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Published: August 10th 2013
July 29 – Denver to Redstone – Today I finished loading up the “last minute” stuff in my truck that had to wait till just before I left and headed out on 470 to I-70 and then started the climb up into the mountains. All the extra load that I was carrying in my truck didn’t seem to be bothering it and I climbed on up westward.
Traffic wasn’t too bad and it was raining a “nuisance” rain which just wet the windshield enough for me to have to keep turning the wipers on and off.
I got lucky again and the blasting at the twin tunnels east of Idaho Springs didn’t slow me down or stop me this time. So I continued on climbing up and then over the Divide at the Eisenhower Tunnel and then down into Silverthorn where I made a quick potty and coffee stop at the Macdonalds there.
In spite of the rain the beauty of the mountains alongside the highway was still impressive all the way from Denver to Glenwood Springs. The rain cleared up a bit west of Vail and in Glenwood Springs it was sunshiny. I had intended to stop
for a bit in Glenwood Springs but the place was jam packed with families and kids, so I just tried to keep from running over anyone and just stopped long enough to refill my tank and then headed south out of Glenwood Springs on Co. 82 to Carbondale. A bit south of Carbondale there was a sign saying “No gas for the next 60 miles”, so I turned around and went back and topped off my tank again. Driving these mountains burns more gas than usual and I wasn’t going to take any chances of running out of gas.
So after topping off again I proceeded south to Carbondale where I got on Co. 133. This was a scenic road that ran alongside the Crystal River southward and after a bit I came to the Avalanche Creek Road which goes to the Avalanche Campground which is a popular campground. I can’t say I was impressed with the dirt road going off to the east so I decided I didn’t need to explore that way and would stay at the Redstone Campground nearer Redstone. On the way there I passed the Avalanche Ranch Hot Springs and made a mental note
to check it out tomorrow. I also stopped at the Penny Hot Springs by a turnout of the road and checked it out.It was full of people and the weather was threatening to rain so I just looked a bit and then continued on to Redstone figuring I needed to get to the campground and stake out a good campsite.
A bit further down the road I came to a sign for the Redstone campground and turned off the road and over a bridge for the Crystal River and about a quarter mile down I came to the Redstone Campground. I turned in and immediately I had to turn either left or right into one section of the campground or the other. I went left and this turned out to be the side for RV’s as it had water and electrical hookups. It cost accordingly and for a site it was $34 a night and with my Sr Parks Pass $19.50. I decided I might want electricity and so rented a site. After taking care of the details and putting their required receipt in a Pint ziplock bag and on the post I took a break for a bit.
It is well I did so as it started to rain heavily and then pea size hail as well as rain started to pound on my truck. So I sat and relaxed and waited out the storm.
After it quit raining for a bit I went back down the hill and out of the campground. The storm had peeled the top layer or so of dirt off the campground road for about 30 ft and had carved a bit of a ditch in the county road back to the highway but I knew the main thing was not to stop but to keep on moving and went through both obstacles. I then went on into Redstone to have a look around and get something to eat.
When I got into town it had started raining heavily and I pulled into the parking lot of an Inn with a restaurant and grill. It started to hail and rain heavily again so I had to sit in my truck and wait it out. While waiting I put on my raincoat. After a bit the rain slacked off a bit and I went inside but got my shoes and socks soaked
in the process.
I ate at the grill and the food was OK but nothing to brag about. They had a nice dining room there also.
After eating I made my way back to the campground and the ditch in the road was bigger but I had confidence in my truck and in my abilities and gunned the truck and drove through it, then swung left and into the campground road. I had an audience of a sort of about 8 people who came up and told me they couldn't believe I made it through it.
Getting back to my campsite was a different matter. The second flash flood had really washed the road away and it was nothing but large boulders. I looked at them and realized I could not drive through them so I backed up and went right into the other side of the campground. I found a decent site that was unoccupied and put a note on the post in a pint ziplock bag that I had paid for a site on the other side of the campground but could not get to it and so was going to stay there for the
After a bit it quit raining and I got some dry socks and a towel and another pair of shoes and dried off my feet, changed socks and shoes. That’s how a person gets sick, by wearing wet shoes and socks in the cold.
I tossed the wet socks and tennis shoes on the hood. They ought to get a good rinse overnight when it started raining again.
So after a bit I ate some yogurt and then turned in for the night.
After a bit I heard road equipment working on the road below. They worked on it all night and most of the next day.
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