“We’ve got a mouse.”


“Yeah, he just ran under the bed.”


Oh, Colorado… We’ve missed you.

Last summer, when we visited this state for the first time, we had a mixture of wonderful and awful experiences.

This time???

Same. Exact. Thing.

At least the place is consistent.

View of lake and mountains at St. Vrain State Park

Inauspicious beginnings

The problems started almost as soon as we crossed the state border. Our original plan was to stop halfway between Santa Fe and Colorado Springs and spend a night at a Walmart located near Trinidad, Colorado. I had checked the Allstays app for reviews of the particular store and they looked great. Review after review noted it was a popular stop for RVers, quiet, safe, and welcoming. Here’s a screencap:

Screencap from Allstays

But, as we drove off I-25 and into the lot, we were greeted by one red flag after another.

On one side of the lot was a legal weed shop, on the other, a liquor store. At each entrance stood a panhandler with a sign, and as we pulled into an open area near the front of the lot, we noticed several young people loitering around a car and sitting on the nearby curb. Now, I’m not one to judge people based on their appearances, but they were drug addicts. Trust me. They were.

Even more concerning, we saw no other RVs in the lot. It was late in the afternoon and there was not a single overnighter to be seen anywhere.

As soon as we parked, we noticed several of our loitering friends walk past our RV as they approached a car that had just entered the lot from the other entrance. Several of them started yelling and gesturing at the occupants of the incoming car – we couldn’t make out what they were yelling about, but it all had the appearance of an episode of Jerry Springer.

We wanted no part of any of what we were seeing. So, I grabbed my computer, fired up Reserve America and booked us a site for the night at Cheyenne Mountain State Park, which is where we were headed the next day anyway.

Less than five minutes after pulling into the lot, we were headed out the exit. We never even turned the engine off.

I was so surprised by the disconnect between the reviews on Allstays and what we experienced that I pulled up the reviews again. And, this time, I noticed something that I’d missed the first time. The last review was in April of 2018. Prior to that, there were consistent reviews every couple of months. Yet, after April, 2018, there were no reviews at all. I’m not sure what, if anything, happened between then and now, but whatever the case may be, neither of us felt comfortable staying there.

So, almost 3 years in, we still have yet to spend a night in a Walmart parking lot. Given what we saw in Trinidad, we’re OK with that.

Cheyenne Mountain State Park, Colorado Springs

Whatever complications we’ve had in Colorado, we must say their state parks are just wonderful. Cheyenne Mountain is a new park, built up on a mountain (the same mountain that is home to NORAD) with spacious, paved, full hook-up sites that offer commanding views of the city of Colorado Springs. If only every campground was built like this… (click on individual pictures for larger images).

We had a huge private patio area that boasted fantastic views of Colorado Springs. Nighttime was especially beautiful as we could take in the whole city, all lit up, from our site.

Large patio area at Cheyenne Mountain campsite


Unfortunately, most of the time it looked like this:

Campsite covered in snow at Cheyenne Mountain State Park Boooooo…..

As has been the case for all of 2019, we were stuck in awful weather for a good portion of our visit. We had snow, freezing temps, and winds so intense we had to pull our slides in just to sleep.

Garden of the Gods

Of course, because this is Colorado, all was not lost. While in town, we had a couple nice days and we endeavored to make the most of them.

Garden of the Gods is a National Natural Landmark which is free to all visitors.

Plaque on wall at Garden of the Gods Park

The park is made up of an assortment of enormous sandstone formations surrounded by numerous walking paths. We stopped at the visitor’s center and learned of an excellent trail known as the Palmer Trail that goes along the outer perimeter of the park. Because it is located outside the main loop road, it is much less busy than the popular central trails and affords fantastic views of some of the park’s largest formations.

View of large rock formations at Garden of the Gods Park

The trail provides access to a double formation called the Siamese Twins which has a natural window at the bottom. If you look through the window, you get this view of Pikes Peak – one of Colorado’s 14,000 foot mountains:

View of Pikes Peak from Garden of the Gods Park

We wandered along several of the paths in the central garden area, marveling at the formations, several of which are over 300 feet high, and watching the tiny (lunatic) rock climbers make their way along the top of some of the rocks.

Large sandstone rock formation at Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods

There were numerous impressive formations (including Balanced Rock, the featured image at the top of this post), plenty of fun obstacles for the dog to climb on, and superb views of the surrounding mountains.

