By Chip Deyerle, F179160D
The Rocky Mountain chapter held three rallies in southwestern Colorado in 2015. FMCA members were lured by the fabled Rocky Mountains and their valleys, which are a big draw during the summer months.
The first rally of the three was June 11-14 at picturesque Bayfield Riverside RV Park in Bayfield. The largest town nearby is Durango, home of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. But steam railroading isn’t the only thing in Durango. Shops and restaurants dot Main Avenue. And a number of bike shops cater to cyclists who enjoy pedaling the highways of southwestern Colorado.
Durango is also a gateway to the famed Mesa Verde National Park, about 35 miles to the west. The park offers a look at the remnants of the Ancestral Puebloan people, who lived in earthen cliff dwellings but mysteriously disappeared hundreds of years ago.
Our next rally was June 26-28 at Four Seasons RV Resort, just south of Salida, on the Arkansas River. The river was quite high from almost constant rain throughout the Rocky Mountains. But our campground was above the river, with little threat of flooding.
With views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and San Isabel National Forest, Salida draws summertime tourists, RVers, kayakers, whitewater rafters, and bicyclists. The downtown shops feature arts, antiques, sculpture, and woodworking, as well as many other crafting treasures. But our biggest thrill was watching kayaks and float trips make their way down the swollen Arkansas River through many rapids.
Our third southwestern Colorado rally was held August 21-23 at Arrowhead Point Campground & Cabins in Buena Vista. The park is situated in a valley surrounded by the Collegiate Peaks, including Mount Princeton, Mount Yale, Mount Harvard, and Mount Columbia, all more than 14,000 feet high (and among more than 50 peaks that exceed 14,000 feet in Colorado). Nearby Leadville, once a major mining community, is home to the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum.
A big treat was in store for those Rocky Mountain chapter members who arrived the day before this rally. On Thursday, Arrowhead Point Campground became a ringside seat for the fourth stage of the USA Pro Challenge bike race. Taking our chairs down by Colorado State Route 24, we had an excellent view of the racers as they sped through Buena Vista on their way to Breckenridge, Colorado, the finish line for that race segment.
FMCA members are encouraged to join the Rocky Mountain chapter for a lifetime of memories and breathtaking views of the famed Rockies. To learn more, including the chapter’s 2016 rally schedule, visit www.rmcfmca.org.