It's 8 pm MDT as I write this, and the sky is full of dark gray clouds. The wind is still, the temperature is balmy and comfortable in the low 70's. All is calm but Odel, muttering under his breath as he bundles together the packages he is preparing to send to the newest Boomers. This is part of our new volunteer job - we're still getting our procedures worked out!
After two HOT, HOT days in the Denver metro area - we stayed at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds (read our review and see photos here) - we are happy to be in Buena Vista, Colorado, elevation 8100 feet.
We arrived yesterday at 9:15 AM! That was a first for us -we usually don't even begin a moving day until 10 am - but the hot temperatures chased us out early. It's a long, steady, relentless climb out of the Denver area into the Rockies - combined with the high ambient air temperatures, it is easy to overheat on a mid-summer day. An early departure was the smart move.
The Boomers are having a summertime rally near Buena Vista, at a reservoir in a beautiful valley north of town. We had a reservation for one night in a campground in Buena Vista, taking advantage of full hookups to prep for 5 days of boondocking: dump the full tanks, fill the empty water tank, do laundry, pre-cook and prep a few meals, and take long, hot showers for the last time for several days.
As soon as we checked in to the RV park and set up, we jumped into Jules and drove 15 miles north to the rally site to scope things out. This was the scene (through the windwhield) as we approached the camp - doesn't it look idyllic?
Our first clue that something was amiss: fisherfolk on the side of the reservoir were bundled up in sweat clothes, hoods tightened around their faces, even though the temperature balmy. Oh, oh - hadn't we, ourselves, done something similar recently??
When we arrived at the rally site, no one was out and about. We turned a corner and saw a medium-sized, screened tent - packed with about 10 people. After they welcomed us in, we looked like sardines in a can, with mosquitos hanging on the sides of the tent, buzzing!
I guess it is our year for mosquitos. They are so thick near the reservoir that the usual potlucks, happy hours, and various social gatherings have been moved - to a park in Buena Vista.
Since we are completely mosquito-averse, and were already set up 15 miles closer to where the activities were to be held, we came back to the RV park, begged them to find space for us for the rest of the week, and settled in.
Up at this high altitude, the sun is intense! Even though the temperatures are blessedly moderate, the sun feels like a laser. Before we set out hiking today, I poked around the back of the closet and came up with a special hiking accessory, a mylar umbrella I bought when I hiked the Grand Canyon a couple summers ago. What a blessing it is to have a little personal shade!
We picked a hike along/above the Arkansas River, which runs from the high peaks of the Rockies through Buena Vista and on to the south -at around 50 degrees F. River rafting companies abound, and rafters and kayakers are a common sight everywhere along the river.
We couldn't resist when one of the Boomers organized a half-day river rafting trip. I don't know if I will risk my camera when we go tomorrow - this might be the only photo I will have of rafters for the blog.