Kevin and Thor looking out over nearby mountains from Garden of the Gods

In fact, we enjoyed Garden of the Gods so much, we returned multiple times and still only saw a portion of what was there.

Air Force Academy Chapel

The most famous building at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and one of the most famous buildings in Colorado, is the Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel.

The U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel

The chapel, completed in 1963, is constructed of aluminum, steel, and glass, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2004. The building was designed to house services for different denominations and, today, there are independent worship areas for Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist cadets. As recently as two months ago, the building was slated to close for four years for extensive renovations, however, the funding for that project was just canceled.

Whether the funding will be reinstated at some point is unclear, but if it is, the chapel will be closed for a very long time. In the meantime, if you have the opportunity to go check it out, it is well worth a visit.

The U.S. Olympic Training Center

One of country’s three U.S. Olympic Training Centers is located in Colorado Springs (the others are located in Lake Placid, New York, and Chula Vista, California.) Some athletes live at the facility for months or even years in various accommodations (dorms or apartments) while others travel here for special camps, rehabilitation, or testing while completing the bulk of their training at their home facilities.

The USOTC at Colorado Springs is the main training location for several indoor summer events such as swimming, wrestling, shooting, and men’s gymnastics.

Additionally, the facility is home to various sports medicine and rehab facilities as well as sport psychology programs.

After watching a 15 minute introductory video, visitors can tour the facility. Tour guides are often current athletes living at the facility.

St. Vrain State Park, Longmont

Our original itinerary had us in Longmont, located 40 minutes north of Denver, for just five nights, but we ended up spending thirteen there. While the weather in Colorado was not great, it was even worse in South Dakota, which is where we were headed next. So, we kept extending our Longmont reservation while shortening our South Dakota ones. Because the campground is very busy on weekends, each time we extended, we had to move sites (for a total of 4 moves in 13 days), but that was a small price to pay to stay in a beautiful campground that was just a bit warmer than the alternative.

St. Vrain was another gorgeous Colorado state park with a mixture of full hook-up sites and electric/water ones, arranged around a series of picturesque ponds.

View of pond at St. Vrain State Park at sunset

Here, we enjoyed spacious, private, and convenient sites…

Campsite at St. Vrain State Park

and endured more of our endless (ENDLESS!!!) winter…

Snow covered camp site at St. Vrain State Park


But, we had a bigger problem to address while we were at St. Vrain.

An Uninvited Guest

On our very first night, one “Mickey S. Mouse” decided that life on the road sounded pretty good and elected to make himself at home in our humble abode.

We should have known something was wrong when, late in the evening, while Kevin was watching TV and I was working on my computer, Thor suddenly launched himself off the couch, ran to the bedroom, and started sniffing around like he’d found the mother lode of bacon. We didn’t think much of it though because, well, because he’s Thor. However, about an hour later, Kevin saw a mouse amble out to the living room, look around like a tourist checking out Times Square, and then rush back to the bedroom.

I immediately remembered reading a post by our friends, Mike and Kathie, when they, too, were in Colorado and picked up a family of mice. I re-read their post and then headed over to YouTube to see how various RVers addressed this unfortunately common RV problem.

That was a mistake.

By the end of the third video, I was convinced our new roommate was A) going to destroy all the wiring and insulation in our house; B) was going to poop all over our food supply; and C) was going to crawl all over us while we slept and infect us with Hantavirus – a nasty illness that can be deadly.

20 minutes on the internet was enough to convince me it was time to drive Barney off a cliff and start over, but then I thought about it and realized this was a war that could be won, if only I was in the proper mindset.

That mindset being:

Cersei from Game of Thrones



The first thing we did, based on Mike and Kathie’s advice, was to move Barney up in our parking space so our tail end wasn’t hanging over the tall grasses behind our site. There are, apparently, quite a few access points toward the back to the RV and once they get in there, they can run all over.

Next, we headed for the local Walmart (where all the normal people hang out at 1:00 a.m. on a Friday night.)

Mice are a common issue in RVs and there are several non-toxic repellants people swear by. Each method has as many detractors as champions and, in the end, most people just pick one and pray it works. Two of the more popular options are Irish Spring soap and peppermint oil. Supposedly, mice don’t like the smell of either, so people opt for one or the other and hope for the best. I had chosen to go with Irish Spring when we started living in the RV and, presumably, it had worked until we got to St. Vrain (or we’d just gotten really lucky).

