Saturday, July 04, 2015

Camping 2015 Style

 Back when we used to make the summer run to Colorado every year, we generally stayed at campgrounds.  Mother and I purchased a pop-up tent trailer to pull behind first her red Bronco II and later my blue Bronco II.   Our first trip I had some issues with getting the trailer properly situated in the assigned slot, but I quickly became an expert in maneuvering the trailer into the tightest of spots and we spent many happy years camping alongside babbling streams and nestled into wooded alcoves at KOAs and Good Sam Parks all over Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.  

On one of the last trips that Mother, David and I took together, we decided that we would spend the Gunnison portion of our trip camped at the Three Rivers Resort in Almont.  It was a slightly more primitive camping experience than our usual Gunnison KOA location, but the resort situated at the confluence of three rivers (Gunnison, Taylor and East Rivers) was irresistible.  It was a spot favored by fishermen and my primary memories of the place were the sound of the rushing waters, the smell of fish and the really peculiar configuration of the building housing the restrooms/showers.  We loved the scenery, but the amenities left a lot to be desired.

Things have changed a lot in the intervening twenty years.  The resort has grown into a cluster of very nice cabins with only a few spaces for RVs at the back end of the property.  The store now has the basic necessities as well as a large selection of gifts and the inevitable fishing gear.  They have added a restaurant, cell service is strong and there's free WiFi (flaky and finicky WiFi, but that it exists at all out in the remote area is remarkable).  We spent three nights in a two bedroom cabin that not only had its own bathroom(!), but also a full kitchen, a screened sleeping porch and a deck overlooking the Taylor River and equipped with a very clean and functional hot tub.

It did not take us long to decide that we would love to magically transfer that cabin to a lot in the Hill Country where we could spend every weekend.  In fact the cabins are for sale to those folks who like to spend the summer months in the mountains.  If the internet reception was a little more reliable, it would be tempting to set up shop there and work remotely from June through September.  The nights were cool, the scenery was unbeatable, the wildlife was fascinating, Gunnison is just 10 minutes down the highway and has everything you could possibly need, and Crested Butte is just 10 minutes up the highway and has everything you don't need but can't resist.

For some reason I was so wrapped up in the enjoyment of modern camping that I failed to get photos of the cabin until the morning we left.  I was racing around at 5:30 a.m. snapping photos, so these are a bit dark, but hopefully you can see a bit of the charm of the place.

Cabin No. 18, Three Rivers Resort, Almont, Colorado

The cabin sits on the edge of Taylor River
The two sets of windows correspond with the two bedrooms, each equipped with a queen-sized bed, a vanity with sink, two closets (one on either side of the bed), tons of built in drawers for storage, a shelf above the bed with additional open storage and reading lights underneath.  The layout provided the maximum use of space.
My bedroom

The private vanity provided in each room
The bathroom was small and compact, but provided a full shower with plenty of hot water.
The living room area had a huge, comfortable sofa, a plush recliner, a dining table big enough for four adults, a ceiling fan, lots of electric heaters along the floor edge, and a gas fireplace.
The living room area.  There was even TV service.

David peering out of the kitchen.
Everything was provided from microwave to stove to
toaster, to coffee maker, to fridge, to dishes and
cooking supplies.
A screened in porch included a futon, the deck had a gas grill, a picnic table with rocking chairs and last, but not least, the hot tub.  David and I both took advantage of the hot tub, soaking away the aches and pains from all the hiking we were doing.  It was so nice to be able to sink into the heated waters and watch the river rushing by and listen to the tiny yellow birds (I think they were warblers) perched in the trees and singing their little hearts out.
The screened in porch

Hot tub

We preferred to dine al fresco on the deck.
We stayed at several lovely places along the way, but I think Three Rivers Resort ranked first for all of us.  It was not only comfortable, but the atmosphere was unbeatable.  I would not hesitate one minute to return there for a whole vacation and in fact I'm already wondering about the possibility of making the trip with Mojo for an extended stay.  It is perfectly situated for shopping and scenic tours, the people are friendly and helpful and it has everything you could need for a long, restful stay.

Gunnison was always our favorite area of Colorado and it remains so.  I love Ouray and Durango and all points in between, but it is always Gunnison where I feel most at home and relaxes me the most.

I had intended to cover Crested Butte next, but I decided that Three Rivers Resort deserved its own post.  We had a marvelous stay and I'll be remembering Three Rivers with great pleasure for a long time to come.


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