Sunday, October 4, 2015

Breckenridge Chic

[By Karen]
I took off the week of Sept 21st and we headed north again to Colorado. But, this time we went to places we hadn't been before. The night we were packing to go, Greg suggested we buy tickets to see Duran, Duran on Sunday at Red Rocks Amphitheater. We've wanted to see a show there for years, but it has never worked out. So we redesigned our route and stops - and headed to Breckenridge.

Greg has recently been reading through Tioga George's posts and was inspired to do some stealth camping one or two of the nights. We left leisurely on Saturday and drove the 288 miles to Breckenridge thinking we would stay the night in the parking lot for the ski resort. We were passing the Sand Dunes Hot Springs and Pool off of Highway 285 and decided to stop for a late lunch/early dinner.
Our delicious burgers at the Sand Dunes Hot Springs and Pool
The fall colors on the way to Breckenridge were beautiful. When we first arrived, banners greeted us and let us know that the Film Festival was in full swing that weekend. The streets were teeming with visitors. We headed to the ski resort lot only to see signs NO OVERNIGHT PARKING and kindly providing the name and number of the towing company that would take your rig if you did try to camp.  We parked in the lot and decided to scope things out on foot. We also noticed along most of the streets signs that forbade parking between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Fall Beauty outside Breckenridge

Our stealth spot was to the right of this creek
Stealth spot for the night. Thank you Summit County
Tioga George would be proud. Next to the City Hall and a nice creek, was the Summit County Housing Authority. A number of film festival goers were parked in the lot. We noticed that the sign said permit parking between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Although it was surrounded by the No Parking from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. signs on the street and adjoining lots, this lot appeared to be okay after 5 p.m. and before 7 a.m. We picked an end parking spot. While Greg ran to get the camper, I stood in the middle of the spot - saving it. We needed to get in our 10,000 steps and wanted to explore more - so we set up the bed and went for a walk. We got back to our spot before the film festival ended that night. So, bonus - the bathrooms at City Hall were open until 10 p.m. and again early in the morning. We slept well and didn't get a middle of the night, knock on the camper. We set our alarms and moved from our stealth spot before 7 a.m. over to the ski resort lot. We got ready for our day at the ski lot, made up our bed and headed to an early and delicious breakfast at the Columbine Cafe. It was rather chilly when we got up - only 32 degrees.


After breakfast, we walked over to the Washington Trail for more exploring. It is a really nice trail that meanders through neighborhoods and next to some very fancy homes. Breckenridge has large ducks that are painted ala Painted Ponies. We really enjoyed checking them out, but didn't realize until the third duck that you aren't actually suppose to sit on them for a photo op. Oops!


Stopping to enjoy the flowers
We had a lovely morning walking around exploring Breckenridge. Amazing town. We drove the short distance to Frisco to see if we could get a camping spot at Dillon Reservoir. We wanted to make sure we could have a guaranteed place to stay that night since we would be driving back from Red Rocks late after the concert. Dillon is beautiful with awesome views of the surrounding mountains. As it turned out - there were lots of open spaces.
Breckenridge Ski Area from the Washington Trail
We wanted to get to Red Rocks early to do a little hiking and beat the crowds. We had plenty of time so we went around Dillon Reservoir and over Loveland Pass. It is a good thing we headed out early. Interstate 70 was a nightmare with construction and a huge traffic jam with forty minute delays.

Loveland Pass - if we had more time, we saw some enticing trails at the summit. Next time! 


It was REALLY hot when we finally arrived at Red Rocks. We were very happy we filled up on gas before the drive, given the traffic jam.  The parking for the concert was haphazard at best. But, we were close to the entrance and had plenty of room for a tailgate dinner after a nice hike.

There were two "warm up" bands before Duran, Duran. CHIC really got the crowd going. Lots of dancing and remembering the late 70's & 80's. Kinda shocked at how many songs band leader Nile Rogers collaborated on. The view and acoustics of the red rocks and the distant Denver skyline were amazing.

Humphrey provided shade for our tailgate, pre-concert meal. 


Denver skyline lights in the distance



We way exceeded our daily 10,000 steps. Duran, Duran put on a great show. When they sang their last song, but before the obligatory extra song - we hightailed it to beat the crowd and try to get back to Dillon Reservoir as close to midnight as possible. Good thing - trying to get out of the #@$%& parking lot was a nightmare. Many rows were boxed in and it took some creative driving to escape.

We found the first open site back at Peak One campground at Dillon Reservoir. Greg quickly and quietly set up our bed and we were asleep the second our heads hit the pillows. We slept in and had a wonderful breakfast of our special deluxe oatmeal and took a walk around the campground and down to the water. The camp host Jan Nichols was from NM and we had a nice chat. She told me about the Facebook group RVing fun - which is! We left by twelve and headed north to Steamboat Springs for our next adventure.


Dillon Reservoir





















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