The past three days have been about drivin' the roads of Idaho, Utah and Colorado. Pretty drives but the DOT's of these states don't make it easy for RV'ers to pull over and rest. Signs posted everywhere and virtually NO overnight parking permitted on any square inch of ground unless you pay the big bucks for a campground.
So, I did in Downey, ID. Paid the big bucks and had to go 4 miles off my route and do a double back--that's a gallon of gas! On the website, it showed 49 RV sites and a nearby laundry and restroom with showers. Upon arrival, there was No One There except some guys digging a ditch for some upgraded electric lines. The property was huge, so off I trekked in search of a warm body. I finally found the caretaker, who said they were closing for the season. I was told that the laundry on the map was for Employees Only and the "Guest Laundry" was at the far edge of the property and keep under lock & key. Not coin operated. I said "Not for me" and indicated I would be leaving!
As I was in the process of unhooking from the site I was already hooked up to, the lady came back and said she would schlep me and my laundry up to the washer/dryer room in her golf cart. I said OK and gathered up my stuff and she took me down to the third floor of the main building to what smelled like the dungeons of hell. Ok, so I put the wash in and hoofed in back to the RV. At first I thought it was "complimentary" because no coins required but later when I paid for my spot, she charged me $3 for a single load.
Then, some people came in and said I was in "their spot". Ok, let's see...49 sites and I am the only one there. Hmmm, I sweetly asked them if they could'nt possibly choose another one as I had already set up for the evening but they refused. They called the Manager and she admitted that they had reserved the spot I was sitting on and I would have to move. So, I did. And she schlepped me back up to the laundry to start the dry cycle.
By this time, I am highly suspicious of everything on the property so I asked her if there was hot water in the shower because I wanted to get a shampoo. She said "Of Course, but it's coin-operated and 50 cents per minute! Yikes! She said I could always use the hot springs pool and shower free afterward. Ohhhh that sounded pretty good but then she added the hot springs pool cost $6. At this point, I am pretty pissed but am still dependent on this woman's golf cart and goodwill to get my laundry back to the RV.
I also made sure I used THEIR electric to heat my water and THEIR water to fill my tank so I could get a hot shower.
Next morning, happy to be leaving, I looked for the dump in the usual place near the exit of the campground. I found none. Then I looked for a dumpster. I found none. There was a sign saying there was a dump in Downey (no details about where). There was a recyclable bin and I set my small bag of garbage on the lid.
I had to go back to Downey anyway to get back on my route. I saw no signs for a trailer dump and drove through the only two gas stations in town looking for a dump. Boy, do I not Heart Downey!
Next day, travel. No services for 110 miles and gas cost sky high. They put up signs everywhere warning you of certain death if you ran out of gas before you got to Green River, UT.
Finally, I am in Colorado where things went from bad to worse. I ended up staying in sleazy rest area/truck stop (one of those new private/public partnerships that have become popular as the states run out of money to maintain Rest Areas). After arriving at 7pm just as it is beginning to get dark, I noticed the ubiquitous sign saying No RV parking! Disgusted, I started looking for a spot in the little town and found one in the Staff Parking Lot at the school.
It is just amazing; as you go through the interstates, you see more RV dealers in Idaho, Utah and Colorado than anywhere else I have ever been, but they don't want RV's to actually PARK. Just pay your Sales Tax and get outta sight unless you are willing to stay in the older, crappy little parks that charge $40 night and then nickel & dime you to death with extra services like a hot shower and entrance fees!
Ah, but the good news! Today, I arrive in Denver at my friend's house, Anne & Bill. They are old friends that Frank met on the internet chat group for prostate cancer and we visit them whenever we are out west. They are letting me stay parked in front of their house! YAY! They have a young dog and fenced in backyard so Cassie and Murphy can run and play together while we adults have our wine.
After that, I continue down the road to Albuquerque and am being welcomed by Tuna, Laura and their kids Little Tee and Christopher! They are also letting me park on their property! YAY! I am looking forward to spending time with them before I get parked at the Balloon Fiesta on Friday.