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

saying goodbye

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View from our Home

The view from our former home.

Leaving home is always tough, but leaving home and completely changing your lifestyle is a doozy. We’ve been full-timers for a little over a week now. I’ve been thinking about this post the whole time and believe I’m ready to write it without crying. If you don’t know this about me, I cry a lot. Television commercials make me cry, along with buying greeting cards and seeing anyone else cry. Don’t even get me started on weddings, babies and funerals. (Watch for upcoming blogs posts, “Things That Make Me Cry, Parts I, II and III.”)

Traveling around the country in the RV is a long-time dream of ours. It’s on the official bucket list. I am truly grateful that we have this opportunity while we’re this young. That being said, it’s still a lot of change. Change is good, right? 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

motorcycle road trip: lake city, colorado

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Our cozy cabin in Lake City, Colorado

Our cozy cabin in Lake City, Colorado.

I love small towns, and Lake City, Colorado, is one of my favorites. We spent many happy Fourth of July holidays there camping, riding dirt bikes, watching the parade and the fireworks with the kids. Although the full-time population is just 400, it’s a very popular place during the summer. Campsites became harder to find and our visits dwindled. I hadn’t been back in six years, so we decided it was the perfect destination for our first overnight motorcycle trip.

Waterfall near Redstone, Colorado.

Waterfall near Redstone, Colorado.

Packing light is not one of my skills, but I was able to squeeze one night’s worth of my stuff into the travel bag that sits on the back of my bike. Actually, there was a little room to spare, and another small bag that fits on the top that I didn’t need, so longer trips are definitely an option. Continue reading