Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Buena Vista KOA Campground

We'd come the long way from Breckenridge. I'd hope to go up Mount Evans to get mountain goat photos. But the first day we went it was stormy and we'd already had a long day in Denver. This time we had the RV and we needed a place to stay. Unfortunately, the forest campground 3 miles up a twisty curvy dirt road was completely full. Henry also noted that there was a huge line of cars going toward Mount Evans. This was a Sunday and Mount Evans is close enough to Denver to make a good day trip.

So we decided to head over to some of my favorite areas from when I was a teenager - Buena Vista, Cottonwood Pass, St. Elmo, etc. I was hoping to stay at Cottonwood Lake and then make it up to the pass before sunset. I had forgotten that the Cottonwood Lake Campground is also three miles off the paved road. Poor Henry. When we got to the lake, I went ahead in the jeep. It was a weekend, yes, the campground was already full.

So, we headed back into Buena Vista to check on the commercial campgrounds. We ended up at the Buena Vista KOA Campground. It turned out to be a happy choice. Since it was Saturday night, they were serving Bar-b-que and then ice cream. They had a musician from Salida that was singing. There was a campfire for everyone to share. Later in the evening they had some customized vehicles doing rock climbing exhibitions. Big tires, roll bars, the works. There was a nice camaraderie and great atmosphere. We came in especially tired and there was something about the singing, the kids playing basketball, and the tranquility of the evening that was very restful. And all the staff were very friendly and cordial. Both mornings brought us back to the Cook Shack for breakfast sandwiches on English muffins. I almost forgot the view. We were located on one edge of the valley overlooking the collegiate peaks. In the mornings it was fun to watch the kids climb all over the rock formations.

While in many ways I like staying at the National forest campgrounds in the heart of the forest, the atmosphere at this campground was very relaxing and appealing. In looking it up for this post, I was not surprised to learn it had won the 2006 KOA President's Award.

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