Eleven Mile State Park / Florissant Fossil Beds

Situated an hour West of Colorado Springs is Eleven Mile State Park, a lake campground on the front-range of the Rockies. There were a number of camping challenges on this trip – wind and rain were persistent elements on this trip. Seagulls were territorial. The trip itself was dodgy, we were half a year into working from home and social distancing during 2020’s COVID-19 chapter of history books. (this entire year is a wash). But we had our camper, off-grid solar electricity and we were newly equipped handle the elements in some new ways.

See Matt’s photos here

Now that we essentially have a kitchen on wheels and remembering how I grew up with mom and dad cooking with a two-burner green coleman camping stove, it was high time we had our own. This time a little thinner, sleeker, and with an ignition switch. We’ve been six years balancing on a top-heavy single burner compressed-gas canister.

Look how happy Codie is. 😀

Rain meant watching the view above until those clouds meandered our direction and spending quite a bit of time “indoors” on this camping trip. And with a camper this size, “indoors” has a bit of creative license. Our awning became a successfully enclosed room from tarps, umbrellas, ratchet straps, and stakes. A charged solar battery meant electricity for the anker portable projector and Smash Bros. We’re really disconnecting from technology with our solar panel, but what else are you going to do under rain? Read, sleep, stare at tarps?
We did it all.

Did I mention the projector is the size of a soda-can? Or that the camper is basically the size of a bed?

We also added a lightspeed shower tent with solar shower and portapotty. Having a trailer with no standing room, this added a lot to our ability to be self sufficient. This would have been my favorite new edition if I didn’t already have too many favorite new contraptions. This tent pops up and down like an umbrella. The shower was even solar heated when I plugged it into sat the water bag on the roof of the camper.

We 2020-social-distanced our way over to Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument with our long hair and face-masks. Here giant fossilized redwoods where scattered across the plains. Too bad volcanic ash destroyed the forest 34-million years ago, but at least it preserved the stumps.


Nearby, we visited the Hornbek Homestead. Adeline Hornbek , a single mother, built quite an impressive two-story, four-bedroom house. She’s quite an interesting read of the Homestead Act of 1866.

Overall, a great trip!

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