Over Labor Day weekend, we took Rover and the Hab on a shakedown run to Chimney Rock in Arapahoe National Forest (https://www.campendium.com/chimney-rock-colorado) just outside of Kremmling, CO. We were not yet full timers at this point and it took us forever to get all the supplies we needed, load up the trailer, and get all of the dogs' accouterments ready. But alas, we hit the road for our first trip at about 3pm!
We drove up the beautiful Poudre Canyon where we saw Sleeping Elephant Mountain! It actually looked like a sleeping elephant! Usually I find that named rock formations only resemble their namesake if you turn your head sideways and squint, but sleeping elephant was right on, no squinting required! Unfortunately, we didn't stop to get a picture :(
As we drove up the canyon, we got a little nervous because every campground was completely full. Being Labor Day weekend, we weren't terribly surprised, but our plan from the get go was to hope to find an empty spot at Chimney Rock sans reservation.
To get into Arapahoe National Forest, you have to travel on about 2-3 miles of a well maintained gravel road. The first few spots in the forest were occupied, so we kept driving and found a decent spot, just off the gravel road. At this point, it was about 10:30pm, so we just wanted to get parked and figure out everything else in the morning.
It turns out backing a 28' trailer in the dark is rather challenging. The spot we found off the road was pretty big and there were no real obstacles to navigate around. However, our first attempt at backing into the spot was all kinds of wrong. The trailer ended up almost perpendicular to the truck and it wasn't even close to the area we were trying to get it into. After a few more attempts we finally got it 'good enough' and settled in for the night. Malley would note that we were completely un-level, which is true, but for some reason I don't really notice being un-level, so it was fine.
We woke up the next morning and walked, maybe another 1/2 mile down the gravel road and found an amazing spot! We moved the trailer to said amazing spot and successfully got her all level!
The gravel road was in tip top shape and went from one end of the forest to the other. Next time we'll be sure to bring our bikes with us so we can explore it further.
Overall it was a successful shake down run and we had a great time!