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Alison

Wildfires in Colorado

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Hello Oliver Friends,

 

I know some of you have camping plans in Colorado in the near future. We have had a dry winter and spring, and wildfire season is off to an early start. There is a large fire burning near Durango and portions of the San Juan National Forest have been closed. A new fire began today on Buffalo Mountain in Summit County, which is an area suffering from severe beetle kill, so that fire could grow quickly. There is smoke haze west of the fires to at least were I live in the Denver foothills. I recommend you check on the area you are headed to before traveling to make sure there is not an active fire in the area or air quality issues.

 

Here’s hoping for some rain!

 

Alison

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Alison, Ross & Annika


Hull No. 310

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There is smoke haze west of the fires to at least were I live in the Denver foothills. I recommend you check on the area you are headed to before traveling to make sure there is not an active fire in the area or air quality issues.

 

https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dfpc/current-wildfires

 

Thanks, we have been keeping an eye on the fire near Durango and as we get closer to heading to Ouray, we will decide if we want to go elsewhere. It looks as if 550 (Million Dollar Hwy) is shut down, not good!

 

We will bring our 110 volt HEPA room filter, just in case we get caught in a smoky area. It scrubs the air really well and only uses 1 amp AC, so the inverter can run it pretty much forever off our 4 batteries and solar....

 

Smoke is an ongoing issue in the West, Montana was especially horrible last summer with deadly, off-scale levels of particulates in a few towns. Let's hope it improves this year. Buying one of these would be a good idea for those who might have to camp in these wildfire areas. I run it in our master bedroom 24/7 because I have allergies. Even with a whole house HEPA filter, this scrubs that "clean" air even better.

 

This is my home unit, it is a little big for a full time dedicated trailer air cleaner,

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BWYO3EM/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B00BWYO3EM&pd_rd_wg=yLBS5&pd_rd_r=WBESFXJ4F9W6M0K9KNHY&pd_rd_w=AykPY

 

but it flows and filters way more air than the small one:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Honeywell-HPA100-True-Allergen-Remover/dp/B00BWYO2FW

 

Generic HEPA filters (make sure they are real HEPA) are $20 per pair, the pre-filters are carbon treated foam and available inexpensively as "trim to fit" sheets. You can vacuum or blow off the dust from the pre-filters, or just swap them when they get filthy. The main filters should be changed about yearly if run continuously, depending on how bad the air is....

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CKB3ZDV/?coliid=I1KZCENM2ZK38M&colid=77ELCXYF0Y8I&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

 

Good stuff for those of us with chronic lung irritation and seasonal allergies.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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We are leaving Palo Duro Canyon, TX this morning for Sand Dunes NP. Will move to Crested Butte this weekend. Keeping an eye on the situation. Thanks for the update. Mike


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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If we're in or headed to an area with active wildfires, we use the GeoMAC website for monitoring conditions - it's really useful. Use the main map to locate individual fires, then use the drop down menus on the upper right to zoom in. You can then use the data layer menu on the left to display all sorts of info. In particular, if you compare the fire boundary with the satellite detection layer, you can get a good idea of which way the fire is headed.  For example, the 416 fire looks like it started along hwy 550 and is headed west and south.

 

[attachment file=Screen Shot 2018-06-13 at 9.17.12 AM.png]

Screen-Shot-2018-06-13-at-9_17.12-AM.png.9e05c50d435498418a817b331d51053c.png

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Didn’t even know this existed, thanks for sharing! Very helpful for those of us living and camping in the arid west/southwest.


Alison, Ross & Annika


Hull No. 310

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We were in Ouray last week and had to leave a day early because the smoke was so bad. We had ash falling on us June 9th. No smoke over in Utah but we could see it again on I 70 coming back across but nothing like it was in Ouray.

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ABNBNSPEALARCOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMSMOMTNENHNMNYNCOHOKPARISCSDTNTXUTVTVAWVWYmed.jpg

 

Tom & Cheryl 

LE II #305

2018 GMC 2500HD SLT Duramax

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Prayers for friends in Colorado. Summer and fires seem to have started early.


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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We’re camped in Almont, halfway between Gunnison and Crested Butte. Showers most of today, more rain tomorrow. Hopefully the rain will help with the drought and fires. Mike

 

 

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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We are headed out on Sunday for a 16+ day trip that was going to include SW Colorado. I am going to cancel our reservation at Ridgway State Park (Ouray) and instead we will jst play it by ear. We will be mostly in NW CO, hopefully the winds will blow the smoke to the east. If it clears up we may dash down to drive the Alpine Loop and some of the high passes, as planned. I have smoke sensitivity and really must stay away from Durango.

