Sylvan Lake State Park is just outside Eagle, CO. It’s a great place to stay, if you want to get away from it all and experience the peace and quiet of nature left to its own. After travelling along I70 about 30 miles, we got off at Eagle and just followed the signs to the park. We drove through a very interesting subdivision that reminded me of West Clay in Carmel, IN…like a planned development with various styles of houses and price ranges, some apartments and even a small business district. It was quite weird driving through this very nice, upscale subdivision, on our way to a camping area/fishing lake. The street became a road, which became a dirt road for five miles. I was beginning to wonder if I was really on the right road but I just kept going, since I was driving the RV and there wasn’t a good place to turn around. Dave was in the rental car, a convertible Camaro, no less!
We finally got to the visitor center, checked in, and proceeded to the camping area and lake. WHOA!!!! It was so beautiful! The water was as clear as glass and the surrounding area was mountains and blue sky. That was it. Our site was in the middle of the camping area, and it somewhat disappointed me because there were no trees to provide good shade anywhere in the camping sites. Soon, however, I got over that, because the quiet was supreme. There was no electricity, but we could use the generator if needed. There was water available, but not at each site, and there is a dump station off to the side. There were showers and restrooms available as well. Generators had to be off by 10pm and could start after 6am. But there were few generators going. The quiet and the beauty was extraordinary! It really was just what I wanted.
We were glad we had the Camaro, because it’s quite a long drive back to the lake and we knew that we could use it instead of the rv to get anywhere we wanted.
SLEEPING IN THE TENT
Yesterday, after we had set up the rv and had some dinner, Jane and I decided that it was going to be such a beautiful night sky that we needed to set up the tent and spend the night there. The tent we have has screen on the sides (down to about 30 inches from the ground) and all across the roof. There is a “roof” that we can put over it, if we want it, but we really didn’t want the roof, since we wanted to be able to lie down and just look up and watch the night sky.
The tent area at the camp site was pretty rough with gravel, so we took the comforter off the bed, Jane’s sleeping bag and another blanket to try to “cushion” the surface. Then we put the two new sleeping bags and our pillows in there and we were ready. Jane brought her word search book and I brought my ipad for reading and the lantern, just in case, and we were ready for the night.
Since it was still dusk there were no stars to see, so we occupied ourselves with our activities and then made a pact with each other:
- If one got cold and wanted to go into the RV, we would wake up the other, so that one wasn’t left in the tent alone;
- If one woke up and the stars were particularly beautiful we would wake up the other one to see them;
- If one snores the other one can wake them up to stop them.
It didn’t take long until we started seeing stars, so we settled in and started pointing out new stars we were seeing. All at once, a shooting star flashed across the lower right quadrant of the sky! We just happened to both be looking in the same direction, so we both saw it. A gasp escaped from our mouths and we quickly turned to each other with wide eyes and an expression of wonder and delight. “Did you see it?” we both asked. “YES!!!” It was Jane’s first shooting star, so it was a great night!
It got quite cold that night but both of us snuggled into our sleeping bags and actually were hot…except for the part of our body that happened to be outside of the sleeping bag! To my surprise, however, we made it through the night. When I left Dave the night before I told him that I doubted that I would still be in the tent at sunrise, so I was delighted that we were able to stay there the entire night. We both woke up several times to see the stars twinkling and shimmering, which was another great benefit to sleeping in the tent.
The surface we laid on WAS rough. The hard ground wasn’t a real problem, but the stones definitely affected my comfort level!
Once we got up and going in the day we left to find Hanging Lake. We found the rest area but it was completely full and there were about 20 cars waiting in line for a parking space. We decided to leave and come back the next day, much earlier in the day.
WE KEEP BUYING STUFF!!!!
We had seen a sign for Costco earlier in the day so we decided that we should check it out, since maybe they would have some camping supplies in Colorado that we couldn’t find in Indiana. So, off we went. And we were right! Their camping section was much more extensive than Indiana so we took full advantage. We found some reclining folding chairs made by Timber Ridge that were AWESOME!!!! We sat in one, leaned back, and didn’t want to get up! Then we found some self-inflating sleeping mats, so we threw two of those into the cart. Another lantern, some batteries. More snacks and chips. Headed to the check out when Dave looked at me and said, ”How are we going to get all this into the car?” Good point…we were in the Camaro! We got it all in, with barely enough room for Jane in the back seat. No kidding….just enough for her little body! We even had to put the top down in order to get the chairs into the back seat! But it all worked.
So far, on this trip, we’ve replaced the awning, and purchased the following items for future RV use: sleeping bags (for the times we want to sleep in the tent), self-inflating mats, lanterns, batteries, markers, and a few maps. We’ve borrowed a step stool from the Pitchers for this trip, so we need to return that and get our own. I hope that all this purchasing activity means that Dave is deciding that he likes this and will continue it!