Maiden voyage!

We thought it would be fun for my birthday to take the trailer on its first trip, so we loaded everything up and headed to my favorite fishing spot, Deckers.

The trailer wasn’t 100 percent completed yet, but we decided to give it a shot anyway. A test run, if you will. We also looked at it as an opportunity to see how everything works and to see if there’s anything else we need to do. It was also an opportunity to test out my new fishing rod, the Sage Vantage 590.

A few things we learned:

  1. Tying the leader to the tippet is kind of hard. I kind of caught a fish, but when the knot failed, so did the catching of said fish. Next time, fish. Next time.
  2. There’s a bunk bed in the trailer that has to go. We bumped our heads no fewer than a dozen times on this damn thing, and so the next time I’m around it with a screwdriver, it will be removed. Storage be damned!
  3. In the woods, cupcakes are better than real cake.
  4. Flushing the Sanitation Equipment Visa 248 Deluxe Portable Toilet took some getting used to. Good thing nobody had to poop.
  5. When debating about whether to turn the heat on, in freezing weather, it’s probably a good idea to just go ahead and turn the heat on.
Getting the trailer hooked up

Hooking up the trailer is pretty easy. It's light, so it's adjustable by hand, and also, I am superb at backing up.

Travel trailer interior

The top bunk, where the blankets and pillows are stored, is really just a place to knock your head. It's going to be gone soon.

Interior travel trailer

Adrienne built a nest at the front of the trailer while I was out fishing. Comfy.

I built my nest in the trailer soon after landing.

I enjoy a good nap, too. This is my nest, on the other side of the camper.

Happy birthday

No, this isn't the Blair Witch Project. It's me and Adrienne, with light from my birthday cupcakes!

Birthday cupcakes, 2011

Adrienne made awesome cupcakes for my birthday. They had coconut and sprinkles. Perfect.

Birthday cupcakes, 2011

Despite the warmth of the birthday candle on my cupcakes, I still needed a hat (made by my friend Andrew Long, who chose journalism instead of hat-making for some reason).

After dinner and the cupcakes, we played cards by candlelight. Adrienne also wore a hat, but it was store-bought.

After dinner and the cupcakes, we played cards by candlelight. Adrienne also wore a hat, but it was store-bought.

Travel trailer maiden voyage, 2011

Mmmm. Salad.

Travel trailer maiden voyage 2011

For dinner, Adrienne made a LOT of food. Here's the corn. We thought we'd have a camp fire, but with fire restrictions, we had to make everything in the oven. Turned out great.

Birthday trip to Deckers, Colorado, 2011

In addition to the corn, we also had chicken and mashed potatoes.

Camping trip, Deckers, Colorado

One of the nicest things about camping at Deckers is that the water is right at the site, so you can hear it always. It's very soothing.

Camping trip, Deckers, Colorado

This is an OK way to spend a birthday.

Camping trip, Deckers, Colorado

Our campsite, right on the water.

Camping trip, Deckers, Colorado

The Jeep pulled the trailer pretty well. Some slight sluggishness on the hills, but you know what? Go around me, Mr. Fast-Pants.

Camping trip, Deckers, Colorado

Morning coffee at the campsite in Deckers.

Camping trip, Deckers, Colorado

Dinner at Deckers, with chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, chips and wine.

Camping trip, Deckers, Colorado

The trailer. Still needs a little bit of a paint job, but for a 40-ish-year-old trailer, he's looking pretty good.

Camping trip, Deckers, Colorado

The stove presented a little bit of a challenge. The oven has a pilot light. What about the stove? We couldn't find a pilot for it, so we just lit the burners as needed. Everything worked great, though.

Camping trip, Deckers, Colorado

The cushions came out great, too. Now if someone would just fix that floor.

Camping trip, Deckers, Colorado

The light blue worked a lot better than the dark brown. Should have used a glossier paint, though, which would have been easier to clean. Lesson learned.

