Monday, September 30, 2013
Sheridan State Fishing Lake
It’s hard to believe but this beautiful campsite is free! There are about 10 sites. Most have a tables and fire ring. Several have shelters. An accessible vault toilet is located on each side of the lake. Large RVs will fit in most of the sites and the gravel access road is in good condition. Camping
Cottonwood Ranch State Historic Site
The Cottonwood Ranch house is constructed of native stone in a style typical of Yorkshire, England where the builder, Fenton Pratt, was born. He and his wife, Jennie, raised two daughters on the ranch. The elder daughter, Hilda, spent her most of her life, from 1889 to 1978, living in this house. She saved everything and changed very little, leaving a treasure trove of records and photographs.
The house is accessible. Informative signs about the family and the ranch are located on the grounds. Wheelchair users may need to have help navigating through the grass to see the signs and outbuildings.
The driveway makes a loop. RVs can be parked along the edge in the grass. Ranch
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Prairie Museum of Art & History
Nellie Kusha was a collector of all sorts of things – glass, furniture, ceramics, toys, dolls, coins, clocks, stamps, jewelry –anything that caught her eye. She and her husband, Joe, moved to California in 1957 and opened a museum. When Nellie died her collection was donated to people in her home state of Kansas. The collection of 28,000 pieces returned to Colby, Kansas to reside in a museum designed by her son. The museum includes a gallery of Colby history and six relocated buildings depicting prairie life of the early 1900s.
The museum is accessible but the doors to the outside exhibits are very heavy. The 1930s farmhouse has steps. Some of the other buildings have high thresholds. A paved walkway leads to all of the buildings.
The parking lot is large enough for any RV. Museum
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Giant Van Gogh Painting
Look at the tiny trucks! The painting and easel are gigantic – 80’ from the ground to the top. Kansas was named the “sunflower state” because of the wild sunflowers that grew across the prairies but the name is still appropriate today. If you’re lucky you’ll pass fields with thousands of golden flowers turning their faces to the sun.
A paved path runs from the parking lot to the easel but there’s a short step up and the gravel in the lot is large and loose. The painting is easy to view without exiting your vehicle.
The parking lot is large enough for RVs. Painting
High Plains Museum
This small museum contains equipment and items important to the early settlers plus a replica of one of the first helicopters which was built by two local inventors. Unfortunately two proto-types crashed and the men had to give up their dreams when they couldn’t raise more money for modifications and improvements.
The museum is accessible.
The parking spaces in the front of the museum are long enough for cars. Vans and RVs can be parked on 18th Street. Museum
Friday, September 27, 2013
Colorado - General Information
We discovered that Colorado is a wonderful place to spend the summer! A lot of other people think the same thing so here are a few tips for an enjoyable visit even with the summer crowds.
First of all it can get very hot in the lower elevations so head for the mountains where the temperature is often 20 degrees cooler.
Sites in campgrounds close to Denver must be reserved ahead of time. Recreation.gov is a good site for this. If you can’t get reservations the national forests have beautiful areas for free boondocking. The spots close to Denver will fill on the weekends so arrive midweek to get a site. Most public campgrounds and boondocking areas have a two week limit which may be strictly enforced in popular areas.
The western side of the mountains is less crowded but just as beautiful. It’s the place to go to avoid a lot of the rush. Campgrounds rarely fill and boondocking spots are plentiful.
Almost every road in central Colorado is scenic. It’s hard to drive anywhere without marveling at the beauty. It’s possible to drive on most of the roads with a RV but because they’re steep and windy many people choose to use a smaller vehicle. We didn’t have any problems driving our little RV on the scenic roads. We even took it up Pikes Peak. Which brings me to the…
With the exception of the plains, the altitude of the cities and tourist attractions in Colorado ranges from 5,000 to 11,000 feet so altitude sickness is a problem for many visitors. Take it easy and drink extra water until your body adjusts.
It’s the Rocky Mountains! Great for hiking but not very good for rolling. However almost every town and city has a network of paved trails which we really enjoyed. Most follow a waterway and are scenic and shady.
Wherever your interests lie, you’ll find plenty to do in – history, art, interesting towns, mining ruins, jeep trails, breweries and festivals. Two months was not enough time!
