Sunday, June 12, 2016

GLAMPING, you say?

Glamping [glam-ping] – noun/informal… defined as the activity of ‘camping’ with the comforts and luxuries of home.


I am a ‘tweener’ (Oh Lordie, Hank, I told you he is smokin’ Colorado Whacky Weed.) No, Irma, that just means I was born between the Baby-Boomer generation and the Generation-‘X’.

Anyway, I remember a time that ‘camping’ was evolving into an actual leisure activity.  Coleman made a stove that didn’t require ‘Ma’ scrubbing ¾” of fire-soot of the pan, Chevy Chase was starring in movie roles with a “mobile-home”, and gray-haired white folks were plastering “Good-Sam” stickers on their trailers and wearing matching embroidered satin coats - with an authentic looking Schnauzers and clever scripts above the pocket.  In other words, America was evolving from tents by a camp-fire – to a more congenial wilderness respite.

That being said, I think John Muir might be a little disconcerted about where America’s holiday retreats have taken the camping culture.

Before I let my mighty pen (ok, Bluetooth keyboard) excoriate the mass ‘glamping’ crowd- I must provide full-disclosure.  I am ‘penning’ this on my Microsoft Surface Pro 4, air-conditioning swirling around the dark-wood interior of my small luxury home-on-wheels.

This evening, as I took Bella (adventures of this neurotic canine Olympia Dukakis forthcoming – stay tuned) for our evening constitution, I smiled at the families gathered round the campfire…watching the 2016 NBA finals?!?!?!?  Yes, it’s true.  (Spoiler alert – Golden State will win game four…) Perhaps every third ‘camper’ I pass has the game on a large screen television in the living area.  Heck, my nearest neighbor has an “outside t.v.” playing the game to a crowd (also ‘throwing back’ to marshmallow roasting over an open fire).  Hmmmmm….
High tech tent camping

I will not judge!  Heck, there was a time when a quick form of travel was a “carriage with a brace of four” (read Charles Dickens if you need help with that reference).  America had blacksmiths in every town.  So, naturally, we continue to “move forward”.  But personally, I must admit, I am hoping my granddaughter and I ‘sneak’ back to camp after catching a jar full of fireflies.  Only to find ‘grandma Marci’ shushing us off to bed.  I don’t really want to take my home with me.  I am looking for an escape ‘out here’.

Do not fret – I hope you all enjoy your satellite television and microwave ovens, but allow me to reminisce and pine for another age.  Where Sunday morning returns home are filled with the washing of smoke smelling clothes and marshmallow sticky cheeks.


You gotta love State Parks.  They are usually in good locations, have decent amenities, and charge only $24 a night (with 50 amp service)!

The park is billed as a “water sports haven”.  We wholeheartedly concur! Boating, water skiing, fishing, oh heck – skipping stones! This lake is a water lover’s paradise.  Just re-name it H2O State Park (except that Pueblo Reservoir may object) – and it’ll fit.
There are over 74 million square feet of lake to enjoy – so come ready to play.  I saw boaters, jet skis, fishermen (ok; fisher-people), and even a few rowing crews working out in the early morning. The only thing missing was wind-surfers (and I’ll bet they have a favorite launch as well).
Located approximately an hour north of Denver, Boyd Lake State Park is easy to find.  It has paved RV sites, with up to 50 AMP service.  There are no “full hook ups” – but bathrooms and water are near every site.  I cannot help but notice the plentiful overflow parking for extra vehicles (and of course boats) just beyond the camp sites.

This is a pretty clean place – but if you are not here to “get out on the water” you may be a bit overwhelmed by the mass of those who are.  There are 148 pull-through sites, and 95% will come to camp bright red sunburned at the end of the day.

 I found that the bike paths are extremely well maintained with a whole lotta miles and signage.  The trail actually goes over 18 miles (through the Colorado town of Loveland).  It is a loop – so EASY!
An hour in to my walk – and it is obvious that there are A LOT of people who come to enjoy this oasis. (Later in the day this is confirmed) The park boasts a beautiful sand beach, numerous boat launches, great fishing coves, and hundreds of miles of shoreline.  I notice specialty picnic areas, a marina, a store, and probably 1,000+ parking spots.  This place looks well used.

After walking to the northern end of trail (the east side of this state park is framed with private [think high $$$] housing), I turned around to see what the “Visitor’s Center” had to offer.  I sat on the (intentionally uncomfortable) bench outside the front door to await the 9:00 opening.  This small action (my sitting on the bench outside the front door fifteen minutes prior to opening) caused a flurry of activity.  Water-bound Americans of all stripes rushed to get into the physical line I’d created (which had shattered their illusionary and virtual queue - established by their timed arrival in the parking lot).  This was going to be fun!

When the door actually opened (an efficient 2 minutes ahead of schedule) I didn’t move a muscle.  This caused worried looks between the dozen folks who had been thusly resenting my taking a spot ahead of them “in line”.  I eased the tension by holding the door and allowing them all to transact their business ahead of me.  Hell, I was just coming to check the joint out (hoping for a corny display case or two) and avail myself of the free publications on the far wall.  I even looked at the maps adorning the unused space.  The short bit of advice – if you don’t need a boat permit – don’t bother stopping (however, I must note that there is a large fossil door-stop I would have loved to inspect if the act would not have caused a coronary by someone “ahead” of me in line).

INTERESTING NOTE: I am writing this as an afternoon storm drifts to the east.  A friendly neighbor issues a warning.  

"Hey pal?" 


“I see you have a beer, there?” [Great – he wants one of my Heineken]

“Sure, do.” I smile…

“Well, last night the Ranger almost confiscated our bottle.  I guess you can’t have an open container outside…”

“Really?  Thanks!”

Welcome to the police state.  Apparently, my single bottle of Heineken is threatening the equilibrium of a facility of full-sloshed boaters (to be sure the average blood alcohol content would be pushing 3.0 after a day of imbibing on the water).  Oh well, I guess I’ll just go inside.  At least they’d need a warrant to seize my beer there…well, for now at least…

I can hear the indignant response from the President of the Benevolent State Park Ranger’s Association, “You have no idea the dangers we face…EVERY DAY.  Why, we stand between chaos, anarchy, and public order. [please pledge to support our pay raise in the upcoming state referendum]” The odd thing is, after nearly two full weeks in Colorado State Parks, the biggest complaint I have is with the moronic teens (and their equally moronic parents) who screeched at 6:30 this morning – a ½” spider perhaps?  Let’s save the tax-payers a boat-load of $$ and self-administer the campground? 
What a country.  [See our blog post "on freedom" from Nicaragua ]



·       Boaters paradise
·       Easy in and out
·       Fantastic bike trail system
      Great Sand Beach
      Ample parking


·       Seriously packed campground– not really a place to enjoy solitude

No ugly here

      WORTH COMING BACK?  You bet, especially if you feel like fishing or boating

RECOMMENDED?  Yup (if you want to play on the water)