore without worry. 


Dave took loads of great videos on the train which was pretty much all your cell phone was worth on the train.  No cell reception means that the narrow gauge railroad is a peaceful and enjoyable experience.  If you want to experience unspoiled forest, take the railroad through the San Juan National Forest aboard the railroad and on the Silver Vista  car.


After my birthday we moved to Sky Ute Casino RV Park located on the Southern Ute Reservation.  The RV park and the accompanying casino amenities are simply superb, worthy of a blog post all it’s own.  Unfortunately, our first week here was stressful which was completely unrelated to the park.  Our last Saturday at the KOA we discovered a “leak” in the front cap of The Gump, along with discovering that the dicor holding the front cap to the roof was missing in spots.  We called around trying to get ahold of a mobile RV tech to no avail until we got George of George’s RV on the phone Monday at the casino.  George arrived on Thursday and could discover no leak and it was his opinion our “leak” was caused by the fiberglass insulation becoming wet from weather and drying out.   Watch for a blog post in the coming weeks on what we learned about the “leak”.


Adding to the “leak” stress was Wally stress.  His eyes had crusted over from his tear ducts and we couldn’t get the crusty crud off.  He would rub his eyes and then we would notice blood on his tear ducts.  We called the local vet yesterday, Kindness Animal Hospital, and got the old man fixed up.  The vet was amazing!  No seriously, we are in a small town and yet not only does the vet see dogs and cats but large animals as well.  Ok, to be expected it is a farming community after all.  No, what is truly unbelievable is that there is an Avian/Exotic vet on staff!  Those of you with birds or exotic animals will know how rare it is to find such a vet in a large city, let alone a small town in a farming community.  We are returning here yearly for the annual shots for all of the flock.


All in all, August was an amazing month.  We discovered new things, saw amazing vistas, found an area of the country we will return to time and again, and learned that love conquers close quarters and stress.