Oklahoma to Colorado

Summer 2021 is becoming known as the campground reservation nightmare year.  We purposely decided to plan our routing over this summer adventure to avoid having any campground reservations on the weekend.  This helps us to avoid the premium rates and the requirements many campgrounds are having for a two-night stay on the weekend. Utilizing our overnightrvparking.com and our Harvest Host memberships we are finding overnight locations along our travel routes. This makes staying over for a single weekend night easier and more flexible.

From Oklahoma, we took two nights to make it to our extended stay in Ouray, Colorado.  Stopping one night at a county fairgrounds on the Kansas / Colorado border and then another night West of Pueblo, Colorado, in Cañon City, Colorado. Kansas topography is really not as boring as it is made out to be, at least in the South and Southwest areas of the state.

Night 1 at Finney County Fairgrounds

We cross back North over the Oklahoma/Kansas line just North of Copan a few miles and continued West to avoid the toll highway West of Wichita. We stop for the night just short of the Colorado border at the Finney County Fairgrounds.

The fairgrounds are littered with power hookups for various events that may be held there.  We stayed behind the rodeo grounds in the parking lot with a full 50-amp hook-up.  We even lucked out due to a miscommunication among fairgrounds and city staff to get to stay overnight here for free!  The availability of this site would be dependent on what events may be scheduled on the site. On our particular night, nothing was happening and there was one other class A motorhome with us.  On the other side of the road, there were carnival rigs starting to show up for an event that was happening later that week.  A good spot to pull some power overnight for the hot central plains weather that was oppressing the area.  We even had a Doordash delivery from a local Mexican restaurant so we didn’t have to disconnect the Jeep!

Very level and 50-amp service at the Finney County Fairgrounds (Kansas) for an overnight, can we ask for anything more?

Night 2 at Cañon City, Colorado

We planned our second night in Cañon City specifically because of the availability of a Harvest Host opportunity at Colorado Jeep Tours.  While we didn’t need to rent a Jeep or have a tour, Jason was able to patronage them by purchasing a comfortable logo hat.  We lucked out that the parking lot was pretty empty, otherwise, this could have been our first failed attempt at a Harvest Host.  The site is very small and we passed on our concerns to the Harvest Host team.

We did disconnect the Jeep here and we made a circle up to Cripple Creek, Colorado, had lunch downtown, and then came back down again.  County “Road” 9 going North on the West side of Grouse Mountain was much more treacherous than coming down on the Eastside.  We saw plenty of larger vehicles as we returned down the Eastside.  It was really our first opportunity at some mountain views as we crawled along the maintained shelf road.

It was recommended that we check out the Skyline Drive West of Cañon City and it was well worth the time.  Local tourism resources bill it as a “paved off-road like adventure” and it did not disappoint.  Riding along the ridgeline with spectacular views on both sides of the Jeep was pretty amazing.  Granted this was early in our maintain adventures, but still, it was worth the time.  The route is one way (from the Northwest to the East) and takes about 10 minutes.

We will for sure be returning to this area for a longer stay.  There were a number of local activities we would want to check out.

We had another quiet overnight using our Harvest Host membership at the Colorado Jeep Tours. A perfectly level spot with our motorhome nestled among its various cousin buses.

 

From Canon City, Colorado, to Cripple Creek, Colorado, we took County “Road” 9 North. While this part of the road seems pretty nice, the were some high clearance vehicles that were required on the one-lane sections on the shelf road. This road has stunning mountain views on every turn.

 

The Skyline Drive is a free paved ridge-line road West of the city, overlooking the valley on each side of it. Scared of heights? You probably want to avoid this one.

Arrive in Ouray, Colorado

From Cañon City we continue along the Highway 50 route to Highway 550 in Montrose and down into Ouray, Colorado.  Barb agrees with Ouray referring to itself as “Switzerland of America.”  A little niche tourist town nestled in the shadow of the snow cap mountains.

In our next post, we will explore around the alpine loop in San Juan mountain range area, earning our next set of Jeep Badge of Honors.

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