Vail was confusing, I did not realize it is divided into East Vail, Vail and West Vail. There may be several visitor / welcome centers, this was not clear from driving past the signs. Tried to get into one but I could not park due to the height of my van. I found another spot but it looked like I’d get a ticket. When I found an open area, seemed it would cost a good bit of money. There was a guard watching but not close enough to ask him for directions or information; I saw a sign, $24 for parking. Additionally it seemed I’d need to leave the dogs in the full sun as the space I found was on the top of other structures and had not one scrimp of shade.

A headache of being alone; no one to send out to figure it out. I’d wanted to eat lunch in Vail, take a look around. There were more important things like getting the dogs out for a bit of walk. I was about to give up and head elsewhere when I discovered an accessible pretty park in East Vail. This section has a golf course and lots of aesthetic similar looking condos. Those that know the town are probably laughing at me.  I’m not a skier and whatever the system is was baffling although I can image the parking nightmare when the snow is perfect and everyone arrives very eager and all at once.

The West End seemed to have hotels, gas stations . .  but by then I was off to whatever was next.

Vail condos and a large welcome green park with a pond.

 

Nope, even though it was very hot and threatening rain and thundering I didn’t let them swim here, just get their feet wet.  Saw other people walking dogs, everyone on leash and no one was in the water so best to make like the locals do.

I took this shot as I was sure we were about to camp for the night. I’d even decided to pay their over-puffed-bloated $80 fee $69 plus $11 taxes, for the night for a tiny bit of gravel stuffed in next to the others. Space had electric and a river view. Mason was super happy!  He loved this place (I didn’t photograph it) and was eager to settle in. Really I decided to pay for the place because of Mason’s super happy smile which I had not seen in a long time.  The RV spaces are part of a larger resort that offers cabins, rafting and other adventures. Lots of families with mothers leading the way. There was a place to eat…  yep I was still hungry. It was super hot and I wanted a rest; a tinderbox feeling to the air.

I considered going into town, finding a cool spot… maybe a swim or the hot springs, lunch? then sleeping at the Glenwood Canyon Reststop overlooking the Colorado River where I’d found the resort. Several reststops off I-70 were full and posted so; no place to park. Technically you can not “camp” at a reststop unless it has a campground. You can stay for 6 to 8 hours and sleep. That means, sleep, no putting out a chair or a tent, no putting out your slide or awning if you have those. You rest and move on; pick up after your dogs and yourself. Other restsops only allow 3 hrs and some even less.

Then the nerve of the folks at Glenwood Springs Canyon Resort as I was handing them my credit card; they started in with the dogs. $5 each extra with a limit of 2! If by special grace of the Park owner, who they were unable to reach within the 20 min or so that this was going on, they might allow us to cough up all that money to park on that heap of gravel with no privacy for $100!!!!!  Don’t believe their fancy photo on their website, that’s not what you get (and they consider themselves pet friendly.)  Can you tell I am pissed! I guess they get away with it.

 

It was too hot and my phone battery too dead to take photos of the Glenwood Canyon rising over 1,300 feet above the Colorado River. It is the largest such canyon on the Upper Colorado. Super scenic, I’d stopped many times to admire and walk the dogs. It’s really a treat to have the landscapes as you drive be so gorgeous. Then I headed South on 133. Turned out there were lots of national forest camping areas; however I still wanted power. I ran my air conditioner most of the night.  The big places like the KOA were filled. I’d originally planed on visiting the hot springs and mineral pool in Glenwood; with all my confusion and rush I missed this opportunity, would have been too hot to leave the dogs other than a late evening or early morning visit.

Yeah! Incredibly friendly city run RV camp; $30 with electric, boat launching ramp, endless walking trails including along the river that takes you right into town. I had a view of the river, was very quiet, clean restrooms with lots of space for my dogs to play.  Big grassy area not in the photo here, there was road noise from above.

Walking into town, Mason was taking a rest.

Views near my campsite. There were an amazing amount of birds flying overhead. I took a time-lapse video of our long walk, kids playing, the shoreline and flowers, wild birds, other little creatures, beautiful views, the sunset over the red rock cliffs, some views of town and friendly strangers….    video is for the moment lost somewhere.

Hand roasted coffee and light breakfast in the morning Carbondale CO historic downtown. Hiking and mountain biking popular here, snowboarding, snowshoeing and skiing in the winter.  I’m sure there are more hot springs around too.

 

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