Disappointment is a synonym for KOA

12/13 June

Unfortunately our attempts to find somewhere as spectacular as the canyon, but with access to the river, were largely unsuccessful. The valley became a dull series of reservoir-controlled waters, and small towns and fishing lakes. Sarah described the town of Gunnison itself as Margate meets Pagosa Springs.

We sampled a number of RV parks - including getting a personal guided tour in the owner's golf cart at one. Sarah had already disintegrated into hysterics and run off into the back of the van by this time. The guy was a sweetheart, but he looked and sounded exactly, and even had the same body language, as  'The Swede' (Mr Thor Gunderson) from Hell on Wheels, the US TV series. Scary. In reality my host was originally from Germany/Poland, hence the accent. I was kidnapped for a lap of his place before being allowed to leave,

"We spray the water," he insisted,

"Oh yes?" says I, subtly trying to shift as far away as possible along the front bench seat of the golf cart.

"We kill them."

"Right." I replied, non-committally. He turned to look at me, driving on instinctive knowledge around the edge of his fishing lake.

"The mosquitos. Dead."

"Yes, I get it. Kill them dead. Right."

"We poison them. They die."

"I see. They're dead?"

"Very dead. Dead. We spray, they die, you get it?"

Sarah couldn't stop laughing when, ashen-faced, I returned to the RV.

"We're not staying then?" She asked, choking on her own laughter.

Sadly, that condemned us to a KOA down the road. Not much to report except the WIFI was awful, despite us parking next to the antenna. Tried to catch up with the blog, but was thwarted...

38$ we regretted spending!! :)

We decided to drive on East  early the next morning towards Colorado Springs. And it was L-J's birthday... so we needed to find somewhere to make a few photos and videos. During the morning we discovered that there were extensive fires around Colorado Springs and Canon City that had closed the US50. We needed a new plan... and after the Monarch Pass, we changed direction and headed South, away from the fires and the mountains. This was our last experience of the highest points in Colorado; a wonderful state!

To be honest at about this time we were feeling a little down. We had spoken to LJ and all, and missed them! After hours of straight line driving down the US285, the San Luis Valley promised an new opportunity - hot springs! We stopped at a 'resort', and gave ourselves a treat of dips in the hot pools, massage, and even a 'treatment'. At about the same time, the weather set in and we were treated to (apparently) a rare thing - a dry storm. A fierce wind drove mist and dust into the valley, and despite thunder and lightning too, the air was too dry for any rain to reach the ground. It simply evaporated above our heads.

Dry storm

We can thoroughly recommend the 

Joyful Journey Hot Springs Resort

 despite the slightly dodgy name, and, by the way, if you follow the link, I dare you to leave the sound up on the web page for 10 minutes. Drives me crazy, but Sarah insists it's relaxing.... make your own mind up.

Anyway. Fantastic people, beautiful location - a location, incidentally, that is renowned as a hotspot for UFO sightings too. Down the road, there is even the world's first and only UFO look-out station :). I can't understand why nobody else invests in such a thing...?

Next stop for us though, was the Great Sand Dunes National Park, 50 miles South. We were still at 6/7000 feet, but by now it felt like we were in the lowlands...

The road to the Great Sand Dunes...

And...errr..  a balloon. For no apparent reason.