travel tuesday: weekend in steamboat springs

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Sunrise at Stagecoach Reservoir State Park

Sunrise at Stagecoach State Park

Our first official outing with our new truck camper was at Stagecoach State Park, about half an hour outside of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. We’ve camped there a couple of times over the years, but this campsite was the best yet. We completely lucked into it, too. It was the very last site available, and just so happened to be right on the lake. Score!

The reason for the trip was to watch our daughter and her fiancé (yes!) play in the doubles volleyball tournament in early July. Scott’s dad was staying with us at the time, so he joined us for the weekend. Anna and Dalton and their friends came over to swim and have a cookout the night before, which was really fun. I miss cooking for a group of kids; they are all young adults at this point, but they’ll always be my kids.

I woke up to watch the sunrise over the lake, then took a long hike to stretch my legs and enjoy the views. There’s a group day-use area nearby with a small amphitheater, picnic tables and horseshoe pits. Bathrooms are a short walk away. There is a beach area with sand volleyball and a marina close by, too.

Our campsite was in the Junction City Loop. The views were spectacular, and it was fun to watch the boats, jet skis, kayaks and ducks go by. We had enough cell service (AT&T) in one spot of the site to sometimes send and receive texts. We had electricity and potable water nearby, but not close enough to reach with the hose. Two hearty thumbs up Stagecoach State Park and this campsite.

Thanks for reading Tales From the Empty Nest!

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campground review: Pony Express RV Resort in Salt Lake City

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Pool at Pony Express

Go for a swim at the Pony Express RV Resort.

Why camp here? There are lots of reasons to visit Salt Lake City. It was just a stopover for us this time due to other time commitments, but we hope to stay longer next time to explore the area. The 35-acre Temple Square, the most-visited attraction in the state, is top of the list of places I’d like to see. I also want to tour the Territorial Statehouse  since we enjoyed our visit to the Wyoming Territorial Prison so much. There’s a nice list of locals’ favorites on the Visit Salt Lake website, including the Epic Brewing Company and Tony Caputo’s regional market with, get ready for this, a state-of-the-art cheese cave, old-world butcher shop and the nation’s largest selection of ultra-premium chocolate. A cheese cave and ultra-premium chocolate? Count me in! Continue reading

campground review: Blue Ox RV Park

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Springhill Winery

One of the many perks of camping in the Willamette Valley. This is at the Springhill Winery.

Why camp here? This was one of three stops during our trip through Oregon. We visited places that were new to us and chose Albany because it’s close to my cousin and his family. Boy, did we luck out. It’s smack dab in the Willamette River Valley!

The Blue Ox RV Park is located close enough to I-5 to be really convenient, but not close enough to hear the traffic. There are lots of stores, services and restaurants nearby, plus the Timber Linn Park with paved walking trails, bike lanes and the nicest dog park I’ve ever seen. Continue reading

campground review: Oceanside Beachfront RV Resort

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The beach at Oceanside Beachfront RV Resort.

The beach at Oceanside Beachfront RV Resort.

Why camp here? I think the name explains why! The Oceanside Beachfront RV Resort resort is located on the beach at Coos Bay in Charleston, Oregon. We can’t see the ocean from our site, but we can hear the waves and the foghorn from the Cape Arago Lighthouse, and can walk to the beach in less than two minutes. There are tent sites that are actually on the sand. Continue reading

campground review: White Star Campground at Twin Lakes, Colorado

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Whitestar Campground at Twin Lakes

White Star Campground at Twin Lakes

Why camp here? Tucked away in the San Isabel National Forest on the banks of the Twin Lakes Reservoir, the scenery alone makes it a destination in and of itself. Throw in the largest glacial lakes in Colorado, excellent fishing and proximity to Leadville, Buena Vista and Aspen via Independence Pass, and the better question is “why not camp here?” There are trails for hiking, biking and OHVs, boat tours to the historic Interlaken Resort, kayak and canoe rentals and the well-stocked Twin Lakes General Store. The Dayton Room at the Twin Lakes Inn is a real treat; call ahead for dinner reservations during July and August. Continue reading

campground review: Yampa River State Park

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Yampa River

The Yampa River near Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Why camp here? We camped here because it was the closest we could get to Steamboat Springs on one of the busiest weekends of summer. Our daughter was playing in the Steamboat Doubles volleyball tournament, and the Steamboat Springs Hot Air Balloon Rodeo and Art in the Park were also going on.

Although this wasn’t our first choice since it’s 45 minutes west of town, the Yampa River State Park Headquarters Campground is a nice option. Our experience in Colorado State Parks has been very positive over the years, and that proved to be true for this campground as well. Lots of upsides, but a couple of downsides to point out as well: mosquitoes and a train that runs regularly right next to the park. We got used to the train pretty quickly, but the skeeters were an issue. Our site was located near some ponds, so the sites closer to the river might be a better option. Continue reading

campground review: Fort Collins–Poudre Canyon KOA

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 The view from the Fort Collins - Poudre Canyon KOA

The view from the Fort Collins – Poudre Canyon KOA

Why camp here? Location! The name says it all; the Fort Collins – Poudre Canyon KOA campground is located about 10 miles outside of Fort Collins, Colorado, and right across the road from the Cache la Poudre Scenic Byway. In our case, Fort Collins is about halfway between our kids, so it was the perfect meeting spot for a Mother’s Day family weekend. (Except for the major snowstorm, but that’s a different story.) Continue reading