Feisty Fleetwood RV
Calling my Fleetwood RV feisty is my way of retaining some of that wonderful adjective for myself whilst knowing that I am NOT FEISTY learning how to pull a trailer up and over the mountains of Colorado. Terrified would be a better descriptor for yours truly on my first long distance RV camping trip. I have yet to be able to back the thing up with any kind of acceptable skill. I did, however, manage NOT to take six inches off the side of my adorable trailer when I forgot to swing WAY OUT before pulling alongside a gasoline pump. I remain delightfully mystified on how I managed to get out of that tight spot.
New Mexico Scenery
Stunning New Mexico scenery did not get photographed because I was too afraid to pull over on the shoulder that appeared to be four inches wide. This spot where the shoulder did not appear to be life threatening offered a nice view but not spectacular like the ones I didn’t photograph.
Aren’t you glad I shared that information with you? Don’t be too disappointed, here is the link to the New Mexico tourist bureau where you can see incredible photos that will inspire you to go and visit.
Smaller Mountains, Bigger Engine
Even though the Bayfield area has smaller mountains than the Denver area, I still feel like I needed a bigger engine to pull my feisty trailer up the highway. The salesman that sold me my Dodge Durango (with a 5.7 Liter Hemi engine) told me it was plenty big enough to pull a small trailer. This is true most of the time. I put on cruise control and let the truck slide in and out of whatever gear it needed to complete the task. No problems, except on one hill where I had to slow down to 45 mph so the RPM’s didn’t rev up over sounds-like-engine-is-about-to-blow-up speed. There was a slight burny smell coming from the engine which was not pleasant. There was a long line of vehicles waiting to pass me. They were not happy until I got to a slower-traffic-to-the-right lane. I pulled over and let the line zip around me. A mammoth red truck with a 747 Boeing jet engine passed me while leaning on his horn as if the mere sound would transfer some of his power to my Durango. I shall call him Horn Devil.
Sliding Brake Gadget
One has to have special brake connections installed in their vehicle when towing an RV. There is a control box next to your right knee. It has a small knob that will adjust the trailers brakes to perfectly align with the vehicle’s brakes and a magic sliding brake gadget for emergencies. My son, Shane, who has been towing an RV for years, conferred with his brother, Jason, on how to set mom’s breaks so she doesn’t run over a teenager who walks right out in front of her while she is creeping through the main drag of Pagosa Springs. Thankfully I had been practicing with the magic sliding brake gadget or else I would be writing this from prison.
I passed Mr. Horn Devil while he was at a gas station. He had a very distinctive truck and trailer so I recognized him. As luck would have it he ended up behind me AGAIN on a two lane black-top curvy road going toward the resort. When I put on my blinker to turn he zoomed around me almost clipping my front fender. “Why the hell don’t you get a bigger truck you stupid driver,” I imagined him screaming at me as he swerved his mammoth I’ve-got-more-money-than-you-rig over into my lane.
My Dodge Durango is doing just fine! I thought trying to catch my breath. It’s hard enough learning how to drive a trailer without mean drivers on the road. I was a nervous wreck for the two days it took me to drive to where I am now at Vallecito Resort. I’m contemplating just leaving the RV here so I won’t have to drive it back home.
Vallecito Resort, Bayfield, Colorado
Vallecito (Vi-ya-see-tow) Resort is in Bayfield, Colorado. http://vallecitoresort.com/ Nestled in the San Juan National Forest( east of Durango and west of Pagosa Springs) it is a stunningly beautiful area. Vallecito means “Little Valley.” The Pine River and the Vallecito Creek join in this basin making it a perfect spot to build the Pine River Dam. Managing the water resources helped the ranchers and farmers. The collateral benefit of creating Vallecito Lake brought droves of tourist to the area for the fishing, hiking and cool summer temperatures. Colorado welcomes the whole population of Texas as the citizens escape the severe heat in their home state.
Located within walking distance of Vallecito Lake, the RV parking spots are arranged around “150 Tall Pines” which making wonderful afternoon shade when the sun can reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit for a few hours in the afternoons.
That’s the back of my Dodge Durango with my little trailer to the left of it. And NO I did not back into my spot. One of the old time RVers backed my car in for me. I still suck at backing up.
There is an outdoor pavilion for cookouts, entertainment, etc. Behind the covered structure is a playground, basketball court, horse-shoe-toss, etc.
Many people own trailers here and pay a seasonal fee. They come up every year for the five months the resort is open (May through September) and they landscape around their trailers. I could post dozens of these pretty little gardens.
The Resort also has an honor system library, indoor dining/entertainment center, restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities. There is a small store in the office. I do not get phone service AT ALL. There is WiFi but there isn’t a reliable tower nearby so the service is sketchy.
When I was walking to the Vallecito Lake, I noticed a perfect spot for a Cell/WiFi tower. There’s already poles bringing us lovely electricity, why shouldn’t there be a tower? They could paint it green like a Pine tree.
“Dear Colorado, please build a Wifi tower on this hill. Sincerely, 77.7 Million Tourist ”
(Who spent $19.1 BILLION, generating $1.13 BILLION in tax revenue in 2015. The Denver Post www.denverpost.com
At 5:30 am there is enough of a signal, if I hook my phone up to the WiFi, I can read my Facebook page and send text messages. If I want reliable service I drive to Bayfield where there’s a lovely library with free internet and friendly librarians.
Vallecito Resort is home to the beautiful carving, “Fireman with Shovel” one of the many in the “Carving Project.” These carvings are spread throughout the valley honoring over 4,000 firefighters, one of which lost his life battling the devastating fire of 2002.
There were 70,000 acres of forest lost in that fire. Vallecito was hard hit losing almost half of the total 58 homes destroyed by the fire and many vehicles, boats, trailers and antique cars.
The carvings are mounted on concrete pedestals, weighing up to 2,600 lbs. and some standing 18 ft. high. The resort staff gave me the brochure “Tour of Carvings” which I found most useful.
The nicest part of the Vallecito Resort is the wonderful friendly people. Cooler temperatures and beautiful countryside promotes happy people! Maybe there’s even hope for Mr. Horn Devil.