Just waiting around in Manitou Springs

18 Oct


Pikes Peak from the campground.

After such a lovely day on Friday the temperatures plummeted overnight, at one point we sat watching the thermometer reading falling by tenths of a degree per second and wondered how low it would go. Snow was also forecast and Saturday morning did bring a slight flurry but no more. We loved the campground and would stay longer but felt we should try and get to a warmer spot for the sake of our ‘equipment’! haRVey had other ideas however and when we were all ready to move we attempted to lift the jacks (legs which balance and help support us while stationary) one jack would not budge. To cut a long story short, there had been water where there should not have been and the overnight temperature of minus 8 degrees centigrade had frozen it solid, the manual process of releasing the brake on it, eventually worked after Robert and our host rigged up a heater and thawed the jack out. By this time it was too late to move on so we had to sit out another very cold night.Thankfully with a 50amp electricity supply we warm and toasty inside. The daytime temperature on Saturday did not rise above minus four degrees, when we watched the local news later we were actually glad we had not been able to move as the road we would have taken had been shrouded in freezing fog all day causing accidents, tail backs and general chaos! Some things are meant to be.

Sunday morning we tried again, and yet again heat had to be applied before we could lift the jack, we were very pleasedIMG_1296 we had an appointment with the RV Dr on Tuesday, we did however eventually get going and enjoyed the drive and the view of heavily frosted trees through the mountains.

Almost a hundred miles later we arrived at a sunny Woodlands Park  below Pikes Peak mountain. We topped up with much needed fuel and descended into the valley of Manitou Springs where the freezing fog was still laying thickly and the trees hung with frost. Pikes Peak RV campground lies at the far end of the town so we were able to get an idea of our surroundings as we drove through, it looked quaint and interesting, enough we thought to keep us busy a few days. We were greeted warmly by the owner and soon settled into a site plugged in and switched on.

We took a walk into Manitou on Monday morning, it was just about ten minutes from the campground and we enjoyed the cool morning sunshine and window shopped around the various stores some were a little touristy, others curious; quite a few were closed it being an out of season Monday, we may visit again another day.

The all important appointment with the RV Dr at Pikes Peak Traveland was Tuesday morning, still foggy the journey across Colorado Springs took about thirty minutes, we checked in at 10am as planned, we left at 5.15pm after a long and tedious day sitting reading every magazine available, drinking coffee and attempting (and failing) to get biscuits out of a very unwilling vending machine.  The result of the days investigation was that the parts would be ordered if Fleetwood agreed to the warranty claim and we would get a phone call next day to let us know how long it would be before the job could be completed. We felt a little frustrated that we were in the same position we had been when we left our dealer in Vancouver earlier in the year, we are learning this is the way it happens and we need to be patient wait around and get the job done here if we can.

On our way to Wal Mart next day we received a call to let us know Fleetwood Customer Service had been contacted to attempt to speed up the parts, a further call the following day confirmed the items Fleetwood had agreed to pay for and that the first of the parts would be despatched  (RV dealer does not work Monday) and we will get an update Tuesday on when they will arrive and the job can be fitted in to the workshop. What needs doing? A small drain pipe on the fridge, which means the whole unit has to be removed for access; a seal on the fridge door, the whole door has to be replaced…;the mains electricity cable replaced, the sheath has become detached from its plug; the cover for the (frozen) jack, called a boot, needs replacing as it is cracked. Probably a day in the workshop!

We concluded we are going to be around for at least a week and decided to hire a car to get out and about, one of the reasons we chose this dealership was the locality, we felt there would be plenty to do if we needed to hang around. Robert arrived back from Budget car hire with a ‘fire engine’ actually it is quite a nice red, Ford Edge, so haRVey can rest his weary tires for a day or too.

One of the local featIMG_1356ures we had on our list to visit is less than a mile from the campground, ‘Garden of the Gods’, a rock garden rather than an horticultural garden the land was bequeathed to the city of Colorado Springs by its owner on his death bed and has been a popular tourist attraction since the early 1900’s.  

We enjoyed being able to get out and walk in the sunshine feeling we had not moved much for a day or two, its amazing how you get used to a degree of exercise and miss it so quickly. The rock formations have been given names over the years appropriate to their shapes,


One is called kissing camels and we looked and photographed it from various angles but I still feel there is a lot of poetic licence in the name!

We spotted and named a buffalo rock and a scull like rock, take a look at the web album for others too, balanced rock which looks like it has been placed on two blobs of cement to hold it, white rock, very out of character to all the surrounding red rocks a strange but beautiful place.

Tomorrow we intend to drive to the top of Pike Peak, a 36 mile round trip on a toll road to the 14,000ft summit, we hope for spectacular views, watch this space!

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