Sylvan Lake SP Colorado Diary 2010

Diary of Linda, Meghan, and my trip to Sylvan Lake June, 2010

06/16/10 We drove about 50 miles through Eagle to Sylvan Lake SP. It has beautiful green meadows with snow capped mountains surrounding the camp ground. No hook ups, but huge sites with views to die for. This would be a great place for astronomy extremely dark with virtually no campground lights or light polluted cities near by. Got set up with satellite TV using my new Winegard Carryout. The solar panels work great up here in the crystal clear air. The only negatives were occasional strong gusts of wind and gnats when near the lake. I met a photographer who had every Canon lens imaginable. We enjoyed ourselves talking about our hobby. When he left in the morning he donated a hummingbird feeder to me, so I would have subjects to shoot during my stay. He also gave me a calendar with is photos. We had left overs for dinner.

06/17/10 Got down to 39 F last night but was 61 F by 9:00 am. I made cheese omelets for breakfast which were a flop - under cooked. I blamed the high 8500’ elevation for my culinary flop. We took a short 1.5 mile hike around the lake which was very beautiful with wild flowers, Aspen trees, meadows, and fast flowing creeks entering the lake. Had lunch relaxed and did another short hike along a fast moving stream. Meghan our Irish Terrier dog is in dog heaven up here in the mountain with lots of attention and hikes off leash. I met two girls Karen and Nelda camping near us who were teachers and real entertaining characters. They were both past Olympic class volley ball athletes. I made friends with them and their dog. I took a few photos of them promised to post them on my web site. We invited them over to trailer for the LA Laker’s and Boston Celtics final championship game. Unfortunately my Celtics did not win. Linda also enjoyed their company. They invited us to come join them on one of their boating vacations some time. Ate the left over beef stroganoff for dinner. It was excellent.

06/18/10 It got down to 37 F last night and I was so cold I could not sleep. We finally turned on the heat about 5:30 am and it took the heater until 7:00 am to get the temperature up to 70 F. I stayed in bed until 10:00 am. Got up, had breakfast cereal and took a shower. I am feeling some discomfort, shortness of breath from this high altitude 8500’. Linda is also experiencing the same, even from very mild inclines while hiking. I wonder how long it takes to get acclimated to high altitude? Wow, hope I can tolerate Rocky NP which will be 10,000’. I considered leaving today because of the cold night, but conditions are very nice in low 70’s with no wind so will stay our full 3 days. Plan on looking for heater and AC air filters today for cleaning. Both devices seem to be delivering less air than when we got the trailer. I found the AC filter and cleaned it. Air volume seems to have increased. Could not find any heater filters. I cooked brat wurst, onions, and sauerkraut for dinner tonight.

06/19/10 Got up at 7:00am and was on the road by 8:00am. We had an encounter with a huge herd of cattle being driven by atv’s, cowboys on horses, and Border Collie dogs on the back countryside road out of camp. We had to stop a half hour to allow passage around us. The herd do what cows do! SHIT. It splattered and flew all over the truck and the 5th wheel. What a mess. One of the cowboys said he was sorry, but there was a car wash in the town of Eagle. I did not know what he meant at the time but sure figured it out later when I saw the mess on the truck. We continued east on highway 70 through Vail and over two high passes. My truck overheated twice and I had to stop twice with the engine running to cool it down. Linda suggested turning off the AC which actually helped a bit. The last time it overheated I stopped just before a long tunnel which I did not know the slope of UP or DOWN. I sure did not want to get stranded in the tunnel. With much duress I entered and it turned out to be down. I will never take the highway over this pass again as the grade was unmarked but probably was 8% for miles. We finally got over it and gassed up in Idaho Springs. I stopped at a nice high pressure spray car and RV wash near the city of Boulder and cleaned off all the cow shit from the truck and RV. I continued on hwy 36 on a very narrow, curvy, moderately steep road into Estes Park. Got checked into Estes Park Campground at Marys Lake. The camp ground was reasonable priced for this tourist area at $35 per night. I had ATT phone service and WIFI. Linda’s Verizon had no service. This was one of the most stressful days I have had for a long time. The overheating truck and steep curvy roads really stressed me out. I didn't even want to set up the satellite TV, but Linda finally talked me into it. I we to bed and slept 12 hours.

Last updated on July 15, 2010