 

I really hate how the fires are so bad these last few years that they ruin camping conditions in much of the desert West, through much of the summer. Not to mention the lost homes and possessions....

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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John, So many beautiful places to camp up in the Flat Tops. That area is maybe my favorite area of Colorado, though I really love the Crested Butte area too, hard to pick favorites here! Have a great time. -Alison

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Alison, Ross & Annika


Hull No. 310

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John, So many beautiful places to camp up in the Flat Tops. That area is maybe my favorite area of Colorado, though I really love the Crested Butte area too, hard to pick favorites here! Have a great time. -Alison

 

Any comments on Rifle Gap State Park? I have it waypointed as a possibility. I have not camped in the moutains in this part of CO, just passed by, headed south.... any other recommendations in the NW part? We plan to do Dinosaur NM and Black Canyon, and maybe return to Colorado NM, for a longer stay than last time. Also Flaming Gorge if not too busy with boaters from SLC.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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My family used to go to Rifle Gap Reservoir every summer for camping, fishing, boating. I loved it then, but I haven’t been back there in years. It is popular so it may be crowded. I think all the CGs in the park take reservations, so it might be hard getting a site. I have on my “to visit” list Blacktail Creek CG, east of Yampa - it has good Mtn biking. It is a small CG (10 sites I think) and doesn’t take reservations, so you may have luck if you arrive Sun-Thur. I also want to visit Rifle Falls State Park - the hiking is supposed to be great. If you are interested in boondocking, there are a lot of dispersed camping sites along the drive between Yampa and Meeker. I keep track of dispersed camping info in Evernote and here are a couple links I have for the area.

 

http://www.twohappycampers.com/a-mid-week-getaway-to-the-flat-tops-wilderness/

 

More generally: https://www.uncovercolorado.com/scenic-drives/flat-tops-trail-byway/

 

Also, look up Browns Park National WL Refuge for amazing scenery and solitude - it’s far enough away that you won’t find the weekend crowds. I love the Gates of Lodore area, but I frankly don’t know much about camping there except from a raft! We have floated it several times and it is so beautiful. The Gates of Lodore CG will be full of rafters, though. That might be entertaining, but it won’t be quiet or peaceful!

 

All this talk makes me want to pack up and go! We are going up to Lake Granby next week, but it won’t be wild, remote and stunning like the areas you are going to visit. But we will be camping with friends with kids and will spend our days fishing, paddleboarding, windsurfing and having general family fun!

 

I don’t know if any of this is helpful, I think you know Colorado better than I do (and I’m a native!). Have a great trip!

 

 

 

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Alison, Ross & Annika


Hull No. 310

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Thank you Alison, those were helpful comments. I do not know Colorado well, I just research a lot, and we have visited five times, to various parts and in various vehicles, over the last forty years.

 

Gates of Lodore was one place I had planned for, but if it is busy with drunk rafters, we will go elsewhere to overnight. Funny how the National Monument web page doesn’t mention that feature.

 

We both really like the state but it is so darned busy in Summer (compared to WY and MT, away from the big parks.) Unfortunately, it is hard to camp off-season with a travel trailer when you want to be 10,000 feet up.

 

The most memorable trip was in 1980 in a poorly insulated RWD van conversion, over New Years, camping our way through the UT and AZ National parks. Our cooler water refroze every night. We had blankets on our laps when driving, to trap the feeble warmth from the truck heater. It got so cold we finally stopped at a motel in Fairplay, plugged our box heater in and stuck it in the engine compartment and slept well inside the room. It was 25 below and howling wind outside. We were both younger, tougher and way more clueless then. Snowshoeing in Bryce! Woohoo!

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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It won’t be a drunken problem exactly, though it has been my experience that rafters are pretty loud campers! Gates of Lodore is the launch site for a multi-day raft trip. They will be up early getting their boats rigged and getting checked out by USFS so they can launch. It will just be hectic and busy, but probably in an entertaining way! Certainly not peaceful, though.


Alison, Ross & Annika


Hull No. 310

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We just got back from the Westcliffe area, inbetween the huge Spring fire and the much smaller Adobe fire. We got lucky with the winds because we experienced zero smoke in the air.

 

When we made reservations three weeks ago we got the last reservable campsite, but when we got there, over half the sites were empty. So if you're able to gamble (I understand allergies and asthma are not something one should typically gamble with) you might get some great camping anyway.

 

Before we left I monitored news on each of the fires as well as the wind forecasts on windy.com, so it wasn't a complete shot in the dark; I had reason to hope that the smoke would not be coming our way.

 

Your mileage may vary but just thought I'd share what worked for us.

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2018 OLEII #344   |   2018 Ford Expedition


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