After four nights in the Sierra Trading Post lot, we pulled out yesterday. We’ve been dry-camped for six nights straight and were getting a little concerned about our fresh water supply. We didn’t plan to dry camp this long and didn’t make water conservation a priority at first. Having said that, our time on the road has made water conservation habitual. We use much less water than we ever did when we were in a sticks-and-bricks home. We can usually make our fresh water tank last a week if we try.
Our first stop was the Pilot/Flying J travel center two miles down Campstool Road. We put about 30 hours on the generator while we were off the grid, plus we traveled over 300 miles since I last filled the tank. After fueling up, I drove us past the I-80 on-ramp and continued down Campstool Road. We were headed for Greeley, Colorado and I wanted to hit US85 for the drive south instead of taking I-80 to I-25. I didn’t activate Nally – our Rand-McNally RV GPS – until I was well down the road so she wouldn’t direct me onto the interstate.
I made a mistake though. I missed a turn and drove too far down the road. When Nally was activated, I was directed east and crossed the state line into Colorado at Hereford – well east of our intended route. Oh well, we just went with the flow and enjoyed the high plains grassland. There were large ranches and a few clusters of huge new homes. I surmised the homes were recently built during the oil boom which is now in more of bust cycle. Obviously some people in the Cheyenne area are doing well judging by the homes and this – I saw a cowboy park his Ferrari F360 at Sierra Trading Post.
Our route had us zig-zagging down quiet county roads. In the first 40 miles of our drive, we only saw four other vehicles. Some of the road surfaces were horrible and Ozark the cat lost her breakfast in her crate. She’s only been carsick a couple of times and it’s always been when we were pounding down a rough road. We also encountered a stoppage at a road construction site which had traffic following a pilot car down a single lane for about three miles. We weren’t held up too long though.
We arrived at the Greeley RV Park around 12:30pm. The check-in was very efficient – they had taken our information over the phone when I reserved the site and they knew our rig was long. They had a pull-through site for us and the woman told me to pull as far forward as possible and not to worry if our trailer extended a couple of feet past the rear of the site.
The sites here are relatively narrow, but we were easily lined up in the level gravel site. I hooked up our power, water and sewer and dumped the holding tanks. I’ll need to refill our fresh water tank – but first I needed to do some research. I saw a warning posted in the park office stating that the nitrate level of the water supply was higher than the 10ppm federally mandated maximum. The water here has a nitrate level of 11.3ppm.
Nitrates can seep into ground water from a few sources. It can be due to runoff from decomposing plants or chemical fertilizers or it can come from excessive amounts of livestock manure. Once nitrate is in the groundwater, it’s very difficult to remove it. It takes a special filtration process – our sediment filter and activated carbon filtration doesn’t remove it. The good news is, this level of nitrate isn’t especially dangerous unless it’s ingested by a baby under six months old. This is due to the bacteria in an infants digestive tract that can convert nitrate into nitrite and interfere with it’s ability to carry oxygen in the bloodstream. After about six months of age, acids form in the digestive system and nitrite is no longer formed.
I unloaded the Spyder and put an orange warning cone at the rear of the trailer which is hanging into the road.
The trailer shouldn’t be a problem – we saw a few sites with cars parked in the rear that also extend past the rear site border. Donna and I hopped on the Spyder and rode into town to take a look at the grocery store. King Soopers is the grocery chain in the area, they’re an affiliate of Kroger. The King Soopers here in Greeley is a large, well-stocked store and the prices look reasonable.
It was unusually humid here yesterday and the temperature reached the upper 80s. Thankfully we have a 50 amp service and ran both roof air conditioners. Today we expect the temperature to reach the upper 80s again but the humidity won’t be a factor – the forecast calls for a more normal level below 20%. There’s also a 20% chance of a thundershower this afternoon. I told Donna that when I lived in Longmont about 20 miles south of here, we had a thundershower just about every afternoon in August. The clouds would build over the Rocky Mountains to the west, then arrive over town around 5pm. It would pour down rain with lightning and thunder for about 15 minutes before it blew out east over the plains. Within 20 minutes, everything would be dry with clear skies. I’m wondering if we can expect the same pattern here.
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