Blog

  • 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.

    Shade!

    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.

    Supplies:

    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!

  • Accidental Tourists June 8, 2017

    We happened upon Breckenridge all thanks to friends we met at the Tiffin campground when we were all in the same boat of not wanting to be there. We had to get items fixed that no one else seemed to be able to fix. We compared notes of where we had traveled and they said “Oh, you’re going to Colorado? You need to visit Breckenridge!” We were able to extend our short week visit last year to almost two months last year, thanks to a cancelled reservation (thank you, people who cancelled).

    This year we decided to stay the entire summer here. We hadn’t really planned on it being so cold in May – on Memorial Day no less. We aren’t skiers, it was a bit cold to hike and instead decided to take a drive to anywhere.

    fullrig

    That’s how we happened upon the Continental Divide in Loveland Pass. Sure, we heard about it. We passed the exit on I-70. In fact, when there was a fire in the Eisenhower Tunnel, Waze insisted that we take Loveland Pass in our rig instead of waiting for the road to open back up (thankfully the fire was cleared before we approached the tunnel). By turning right at a light we’d passed, we ended up here.

    View from the ridge

    First we passed a ski town where the slopes were half grass/half snow and were closed. Made sense. It was MAY. But then we happened upon another ski town with fully-functional slopes at Arapahoe.

    Skiing in May!

    And then we saw a bunch of cars on the side of the road and there it was: the Continental Divide. We got out, climbed to the ridge, and took a few pictures.

     

    Proof that we were here

    You may see a bunch of emergency vehicles in the background.

    Emergency vehicles arriving

    You know what happens in May when it is 70 degrees out, sunny, with snow on the ground? Avalanches. A skier went off-trail (as many do in this area) and got caught in one.

    Emergency rescue

    Emergency services

    This is one of the lessons we continue to learn on the road. You can look into “things to do” while visiting an area. You can make plans. Or you can just drive and happen upon things that quickly become your favorite places or all you see are fields and fields of…NOTHING. Sometimes you can follow people’s recommendations and get the feeling of “wah waaaaaah” once you get there (places to remain nameless, and unfortunately this has happened more often than not). And then you can follow people’s recommendations (the friends at Tiffin) and end up in a place that becomes one of your favorite places. It’s a toss up. You won’t find out until you try.

    The views from Loveland Pass