 

Camping at Deckers, CO

We recently went camping at Deckers which is about an hour to an hour and half from Colorado Springs. Lone Rock Campground to be specific. It was awesome. It’s not a very big campground and it wasn’t crowded on the day we went.  I reserved in advance online at ReserveAmerica so we got a site right on the river.  There were a few kids splashing around so Mike couldn’t fish right from the campsite. But they were very well behaved so it was fine.

Our campsite at Lone Rock Campground, Deckers, CO
Our campsite at Lone Rock Campground, Deckers, CO
Our campsite at Lone Rock Campground, Deckers, CO

Our campsite at Lone Rock Campground, Deckers, CO

Mike’s mom, step-dad, and uncle came out for the day bt it was so nice out there we convinced them to stay for the night.

Lone Rock Campground, Deckers, CO
Lone Rock Campground, Deckers, CO
Our new rock band! Me, Uncle Joe, Mike, Mike's mom Linda at Lone Rock Campground, Deckers, CO

Our new rock band! Me, Uncle Joe, Mike, Mike's mom Linda at Lone Rock Campground, Deckers, CO

Linda supervising the tent assembly

Linda supervising the tent assembly

It's under control!

It's under control!

I don’t like grungy old musty sleeping bags so I insist on bringing real bedding when we go camping and it is NICE.

So cozy inside the tent.
So cozy inside the tent.

After the tent went up Linda and I put our feet int he water. Mike’s step-dad Paul actually went for a swim. We just watched.

Hanging out on the river.
Hanging out on the river.

Mike got in a little fishing before dinner. Paul took these pictures.

Fishing on the South Platte River at Deckers, CO

Fishing on the South Platte River at Deckers, CO

Fishing on the South Platte River at Deckers, CO

Fishing on the South Platte River at Deckers, CO

Fishing on the South Platte River at Deckers, CO

Fishing on the South Platte River at Deckers, CO

Fishing on the South Platte River at Deckers, CO

Fishing on the South Platte River at Deckers, CO

Fishing on the South Platte River at Deckers, CO

Fishing on the South Platte River at Deckers, CO

Fishing on the South Platte River at Deckers, CO

Fishing on the South Platte River at Deckers, CO

When we first got there it was raining. We weren’t sure if it would keep raining so we unpacked everything and put it under thw canopy. It did eventually stop raining and was beautiful! But we didn’t really bother to move the stuff. It wasn’t very organized!

OMG we're so trashy!
OMG we’re so trashy!

Mike’s parents brought their cute little dog with them. They also had a tent and a sleeping bag in the back of their car like true Coloradoans, so when they decided to stay the night, it was pretty easy.

Barney and Paul
Barney and Paul

So I know it’s the big trendy thing to cook big, elaborate fancy meals when camping these days, and I’ve done that. But now I’m more into a retro thing — hot dogs, hamburgers, s’mores, that sort of thing. I did make some marinated feta before we left, tho. Just a block of feta, olive oil to cover, and some herbs from my garden. It was super good.

Marinated feta with crackers.
Marinated feta with crackers.

Mike is always dismayed when I want to bring the cast iron camping. But it’s the only way you can do this! Like oldey timey cowboys or pioneers or something.

Cooking over an open fire is the best.
Cooking over an open fire is the best.

I prepped all the confetti corn stuff ahead of time so I just had to toss it into the pan and cook it when I got there. The beans were from a can. They were delish! We also roasted hot dogs over the fire. Retro!

Confetti corn and baked beans.
Confetti corn and baked beans.

Later when it got dark we had s’mores and looked at the stars. It was during a meteor shower so we had a great show!

Cooking over a campfire- fun!

Cooking over a campfire- fun!

I guess this is the Lone Rock that the campground is named after.

I guess this is the Lone Rock that the campground is named after.

We’re definitely going to go camping here again next year. We’ll make reservations in advance again (you don’t have to, they do have walkups available) so that we can get a riverside site. Maybe we’ll bring some more people- you guys want to come?

