Day 3: Colorado Springs

July 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

There were extensive wildfires when we drove through Colorado.  The smoke was so heavy, there were several times that I worried that we probably should have chosen a different route.


Nevertheless we prevailed, and pulled in to the Colorado Springs KOA campgrounds before sundown.  Here’s the cabin that was waiting for us when we arrived:

GPP 7_29_2013a

Our KOA cabin was so cute, I could hardly stand it.  We had a cute little front porch with a porch swing, and a front “yard” with a picnic table.  In the back, there was a cute little sitting area where we grilled our dinner.  The cuteness outside was not to be surpassed by the inside of the cabin, where we had a bunkroom, main bedroom, and a bathroom.  The cabins had actual beds, which was a welcome treat after sleeping in a tent (not to knock tent-camping, which was so totally great).

I cracked open a teeny-tiny bottle of wine (more cuteness…who knew you could buy an 8-ounce bottle of wine?) while Dave cooked dinner.   We had filet mignon steaks and instant mashed potatoes.  The “Idahoan” brand of instant mashed potatoes is so delicious, it’ll knock your socks off, and is perfect for camping…especially the “Loaded baked potato,” which we are now addicted to.

After dinner, we slept wonderfully (who wouldn’t sleep wonderfully in all of that KOA cabin cuteness?).  There was one little glitch, which commenced when Dave announced that the back bedroom should be for people, and the front bunkroom would be designated for the animals (I like how Dave makes pronouncements like this…as if by virtue of making a rule, everything will just fall into place).  I knew immediately that Dave’s rule would require some sort of wrestling on my part to keep the door closed between the two rooms, since Addie is pretty good at opening doors.  At bedtime, Dave closed the door between the two rooms, and then went to sleep.  Addie waited a respectable period of time (8 minutes), and then deftly opened the door between the two rooms, and made a place for herself on my side of the bed.


Meanwhile, Otis, Doodle, and Alexander were completely happy sleeping in the bunkroom.

So, the three of us (me, Dave, and Addie) slept somewhat wonderfully in the KOA cabin cuteness, even though Addie managed to completely hog half of the bed, squishing me into about 8-inches of space.  I’d just like to say right now that Addie is about 5 pounds heavier than I am, and when it comes down to nighttime wrestling, she usually wins.

After waking up in the morning, I urged Dave to go and avail himself of the KOA pancake breakfast.  Meanwhile, I stayed behind and made sure that the animals did their business, and the cars were packed (don’t get any ideas that I’m the one who does all the tough work around here…later, in Day 4, my true laziness is revealed).

Day 3 loading the cars

Dave came back from the KOA pancake singalong (or whatever it was), bringing me a big plate of eggs and bacon.  After eating, I supervised the final loading of the vehicles.  This step consisted of me bossing Dave around and acting like I’m the only one who knows how to load Otis into the car (which may actually be true).

Finally, at about 9am, we pulled out of the campgrounds, with Dave leading the way.  Dave drove 30 feet, and then skidded to a stop right outside of the campgrounds.  His wheels had locked, rendering his vehicle completely useless (thanks Mercedes).  While Dave called Mercedes, I headed back into KOA, and registered for “another few days” until Dave’s SUV could be repaired.

The rest of the day consisted of me and Dave overseeing the transfer of the Mercedes and its attached trailer, to the KOA campground, and waiting for Mercedes to come out to “figure out” what possibly could have gone wrong.  The Colorado Springs KOA staff were the BEST.  Not only did they easily accommodate us for an additional (and unscheduled) few days of stay, but they hooked the trailer up to a tractor and hauled it back to the KOA campground (something that Mercedes couldn’t be bothered to do, since their warranty coverage only covers the vehicle and not things that are attached to the vehicle).

The KOA staff placed us in a cabin next to their dog park (how cool and nice was that, since they knew we had three large dogs?), and then we settled in to await Mercedes’ analysis of Dave’s wheel-locking problem.  When it became apparent that Mercedes was feeling no sense of urgency whatsoever, Dave headed to the local car rental place, and made arrangements for renting a large passenger van to help us get to Oregon.  Meanwhile, sometime in the afternoon, Mercedes rolled in to the KOA and collected Dave’s car and hauled it back to the dealership (where supposedly they were going to expeditiously make everything good, but it turns out that they actually didn’t do that at all…however, we’ll save that part of the story for later).

Late in the afternoon, Dave returned with a huge passenger van.  He and his friend Robert (who conveniently lives in Colorado Springs), removed the van’s seats, and then with only a tiny amount of help from me, managed to transfer about half of our belongings from the trailer to the van.

That evening, we cooked dinner at the campfire, opened another tiny bottle of wine, and toasted our good fortune that the wheel problem happened right outside of the KOA campground, and not on some desolate highway in the middle of nowhere.   We also toasted KOA Colorado Springs, who’d kindly offered up a few days of trailer space in their park, and who so eagerly lent their tractor to remove our vehicles from the road in front of the campground.

We can’t say it enough…KOA campgrounds are fabulous, but the Colorado Springs KOA is the best.


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