Rocky Mountain Adventure: Day 7

Aspens BWOur final morning in Estes Park was spent readying for departure. An 11 a.m. checkout time meant we had only a brief period for coffee and catching up on a few work-related emails. But soon we said goodbye to our little aspen grove and were off for our next stop: Tiger Run Resort in Breckenridge.

One aspect of Manor RV that we particularly appreciated was the many aspen throughout the park. These fast-growing trees are commonly called “quaking aspen” or “trembling aspen” because the slightest breeze cause their flat leaves to tremble, or “quake.” Aspen propagate through their roots to form clonal groves, meaning virtually all the trees in a grove are connected as a single living organism. One grove in Utah was observed to have 47,000 “stems” weighing 6,000 tons. Although most aspen live 100–150 years, one grove in Minnesota has been estimated to be 8,000 years old, making it one of the oldest living organisms on Earth.

As we headed out to Breckenridge, we opted for the scenic route through the mountains. It didn’t disappoint. The views throughout most of the 120-mile trip were simply breathtaking.

As we drove through Black Hawk we had quite a scare as a yellow wrench icon suddenly displayed on the truck’s dashboard, along with the warning message, “Check Manual.” The truck struggled to get up the steep streets with limited power, but we eventually made our way to the KOA in Central City, where we contacted the Ford dealership. As it turns out, we simply needed to give the transmission a rest. After about a half-hour, we set out again, carefully monitoring our transmission temperature, and made it safely to Breckenridge without further incident.

Without question, Tiger Run Resort is the finest RV park we’ve ever stayed in. The mountain views, well-maintained roads and sites, and restrictions on tents, pop-up trailers, truck campers and smaller RVs help ensure a true resort experience. Of course it’s also quite pricey, so that guarantees a certain clientele. It suffices to say that it’s unlikely anyone in the camp would comment about how they thought about getting an Airstream but found them to be cost-prohibitive.

A few lessons we learned along the way are worth sharing:

  1. While traveling, it’s never a good idea to store a cast-iron skillet and a basket of fruits and vegetables in the oven.
  2. You really don’t have to look very far for a restroom facility when you’re towing a spa-like water closet right behind you.
  3. Don’t be fooled by summer’s wildflowers, green grass and mild temperatures: Come winter, the entire area will be blanketed by two or three feet of snow.