When leaving Wyoming I considered whether to revisit the Black Hills of South Dakota, the vastness of Montana, or spend some lazy time in Beaver Creek, Colorado. BC won out.
My good friends Walter & Doris own a condo in Beaver Creek and were kind & generous to let me stay there a few weeks. The earliest I could get into the Vineyards in Grapevine without having to relocate from site to site was October 12 so I hung in BC until the 9th. Three weeks stationary—a change of pace that would resume once I got back to G’Vine. . .
I dropped Synko off at the Wolf Lot in Beaver Creek, set her up with the solar panel juicing the batteries to keep the ice in the freezer and a couple beers in the reefer cold, and then settled into Borders Lodge.
The timing was good, as my truck had developed a significant oil pan gasket leak; I poured six quarts of oil into it within a weekish. Finding a diesel mechanic was a challenge in the Vail Valley/Frisco/Silverthorn area. So I ended up driving 82 miles to Columbine Ford in Rifle. I can’t recommend them enough. They worked me in and, although the parts had to be brought in from Denver, had my truck squared away in a week (oil pan jobs on Ford diesels are a 2-3 day event). Although the work was covered by warranty, the dealer didn’t have loaners available or a car rental on-site. I ended up renting a Hertz SUV at the Rifle airport. When I say renting I actually mean it felt like buying. I may take that up with Ford later. . .
The rest of the time I took a few hikes (but not while my hiking gear was safely stored in my truck in Rifle), hit Vail Brewing Company and Bonfire Brewing, and perfected being a lazy bum. I didn’t even find the motivation to visit Vail, Frisco or Breck. Been there; done that.
So on Friday morning the 9th, I hooked up Synko and headed back to the flats. I was ready to be “home” but not looking forward to the drive. I am not a fan of the long, first/last day drive from Grapevine; it’s just boring, familiar scenery. Initially I planned to stretch the 1-2 day drive into three so I could watch some college ball and see what creative way the Cowboys could find to score 38 points and likely lose—again. #WorstDefenseInFootball
Instead, I muscled through to Amarillo the first day and then Day 2 I detoured through Denton for a badly needed rig wash (with a 90 minute wait). As the Vineyards was full up, I stayed in the beautiful Elk’s Lodge parking lot for two nights. Spent Sunday at Ryan’s watching the Cowboys win the game and lose a quarterback. Ugh, there goes the season. . .
All-in-all, ’twas a decent trip.
- Racked up a total of 4315 miles
- Synko hung with me for 3320 miles (77%); most of the non-towing driving was in Wyoming looking at potential property purchase locations)
- Drove a total of 111 hours
- Traveled through 4 states
- Crossed the Continental Divide just a few times, unlike last summer when I lost count of how many times I crossed the Divide
- Visited Yellowstone National Park (but just a quick drive-thru)
- Saw a couple elk fighting for love rights, a moose when I stopped to pee, and several antelope.
- Enjoyed an early season winter storm in Laramie
- Stayed in 17 different campsites and one condo (twice) over 56 days
- Averaged 11.2 MPG in fuel consumption
- Got oil service in Alamosa and oil pan gasket repair in Rifle for the truck