When we got to Walmart, we picked up fresh bars of the soap as well as a couple bottles of peppermint oil. Given the situation, I saw no reason not to use both (other than making our rig smell like a leprechaun’s Christmas party).

Finally, we bought an assortment of mouse traps to place around the interior of the rig.

Did we really need eight mouse traps to deal with one mouse living in less than 300 square feet?

Did General Eisenhower say “Nah, I don’t need more troops” when he was preparing to invade Normandy?


When we got back from the store, we locked Thor in his kennel, placed the traps all over the place, and settled in for a lousy night of sleep. About 5:00 a.m., we were awoken by a loud “click!” and we knew our long national nightmare was over.

I’ve continued to refresh the peppermint oil and, to date, we have seen no more mice, so… Success!!!

Breweries and Trails

The Longmont and Boulder areas are home to some of our favorite breweries, so we checked in at a couple of those. Left Hand Brewing makes the amazingly fabulous Left Hand Milk Stout served on nitro. We also tried a number of their other stouts – all of which were delicious, but none eclipsed the Milk Stout.

Flight of stouts at Left Hand Brewing

We also visited Avery Brewing, which has a huge facility and welcoming tasting room, and Oskar Blues, which has several tasting rooms and a restaurant in the area.

The city of Boulder is located about 25 minutes west of Longmont, so we visited several times and absolutely loved it. We found an awesome walking path right by the river that runs through town which was a great place to take Thor for some exercise and socialization. We also explored the famous pedestrian-only Pearl Street district.

We found the town to be green, clean, and vibrant. We would have loved to spend even more time there, but the weather – always the weather – was not often cooperative while we were in town.


Speaking of which, looking back at the last time Colorado drove us nuts, much of that was also due to the weather. Then, we were dealing with temperatures well over 100. This time, it was all about cold and snow and wind, and rain. Either way, Colorado is home to several places we might have considered long term landing spots if only Mother Nature had been a little kinder during our visits.

Next up, and speaking of bad weather (seriously… ENDLESS!!!!), South Dakota!!


Where we stayed:

Cheyenne Mountain State Park, Colorado Springs, Colorado

St. Vrain State Park, Longmont, Colorado


  1. Wow, you just can’t catch break with the weather! Colorado looks lovely, we haven’t been yet, but you’ve given me plenty of reasons to put it on the list!. The state parks look like the way to go for sure. Glad your uninvited guest was Mickie not Mighty. Hope May’s weather is better than April’s.

    • You all should definitely come out at some point and stay at the state parks. We’ve been to four different ones now and they’ve all been wonderful. You just gotta find the right season… which is basically “whenever Kevin and Laura are not there.” 🙂

  2. Beautiful pics – even the ones with snow! Sorry you have had a rough spell with the weather. New England weather has been way better – just sayin’! The chapel was very cool and I would have like the athletic training center. Actually, a lot of the elite marathon runners train in Denver. Sorry about the mouse!!! That would have been it for me….. see you next month! Yay!!

    • The tour guide mentioned the altitude as being one of the reasons why the training center is located there. They also have training facilities that can moderate temperature and humidity and other factors to imitate what conditions will be like at a certain location. It’s impressive stuff, for sure. As for New England, you know there is some weird stuff going on when winter in New England is more pleasant than winter in the desert southwest. Speaking of which, we’re looking forward to seeing you guys soon!

  3. Heading to CO in late September, going to be about a month there with 2 weeks at Cheyenne Mountain SP. Our youngest son lives in Colorado Springs. We haven’t been to CMSP since 2013, what a beautiful park it is. I hate mice, we now have a sonic repeller and trap with peanut butter in the basement, caught one in the basement last month, haven’t seen one inside the house in quite awhile. We also have a strobe light in the truck’s engine compartment to deter rodents. Seems like lots of you up in the northern reaches of the west are dealing with that 4 letter word s**w. Hope the weather soon turns for the better for you.

    • When I was reading up on this stuff and watching Youtube videos, I actually saw some stuff on the sonic repellants and light strobes. We didn’t look into them seriously because it was 1:00 a.m. on a Friday and we just needed to find an easy solution for the problem, but I’ll definitely check into those more. It would certainly be easier to plug something in and be done with it, rather than having to constantly change out soap bars and cotton balls and all that. Thanks for the reminder. And have a great time at Cheyenne. It truly is a spectacular park. Even with all our atrocious weather, I can’t stay mad at it. It was wonderful!

