Sunday, July 27, 2008


Who is this brave woman, and why is she letting Odel cut her hair in the middle of a city park?

Because the Boomers boondocking site continued to be plagued with mosquitos, we gathered for our traditional 4 pm Happy Hour at the Buena Vista City Park each day. On this particular day, Bobby Chapman asked me where I get my hair cut. Odel started laughing and told Bobby that he cuts my hair, using electric clippers (yes, it is true).

I could see the wheels turning in Bobby's head as we all discussed the difficulty of finding a good haircut as full-timers. Questions followed questions until she got to the BIG question for Odel: will you cut my hair?

Once Odel was convinced that Bobby really wanted such a short cut (her hair was already short, but not SHORT-SHORT), he went off to gather up his "styling tools". Jim, Bobby's husband, got their generator out of the truck and soon a makshift salon was open for business.

The haircut was a big success - Bobby has just the right face and smile for it. This is now Odel's second haircut in the Boomer family; a couple years ago, Jan Kessler convinced Odel to give her the "clipper cut", too. Maybe a workamping job is in his future?

Boomerville broke up Saturday morning, with Boomers fleeing the mosquitos in all directions. There is so much to do in this high Rocky Mountain valley, many of the Boomers (including us) are planning to stay in the area for awhile.

We already had plans to move from Snowy Peaks RV Park (see photos and read our review here), our home for the past week, to Chalk Creek RV Park, just 8 miles down the road, to meet up with our friends Jackie and Buddy Bartee (previously seen on this blog eating Dim Sum in Portland, Oregon, and hosting us at their home base in east Texas) - but that was the extent of our future plans.

There are many RV parks in the area, along with Forest Service campgrounds - but it is very difficult to find open sites this time of year. With the wonderful summer weather and unlimited outdoor activities to pursue, staying around here for a least a couple of weeks sounded like a great plan to me, so we set off on Friday to see what we could find.

Right next door to Snowy Peaks RV Park, we found a commercial RV park that used to be a mobile home community - so the sites are residential sized, not the typical narrow, evesdrop-on-your-neighbors size. We were lucky to snag a huge spot with shade for two weeks starting August 4th. After our fast-moving loops through the Dakotas earlier this summer, I am looking forward to two weeks of going nowhere!

With that accomplished, we planned a daytrip into the high, high mountains yesterday. For the first time since we arrived here, we awoke to clouds rather than sun. Oh, well - the clouds here rarely produce rain, and off we went.

Our explorations began at Turquoise Lake, near Leadville, Colorado. The road around the lake climbs to 10,600 feet (breathtaking, you might say), and several USFS campgrounds snuggled along the shore - all full of families and fisherfolk camped in tents and small travel trailers. This is a popular summer spot!

We didn't see any trails that appealed to us, so headed to the historic Leadville Fish Hatchery, just down the road. Until we visited the fish hatchery in Spearfish, South Dakota, I hadn't known what an important part these historic fish farms have played in introducing trout to the fish-barren high mountain lakes and streams.

The Leadville Fish Hatchery celebrated its 100th birthday in 1989, and fish from this hatchery were first used to stock the lakes and streams in the Black Hills of South Dakota. They have a beautiful old stone building, with fish "races" and ponds out front (and a fantastic view), but we were interested in the trails that penetrate the forest behind the hatchery.

A short walk took us to Evergreen Lake and an interpretive sign at the site of a grand hotel during the 1880's (it burned to the ground in the 1890's). According to the sign, the lakeside hotel had been a favorite spot for the wealthy of Leadville - including the "Unsinkable Molly Brown", who had her wedding breakfast there.

We roamed on up the trail into the Mt. Massive Wilderness area, following a wildflower-bedecked creek, then back down around the holding ponds behind the hatchery. It was a fun day trip, completely whetting my appetite for more... I'm glad we decided to stick around awhile.

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