relo Grand Junction to Leadville CO

Another strange day, but a reward at the end

last trip into GJ

Both sets of packages came in. I’d been planning on making a standard reprovisioning run Friday the 9th. It would have been an early morning running before things got hot.

I reconsidered, noting the reported popularity of the Leadville area. I packed up and headed into GJ around noon. Trying to drive around people parked in the forest road talking, I drove around them and misjudged my clearance. I tore off a plastic panel from the van (cosmetic) but didn’t realize it until later.

I got the same construction closure heading back to GJ.

First stop was gas and water pickup. As I was filling with water I heard a bubbling sound; a giant bolt was stuck in the tread and the tire was rapidly deflating. I always keep my spare aired, so it wouldn’t be a problem other than jacking up a 2500-series van in 100deg heat. Yay.

While I was working a local took pity on me and delivered a cold can of iced tea. :-)

By the time I picked up the packages and started heading out of town the advertised temp in GJ was 106F. It would not be practical to make a food reprovision stop so I will deal with what I have. See below.

the drive to Leadvill

It was about an hour east of GJ before temps dropped below 100F, and they kept dropping. I swear GJ is a heatsink or something.

We stopped at one rest area “No Name rest area”, not making this up. Muffin was grateful for the stop as was I. I put some trash in the receptacles but forgot about some of it.

The drive was “pay attention” curvy, with areas of gorgeous deep red mountains contrasted with deep green conifers.

I was pleased and surprised that I had a TMO signal about 50% of the way.


I arrived at the Leadville dispersed camping area around 6:30p, and it was 66F. That is a 40deg drop from GJ.

This place is crowded and will certainly get worse over the weekend. The good news is it’s not trashed out as far as I can tell. No idiots yet. I’m going to grade it on a curve, though; I’m here for the elevation and not expecting total relaxation.

I found a workable spot with good sun exposure and pulled up. 1 bar of Verizon and 1 bar of TMO; I’ll take it. There’s even an NPR affilliate with a strong signal. Feels like winning the lottery.

solar repair

Tomorrow morning I’m going to pull stuff out of the van (again) to replace the charge controller (again). I hope it goes well. My batteries need a firm hand, and I want to be able to run bigger loads like the rice cooker and crockpot on HI. I have 5# of potatoes I need to work through, which will help with the unreplenished pantry.


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