Colorado: Driving a Motorhome through the Tallest Tunnel in the World

When it comes to updating our blog with our recent adventures, I feel like I’m always playing catch-up. If you think about it, that’s the only way I could write a blog about events that already occurred, but there’s a twinge of guilt I feel in not having life-changing blogs released moments after something wonderful happens.

That’s alright. If the memory sticks around, perhaps it’s worth writing about. And if it doesn’t? Good riddance, more room for cooler memories. Let’s backtrack a little, a few states to Colorado – to the month that is September, which seems about 12 years ago now.

Rifle, Colorado: perfect for red laundry

Outside the booming metropolis that is Rifle, Colorado, we picked up a KOA campsite for 2 nights and caught up on the loads of laundry that we’d acquired over 3 weeks of no laundry. After Moab, most of our clothes were orange. I lucked out since half my wardrobe already is.

After Rifle, I did something that I told Jeremiah, “I will never do again.” I stand by that two months later. I drove through the tallest tunnel in the world, in a 42-foot class A motorhome, and along the least motorhome-friendly freeway we’ve traveled in my opinion.

We hooked up the toad to the RV, and set out for Colorado Springs, through the Rocky Mountains. Driving a small car through the pass would probably have been slightly nervewracking for me. Driving a huge motorhome through mountains left me exhausted, all before I had to drive through not one, but two tunnels. One being the Eisenhower Tunnel, which crosses the continental divide. It only climbs about 100 feet in the tunnel itself, and Jeremiah attempted to calm my nerves by repeating interesting facts about how the tunnel was created some 45 years prior. It did not help at 11-thousand feet surrounded by rock walls in a fiberglass box moving down a road. I still can’t believe I drive a motorhome sometimes. It’s not a great realization to have on I-70 in Colorado, I’ll tell you that much.

Actual conversation we had while I drove into Colorado:

“Holy shit, I’m driving a motorhome,” me. (After doing so for well over a year.)

“I’m a little scared that you just now realized that,” Jeremiah.

The most kid-friendly RV park in Colorado

When we finally arrived at the Jellystone RV Park I was ready to never see Colorado again. Truthfully, if we go back to Colorado (which I do see us doing at some point) I will not be taking a 42” foot Tiffin. I’ll be taking a car, or better yet, flying in and taking a Lyft. You know, post Covid, when I feel comfortable doing any of those things. Ah, remember last year at this time? Different times, y’all.

The Jellystone RV park was by far the most kid-oriented resort-style RV park we’ve camped at, complete with many statues of Yogi Bear. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE besides us, had rented a golf cart. They rented for 50 bucks a day, about the price of the campsite. No thanks, I’ll walk. The park was bursting at the seams with people during the weekend. Tiny little people, also known as children, sat in the backs of golf carts as their parental figures zoomed up and down the one way streets. By Sunday, the park roads was filled with honking RVs and Trucks as the masses migrated back to their homes.

A very empty RV park

And then, our little family of 2 and a dog was mostly alone. We did a round of mini golf, I walked along all the paths outside cottages and tennis courts, and contemplated playing on the bounce pad by myself. It was a vacation destination for families, and a convenient stop on the way, but I realized then how much I’d taken having a working generator for granted. Without power, we require hookups, and sometimes these style parks are the only ones available on our route – especially with such short notice.

The RV park that had been full capacity days earlier was empty by Tuesday.

Garden of the Gods

We ventured to the Garden of the Gods one day. It’s outside Colorado Springs, but either because we had expected a much larger park, or because we had just experienced the splendor that is Moab and surrounding areas, we kinda just shrugged. It was pretty, sure, but we had been told by everyone we asked that it was the place to go to. If you’re coming in from the East side, from Kansas, I could see that. If you’re coming in from Utah, well, maybe stick to the mountain climbing. (We did not do that. We are in no way mountain climbers.)

Colorado fires

I can’t believe how jaded I am by how beautiful Utah is. It simply lived up to my expectations fully. I need a palette cleanser before I spend more time in Colorado, which is good, since I’m in a very lush and green area of the United States now, starkly different from the Colorado which we saw. We had driven through right after the September fires had been put out, and there were segments of highway that were closed down to one lane each. Now, the snow is helping to put a damper on the most recent wildfires in Colorado, but not without the fires first attacking nearly 30k acres of Rocky Mountain National Park.

No, that’s not fog or clouds. It’s smoke from fires hundreds of miles away.

I may have been partially jaded by the fact that I was not allowed outside other than the one day we did mini golf and the Garden of the Gods. The smoke from California and Oregon had settled into a yellow sky for us most days, not great for, you know, breathing.

Colorado for another time

Will I go back to Colorado?

Likely yes.

I did not spend any time in hot springs, since you know…Covid. That doesn’t seem like the smartest way to spend my time. We also spent no time in Southern Colorado. If anything, RVing has taught me we can always go back to places to explore more. It doesn’t have to be a once-and-done vacation. Having said that, no, I will never drive the motorhome through Colorado again. Ever. … I already know I’m going to break that promise.

Come on our Adventure with Us!

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