We left Paducah, KY, bright and early on Tuesday. Our plan was to be in Denver by Friday, so I had mapped out our route with stops at about 250 miles per day. We arrived at our first planned stop at 11:30am, decided it was way too early to stop, and kept going. The beauty of no reservations. We did some quick calculations, and decided that we could make Kansas City, MO, by about 2:30pm, which was more to our liking. Donna did a quick check of our membership campgrounds, and found that there was a new resort opening in the Spring of 2008. Perfect! I gave them a call, and got a reservation "up on the hill". Donna re-programmed the Garmin, and off we went. Arriving on the east side of KC, we got off and followed the GPS through some side streets, then up and down some hills, and ended up at the trashiest mobile home place we had ever seen. This was not matching up to the description in our park book. I called the park again, and after talking with the lady for a while, discovered that the phone number in the book was actually for a park in Indio, CA! We all had a good laugh, and I headed the rig as quickly as possible from where we were. No way would we stay at this place. Hey, it was only 2:30pm, plenty of time to find another place.
Donna consulted all of our campground books, and there just wasn't anything in the area ahead of us. What the heck, we thought, Topeka KS is only 80 more miles! Let's go for it! As we crossed over into Kansas City, KS, on I-70, signs began telling us that it turned into a toll road, and Mr. Garmin was telling me to get off - I have it programmed to keep us on alternate routes if tolls are involved. So we headed a little north, then paralleled I-70 all the way into Topeka. These by-ways were beautiful, peaceful, and a lot less-traveled than the interstate. We rejoined I-70 on the west side of Topeka. Ah, a campground ahead 20 more miles...
Because the hour was getting later, Donna called ahead and secured a reservation at the Mill Creek Campground in Paxico, KS. This is the kind of place we like: small, family-owned, full hookups, but quaint. We arrived at 6:30pm, the owner checked us in, and we wandered around a bit before relaxing for the evening. There was definitely some interesting stuff here! By the way, we traveled 512 miles on Tuesday...yikes.
The ambiance of a family owned, small RV park!
Looking at our maps, we estimated that we were half-way to Denver. Traveling west through Kansas, we would hit the Mountain Time Zone, so we could definitely get back to Monument by mid-afternoon if we wanted to do another 500 miles. As we watched the weather on TV, we saw storms and tornadoes in Kansas, so we decided not to stick around. Bright and early, we headed west. When we hit the Colorado border, we both smiled. Back in our home-base state again. Arriving in Monument, we found one of the available "winter sites", and quickly got settled in. Most of the park is closed down, as they turn off the water to keep the pipes from freezing up. In a few weeks, the park will be bustling with activity, but for now, things are quiet.
Doctors, dentists, vets, etc. were in the picture for the next few days. We managed to sneak up to our favorite Italian place, Pasta Bella (www.pastabellaonline.com), in the Park Meadows area. The owners, John and Barbara, were there, and we had a nice visit while eating lunch. If you are in the area, try PB for lunch or dinner - it's on Chester, just north of County Line. We met John and Barb many years ago when we lived in Parker - they are from Lake Forest, CA, our old home town!
The next week or so, if it ever stops snowing, will involve us working at our storage location. We are going to downsize. Goodwill and the Task Force are getting lots of stuff. The major items we are posting on Craigslist. We'll get there, but it's a lot of work!! Every time we come through Colorado, this is our focus, but the longer we are on the road, the more we realize we don't need most of what we kept. We'll give you a deal on two sets of bedroom furniture...