East Fork

Beautiful Forest Service Campground

This was a perfect little side trip, taken by accident. Linda booked this, thinking it was right outside Durango. Then our friends Rhea and David offered to meet up in nearby Pagosa Springs. It wasn’t until later that anyone realized it was about an hour and a half east.

That turned out to be just fine with us. It gave us a chance to see some beautiful Colorado countryside and at the same time test out our systems with dry camping under trees. We also really appreciated the peace and quiet after so much excitement. There was very little (really no) cell service in the forest service campground and that made it a perfect spot to unplug.

Lake Capote has a good dump. You’re welcome.

On our way out, we forgot to stop in Durango to dump tanks. And we were quickly running out of service to research where we might go. But just in the nick of time, Richard found a campground near Chimney Rock that had a “great dump” (his words). It was a little bit of a dirt road so Dory got her muddy camping vibe going right away. For anyone needing a dump in that area, Lake Capote Recreation Area is the place to go.

Our Dory2 report: we could not possibly be happier with everything. Richard clocked the solar panels at 370 something watts when the sun poked through the tree cover. With lithium batteries, the system does not hold back on pumping in the amps, so we were seeing something like 27 amps going in. For comparison with our lead acid system, the max we would ever see was around 9 amps. That’s because you can boil off the water in your battery if you pump in too much power. Not so with lithium, so it can top the batteries back up pretty quickly. Lithiums also don’t start trickle charging when they approach 80% full, like lead acids. All in all, it seems like more than enough power, even running the coffee machine every morning, and even in shade.

Romance package 🙂

Friday night, we basked in the bliss of romance package lighting and ample overhead storage. Saturday we did a little trip to see a pretty waterfall and then headed into town. We did some Walmart restocking and Richard got in a short ride before it began to rain. Pagosa Springs is pretty cute. According to Linda, it used to be just a couple of buildings, but the area has grown exponentially as people from Texas and Arizona come up for summer vacation stays.

Altoistes: the absolute best part of Alto life.

Rhea and David treated us to a fabulous fish taco dinner at their rental and it was so great to catch up with them! With any luck we’ll see them again later when we pass through Santa Fe. Besides having fun traveling in a cool trailer, the Alto has brought us so many friends. That has really been the best part of all of this. On we go!

Total miles: 72.0 (with side trip to Lake Capote), 17.5 mpg. Forest service campground with no hookups. No cell service really. It said 1 bar of LTE for ATT but nothing went through reliably. Pretty shady. No dump. Do not go too much more East on 160 or you will encounter Wolf Creek Pass, topping 11,000’ with 10% grades, steep dropoffs, and hairpin turns. Not good for trailers.

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