Tuesday – September 17, 2013
Beautiful sunny skies greet us as we depart the Heaton Bay Campground in Frisco, Colorado. Our first stop is to the Brececkenridge Water and Sanitation Department to dump our tanks. It is only six miles south of our campground on CO-9. RV’s and Busses can dump their tanks here, for a fee. The dump fee is based on the honor system, $5.00 for RV’s and $10.00 for Busses. We dump out tanks, pay the $5.00 fee and at 10:55 a.m. we are on our way, heading west on I-70 to Aspen, Colorado.
We travel through the beautiful mountain ski area of Vail, Colorado, with its 7% steep grades, that take us through deep canyons and long tunnels through sections of the mountains. We emerge to vast mountain ranges, void of any trees, but covered with sagebrush and patches of wild grasses. We exit at the popular resort town of Glenwood Springs, at an altitude of 5,500 feet, to pick up CO-82 that will take us south into Aspen. Our 40-mile trip from Glenwood Springs to a campground near Aspen will take us up to an altitude of 8,200 feet.
We arrived at the Difficult Campground, five miles south of Aspen, at 2:00 p.m. All of the campsites had reserved signs on them for either September 20 through 22 or 21 through 22. Since we would be spending only four nights here and departing on September 20, we selected Site #26 that was reserved from the 20th to the 22nd.
One of our pet peeves with the National Forest Campground Reservation System is the number of campers that make reservations for a campsite and then never show up. In our travels throughout the U.S. we have encountered numerous instances that a campground is shown as full, yet quite a few of the campsites are never occupied on the dates they show as reserved. Somehow, we always seem to manage to get a campsite without a reservation, so we just roll the dice as we travel. Did I mention we hate to make reservations, which force us to be at a certain place at a certain time!
Difficult Campground is a rustic campground located in the White River National Forest. There are 48 campsites with gravel pads. There are no water or electric hookups, but there are water spigots dispersed throughout the campground. The campsites are quite spacious with plenty of privacy between them. There are several vault toilet facilities, but no showers. I would not consider this a large rig campground. The road through the campground is narrow with a few tight turns. The entry road into the forest had a few deep potholes and is in dire need of repair. Once you get past that section, the rest of the road is fine.
Non-Electric Sites: $21.00
Golden Age Pass holders receive a 50% discount.
There is no cellular or Internet service available at this campground through our T-Mobile service provider.
While taking a walk through the campground this evening, we were rewarded with the sighting of a Mule Deer, grazing on some shrubbery in the Day Use area of the campground. It briefly observed our presence, then continued with what its grazing. We continued with our walk and visited the Roaring Fork River that runs alongside of the campground. It is a fast-flowing river, with numerous large boulders lining the riverbed. These boulders create a series of rapids within the river, as it continues its journey through the campground.
Total miles traveled today: 140
Tomorrow another adventure begins.