2017 Summer Recap Part Three
In other posts on this blog, I’ve talked about how we try to use our bus’ wheels to avoid extreme temperatures, so many of you may be wondering why in the hell we decided to drive back to Texas in the middle of July. Well, we were invited to attend a really good friend’s wedding in Austin and were definitely not going to miss it! Our route back passed through Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado. Other than a few overnight stops, the only place that we spent any length of time was in Wyoming, so I’ll start there.
Where we stayed : Vedauwoo Glen Road
In the eastern corner of Wyoming, not too far from Cheyenne, there is a magical stretch of the Medicine Bow National Forest known as Vedauwoo. What makes this place so special (aside from the unusual name)? Well, in addition to being home to free dispersed camping, it’s characterized by dramatic outcroppings of pink granite, lush Aspen groves, and small streams that turn this location into a haven for wildlife. During a week-long stay that spanned the Fourth of July holiday, we had the pleasure of hiking, rock scrambling, and seeing a moose up close as it wandered through our campsite! (We were able to thankfully get our barking dog inside the bus before she could antagonize it into charging us.)
After Wyoming, it was a fairly straight shot down I-25 back to Texas, though we did stop in Denver to visit with my sister and another couple in the process of converting their own school bus!
Where we Stayed: Blue West Campground, LAke Meredith NAtional REcreation ARea / Austin Lone Star RV REsort
Though we weren’t looking forward to driving across West Texas in July, we were lucky enough to get an unexpected “cool” front, so the daytime temperatures were only in the low 90’s. (YAY!) This made the drive back to Austin much less unpleasant than expected. Still though, we were glad to have the cool breezes from Lake Meredith during our overnight stop near Amarillo.
Having officially left Austin almost two years ago, returning to our former home-city is always a bit weird. Though the streets are familiar and many good friends are still there, it just doesn’t feel like home anymore. Still, it was fun to be there for the wedding and to enjoy some of our favorite haunts!
Where we stayed: Elk Creek Campground, Rio Grande NAtional Forest
After leaving Texas, we headed back across West Texas – this time without the help of a “cool front” – so that we could reach the San Luis Valley in Southern Colorado. There, we had plans to meet up with Ryan’s family members for a week-long fishing trip along the Conejos River.
After arriving early to scope out the area, we found the awesome Elk Creek Campground and were able to snag two water-front camping spots for our party. Though the weather didn’t always cooperate and we had a few sudden downpours, this turned into a very special and fun camping adventure. As for the fishing? Well, our group manged to catch enough rainbow and brown trout for a big cookout on our last night there!
Where we Stayed: Los Suenos de Santa Fe RV Park / Storrie Lake State Park
After our attempt to stay at Great Sand Dunes National Park failed because every campground was full, Ryan and I opted to head back to Santa Fe, NM to cross another experience off of our travel bucket list. The crazy-cool art collective, Meow Wolf, has been on our list of places to visit for a long time, so we made it a point to stop and see it. As it is such a complex immersive art experience, words and photos really aren’t adequate to describe Meow Wolf. That being said, I’ll use both to try and give you an impression: Meow Wolf is like stumbling into the fever dream of an eccentric artist/author/storyteller. And also like the very best of Jim Henson crossed with aspects of The 5th Element… and maybe also trying to find answers to existential questions about space, time, and human consciousness/emotion. See? Really hard to put your finger on.
After a week in Colorado and a night exploring Meow Wolf’s wonders, we were on the search for a cheap and quiet place to catch up on work for a week. We found it in Storrie Lake State Park near Las Vegas, NM. The titular lake is a lovely shade of turquoise, and we were able to snag a fantastic water-front primitive camping spot for the dirt-cheap rate of $8/ night – making this place an ideal place to while away a week on our computers.
From there, we capped off the end of our summer with two major events, but I’ll get into those in the next post!