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Denver RV roundtrip - hit the road and hit it hard

Denver RV roundtrip - hit the road and hit it hard

Old Oct 17th, 2011, 12:50 PM
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Denver RV roundtrip - hit the road and hit it hard

So finally I get to writing the trip report for you guys. I've been back for about a month, and we're slowly getting through all the pictures and video material. We took about 2500 pictures and roughly 45 minutes of video, so it all takes time, especially since this was our honeymoon and we've got to take care of all that as well (another 2000 pics).

We got a 25 foot RV from Cruise America - mint condition, 2011 model, only 10,000 miles down. We made an average of about 178 miles a day for 25 days on the road, and got a 9.5 mpg average overall with spikes to 6.5 at 80 mph and 12.5 at 60. Total mileage: 4,456.

Our trip took us through Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico.

We arrived in Denver and stayed at a hotel for the first night with transfer to the rental pickup in the morning with our early bird special. Had to put in an extra bit of engine oil and change a small battery for a smoke detector, otherwise we were on our way within about an hour and a half.
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Old Oct 17th, 2011, 01:14 PM
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Day 1: August 23. Rental pickup and fillup at a supermarket. Then we headed for Grand Lake in Rocky Mountain NP, got there in about 3 1/2hours. The sunset was pretty grand And its a nice little town. We spent the night at Green Ridge campground, which had a bear warning. We didn't mind.

Day 2: Headed out of the park through Estes Park, and up into Wyoming via Cheyenne. Got some more essentials at a supermarket and got underway again. Ended up staying in Glendo, WY in the dark of night.

Day 3: When we woke up the next morning, we found a great view over a lake. And even as far out in the middle of nowhere, there were lizards and squirrels around. We figured it would take us too long to go to Mount Rushmore in SD and Devil's Tower in WY, but in hindwight we could have made it. So we Headed for Glenrock, WY and went to the dinosaur center. They had exhibits to touch there, and showed us around the "bone bitty" old lady fossil studio. Really a great place to visit!
Next stop was Themopolis, and another dinosaur center. Saw a lot of the fossils for real there that I saw in books as a kid. Pretty awesome. But highly commercialized compared to the non-profit one in Glenrock.
We got all the way to Cody, which turned out to be a tourist trap and not much fun for us, and spent the night at the KOA there. First time we made a campfire. Clean and good place to stay.

Day 4: Went up to Red Lodge, MT and had some of the "world famour banana pie" at the "Hungry Bear". The signs do not lie. Now they're famous in Germany too (through us). Really yummy and fresh! We liked Red Lodge a lot better than Cody, and toured the city. We ate some buffalo burgers and went to the candy emporium. We made reservations for ATV rentals which were "close by". The lady came and got us and it turned out to be more than an hour's drive away. But a nice one! We ended up camping on the fringe of Custer National Forest. Thunderstorm and eerie animal sounds in the dark. But fun!

Day 5: Two hour ATV tour close to an old mill and mine. Great little paths to get lost on and find your way back. Not quite sure where exactly we were, but it was somewhere close to Fishtail, MT and next to the Beartooth Mountain Christian Ranch.

Day 6: Headed over the Beartooth Pass towards Yellowstone. No problem with the RV, roads were good and traffic light. Great views! Definitely recommend coming this way when entering the park. Drove most of the way through the park to Madison campground. We had made reservations well in advance, and the place was full. Still enough breathing space though, and we went all over the place during the day anyway. Bought some 50$ bear spray, which was not to be used like mosquito spray. Should have bought that outside of Yellowstone. We ended up pawning it off for 5$ in Denver. Buffalo on the road, geysers on the side.

Day 7: Wend hiking on the DeLacy trail to Shoshone lake and back (5 miles). Good thing they told us afterwards that this is about the area where there had been bear attacks recently. Seen no bears. The trail is a really nice walk through forest, over meadows and to the lake, which is really really beautiful.
Went and saw Old Faithful, which kindly erupted about two minutes before we could get there (go youtube!), and went to see Prism Spring. Which should be the real attraction to think of when you see Yellowstone! Lots of traffic during the day, so sights should be visited early.
Great night sky! We saw several shooting stars and satellites!
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Old Oct 17th, 2011, 01:35 PM
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Day 8: Horseback riding at Canyon inside the park. Crowded with a lot of inexperienced tourists (like us), but still a nice thing to do. Saw some wildlife on the way and got small history lessons on the way.
Went to Mammoth hot springs, but didn't have the strength to go all the way up after the riding. Helped out a few tourists with a flat tire. NO cell reception in the park.

Day 9: Went south to Grand Teton NP. If you like the sight of a lake by a mountain range, this is paradise! We went canoeing on Jackson Lake, had some more buffalo burgers at the Signal Mountain Lodge and took in the view of the Snake River at sunset. Signal Mountain campground was pretty nice too.

Day 10: Went west through Idaho Falls and went looking for Atomic City. Google Maps put this on, so there had to be SOMETHING. Turned out to be a gravel road to a trailer park next to the "Atomic Motor Raceway".
The more interesting place (compared to Atomic City anyway) was Arco, ID, which proudly announces itself to be the first city powered by nuclear energy. There's even the first experimental breeding reactor open for tours (EBR-1). Was closed for the day though because we were late. Well shoot.
Went further west and camped inside Craters of the Moon National Monument in the dark.

Day 11: Woke up the next morning to the stunning sight of lava rock up to the horizon in each direction. The campground was right in there!
Interesting to see, and worth a daytrip in my opinion. When you leave and head west, all you see is that lava rock for miles and miles!
Spent the night with firends in Idaho.

Day 12-13: Idaho with friends.
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Old Oct 17th, 2011, 03:09 PM
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Nice start of your TR, looking forward to the rest.
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Old Oct 17th, 2011, 06:32 PM
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I think you did get to Atomic City. Not much there, just one store and one bar and the RV park on the south end of town. In the summer there are stock car races at the motorway.
And I agree. Arco was much more interesting. Did you stop at the park where they had the fin from the first atomic submarine?
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