The people who live in southwest Colorado have big smiles on their faces these days.
Us, camped for our last day in the knock-your-socks-off beautiful Mesa Verde National Forest before moving on to Telluride and a few more spots, not so much. t
The locals are grinning because the risk of wildfires – which devastated the region last year – is way down now. We're not quite as appreciative because our plans were altered by a day of mountain monsoons.
We had planned to do some video and still beauty photos of our Roadtrek eTrek navigating the winding mountain roads overlooking spectacular valley and canyon vistas.
Before setting out, I had to move the travel trailer my daughter and her family is using from their full hookup site to a dry camping spot across the road. That went fairly easy as I hooked it up to the Roadtrek and then backed it into a new spot. Im getting used to backing the trailer now. Not good, but used to it. Close enough to at least get the job done.
Then my son moved his borrowed Roadtrek SS Ideal across the street, too. A balky sofa bed motor that has given us trouble since we left Michigan a week ago completely stopped working and we spent two hours playing RV mechanic until we got the bed to once again go down.
Then, the bright blue skies suddenly rolled up and the dark grey cloud rolled in… and emptied.
First the rain came from the west. Then it circled round and came from the east. It slammed into us in wind-driven sheets. The temperature dropped from the mid seventies to 49 degrees. This at 4PM, and in a matter of 30 minutes or so.
So we have spent the last few hours watching the storms move over the mountains. Pretty awesome, really. The lightning strikes are longer and brighter the thunder more booming as it reverberated through the canyon.
So we have made the best of it. A delight of this place are the deer which are everywhere and pretty much oblivious of people. They don't even seem very concerned about our dogs, who are now so used to seeing them they don't even bark. Hua Hua and Rachel drew pictures of them and we have them taped to a cabinet in the Roadtrek until we get home and transfer them to the refrigerator.
Last night, my daughter-in-law Amy spotted Brown Sugar, a little two-year-old black bear cub abandoned with her brother, Mohawk, by their mother. By the time the rest of us got to the spot, the bear had moved on.
For awhile this afternoon during the rains, I hung with my two grandaughters in the back of the Roadtrek. I wanted to teach them “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” but Jennifer insisted we change it to “99 Bottles of Pop on the Wall.” It isn't the same thing. They got bored with that by the time we were in the sixties. So we surfed the net for a while on the park's excellent WiFi system. Then they went back to their trailer.
For me, it was a great excuse for a nap.
The monsoons seem to be lifting and the temperature is starting to rise again.
One thing about the mountains. The weather changes like a snap of a finger.
And frowns can turn to smiles just as fast.
That's the great thing about RV vacations.