  4. We haven’t been to Colorado yet…looks beautiful, except for the snow. Sounds like it can be difficult to find the best time to visit.
    As always….great pics & hilarious commentary! I needed the laughs. Hope you start to have better weather soon.

    • I feel like October is the best time to travel anywhere. Everything is good in October… Any other month can be complete garbage, but October is always a winner everywhere. Therefore, I hereby decree: you shall visit Colorado in October!! You’re welcome!

    • Yes, October is a great time to visit Colorado. We turn off the weather for a couple of months around that time! Seriously, though, it can get cool (but not cold) at night and the days are warm and sunny with little in the way of precipitation.
      The one “plus” about the weather is that it can be horrible one day and perfect the next. Sorry the bad stuff seemed to have followed you.
      And be careful with your choice of mouse repellant; Colorado is also known to have a leprechaun problem…

      • I really can’t be mad at Colorado! I promise! We’ve had bad weather luck everywhere we’ve gone this year. Colorado was just rough because A) we thought we were done with winter; and B) the state parks were SO nice, we wanted to be able to enjoy them more. Oh well. We’ll be back. I know we will. And yeah, I really wasn’t kidding about October being the perfect month to travel anywhere. It’s just a great time of year!

  5. And the hits keep right on comin’! While your misery makes entertaining blog fodder, I’d suffer through a dull one or three for you to get some relief.

    Oh, Colorado, a state with so much to like yet…not. I should love that state, but I don’t, and I can’t really explain why. Now I’m mad at it on your behalf.

    That Air Force chapel is the most violent-looking place of worship I have ever seen! Like a series of scalpel blades — perhaps to excise the evil?

    I hope snow is well behind you for the year, the mice build their own damn houses, and your chocolate supply holds out.

    • Haha. yeah, you know more than most about our endless misery train recently. Any day now, we’re gonna turn the corner. Any day… Please… Let’s do this already….

      Colorado is definitely a tough one. We really really want to love it, and there is so much that, objectively, is awesome, but man, it’s been tough. We’ll keep giving it additional tries though. There’s still so much we haven’t seen and their state parks are really some of the nicest we’ve been in, so we’ll be back. We might just be setting ourselves up for more abuse, but we’re not giving up!!

      As for the chapel, now that you say that, those edges do look rather sharp…. Hmmmm…..

  6. Hi Laura, Ed has a suggestion about repelling mice. Take steel wool (they can’t chew through steel wool) and stuff it in and around the sewer outlet, as well as the water and electric inputs. Takes a few seconds and it works. Happy mice free travels!

    • I’ll second the steel wool. Any opening from the basement with a water line, whatever, stuff it around whatever is going through the hole. Get some of the finer stuff. It’s easier to tear.

      • Yes! I saw this mentioned in the advice too. We just didn’t do it because we were pressed for time and looking or the quickest solutions at the moment, but you guys are right, we need to spend the time to plug up whatever little holes we can find. The crazy thing is, they can fit in a lot of places. I saw something that said they can fit through a hole the size of a quarter. Which is insane.

  7. I’m glad you incorporated several photos featuring snow, otherwise we might be convinced that Colorado is nothing but blue skies, sunny weather, and gorgeous clear mountain views. Frankly, if we experienced that terrible weather, there would be far more brewery photos. Really, nothing at all but photos of beer flights. And maybe a photo of the dead mouse. So glad to hear about your swift victory over that tiny but insidious invader!

    • It is truly incredible what a difference the weather can make in our experiences. Blue skies and sunshine can make even the most forgettable location seem pretty OK, while the opposite? Well, it can damn near ruin a place as gorgeous as Colorado. Crazy…. As for the beer, that is one thing Colorado gets perfectly right. No matter how terrible the weather may be, you can always find delicious, unique, well crafted beer somewhere nearby.

  8. Sorry you’ve had such back luck here in Colorado. It’s been a crazy spring so I completely understand what you mean about the weather thing. Today it’s 70 and sunny. Four days ago, it snowed 2 inches. Then it rained for two days. We’ve been stuck in this rollercoaster pattern for 2 months now and I’m so over it.

