Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tripping to Cripple Creek

I have the camper back again and we are away for the weekend. The camper's little boo-boos from the long trip to Texas and Florida and back and then back to Texas again and back again required a little trip to the camper hospital for a short stay and some repairs. But I have her back, almost as good as new (although truthfully, she could use a bath and a coat of wax). She was all ready to go, and then the thunderstorm rolled in. So we waited it out while I put together some groceries for the trip.

My first stop on my way out of town was to Elk Mountain Brewery to refill my Growler. I like a dark beer, so I ordered the Amber Brown. It wasn't until I had reached Cripple Creek, unhitched and set up the camper, and reach for the growler for some liquid refreshment that I realized the bartender had written Amber on the lid. I had to laugh. Sometimes Maxwell is just too damn obvious.

I didn't get out of town without incident. The camper will have to go back to the repairman for a little fix:

In case you don't see it, this side is supposed to look like the other side:

You should see the other guy.

It was actually an inanimate object. One of those heavy reinforced concrete pillars to protect the ATMs from terrorists.  I cut it just a little close. Was really glad I didn't have a passenger in the car giving me hell. I pretty much took care of that myself.

I picked the first RV camp that sounded like it was off the highway and off the beaten track. Cripple Creek Hospitality House & RV Park is all of that, and comes with a story or two. The Hospitality House is the old Teller County Hospital. It is just up B Street from Teller County Junior and Senior High School and was built at the height of the gold rush in this area, 1901.
The RV park is better than some I have been in, but is not for the usual KOA camper. It comes with full hookups and wifi and, fortunately, no cable TV. The wifi allows me to entertain myself when the weather gets a little iffy. For instance, as I write this the wind is howling around outside, and it is nippy.  

There aren’t many other campers here. Perhaps it is because it’s so early in the season. I’m not complaining. I pretty much have a nice little area all to myself with good views all around, and less people is less stimulating for the dogs (we’re working on the whole territorial barking thing – it isn’t going well).

I took them, the dogs that is, out for a long walk this morning. Up and down the hill and back and forth on the grid of streets that go down the mountain from the Hospitality House. At 10,000 plus feet, the exertion got my cardio-respiratory system cranking, but did very little to calm the dogs down. So many smells! So many unfamiliar critters! And, “OMG Jack, do you see THAT! Is that horse shit? OMG it’s my FAVORITE!” Inevitably, the most exciting smells and sites have to occur when I am fighting my way to breathe and keep my feet moving on the uphill portions of the walk.

We came across the Cripple Creek volunteer firefighting and rescue squad doing some training on a Saturday morning. As we stopped to watch, the trainers were emphasizing the need to communicate loudly and clearly that the ladder was going up, coming down, or coming through. Each of the trainees had to be able to handle the ladder independently: carry it to the wall, get it up against the wall, and then get it down and carry it back – all without injuring themselves or others. No wonder firemen are in such good shape!

It was lunch time when we returned to the camper from our walk. Some ground beef seasoned with fresh onion, garlic, basil, oregano, and parsley. Followed by a pint of Amber Brown, a half pint of blue-berries and a nap. The nap was also delicious, by the way.

When this summer thunderstorm passes there will be another long walk up and down the mountain followed by leftover seasoned beef with some rice for dinner and a salad of fresh things from the garden. Not my garden, but somebody’s organic garden.

If I am lucky, and the free wifi internet connection connects, I will be able to post this at some point and then play some word games with my word-game pals in Canada, Omaha, San Francisco, Texas, and Hawaii while I finish the last glass of Amber Brown. Cheers!

Note: It's Sunday and the internet is back up and I have decided to stay another night here on the mountain. It feels like home.

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