July 13, 2011 Buena Vista to Gunnison.
We were up and I was out the door with the dogs by 7:30 a.m. Today was a travel day but not a long one. Yesterday I had lowered my fifth wheel hitch and I wasn't sure how it was going to work out once it was actually hitched to our Carriage fifth wheel. So I wanted to be sure I had plenty of time to change it back to the higher setting if needed.
We got hitched about 8:30 and there was no problem with clearance as I still had about 7 inches of clearance (I didn't measure it). However, for some reason it was harder to get the jaws on the hitch to engage. Hopefully just a one time fluke. Naturally I did a pull test and everything was fine and appeared to be closer to level than before.
As we pulled out of the park onto Hwy 285 it seemed as though the rig was handling differently but by the time we had a few miles on it all seemed normal. Perhaps it was just my imagination.
The trip up and over Monarch Pass was absolutely beautiful and as I reached for my camera, I quickly realized I had forgotten to replace the batteries. We traveled over Monarch Pass last year.
This year it seemed to me to be steeper and curvier than I had recalled. Perhaps because last year CDOT was doing road construction on the pass and we were escorted by flag trucks during much of the descent. Anyhow, it seemed to be very similar to Wolf Creek Pass only higher at 11000 ft. and with only two lanes. There were some passing lanes. In fact we got stuck going up behind a slow box truck but I was able to get around it in a passing lane. Again I climbed at only 35-37 mph. Descending I kept it in 3rd gear in Tow Haul with exhaust brake and descended between 35-40 mph.
We pulled into Palisades Senior RV Park at the West end of the city limits of Gunnison about 11:30. The park is a non-profit 55plus park. We have friends staying at the KOA which is only two miles away from Palisades so when I called Palisades last week I inquired about the 55 age requirement and was told that we were "close enough". Not sure if that was a good or bad thing!
So anyway, we selected a nice back in site with a densely wooded view of Cottonwood Trees. We paid $190 for the week with full hook-ups and very good Wi-Fi.
After setting up Joyce ran into town to pickup some groceries. The Cottonwoods were releasing their cotton and the sky was filled with the cottony puffs. So much so that it looked like it was snowing at times.
Our friends Paul and Mary, that we had met in Kerrville, Tx camping at Buckhorn RV Resort, stopped by for a quick visit just as Joyce got back. Later they returned for our little happy hour outside our rig. We were interrupted for a moment as a young deer buck with velvety horns passed by the rear of our rig. We enjoyed catching up, making plans, snacking and swatting the occasional mosquito before it was time to call it a night.
The highs for the week are expected be in the low to mid 80's with the occasional afternoon shower. Lows in the upper 40's! We plan to do some biking around town and see what else we can get into.