    But also, thanks for sharing all these details of your trip. We’ve only lived here for 11 months so there’s a lot we haven’t seen yet, but I’ve now added a couple new state parks and some breweries to our to-do list 🙂

    • You definitely get me! I think that’s the toughest part – the roller coaster. You start to think the worst is all behind you and then BAM! You’re dragged right back, kicking and screaming, into winter. “Put away your shorts and flip flops, go find your winter coat again, we’re not done yet.” Ugh… so depressing. I hope for your sake that, now that’s it’s mid MAY, it will stop snowing on you.

      And I am jealous that you get to live in such an incredible state, but then I am happy that I don’t. It’s all so complicated! If they would just move Colorado a little farther south, I feel like everyone could be happy.

  9. I laughed my way through this whole post! Such experiences are common to all of us traveling in this lifestyle yet you make them funny! Our mice stories weren’t so funny. Once, in Tucson (Catalina State Park) we were awakened from a sound sleep by a LOUD noise in our furnace and then dead silence. Long story short, a mouse sought warmth in our running furnace and met with the fan. It’s little body jammed the fan and stopped our heat supply – dead. It was cold and snowing in Tucson that night. Another story dealt with chewed wooden spoons, nests in Kleenex boxes and one of my measuring cups being used as a urinal. Or how about the “snap” in the night that gave us a mouse dragging the trap around the bedroom trying to get out of it….shudder. Or trying to get your Siamese cat to open it’s mouth and release the mouse it was dragging back and forth over your bed….. Perhaps we should start a FB group to share mice stories! We’ve had those Walmart experiences too and haven’t really stayed in one for at least a year or more. The weather? This year, if you’ve had nice weather you’re in the minority. It’s been a rough one to be on the road, but we’re all still hopeful.

    Despite it all, there are the beautiful places, wonderful people, stellar campsites, memorable experiences and wine/beer tastings to make the mouse stories merely laughable.

    Thanks for another good post!

    • Oh my lord, your mouse stories are horrifying! I’m not sure which is even the worst! I was thinking the fan one, but then you’ve got a cat dragging one around and one attached to a trap… they each have merit, I must say! Wow. I guess we really did get lucky with our experience. And I guess we’ve been lucky the rest of the time avoiding the issue in the first place. I should buy stock in the Irish Spring Corporation because, apparently, I will be buying a lot of their product going forward!

      As for the weather, I will say I take some tiny amount of comfort in knowing that we’re not the only ones who have had a rough winter and spring. It would just be nice if we could all catch a break for a while. Living in an RV is awesome until you’re stuck in bad weather. Then, it becomes really, really NOT awesome.

  10. Colorado is our home. Mike retired from the Air Force Academy. You are right about the druggies and mice. Too many of both.

  11. I absolutely love your writing! This blog made me laugh because it’s so relatable. I too made the midnight run to Walmart for mousetraps and we have ben thwarted by weather that’s either too hot or too cold. But we love Colorado as well! Thanks for a fantastic post and amazing photos.

    • Thank you! It is funny how handy those 24 hour Walmarts come in, huh? We were very happy to be right down the street from one when this happened. I never would have been able to sleep knowing we hadn’t set traps down. It just would be nice if these things happened at a slightly more convenient time… or, better yet, didn’t happen at all. 🙂

  12. You hit up some of my favorite spots. We used to live in northern CO Springs and could watch the fly by when the Academy was having a football game. Always loved visiting Garden of the Gods. Ah, I could tell you stories about the town of Trinidad. Drinking/drugging is a sport! We too have had our fair share of unwanted hitch hikers … Irish Spring, dryer sheets, peppermint, we’ve tried it all!
    Hopefully the weather is starting to agree with you as you head north and the snow is done.

    • It doesn’t surprise me that Trinidad has a drug problem. I looked into it after this incident, and southeast Colorado is getting hammered by the opioid crisis. And, from your experiences, it sounds like it’s been going on for quite a while. I guess I was just amazed by all the excellent reviews of that particular Walmart on Allstays. You would think someone would have mentioned it, but there was nothing but positive comments. Very odd…. You just never know and sometimes you have to trust your gut.

      As for Colorado Springs, that is some pretty cool free entertainment on a Saturday afternoon, I must say!

  13. You really can write an entertaining blog Laura! Good move on passing on an overnight at that Walmart, you really have to go with your gut when staying in Walmart parking lots. That Left Hand Milk Stout served on nitro sounds so yummy, we may have to make a trip back to Colorado just for that … only I hope we have better weather.

