My next stop was boondocking in Crested Butte Colorado. Even with all the traveling I have done around Colorado, I’ve never been to CB. As with many other small town in Colorado, I had high expectations. I was certainly not disappointed. For starters, the spot where I camped was amazing. I was out in Washington Gulch, only five miles from town. The wildflowers were blooming everywhere and there were views in every
direction. And to make my two weeks here even better, I was meeting up with several friends. Dave and Shannon had arrived the day before me and Jase and Lauri has already been in the spot for a week or so. The spot that Dave picked out took us down a little bit of a precarious road. It was not all that steep, but it had some pretty deep ruts that went across at an angle as well some fairly off camber spots. The Seneca handled it with flying colors, although I’m pretty sure the twisting did not do it any good. I gave the rig a good once over for anything loose as a result. Dave made it his mission for the next few days to collect rocks and create a bridge thru the ruts to make the exit easier. His work was quite impressive!
One thing I had to take care of right when I arrived was a problem with my supplemental braking system for the Jeep. I use the ReadyBrake system, actually have had it for more than five years and it has worked flawlessly. I love that it is totally mechanical. It has close to three years of fulltime
travel on it now, and I started to notice that is was getting pretty sloppy. Well, when I stopped to fuel up in Montrose I noticed it was beyond loose, it actually had become bent! And not just a little bend, it was pretty extreme. Once I setup in Crested Butte I took the tow bar system apart and was shocked at just how damaged it was. I contacted ReadyBrake and explained the situation. They agreed to make repairs or replace it under warranty, all I had to do was pay to ship it to them. Not a bad deal, cost me $18 in postage and I sent it on it’s way. The replacement was actually ready within a week. I decided to live without it for a couple of months and have it shipped to my sister-in-law in Salmon Idaho where I will be later this summer. I am thankful for the great customer service and glad I did not have to replace the entire system at my own cost. Not exactly sure how it became bend, but I suspect it was just years of were and tear.
As I prepared to write about my time in CB, I realized I did not take many pictures. I think I was just too busy having fun to remember to pull out the camera. I took advantage of every toy on board The Black Pearl during this stop. I made a quick video about all the fun, be sure to check that out.
I made use of both bicycles. The hybrid bike took me riding all around town as well as on a round trip from Crested Butte Ski Resort into town along the paved recreation path. The mountain bike certainly got some good miles as well. I checked out several of the local MTB trails, including Snodgrass, Lupine and several along the Slate river. Dave and Shannon also joined me for a day at the Crested Butte Evolution Downhill Bike Park. These ski resort parks can be pretty tough on cross country bikes like mine, but this particular park was perfect. There were excellent trails that pushed my limits, but minimized the stress on my poor bike. Crested Butte Mountain Bike Week was also going on during the stay. While I did not participate as a entrant in anything, we did go into town to watch the finish of the Chainless World Championship. This is a hilarious 7 mile race downhill in which the entrants must have no chains on their “bikes”. They also dress up in crazy outfits and ride all kinds of crazy creations. One group was a full on presidential motorcade complete with Trump and a black limo, it was a total crack up. I did a bit of hiking as well, but not nearly as much as all the other activities.
The kayak also got a couple of outings. The whole group of us headed up to Lake Irwin to paddle. Not only that, we packed up Jases’ truck for a picnic at the lake as well. So just what can fit in a crew cab F250? How about five adults, two dogs, two kayaks, one SUP, a BBQ grill, chairs, food and coolers of beer. Very impressive! It was a terrific day, tons of fun with great friends. A few days later, Dave and Shannon and I took the kayaks out once again. This time we paddled down the Slate River from in town to the country club. My kind of paddle, a nice float for a couple of hours.
The Jeep also managed to get its feet dirty as well. Unfortunately, the best of the mountain passes are still not passable due to snow pack. Not that we did not try, but I ended up turning around several times when the snow got too deep. Looks like another trip about a month later in the year is being added to the bucket list. There was also some free music around town, we managed to hit up a show one evening at the ski mountain. In town itself, we managed to try out a few food and drink spots. Brick Oven Pizzeria had thirty beers on tap at the bar on there patio, including Pliny the Elder! Ended up there a few of times. Being that pizza is sort of my thing (I know, not very adventurous) I also enjoyed Secret Stash Pizza. They had superb pizza and also a good selection of local Colorado brews on tap. Irwin Brewing, the only brewery in town, does not actually have a tap room. You can get their beers at many local spots, but to be honest their beer were not very impressive anyway. I also should mention the amazing tacos I had at Bonez.
Of course just hanging around camp is fun when friends are around! We had several happy hour/dinner parties. Being that I had the biggest rig, we managed to hang out in the Seneca quite a few times enjoying adult beverages and conversation. We also meet another fellow fulltime family camped right beside us. Jen, Randy and family of @pedaladventures on Instagram. Cycling is the main focus of their travels. They were kind enough to invite us over to celebrate Jens’ birthday with some amazing cake and local ice cream while we talked about past and future travel plans. Sadly, as is often the case, our little community had to an end. Jase and Laure were first to head out. Dave and Shannon followed a few days later. Any by the way, his rock bridges worked perfectly for his exit! I stayed in “crusty butt” until after the July 4th holiday. I did move my rig over to the edge of the spot we were camped in anticipating crowds for the holiday weekend. It was a good plan, the area did get crowded, but I am glad to report it was a very calm and respectful place. No ATVs, no loud music, just a bunch of folks enjoying an amazing spot for the weekend. The fireworks in town were excellent, these mountain towns always seem to be on the ball for July 4th. I finished out my last few days with more biking, hiking and Jeep trips. I also was fairly busy with work during much of my stay and the internet held up perfectly for me the whole time! During the stay I actually experimented with doing loads of laundry while boondocking using my onboard Splendide washing machine. Happily, I can report it was no problem at all running the full cycle on my inverter. My closest guess is that it took about 8-9 gallons of water to do a load. During the was cycle, about 1 1/2 hours, the machine never puled more than 9 amps on the batteries via the inverter. When the dryer kicked in, a full dry cycle is about one hour, it was pulling 90-105 amps on the batteries. I have 300 amps of usable battery power, so it did make a hit, but not too bad. I ran the load in the mid-morning and my solar actually had me back to 100% charge by the end of the day. Not sure how often I will do do laundry while boondocking, but at least I know it is totally possible and not a big deal. I think I feel a project coming on, adding an inverter outlet behind the washing machine! For this test I had to use an extension cord to plug it into an inverter outlet in the bathroom, how redneck is that?
I actually ended up in the my spot for sixteen days, a couple days past the fourteen day limit in the area. I spoke to the local forest ranger and he allowed me the extra couple days to get through the holiday weekend. While I appreciated all the work Dave did on the rock bridges, I decided to take the Seneca out a different route. There was a Jeep trail that headed up the hill as well. It did not have the ruts, but was a bit steeper and had some rocks to dodge and a ravine to straddle. I felt pretty good about the Black Pearl being able to pull off the hill. Not only that, I figured it could pull the Interceptor (my Rubicon) up it as well. Pushing my luck you say? Well, that is just how I roll I guess. No problems at all, it was a piece of cake! Onward to my next destination, Breckenridge, to spend the next couple of weeks exploring. Crested Butte…I’ll be back!This entry was posted in Blog and tagged beagle, boondocking, colorado, fulltime, gorving, jayco, kuhl, kuhlodyssey, livingthedream, lovelife, nomadlife, rv, rvblog, rvlife, rvtravel, seneca, xscapers by Kurt Kuhl and comments are open.