Wednesday, August 29, 2012

West Fork Rd, Pagosa Springs, CO



After a long, tiring day yesterday, we finally settled in at our new hangout near Pagosa Springs in the San Juan National Forest, about a half mile off Hwy 160 off of West Fork Rd. We may have company over the coming holiday weekend, but right now it’s just us tucked away in a pretty little out of the way spot.

Can’t complain about the price or the views.


Interesting how the color of the rock changes depending on the position of the sun.


Our phone rang as we were dumping tanks in Salida yesterday morning. Debbie was calling to tell us her Lazy Daze would not start. Nothing happened when she turned the key. And she had already started it and moved it to hook up no more than 15 minutes before, while all of us were still there. Since Chuck is more mechanically inclined she tried calling him first, but he didn’t answer. About then Chuck pulled up to the visitor center to fill up some water jugs, so Jim told him what happened and he agreed to drive back to the campsite to see if he could figure it out.

In the meantime, Debbie got out her Ford manual, and unbeknownst to all of us, there is a fuse for the starter relay. It had blown, and replacing it got her going again. Glad we all learned something we may need to remember in the future. Not sure what blew the fuse, but we were initially concerned that rats may have chewed some wiring, although she was the only one who had no evidence of any rodent visits under her hoods. We finally all met up at the top of Poncha Pass, where Chuck, Carla, Jim and I hooked up the vehicles to the motorhomes and we were on our way.

The drive along Hwy 160 between South Fork and Pagosa Springs crosses Wolf Creek Pass, at 10,300’. We stopped at a rest area for lunch about 40 miles from the pass and unhooked the cars. Sure glad we did as it was a good climb up and a really steep, winding road for about 10 miles going down the west side.

From reading other blogs, researching places to boondock, and talking to the forest service, we intended to stay somewhere along East Fork Rd, but the boondocking sites were about 4 miles back on a not-so-good dirt road, and when we got there it just wasn’t what we expected. Too much ATV traffic, and too much room to be joined by other campers over the busy Labor Day weekend. I think we were spoiled by our previous site near Poncha Springs, so we took the car a few miles back up the road to check out West Fork Campground. It was nice and there were several non-reserved sites we could have taken, but we asked the camp hosts if there were any dispersed areas nearby. They gave us a few ideas, but they were not really suitable, so on a whim we turned off a narrow dirt road and came to this lovely spot we are now in. We’ve parked in a way that should deter anyone from camping close by this weekend, but that remains to be seen.

This small lake is just down the road but there is no room for anything but tents or truck campers there.


On our last two days in Poncha Springs, we drove 5 miles farther north of where we camped into the San Isabel Forest to hike a different portion of the Colorado Trail, which shortly intersects with the trail to Mt. Shavano, one of Colorado’s 14ers. Four short miles and 4,000’ of climbing and we could have been to the summit. Fortunately we are smart enough to know we probably wouldn’t have made it, so we opted for the less aggressive Colorado Trail one day, and the next day we just hiked up the rugged Forest Service road past the trail head parking lot.

We turned around at a clearing under the shadow of Mt. Shavano.


Both were nice hikes. We saw a family of wild turkeys and a herd of cattle. I just don’t understand how anyone can eat them with those cute faces.



  1. Glad that was an easy fix for Debbie. Could have ruined the entire day.

  2. That looks like a truly lovely campsite to me.

  3. I love the idea of you guys wandering around until you find just the right FREE site and then heading out for a great hike. Although 4000 feet - whew, I don't think so. Still, a fine life you are living.

  4. I'm glad Debbie's fix was just a fuse.

    Funny thing, this week my Endless Breeze 12V fan wasn't working, and when I unplugged it from the outlet, the end fell apart and a bad fuse fell out. I didn't even know there was a fuse in there. Now I need to replace it. I borrowed one from another thingie and it worked when plugged into my rig's 12V outlet.

    I plugged it into the truck 12V outlet again, and it didn't work, so now I knew it was more than the fan's fuse.

    I, too, got out the Ford Manual, and discovered it was a fuse problem, I need a tiny #20A fuse. Now I have 2 fuses on my shopping list. I didn't even know where the fuses were under my dash.

    Must be bad fuse week. :(

    I need to get a supply of all the kinds I have under the dash, they are much smaller than the others in my stash.