    • Thank you! Honestly, the Left Hand is the best stout I’ve ever had. There’s also Founders Breakfast Stout out of Michigan, but all things being equal, I would pick Left Hand… It is absolutely delicious. It was the one upside of the bad weather as we really enjoy a good dark beer on a cold or rainy day. Though, given the circumstances, we would be OK with a good dark beer on a warm and sunny day too….

  14. We learned a little tip when staying at a Walmart after we had a similar incident in Cleveland with druggies. Always check to see if there is a Starbucks near by, within walking distance. They are only built in better areas. When we find a Walmart and Starbucks together, we know it will be okay.
    I, too, laughed my way through this post. I can’t believe the snow you are experiencing! And mice…yuck!! Not fun!! Glad you got the little bugger. You are truly battle strong!
    Which direction are you headed after SD? We are heading to Montana. We finally were able to leave today. I’ve missed the MH. Three and half months has been too long in one place.

    • Interesting point about the Starbucks connection. I never really thought about it, but I guess it makes sense if Starbucks tries to stay in nicer areas. It’s just interesting to me that all the reviews for this place (from people who would be assessing it based on the same things we are concerned about – namely, safety overnight), were so good. Honestly, going forward, we’re more focused on finding Cabela’s and Cracker Barrels for free overnights. Walmarts are just too hit or miss.

      So, as of now, we are headed east. We’ve got some family events this summer, so we’ll be spending lots of time there and then heading into Michigan toward the end of the summer. I’m sure you guys are chomping at the bit to get back on the road. Right now, we feel like we could use a nice long break, but 3.5 months is quite a while. It’s tough to balance, isn’t it? Too much time on the road gets exhausting. Too much time at a home base gets boring.

      Anyway, enjoy Montana. We haven’t set foot in that state yet, but I know it’s beautiful and I’m sure you’ll find all kinds of fun stuff to see and do there. Hopefully you’ll be writing about them??

      Safe travels!!

  15. Hahaha, OMG I knew this was going to be good when it started out with a mouse in the house!
    We’ve only had one mouse adventure, but I hope it will be our one and only. We woke up in the middle of the night hearing the pitter patter of little feet and switched on the light to find a mouse scampering around. We had no traps and were in the middle of nowhere, so Eric lured it out of the cabinet with corn chips, and then swept it out the door, LOL!! I guess that counts as humane mouse treatment, right? We got pretty paranoid after that and stuffed every possible entry point in our rig with steel wool. Six years later and we haven’t had any more encounters with mice. But I’m thinking we should stock up on Irish Spring and peppermint oil just in case…

    We haven’t spent near enough time in Colorado, but you have convinced me that October is the month to be there. (Wouldn’t it be great if October lasted about six months of the year? I mean really, that’s the best month to be just about anywhere.) Anyway, it looks like you had a great time exploring when you weren’t snowed in—your photos are gorgeous!

    • That IS very humane! Us? Not so humane… Once I started reading up on all the terrible illnesses rodents can spread, the merciful part of me quickly eroded. “Sorry, little buddy, but I’m not taking any chances.” We do need to follow up on the steel wool thing. We still have no idea where this guy got in, so it’s hard to know where to even start, but we just need to plug up whatever we can find. Gotta fight this battle on all fronts.

      Anyway, if October could last all year (why stop at 6 months??), I’m, pretty sure everyone would be a lot happier. No awful heat, no endless cold, not too much rain, not too much wind, minimal humidity, pretty colors…. I’m tellin you, October is the best!

  16. Just think: before now, I assumed people only slept in Walmart parking lots when their friends had abandoned them.

  17. Glad you enjoyed Longmont! Our former Sticks and Bricks was only 5 miles from St. Vrain State Park, and in the 20 years we lived there I enjoyed MANY a Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout (all time favorite beer). If only we had been there – there are a plethora of great breweries in the area. Next time check out Echo Brewing in Frederick (and say hello from us to our favorite Brewmixologist, Manager and overall great person, Theresa).

    • Wow, if I lived near Left Hand, that would be BAD… That place is awesome! Not only are the beers delicious, but we had some of the best service we’ve had in a long while there. It was just a great visit! And we loved the other two breweries as well. I think I saw Echo come up as an option on Google maps, but we didn’t check it out. I’ll add it to our return list for sure. I’m pretty well convinced that there is no bad beer in Colorado. Only the strong survive!

  18. I love your stories Laura. Like many others, I found myself laughing out loud as I read this post. Even with the white stuff, you managed to have some pretty nice places to call home for a few days. We might just have to add Boulder to the list !

