Practice Trips

We've had a chance to do a few practice trips in Byron since we got him last September. So far, so good, with a few challenges as we figure out how the four of us are going to live in this vehicle for over two months.

Longmont, CO

OK, so not at all a camp trip, but here's a quick snap from our first meal in the van.  We stopped at Santiago's for breakfast burritos before a hard day of work on our rental house.

Lake Pueblo State Park, Pueblo, CO:

We'd heard about some great mountain bike trails at Lake Pueblo for years, but had never actually found our way there. The trails were in fact great, and the campground had great facilities with flush toilets, dish wash facilities, and even showers! We went ahead and ran the refrigerator on propane despite shore power at the campsite, and it did fine. We swapped beds (upper/lower), and found our preferred spots based on mattress firmness.
It was fairly cold overnight, low-30's, and we fared OK. Next time, we'll remember warm hats to sleep in!

Northern New Mexico driveabout:

Byron had a quiet winter in terms of any camp trips. We were eager to get him out early this year, so we planned a trip to New Mexico to search out some warm weather, or at least some hot springs. We took off on Friday and headed to Santa Fe, planning to see some friends there, and then head further south in search of warmth.

Willow (above) was obviously bored by the time we got into southern Colorado.  Oh well, get used to it dog...lots of miles ahead. 
We found warm weather and good times in Santa Fe. We slept indoors at our friends place on Friday night, and even took a soak in their backyard hot tub under the stars. In the morning, we decided no need to drive further south, for the weather was warm enough. We did a bit of research and headed out to Bandelier National monument for some exploring. We found it has some fantastic cliff dwellings, petroglyphs, and a nice campsite.  However, it was quite cold that night.  Thank goodness that our winter research led us to purchase Portable Buddy, my Mr. Heater. It really helps with the transition into / out of bed. 
Plus, it was a free weekend in NPs and NMs for President's Day.

Following a casual morning and a great campfire breakfast, we hit the road to explore Valle Caldera. We had no idea there was a super-volcano in northern New Mexico.  We enjoyed some great scenery on the way to Jemez for a hot spring soak at Giggling Springs in Jemez Springs, NM. Then we hit the road to find our camp site for the night. Well, after passing several 'closed for the season' camping areas, we finally found some BLM land, well after dark, drove off road for a bit, and setup camp on a mesa. This provided us with the confidence that we CAN do this, even in the dark. A quick, but still tasty dinner, and it was off to sleep.

Fruita, CO

For part of Meghan's spring break we loaded up Byron in 'full trim' and headed out to Fruita to do some mountain biking. This trip gave us a chance to discover some things that we needed / wanted, such as a door mat to keep some of the dirt out of the inside. It also gave us more practice in setting up the EZ Awning and experimenting with more dutch oven recipes from Middle Fork Magic.
Though we'd not planned on this being our final practice trip before Alaska, it ended up being so. A few more mods happened to Byron in the meantime, and we'd soon be on the road!

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