RV Life – A Trial Run, Part 5 (Going RV)

Eye of the Beholder - RV Life - A Trial Run - Going RV - Airstream
Photo courtesy of Airstream, Inc.

Earth, Sky, Attractions, and History

Going RV = So Much to See!

Colorado and the Rocky Mountains are synonymous terms for many people. Those who have personally experienced the two can hardly think of one without the other. There is nothing more visually representative of this fact than the kinship on full display at Rocky Mountain National Park.

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Eye of the Beholder - RV Life - A Trial Run - Rocky Mountain National Park

From Estes Park on the east side, to Grand Lake on the west, the park covers 415 square miles of quintessential Colorado.

US Highway 34 provides paved passage through this spectacular wilderness, taking motorists to soaring heights.

We spent as much time as we could exploring the park soaking-in the wonderous scenery. I found myself losing track of time at places like Fairview Curve, The Continental Divide, Medicine Bow Curve, and the Alpine Visitor Center at Fall River Pass.

Eye of the Beholder - RV Life - A Trial Run - Rocky Mountain National Park

At Trail Ridge Road Summit, a 360-degree view offers a feast for the eyes from 12,000 feet above sea level.

The Elk Creek Campground at Grand Lake was an ideal launch point for our daily excursions into the park.

Eye of the Beholder - RV Life - A Trial Run - Rocky Mountain National Park

We were there in September to witness the vivid splash of alpine yellow beginning to spread across the slopes as Aspen trees prepared for the coming winter.

One of our favorite day trips was to Bear Lake. The road itself was beautiful enough to be memorable, but walking the loop around the lake was immersive.

Eye of the Beholder - RV Life - A Trial Run - Rocky Mountain National Park - Bear Lake

The trail was easy, with a well-kept, flat pathway through the tall forest.

Giant boulders jutted out over the water providing ideal vantage points for mountain viewing and perfect photo opportunities.

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Other notable points of interest and beauty in the area include …

Eye of the Beholder - RV Life - A Trial Run - Lake Grandby

Lake Granby

The third largest lake in Colorado covering over 7,000 surface acres of some of the best trout and salmon fishing around.

Eye of the Beholder - RV Life - A Trial Run - Shadow Mountain Lake

Shadow Mountain Lake

1,300 acres of sparkling, deep blue water surrounded by pine forests offer solace for outdoor enthusiasts.

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Eye of the Beholder - RV Life - A Trial Run - Grand Lake Village

Grand Lake Village

This lake town is nestled between two lakes, providing an excellent base camp location for families planning adventures into Rocky Mountain National Park and the Arapaho National Recreation Area.

One particular day at our Grand Lake camp site, I rose very early to enjoy the cool mountain morning. I wanted to watch the sunrise and was hoping for a glimpse of the moose that was rumored to frequent the area. I took a short walk to a ridge top overlooking the campground and watched a colorful display fill the sky. I saw no moose, so I wandered back to my site and stoked the fire.

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As I sat there enjoying a warm cup of coffee, the smell of the campfire, and the view of the granite peaks before me, a cool mountain breeze blew through the Aspen leaves.

Eye of the Beholder - RV Life - A Trial Run - Aspen Sky
Photo by Claud Richmond

I looked up into the trees to see the bright yellow framed against a brilliant blue sky as thousands of rustling leaves combined to mimic the sound of applause.

It was if Mother Nature herself was offering ovations to the Creator for the amazing masterpiece we call Colorado.

With a grin on my face and peace in my soul I praised God for His majestic creation and offered my gratitude for allowing me to be in that place, at that moment.

1 Chronicles 16:31-33

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Cheri joined me by the campfire and started to live-stream Sunday morning services on her phone from our home church back in Tennessee, Christian Life Church. As usual, Pastor Ron delivered a timely, heart-felt message that added more positive to what I was already feeling. That’s when I realized I wanted to pursue the RV life. I muttered the words to Cheri, “I could do this”. We discussed it at length and agreed to begin the process once we got back home. RV Life here we come!

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There was one more stop in Colorado Cheri wanted to make before we left the high-country. There was a childhood memory of a restaurant in Denver that Grandma Lena took her to many times that left a lasting impression.

To this day, visions dance in her mind of beautiful waterfalls cascading down high cliffs, divers leaping from the cliffs performing graceful moves in the air, and splashing elegantly into clear blue pools below. All while enjoying delicious Mexican food. Warm, fresh baskets of puffy, crispy sopapillas drizzled in sweet honey would promptly arrive simply by raising a little red flag at your table.

Eye of the Beholder - RV Life - A Trial Run - Casa Bonita

This might sound like a childhood fantasy, but in fact, it is real. Since the 1970s Casa Bonita has made this fantasy a reality, delighting families with great food and unique entertainment.

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Eye of the Beholder - RV Life - A Trial Run - Casa Bonita

It was our wedding anniversary, so it was quite fitting to enjoy this experience together. It was a joy watching her eyes light-up, taking it all in to relive some of her favorite memories from days gone by.

The food was excellent, the entertainment was fantastic, and still, the sopapillas flowed endlessly to the table until we could eat no more. Unpleasantly full, we “rolled” out of there and drove away eastbound on Interstate 70 across the Great Plains.

Eye of the Beholder - RV Life - A Trial Run - Rocky Mountain Sunset

As the sun set behind the Front Range, brilliant colors filled the rear-view mirror. The occasional groan of an over-stuffed belly echoed through the RV as Cheri and I both sighed with discomfort.

A few hours later we pulled off at a rest stop near Colby, Kansas for some sleep.

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Eye of the Beholder - RV Life - A Trial Run - Kansas Prairie
Photo by Mary Hammel

We traveled eastward for hours and hours across Kansas the next day. The endless sea of prairie grass flowing across hundreds of miles of treeless rolling hills is as unique a landscape as one can find in the USA.

Eye of the Beholder - RV Life - A Trial Run - Kansas City
Photo by Darren Hibbs

We were bound for Kansas City, our hometown. Cheri and I both grew up in small towns east of the Kansas City Metro and had only recently moved away to Tennessee.

Most of our family and friends are still there, so we love to stop in for a visit whenever we can.

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From KC we continued the long road home, finally arriving back in Tennessee to return the RV and resume life as usual. But it wasn’t going to stay usual, because the decision to pursue the RV life became our next order of business. I was fully on board, and Cheri was delighted because she had been dreaming about it for years.

There were so many questions to answer …

  • What kind of RV do I want?
  • What can I afford?
  • If I get a trailer will my truck be big enough to tow it?
  • What will I do with all my household furniture?
  • How will I get my mail?

On and on the questions came. We clearly had some work to do before the dream of Going RV would become a reality, but that journey is for another story. Stay tuned!

Proverbs 3:5-6

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author avatar
Steve Coryell