After our wonderful stay in Ouray, it was unfortunately time to move on. We headed first to Grand Junction, where we had an appointment to have our transmission checked out by an Allison Transmission service center. Deas felt like the engine wasn’t properly downshifting, and since it had been a few weeks since we’d spent any money on the RV, we figured we were due. Turns out it was a simple adjustment and it only cost us $100 to fix.
We stayed at the James Robb State Park in Fruita, right outside of Grand Junction. The park was right on the Colorado River, but the trail that went along the river was closed, and there was an awful lot of road noise. So the next morning we decided to move on.
We also needed to make a Costco run, so we headed to the closest one, which was in Gypsum CO. Boy, can we spend some money in Costco! I could barely fit all of the stuff we bought into our tiny refrigerator. By the time we were done it was later afternoon, and we needed a place to spend the night. I checked the map and saw that Sylvan Lake State Park was close by, so we decided to stay there.
I’m not really a planner by nature, so it’s not unusual for us to just throw a dart at the map and decide to go somewhere. Sometimes this has worked out well, sometimes it hasn’t. But we were tired and didn’t feel like doing too much research, so Sylvan Lake it was. We found the visitor’s center easily enough, and were told that we got the very last spot for the night. As we headed out from the visitor center with a map to our camp site, we quickly realized that the ranger neglected to mention that we still had to drive another 5 miles – down a dirt road. At this point I was starting to wonder what I had gotten us into, but the scenery along the road was pretty, so we pushed on. When we got the park we weren’t disappointed – it’s a gorgeous little park with a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains.
There is an easy 1.5 mile trail that goes around the lake, so as soon as we got the RV set up we headed out to the trail with the dogs.
The water was crystal clear and looked very tempting for a swim, but at 8,500 feet, would have been icy cold. There were several people on the lake fishing and canoeing.
Our campsite had a view into a valley with free ranging cows. On our first morning, we were awoken by the cows mooing and walking about 50 feet behind our RV! Apparently they decided they didn’t like their location and they were on their way up the road to a better one. We talked to the ranger and said that the cows are free to roam wherever they want, and sometimes they just decide to move on their own.
That morning we did the Sneve Gulch Trail, which is 5 miles round trip and a 1600 foot change in elevation each way. I was hesitant to bring Shorty after the last big hike we brought him on, but he did great. Even with the big elevation changes, the trail rose slow and steady, so there were only a few really steep sections. The trail went through the aspens and a couple of meadows, as well as crossed a small stream. There were wildflowers everywhere and it was a great hike.
We really liked this park and may plan to come back in the fall. The only downsides were that there no hook-ups, and zero cell phone signal. After a couple of nights, we decided to head on our way. Next destination: Wyoming!