month one: the good, the bad and the ugly

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Taylor Park Reservoir

Our longest stay was at Taylor Park Reservoir in Colorado.

The first month of our year-long road trip has come and gone, and boy, oh boy, it was a busy one. Our schedule was dictated by some events that were already on the calendar, including getting to watch our daughter compete in a volleyball tournament in Steamboat Springs, a vacation with family and friends, visits to both kids, business meetings and doctors’ appointments. In short, we packed a lot into our first few weeks on the road. Continue reading

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a summertime visit to leadville and twin lakes

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Here are a few photos from our stay in Leadville and Twin Lakes in July. Such a beautiful place to spend a week. Read my campground review for more details. Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more Tales From the Empty Nest. 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

i am NEVER going camping again!

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Camping at Taylor

Roughing it at Taylor Park Reservoir

Oh, the irony. Sixteen years ago this month, we embarked upon our first family camping trip. Much like the Griswolds, we were ready enjoy the open road with the kids. Our destination? Taylor Park Reservoir, a dirt-bike-riding mecca that friends and family members have been enjoying since the 60s. The same spot where I’m sitting right now, writing in our camper.

This took place in 1998, so the kids were 4 and almost 6. The perfect ages to get them started on the joys of camping in the mountains, right? That was the plan. We lived just north of Kansas City at that time, in Smithville, Missouri. Escaping the heat sounded pretty good. 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

home, home on the road

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Today, home is where the deer and the antelope play. We finished packing and moving on Tuesday, closed the sale on the house Wednesday and are spending day one of our new life on the road at Yampa River State Park, near Steamboat Springs, Colorado. There will be posts about downsizing, saying goodbye and life on the road soon. Stay tuned for more Tales From the Empty Nest!

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