• Big Beers July 2, 2017

    The summer is festival time for the Breckenridge area. Who knew? We aren’t ones to be “food” tourists. You know what we mean – you ask people to list places to see in the area and 99% of what they list are restaurants. We aren’t those types, but you add the word “festival” to the end of that? We’re game.

    Attack of the Big Beers (and Grilled Cheese)

    After the Frisco BBQ festival, we kind of expected it to be a madhouse, although we’d never been to Copper Mountain so didn’t know what to expect. “Big Beers” was defined as beers brewed in “high gravity”. Perhaps it was the location, perhaps it was the attendance, but it wasn’t nearly as warm and didn’t seem as packed. The vendor attendance was “meh”. Like the BBQ festival, you paid with tickets and had to guess how many you’d need.

    View from the lift.

    One word of advice – do NOT order tickets for anything off of your iPad. Dropdowns are tricky on the iPad, and you may accidentally purchase 60 more tickets than you intended. Because there weren’t a ton of vendors, there weren’t a lot of places to spend tickets. Luckily for us, we’re never ones to turn down an opportunity to purchase a coffee, t shirt or jacket, and local Copper Mountain vendors accepted tickets.  We attempted to skip the lines for tickets by ordering online but had to pick tickets up at Will Call anyhow. Save yourself the accidental purchase and just go to the event and purchase there. It also helps to see what the festival is all about – we aren’t HUGE beer drinkers so there’s only so many samples you can drink.

    Beautiful day!

    One thing many locals have told us is that the area has really marketed the area as a Destination Wedding area. Low and behold, there was a wedding event at the top of the mountain. We saw it because we took the ski lift to catch some nice views (the lift was free to attendees of the festival…and the wedding). Admittedly we wondered why on earth anyone would wear a suit to a Big Beer & Grilled Cheese festival.

    The wedding

    Good luck kids!

    Turns out the suit-wearers were going to the wedding. It turns out the bride and groom were named “Emily and Randy” as per the ski lift sign. Congrats Emily and Randy Whateveryourlastnameis!

  • Mess of Mama’s BBQ June 21, 2017

    The Breckenridge area isn’t just about mountains! We were lucky to attend the Frisco BBQ Festival which is a haven if you like BBQ, beer, ice cream or all of the above.

    Entrance to the festival

    We saw a few vendors staying in our RV park, along with amazingly huge smokers and trailers. We didn’t see the train smoker in our park but found it at the festival.

    Smoker disguised as train

    First thing’s first: you cannot use cash at this event. You need to buy tickets, called “Hogbacks” (why not Hogcash? We don’t know). This is something that’s hard to predict. We ended up wasting $10 worth of tickets because we ate and drank enough, so donated it to a family of 5 on our way out.

    There were about 70 vendors. Most were selling pork, brisket or beer, but some went against the grain and had some fineries such as (wait for it) frozen cheesecake on a stick!

    It started off as a temperate day but with all the people and the sun shining bright, it was a HOT day (for Colorado). Still, we had a view of the snowcapped mountains.

    One ubercool part of this festival is that they really set the tone to encourage everyone to recycle. They had recycle tents with volunteers staffing each and every tent so you knew what went where.

    Recycling tent

    Throughout the day they also had bands playing. Nothing to see here. Just a bunch of guys wearing nuns’ costumes singing “London Calling”.

    Rocker nuns

    We did a lot of walking which we used as the excuse to eat a ton of food and drink a lot of drink. And yes, we did share a frozen cheesecake on a stick. Because it is frozen cheesecake on a stick. At the end of the day, we wandered towards the car but the path took us through a nice shady park. We sat on a bench and enjoyed the view for a bit before calling it a day.


    It was a nice day, and it helped mentally prepare us for the upcoming Grilled Cheese festival in late June and Mac & Cheese festival in late July!

  • Stray Cat Strut June 13, 2017

    The question we see most often within RVing with Pets groups is “What do I do with the kitty litter?” When looking at floorpans, we insisted on having a bath and a half so the half bath would be dedicated to the cats. We intended on taking out the toilet in that bath and capping the plumbing. It would be used for a litter box and storage.

    As the build came closer, we thought “Hmmmm – it would be nice to be able to have both bathrooms”. We found more uses for the second bath, particularly so guests wouldn’t have to go through the bedroom in order to use the bathroom. So we thought of alternatives. The shower? No, the chances of litter going down the drain and then getting wet was a dangerous proposition for the black tank. In the basement? Well, if anyone could figure out a way to squeeze through places she shouldn’t, it was Nala. So we went with the master bathroom, but out of the way.

    We had double sinks in the master bath. We’ve always had double sinks in all but one place but never ever used both sinks. We decided to use the underneath of one sink for the cat litter.

    We worked the folks at the Bunkhouse (these folks used to work for Tiffin and branched out on their own – more info here). They also capped the plumbing to the second sink. Because they had so many scrap doors, they used a throwaway door first for the template. Once we approved they made the door and the step for the cats (the step may appear to be going overboard but when you have older felines, it’s nice to give them a helping hand…er, paw).

    Door and step

    Did this work? Yes, but it took some serious practice and reworking. Understanding that this was a cabinet we’d maybe one day want to use, and because the cats weren’t used to the area yet, we had to allow for some misses.


    1. Cat litter box
    2. Cat litter (we really like Dr. Elsey’s – tend to go with Respiratory Relief here)
    3. Plastic drop clothes (for painting)
    4. Plastic bags (drum liners work well such as here)
    5. Frog tape (have you ever used Frog Tape? You should. It’s here)
    6. Duct tape (we like the black – found here)
    7. Potty pads
    8. Vinegar spray (something like this)

    First, we covered the entire cabinet in plastic, frog tape (so it would easily remove from the cabinet when needed) and then duct tape on top. We lined the entire bottom in more plastic and duct tape for easy cleaning. Finding a litter box to fit the space was problematic but we found there was a Petco litter box that fit. We wanted one side to be higher so taped cardboard to one side. Then covered it with a “litter box liner” (read: it’s a drum liner from Home Depot).

    Recreating the quarantine scene from E.T.

    Was this fool-proof? No. Particularly when we had a kitty in kidney failure, it was tougher to keep that area clean. We used the potty pads as items we could easily lay on top of the plastic and remove as needed, along with the vinegar spray to get rid of any smells. At first we underestimated the cats’ ability to miss the box, and boy, if they could, they did. We hadn’t initially covered every inch of the cabinet with plastic and layers but in time we learned that was the best way to preserve the cabinet’s integrity.

    Now this process is kind of second nature to us, but that was thanks to many mistakes and near-misses!