We have seen a huge range of RVs, motor-homes, trailers and other vehicles as we've travelled through three states. From the hugest tour buses towing everything from rugged four-wheel drives to shiny Harley Davidsons, through motor-homes like ours in various sizes to caravans more like those we see in the UK. It's the difference that is fascinating.
Last night as we drank beer and root-beer outside ours, in hotter and more humid Fort Collins in northern Colorado, we watched a family arrive and erect a trailer/tent combo that started small, then with the help of hydraulics expanded itself to become a fully fledged caravan. Two double bed-sized slide-outs appeared from each end and when their braces were in place, a traveling home had seemed to appear from not very much at all.
Fort Collins is around fifty miles north of Denver and getting here was no problem at all. We headed out from our tree-lined base at Woodland Park back towards Colorado Springs. There we joined Highway 25 going north towards Denver. The highway was busier than we’ve been used to, but with a couple of stops along the way for leg stretching and tab smoking, we covered the sixty miles to Denver without a hitch.
I’m sure that Denver is a great place to visit but we hadn’t planned on stopping there, merely passing by with a sidewards glance at the downtown skyscrapers from the highway. As it turns out, our friends Bryan and Cindi were also arriving in town later in the day and there was a meeting of Refresh Denver geeks, so in hindsight it would have been an enjoyable, beer drinking and geeking-out night.
As we passed Denver’s northern boundaries the landscape suddenly became much more agricultural. To the left were still the mountains and on the right crops appeared in the fields in place of the scrubby bushes and trees that we’ve become accustomed to. Suddenly instead of acres and miles of open space we could see houses and farms and much more evidence of civilization. This was a big change to what we have seen in Arizona and New Mexico.
Our stop at the KOA campground just outside Fort Collins is what we’ve come to expect from a KOA: functional but charmless. In a way that sums up our feelings about Colorado today. This part of Colorado feels much less special and a great deal less different than Arizona and New Mexico. Sure, the scenery is dramatic in parts and the people are just as friendly, but Colorado feels normal, less different and less stimulating. We’ve found ourselves yearning for the things that made the earlier part of the journey so exciting.
I hope that as we press on through Wyoming and into South Dakota that that difference will return and that the third leg of the journey will be as different as the first.