Friday, August 08, 2014

Colorado 2014

We were going to go to Colorado last September.  I really didn't get a good mountain fix on our Utah/Colorado trip in 2012 (much as I enjoyed that trip), and I thought it'd be nice to go out to Rocky Mountain National Park and just park the camper for a week and explore.

Well the weekend we'd planned to go was the one after the week they got an insane amount of rain in just a few days and washed all roads from the east side of the front range out.  You couldn't get there from here, and they actually closed the park.

So this may I  reserved a site in Moraine Park for a week ... the earliest I could do that was for early to mid August.

We'd been out camping a couple of times this summer.  Once with Trenton and Scott & Maggie and their two little ones Drew and Kate.  Drew and Trenton are very close in age, and the three of them had a blast up at Long Branch Lake near Macon.  And then we went on the summer float trip with the gang at Alley Spring.

Every time we take the camper out, we think of another tweak or two.  The main ones this time about were to drill holes in the other side of the A frame poles for more precise adjustment of the frame, and a water tank I'd been kicking about that I would bolt to the side of the camper.  I'd seen a PVC tube with caps on Scott & Maggie's popup, and he said he'd added a water tank and pump to the camper, and I assumed that was it.  Brilliant idea, I thought.  Anyway, it turns out that is just the pole storage.  But the gears were already turning.

Their water pump is a little noisy.  When I was researching to buy one, I read that unless you want to spend a lot, they are a bit noisy.  And I don't want to disturb my fellow campers late at night or early in the morning.  So I thought ... air pressure.

Our water tanks in our houses in the country basically operated on air pressure, albeit pressure created by the water compressing an air bladder inside the tank.  The well pump would pump water into the tank, compressing the bladder, and then the compressed air in the bladder would push the water out when you turned the water on.

I could use an air tank.

A bit further research told me that this is how RV water tanks worked until about the mid 1960's anyway.  And Briar Jeff said he had a 1 gallon tank I could use for air.

I put a tank together out of PVC and put some quick-connects on it, and made a faucet out of a valve and a piece of copper pipe I zip-tied to a short shepherd's hook.  Unfortunately, I did a bad job on the PVC gluing job (I thought it was pretty hard to do a bad job on that, but apparently not) and it leaked air.

So I ended up bringing a 5 gallon soda keg along with us for the water tank.

We also got some leveler blocks and a handle for the stabilizer jacks I'd put on the bottom of the camper a couple of years ago.

At any rate, we packed up a bunch of dried vegetables and rice meals, a few cans of chicken and beef, dried vegetable protein, dried fruit, jerky, apples, bread, peanut butter, jelly, pancake mix, that milk you don't have to refrigerate .... a few beers, some 1792 ....backpacks, cameras and headed out for ...

Olathe, KS.

Good chance to visit some of our best friends, godchildren, and cut a couple of hours off the trip.  So Vicki said "yeah, this time we shouldn't stay up until 3 or 4 in the morning talking" like we have so often on Friday night trips to Olathe.


We really like hanging out with Mark & Cami.  Had a few drinks ... and the next thing you know Cami offers to layer Vicki's hair.  And she does.  Which eventually has a happy ending, but let's just say it took a little weight off of her head for a week or so.

Vicki and Mark stayed up late playing cards.  Like until 3 or 4 ... Cami and I both turned in around 1:00.  And Vicki and I left about 9:00 am for Estes Park.

We had about a 40 minute delay getting breakfast at a McDonalds that didn't have it all together to put it lightly.  But ... eh. That's how we roll.  No strict plan.

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