2017 Travels travel blog

Carpe Diem boondocking west of Walsenburg CO

Long shot of Walsenburg boondocking site

Bluffs along US 84 south of Chama

Another view of US 84 bluffs

Chama NM

Carpes rest (and driver visits "biff") north of Chama

Welcome to Colorado along CO 17

There is lotsa snow along CO 17 at elevation

Another view along CO 17

Carpe reaches La Magna Pass @ 10,237' elevation
This was Carpe's highest—almost 2...

Trees are just leafing out at high altitudes

Descending from the pass on CO 17
Grade was 7%. Our engine brake...

Railroad water tank in Antonito

Downtown Antonito

Flying sharks?!?
Whimsical cloud shapes intrigue us...


Mon, 15 May: A day of superlatives...

Today was a very special day. We treated ourselves by taking a new-to-us route that included our motorhome climbing to its highest yet elevation—10,240'! Once we got ourselves up, fed, and Carpes ready for the road, we pulled out of the Abiquiu Lake Campground a few minutes before nine.

From the campground we took NM 96 east to US 84, which we took north toward Chama and the Colorado border. We'd been to Chama before, in 2015, and loved the town and especially riding the historic narrow-guage steam railroad to Antonito. This time we took our Coach and Toad over the 10k + La Magna Pass.

The road becomes CO 17 at the Colorado State Line and is a mostly well-maintained two lane road. As with any mountain road it twists and turns quite a bit, but nothing we couldn't handle with our 60some foot rig. The combination of turbocharger and engine brake kept us moving nicely uphill and safely retarded downhill.

The scenery was, in a word, spectacular! As we climbed spring came and went. At the pass the trees were just starting to bud. A tad lower the bright green of new foliage was everywhere. Above around 8,000' elevation there was still snow in the valleys, and as we climbed the snow was everywhere.

We ended our day's journey boondocking in a large and level gravel lot west of Walsenburg CO. Walsenburg is on I 25 about 150 miles south of Denver. We've boonocked here a few years ago and found it perfectly acceptable.

Today's run was 200 miles with an overall fuel economy of better than 8⅞ mpg. Given that we climbed from 6,300' to 10,200' down to 7,000' up to 9,400' and down to 6,300' again we think it is remarkable. As stated, our 40' diesel pusher performed flawlessly and we never felt uncomfortable.



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