Fly fishing in Deckers

Because you’re looking for more ways to spend money, and because you’re in Colorado, you probably need to give fly fishing a try. And though I’m only a beginner, I’m pretty happy with the fishing available in the Deckers area, only about an hour or so from Colorado Springs.

The first thing for a wannabe fly angler to consider is taking a class. I took mine at The Peak Fly Shop and would recommend it highly. Well, can’t I just go out in the water and figure it out? No, you can’t. I promise you. If you’ve never had a dad or grandfather show you the ropes, I just can’t imagine anyone putting it all together. Take the class. It’s worth it just for the knots alone. (Seriously, does there need to be this many kinds of knots?) And the time in the water with trainers is priceless. You know why? Because the first time you stomp into the water and scare all the fish away, you’ll have visions of yourself as shadowcasting Brad Pitt gracefully flinging miles of line out into the water, but what will really happen is that all your line will end up in a pile at your waist, and the fly will get hooked on your bootlace. Then, while trying to unhook your boot in the rushing water, you will fall down.

You are not Brad Pitt.

Once you’re ready to hit the water on your own, it’s pretty exciting. And intimidating. At Deckers, my first stop is the Flies & Lies fly shop, where someone who knows what they’re doing will help you sort through the baffling array of flies with names that I don’t think I’ll ever understand, like the “Mercury Flashback Pheasant Tail,” “Churchill’s Sparkle Wing,” “Blue Wing Olive,” or “San Juan Worm.” You’ll also need to buy a fishing license (cash only).

My first time out at Deckers, I caught four small trout (although I suspect I caught the same fish a few times, which means I might have only caught two — not sure how fly anglers count under those circumstances). This last time, I didn’t catch any, but I did get a nibble before I was able to set my hook. Probably a 15- or 20-pounder. But alas, he Got Away.

Really. You aren't Brad Pitt

You are not Brad Pitt. You will never be able to do this, and it doesn't matter anyway, because this is stupid.

Adrienne had luxurious trappings.

While I fished, Adrienne roughed it creekside with a chaise, some blankets, and a coolerful of snacks.

Fishing in Deckers, Colorado.

While I'm a lot like Brad Pitt in other ways, we have different fishing techniques.

Fly fishing, Deckers, Colorado

Before even starting to fish, my line is probably tangled on something. You'd really be surprised at how easy it is to tangle your line.

So go to Deckers and wade out into the water and pretend like you know what you’re doing. It’s fun.
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Gardening, Home Improvement, Lunch Downtown Colorado Springs, and Fishing in Deckers

I am still irritated that I waited so long to bring my tomato plants out to the junkyard where there’s full sun. I liked them so much on the deck! Anyhow, they totally kicked ass in the past month. They’re huge, even the ones I started from seeds. There are a few tomatoes and lots of flowers but I don’t think I’ll wind up getting much cuz it’s cold now.


The other day was really nice so we went for a long bike ride.


Stopped for lunch at East Coast Deli which for some reason doesn’t have a website. Their egg salad sandwiches are the best thing ever.

Their rueben was really good, too. Not all huge like they can sometimes be.

It was really nice outside on Friday so we went about 45 miles up into the mountains to Deckers and DM did some fishing on the South Platte River. I sat and read magazines on the shore while he fished.

I never trust the weather here so I wore a long sleeved shirt and was way too hot. So DM gave me his tee shirt. LOL. He said he looked like a hillbilly in this outfit with no shirt on, and he did, so I had to have a picture.


He even caught four fish! He threw them back tho.

I made some roasted veggies the other night. I make them all the time but usually just mix them all up in a big pile. This time I separated them and I thought they looked pretty so here they are. Exciting!

Since it’s so cold here today and supposed to get to freezing tonight I brought a bunch of my plants inside. All the herbs I put in the kitchen and the tomatoes I put in the outside hallway. It’s still cold out there but not as bad as the actual outside and it gets pretty decent light from the window. We’ll see. I might put them back outside next week if the weather is nice again. The herbs are probably in for the winter, tho. Hopefully they won’t die in there.

I got this little cart in Amarillo on our way back from Dallas. Cute, huh?