    • Thanks Gay! We try to find the humor in these debacles… some days it’s easier than others. We are definitely fortunate to have had a couple nice days here and there to get out and about. I wholeheartedly recommend Boulder. It’s just a great college town with lots of pretty trails, fun shops and restaurants, and an active and healthy population. We’d love to spend more time there (when it’s nice out). 🙂

  19. Omg, a mouse?!?! I would have moved. Lol. We have been to CO once (not in an RV) and had mixed emotions about the State. Hopefully no more snow for you!

    • Well, I’m glad we’re not the only ones. We’ve known several RVers who have chosen Colorado as their home…. and we get it… except for when we don’t. Hopefully no more snow for any of us!! It’s May, dammit!

  20. You are too funny! The mouse in the house episode made me ask my honey if we have traps…yes we have 6, none of which have ever deployed. But, we are headed to Colorado…. Good review on St. Vrains. We have reservations there in July. Oh, and Left Hand Nitro Stout! Yummy! We pick those up whenever can. One neat thing about Left Hand is that they hire people that are challenged. One of our friends works there and since I heard about that I try to buy their products (plus they are yummy!). It’s good to read about your reviews as we seem to be following you. We’re a few weeks behind though. 🙂

    • Yes, be prepared for Colorado. If you go back to the article that I linked to – Mike and Kathie’s article – you’ll see in the comments where some other RVers ALSO picked up mice in Colorado. Seems to be a thing. Get your peppermint oil ready!

      That is really cool that Left Hand hires all kinds of folks. Good for them. They seem like a good company and their beer is just fantastic, so win win!

      A couple other suggestions for Longmont: The Roost and Pumphouse Brewery are both located in the downtown commercial area. Both were really good and they’re only like 10 or 15 minutes away from the park.

  21. Colorado has not been very kind to you 🙂 but you have to give it another chance, there is more to see and get amazed in that area.
    What is it with you and a mouse or other critters that harass you when you are in Colorado? And then adding the weather to the mix, you have made the situation bearable by posting a hilarious write up of your miseries. Only you can find humor in those situations.
    Our only experience with a mouse was that little thing got inside our cars glove compartment, which i still can’t figure out how it got there when there is no hole!
    We had our share of bad weather last fall. I think it’s your turn to weather the storm that extended your winter blues. But the white stuff did not stop you from going outside and enjoy your surroundings.
    Love the capture of the flower!

    • I know! We haven’t even set foot in Rocky Mountain National Park yet! And there are a million other cool places in Colorado that we haven’t visited. We’ll be back, no doubt. We just gotta find a time it’s nice out…. which is obviously not April or July. 🙂

      I know you know how it feels to be stuck in bad weather. It really does wreck all your plans and your good mood. Hopefully we’ve got all of that behind us now and we’ll have smooth sailing going forward. Fingers crossed!

      As for your mouse incident, given what I’ve recently learned about where they can get into, it does not surprise me. I read something that says they can fit through a quarter sized hole. That is crazy. Hopefully neither of us will be seeing any more of them!

  22. Wow, Garden of the Gods looks amazing!

    Sorry to hear about your Walmart experience. Try Cracker Barrel instead, we’ve had good luck there. In fact, we stayed in Cracker Barrel parking lots the last two nights, as we head towards Utah! On the road again!

    What is bringing you to Michigan later this summer?

    • We haven’t been to a Cracker Barrel yet, but we did just stay at a Cabela’s and it was awesome! We loved it. If we run into another CB along our route, we’ll definitely try it out. As for Michigan, we’re planning on doing a bit of the summer tourist loop – Mackinac Island, Pictured Rocks, Traverse City, Sleeping Bear Dunes, etc. Are you guys back on the road long term or are you heading back to MI eventually?

      • Sounds like you have a great trip planned, those are pretty much the Michigan highlights! I hope you have nice weather and enjoy it, so my state represents well ????

        We are planning to travel just about a month and a half, to be back around home in July, then who knows! We are terrible at planning ahead.

  23. I feel like Jesus was punishing you for easy access to Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout and to-die-for Colorado views.

    Sounds like a trade-off worth making, though. #jealous

    Since joining Harvest Hosts we don’t deal with the dicey/stressful Walmart/Cabela’s/Cracker Barrel overnights anymore. Worth the $, IMO.

