Monday, July 8, 2013

To Estes Park

Our “hunker down and get through the 4th of July” time in Loveland was over and we were moving up in the world…literally…to Estes Park, which is 3,000 feet higher than Loveland! 

This morning after breakfast I got the RV road ready and then headed over to wait for Mom and Dad to be ready.  While I was waiting I decided to use Dad’s tire pressure gauge to check the tire pressure.  I still wasn’t fully satisfied with the resolution to the tire dilemma from back in OH and wasn’t convinced that my tires were the proper inflation or that I knew how to check it and had the proper tools to check it.  Dad had a different type of tire gauge that we thought would be easier.  It wasn’t.  I couldn’t make it work to read the pressure for the outer tires.  Dad came over to see what he thought.  He took the gauge and jammed it onto the valve stem extender on the inner tire and broke the valve stem extender! 

There was a Mercedes dealer in Loveland and so I called over there to get an appointment and they could see me mid-morning so I quickly finished up my chores – unplugging, dumping the RV and taking the trash out and headed over to the Mercedes dealer. 

I think Dad breaking off the valve stem extender was the best thing to happen to my tires in a long time.  One of the technicians at Mercedes of Loveland is a Sprinter Van expert! He came out to talk to me and go over all the finer points of tires!  Not only was he an expert in Sprinter Vans he knew about RV Sprinters and all the brands and all the things that the different companies do!  It was a learning experience for sure!  He said that the rear duallys need have 70-80 psi in order to carry the load!  I knew then that they were low, all of my readings were below the recommended 60  psi!  Also we discovered that back in December or whenever I took the RV in for it’s 10,000 mile service they rotated my tires and they didn’t adjust the tire pressures.  The front tires have less pressure in them than the back.  I knew something didn’t feel right, but I couldn’t tell if it was just that I was fully loaded and trying to get her to go fast uphills or if there was a tire issue.  Turns out there was a tire issue.  I amazed at how obvious it was to me trying to drive it that something was wrong!  He fixed everything up and I noticed instantly that the ride was much smoother!

After my adventures at the Mercedes dealer I got fuel and met up with Mom and Dad at Sam’s Club in Loveland.  We ended up grabbing a slice of pizza for lunch and then headed out, up the Big Thompson Canyon headed for Estes Park. 

Mom had gotten a new camera at Sam’s and she needed to open it and make sure she had everything she needed so I headed out ahead of them to get to Estes Park.  I was excited to get to drive not stuck behind them!  That was until I got stuck behind a different large RV!  This one was about 45ft long and towing a car with bikes and stuff.  Looked very similar to Mom and Dad’s RV. 

Once in Estes Park I stopped by both the Estes Park Visitors Center and the National Park Visitor Center to get some info and hiking maps and then headed to Elk Meadow Campground where we were staying. 

The campground is basically a big gravel field, but the views are awesome and it’s very close to everything in Estes Park. 

We ate an early dinner then went out to explore Bear Lake Road! We stopped at Sprague Lake and Dad and I walked a 1/2 mile around the lake.  WE saw tons of elk and a coyote!  He was was running across the road and then stopped to relieve himself before running away.  I couldn’t get my camera fast enough!

There are so many hiking trails in the area that it’s next to impossible to choose!  Nothing really stands out over anything else! Tomorrow Dad and I are headed back to the Bear Lake Trailhead to hike to some lakes! 

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