Pueblo West, CO

I went into Aurora to get a replacement tire, which completed the repair on my RV. Then it was due south to Pueblo when the snow started falling. It’s been cold and wet for over a week now, and I’m tired of it.

This is one of favorite rv parking places. It’s along US 50 as it heads up to the mountains, and features wide sweeping views of grasslands, yet is only 10 miles from services. It’s a favorite place to chill out and do nothing, which I need right now. I’ll be watching the weather from here for at least a few days.

Strasburg, CO

I’m outside (east) of Denver. Today I made it up and over the mountains and then sailed through Denver.

The weather is bad, with snow on the peaks last night and more expected this week. I’m out on the plains now, away from mountains, and will decide which way I’m going…

Utah Pot

I liked the title of this post, so I’ll try to write something about it.

Enough Utahns signed an initiative to legalize medical marijuana to get it on the ballot this election. Polls predict it would pass easily. The terms were quite typical of other medical marijuana states. Today, all sides agreed on a legislative solution, where a law will be passed wiping out the initiative results.

At this point the whole idea of legal pot in Utah is laughable. No matter how small the existing market, and no matter how strict the regulations, an organized legal regulated market leads to an increase in demand. When marijuana is legalized for medical use, it’s legal for everyone. The market will take care of that demand, no matter what the rules say.

No matter what the voters decide in a few weeks, the legislature will try to overturn the whole thing, and will likely succeed. This is called the “Utah Way”.

Moab will be fun in a couple of years….

Can I leave Grand Junction now?

My rv was dropped at the axle alignment place in the middle of a nasty thunderstorm, the kind you usually see on the other side of the Rockies. They wouldn’t put my Farmington (it was built there) on the axle-bender because the axle was welded. Then, they pointed out I had truck tires, not trailer tires.

I had to laugh when they told me this. I have been through a lot of tires, wheels, and axles, and have discussed my problems with mechanics all over the country. Not a one has solved my problem, and they are frequently contradictory with their advice.

Tomorrow I go up the road a short distance just to try things out. Every bolt on my undercarriage has been touched by someone who might have had a moment of inattention at the wrong time. Just to make it interesting, I’m on the worst road around. Interesting not enough? To make it scary I put my damaged tire back on instead of the spare.

Pretty country here. I doubt I’ll be thinking much of it until I get through Denver and on the plains.

Pot next door

I’m parked next to a cannabis grow operation, about 2 acres of greenhouses. The smell is very slight, most noticeable in the mornings. The rv park and the greenhouses are part of the same property. While the official entrance to the grow is locked, the side entrance is next to me, and is kept open. Obviously, security isn’t as strict as in Washington.

This morning a few big trucks drove in and after a while took off. I assume they were loading up product to take to Denver, as there are only a few small stores around here. So somehow I picked an rv park with cannabis, grapes, peaches, and cherries being raised on it.

Even though selling cannabis is severely limited in these parts, there are a lot of greenhouses scattered around in the orchards.

This will be an interesting place to park in a year or so…

New springs

I guess after almost 12 years it’s no surprise the springs on my rv needed replacement. One set had flattened out a bit, changing the geometry of the suspension. Somehow I found a spring specialist and the work was done today. On Thursday, I take it in for an alignment, and who knows what they will find. Then, I’ve got to replace the tire damaged along the way.

What’s in front of me is the climb up to Vail, on what is probably the worst maintained interstate in the country (except maybe Louisiana?). I will be extremely anxious every time I hit a pothole, expansion joint, and the tire ruts.

The spring specialist suggested new hangers to improve the design, but I’ll pass on that. This little adventure is already costing me too much.

It’s rainy in Grand Junction, snow is possible this weekend at the summit. I’m hoping I can get up and over without encountering that.

Colorado National Monument

National Monuments are something of significant interest worthy to be temporarily protected by the President of the US. This one is a series of canyons just across the river from the town. It’s main feature is a road with astounding views. Nice place for the locals, but it’s not a national attraction.