    • Isn’t Left Hand the best???? Love it!

      Oddly enough, we had a Harvest Hosts membership for a year and never used it once. Every time I went looking for one, there wasn’t one on our route. I think they’ve expanded a lot, so it’s probably much better now, but we just couldn’t justify keeping it. On the other hand, just recently we’ve discovered the magic of Cabela’s and it’s been great! So, that is our new go to. And we are gonna keep an eye out for Cracker Barrels as well.

  24. Shit is right…so glad you caught the little bastard. When we got one in our coach, it left poop all over the counters, peed in our socks and undies, chewed up my favorite wooden salad tongs, the went awol. We never caught anything and had to leave the coach for the summer hoping we would not come back to a even bigger mess.

    Loved all the pics and post… and hope Colorado isn’t on your short list of places to move, Not sure you and Kevin could survive all the calamities she has to dish out.

    • Your comment got caught up in a filter and I just found and released it. Sorry about that.

      In any case, it sounds like your terrorist mouse left on his own before you put your RV in storage. Thank god for that. I cannot imagine how much damage they could do if left unsupervised over an entire summer. One thing we were so thankful for with our encounter was that it was only about 12 hours. If not for that, I would be concerned about what kind of damage was done behind the walls.

      As for Colorado, I refuse to give up hope on that state – though it does appear to hate us an awful lot!

  25. I couldn’t believe that it took you guys this long before getting your first mouse!!! I would love to know whether anything other than traps works in the long run. Since we don’t have pets, we use a combination of baits and traps to keep mouse problem under control.

    • I guess we have been pretty lucky. It’s hard to know what works because we may have previously avoided being in places with mice, or it might be that the Irish Spring did the trick. There’s no way to know one way or the other. I think I’ll be sticking with Irish Spring for the time being though. The peppermint oil is fine when we’re in places we’re likely to see them (ie: Colorado), but as a general rule, it’s hard to keep the scent fresh and it really is pretty overpowering.

  26. We have only driven away from one Walmart after getting set up. This one too was just a little too sketchy to stay at. You are right about the weather in SD this year, it has been wet, rainy and cold. If you find yourself near Custer for any length of time look us up!

    • We actually just left the area, but were only there (near Custer) for a couple days. Our plan had been to stay for longer, but the weather screwed things up. Oh well. We loved it and will absolutely be back to explore more of the region. I can see why you decided to set up a home base there. It’s beautiful!

  27. i’m beginning to think that the “unusual” weather we’ve been having across the US the past few years is the new normal. Expect the unexpected, apparently!!

    We had mice in our cabin/lake home that we just sold (no, it wasn’t the reason for selling it). Dryer sheets are another recommended option. Naturally, we put lavender/peppermint oil ON the dryer sheets and then wrapped the sheets around soap…but really, the cabin just had too many access points. {sigh} We called our “houseguests” Mickey and Minnie Mouse (though because of their lifespans and how long we owned the cabin, I guess they’d be Jr Jr Jr Jr Jr Jrs by now?!). My husband wanted to know why I’d name them something cute when all I wanted to do was kill them…

    I’m glad you caught it – they can be a real problem with respect to food and pets (also – you might not want to know this, but mice are really attracted toward dog food – make sure Thor’s food is in an airtight storage container!). You’re going to ban me from commenting again, aren’t you? But isn’t it better to know about the dog food than not?!

    If you guys come through Minnesota, let us know (somehow?)!

    • It’s funny you mention having a house with too many access points for mice. One of our friends emailed me after our last post and mentioned that he had a mouse problem at his house in Michigan and nothing worked to keep them out. It was the same issue – too many access points and nothing deterred them. However, that led to a discussion about the potential for a bit of feline assistance. I wonder if that would help? Though, you might just end up with a houseful of dead mouse presents from the cat. Hmmmm… I’m not sure about that….

      If it makes you feel any better, the people in one of the youtube videos I watched found mouse poop ON their bars of Irish Spring soap in the bays. Apparently, mice can be a bit passive aggressive with their droppings. 🙂 As for dog food, we keep half his food in an airtight container in the house and the extra in the resealable bag under our bed. That definitely may have been what attracted our little fur friend so, you’re right, we need to get an additional air tight container for the extra stuff. Thanks for the reminder.

      We actually just passed through Minnesota, but were only there for a couple nights. We are headed for the east coast right now, so we will absolutely have to come back to spend more time in your beautiful state!


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