Icing on the Cake
We loved spending time in Colorado but two things made it special for me – the wildflowers and the artwork. Flowers are everywhere! They sprout out of the sidewalk cracks, between the rocks on mountain peaks and along farmer’s fields. Art in the form of sculptures decorates random street corners, public parks and is even along the bike trails.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Old Town Museum
Twenty-one buildings have been relocated to the museum grounds to form a replica of a small 1900s Colorado prairie town. Each building contains artifacts and furniture from the time period. The Heritage Hall includes many more artifacts plus information about the history of Burlington.
All of the buildings have ramps but a combination of very heavy doors and high thresholds makes it extremely difficult for wheelchair users to enter the buildings.
The parking lot is large enough any size and type of RV. Town
The Closing of the Wonder Tower
Roadside attractions – the slight crazy, inventive genius of these builders keeps us in awe and ready to stop any time we spot one on the horizon. Sadly the latest owner of the Wonder Tower died in August and his children are auctioning off the collection and closing the tower. :- ( Tower
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
East Plum Creek Trail
Plum Creek meanders along through a little valley with willow, aspen and cottonwood trees, grassy meadows and wild flowers. It feels like a wilderness area because most of the surrounding development isn’t visible from the trail.The noise from the highway does dispel that notion to some extent.
The trail is smooth, wide concrete in very good condition. It’s mostly level with some gentle grades and a few steep spots.
We parked at the trailhead lot on Meadows Parkway. The lot is large enough for vans and small RVs but the access trail is very steep. Parking at one of the other access points might be better. Trail
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
El Pueblo History Museum
The great diversity of the people who have settled in Pueblo is covered in this small museum. Early inhabitants included Native Americans who hunted and traded in the region, Spanish explorers, Mexican settlers and American fur traders. The turn of the century brought a new influx of workers from Europe. Desperate for a fresh start, they often worked in dangerous conditions for low pay which led to the disastrous Ludlow coalfield strike of 1913-1914.
Everything is accessible.
RVs can fit in the lot by parking across the spaces. Museum
Monday, September 23, 2013
Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo
This is a mini version of San Antonio’s famous riverwalk. Round trip is only about 1 mile long with a few restaurants at the northwest end and a natural area at the southeast end. It’s very nicely done.
Most of the path is level. The ramps from the street down to the river are ADA compliant.
RVs can be parked along South Grand Ave. at the southeast end of the walk or follow the directions on the website to park in a lot on the northwest end. Walk
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Chili and Frijoles Festival
Everything chili! Fire roasted chilies, chili ristras, many varieties of fresh chilies and even chili cinnamon buns. The frijoles were largely absent or else we didn’t look in the right places because all we found were packages of powdered refried beans. This is a pretty typical festival with many booths selling food and craft items. Entertainment is continuous throughout the day at five different locations. There’s a small fee ($2.00) to enter the grounds.
The festival is held in the street along five blocks of Union Street so pushing around is easy but it gets very crowded by early evening.
A handicapped parking lot is located at the corner of Greenwood Street and Victoria Ave. but it fills fast so arrive early to get a spot. We came into town from the north and parked along the street. The sidewalks and curb cuts in this section of town are in bad condition. Parking along the street or in lots east of Union Street may be better. Festival
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Steelworks Museum of Industry & Culture
The Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, owned by the Rockefellers for most of it’s existence, was main industry in Pueblo, Colorado until the steel market crashed in 1982. The Rockefellers owned and controlled all aspects of the industry – coal mines, iron mines, limestone quarries and coke ovens. The museum covers the stories of the immigrant workers, labor conflicts, company owned towns and the processes involved in making steel.
Everything is accessible.
The parking lot is large enough for any RV. Museum
Friday, September 20, 2013
Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
Located in the beautifully restored old El Paso County Courthouse, this is very nice museum with a wide variety of displays including Native American culture, early pioneer history and interesting collections donated by Colorado Springs citizens.
A ramp is located at the south side of the building. A museum employee will open the door after you push the call button and escort you through the basement to a cool old elevator which accesses the second and third floors. Everything in the museum is accessible but some of the displays cases are a little too high for easy viewing.
RVs can be parked at the metered spaces along Nevada Ave. by using several spaces. ( $.25 for 15 minutes) The curb cuts at the sidewalks are in terrible condition so if you are using a wheelchair exit on the curbside if possible. Museum