I wondered about the greenhouses next to me, and it appears they are growing cannabis. The address has a license for a marijuana store called the “Happy Camper”, though it’s not built yet. Apparently, an estate is splitting up the original peach, cherry, and grape grows with an RV park and a cannabis grow with retail store, keeping smaller patches of the original plants for atmosphere. Nice setup, but still under construction. If it were completed, the rates might make sense.

By the way, the name of the RV park is RV Base Camp.

Pot in the western states

Here are my observations as I traveled though legal states. I didn’t study the situation too closely, these are just general observations.

Yakima County and the City of Yakima spend way too much time and money fighting the inevitable and they’ve ended up with basically what they should have done 6 years ago. What I saw was that stores there were lax on ID checking, making them an ideal sting target by the Cannabis Board.

Bend, Oregon is an island of cannabis in a sea of prohibition, especially in growing. They have a lot of pot shops, but they serve a wide area.

There are no marijuana operations in NE Nevada; NV shops are in Reno and Vegas, seldom elsewhere. It’s best to leave NV alone as they seem to know what they are doing.

Who would’ve thought that Utahns would be voting on a medical marijuana bill this fall? And polling suggests it will pass, despite opposition from government, law enforcement, and the church. The bill itself is state-of-the-art medical marijuana laws reflecting a lot of experience. As you’d expect, it’s strict, but workable. It’s odd to listen and read the debate going on in Utah, especially how the church gets involved.

Colorado invented “local control” which allows other jurisdictions to prohibit any marijuana activity. It’s state-legal to use and possess, but not grow or sell in prohibition areas. Grand Junction where I am now does not allow anything. Most legal states will open some stores next to the border of a prohibition state, which is always a lucrative move. But I believed the closest pot shop to Utah on I-70 was in Parachute, a ways up the mountains from here.

Without ever hearing of Palisade until I parked here, I found that there is a shop in Palisade. In fact, another one is setting up shop next to the rv park where I am. I’ll be checking this out tomorrow.

Palisade, Colorado (Grand Junction)

I’m not where I planned to be, the idea was to cross the Rockies on I-70, get through Denver and then decide what the next move is.

From Baker I ended up in Salina, UT at the wrong rv park. But I did make it to Green River, UT and picked up some melons. I also had a tire swapped with my spare because the it was wearing out quickly. This needs serious mechanical work which I need to get done before continuing further. Grand Junction is the natural choice for this type of stuff, but I don’t know where to go. And it’s the weekend.

Just to confuse things, there’s a big bike ride here this weekend filling up the parks and rv parks. That’s why I’m in Palisade, the nearest rv parking place with a vacancy.

I-70 is the most scenic interstate in the nation. I always turn off south to Moab, so the stretch up to Vail I haven’t traveled on yet.

Palisade is alongside the Colorado, in between two mesas. It’s a cute town, filled with winerys and peach sellers. Peaches were the last thing I expected to come across, and they are very good (I didn’t expect grapes here, either). The rv park I found is next to a bend in river, an old peach orchard being converted to a top-notch rv place, only a year old. It’s a very nice place, but pricey, too much for me if I need to wait around for shop time. I’m thinking of moving after the bikers leave town.

So I’m broken down in a place I know nothing about, in a region with gorgeous scenery, a million things to see and do, at one of the nicest rv parks I’ve seen. More later…

PS. Grand Junction has some very strange roundabouts chained together which is terribly confusing, but it also has a freeway interchange where you drive on the left side of the road. Bizarre.

Baker, NV

A lot of my readers will know the Border Inn near Baker, on the NV/UT border. It’s a shitty little gas/motel/store/rv park in a crappy-looking desert. But it’s a good launch spot to go half way across Utah tomorrow, a very uninteresting drive.

The drives have been long through the deserts, but the weather has been excellent (freezing at 6000′ this morning) and no dust. Clear and sunny. Very light traffic.

The truck is running well. Going over the cordoroy of mountains in Nevada, the truck decided to climb the hills at 5500 rpm, not me. But it was at 50mph, not what I would have done. Sometimes she automatically goes into downhill engine-breaking which is great, but other times I have to signal her like my old truck. All is good.