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Making the Best of Mountain Monsoons

| Updated Nov 6, 2021

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

mountainfogThe 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.

Hanging out with Rachel (left) and Hua Hua (right) in the back of our Roadtrek eTrek

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.

A fawn browsing in the grass right near our camp spots

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

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.

Can you see the deer to the left of our eTrek?

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.

It's all good, isn't it? Check out the rainbow.rainbow



Mike Wendland

Published on 2013-08-10

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

10 Responses to “Making the Best of Mountain Monsoons”

August 21, 2013at12:12 am, Julie LeBlanc said:

I’ll sing 99 bottles of beer (or pop) with you Mike the next time we visit. No one ever finished the whole song with me either. We’ll show them how it’s done.

August 11, 2013at11:23 am, Lisa said:

Isn’t it great to have your own “napping”spot?

August 11, 2013at8:01 am, Jacquie Neale said:

I guess they still haven’t come up with an answer on the electric bed & what to do when it stops working. We asked that very question at a rally & The technician hadn’t got an aswer!

August 11, 2013at8:03 am, Jacquie Neale said:

Our answer is to keep it well cleaned & greased!

August 10, 2013at10:28 pm, Stu said:

What a life..happy for you.

August 10, 2013at9:53 pm, Maureen said:

Have definitely put Mesa Verde on my list…’s getting longer and longer!!!

August 10, 2013at9:06 pm, Bill Sprague said:


Welcome to the Rockies! Those rains can be pesky but the rainbows are sometimes really spectacular. I remember driving through one in a monsoon southwest of Jerome, AZ. The road AZ 89A is pretty twisty and Carolyn told me to “drive” and she’d “look for rainbows.” What a team!

Those rains on the roof make naps really easy. Even sweeter with a couple of suggly grand kids.


August 10, 2013at7:16 pm, Janet Arnold said:

Ah yes, I remember them well. Some of the lightening strikes were a bit too close for comfort. I love the summer monsoons.
One of my cats tried to chase one of those deer. I couldn’t help but wonder what she would have done if she had caught it.

August 10, 2013at7:05 pm, Cheryl Gregorie said:

Adorable little girls!

August 10, 2013at7:03 pm, Cheryl Gregorie said:

Those are some adorabl

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