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  • J.F. Rowan

Where there's smoke...

Looking west from our campsite in McDonald Flats Campground.

We finished up the house-sit in Breckenridge and as I may have mentioned before, we decided to hold off from heading back east because of all the rain New England was experiencing. That said, we decided to take one last house-sit in the town of Silverthorne, Colorado which was about 20 miles north of Breckenridge. The house sit itself was ten miles north of I-70 which would give us a great push-off area when we finally decide to head east.

After-dinner walk around the Green Mountain Reservoir which borders the campground.

But there would be a day’s gap between the house-sit in Breckenridge and the next sit in Silverthorne. So, what to do? Well, we scoped out a small campground about 8 miles north of our Silverthorne house sit called McDonald Flats Campground situated next to the Green Mountain Reservoir. We set out from Breckenridge early Friday morning and headed off to Silverthorne. We staked out our spot around noon and by 5 PM the campground was packed. Timing is everything when it comes to getting into a campground on a Friday! Nothing special here but the sunset, at least it was quiet.

Our view from the front porch. Silverthorne, CO.

On Saturday morning we packed up and headed down the road to our home sit just north of Silverthorne. We had already met with the homeowners earlier during the week so the change of the guard was nothing more than a key toss and a “Safe Travels” to the homeowners. The house is situated on about 30 acres. There are great views to the east and west. Yet, as you’ll soon see, another local wildfire (with contributions from the southern California wildfires) would result in fairly hazy conditions for most of our stay.

Our task here during this particular house sit was to watch over 5 chickens and 1 cat. We were also responsible for watering dozens of plants both indoors and out and look after and water a small greenhouse full of veggies! Some of their parting words were, “…and eat as much as you’d like” referring to the greenhouse.

"Rio" 2 year old cat that we had to look after. Easy as pie.

The "Girls" gave us fresh eggs every day in return for keeping them safe.

"Chicken Whisperer" The Pied Piper of all that is fowl.

Greenhouse was bursting at the seams. Peas, Spinach, Squash, Collard Greens, Kale, Bok Choy, and lot of Lettuce just to name a few items. Everyday, something in here found it's way to our plates.

Haze thickens as smoke blows in from local fires. The smell is there as well.

The homeowners were kind enough to lend us their vehicle so that we could accomplish some errands and also have transportation to access some great local trailheads. Plenty of places to shop only about ten miles away allow us to get whatever we need for our trip home. Yvette spends about an hour or two a day planning the route east. I lay out (highlighter) on the road atlas the basic route that I think we should take, and Yvette looks for options for camping or boondocking every 300 miles or so. We know from past experience that flexibility in the plan is a must. Fact is, we rarely stick to the exact route so having a 20-50 mile “mental” corridor throughout the route is key.

Planning our trip east. Trying to stay as far away from the New York City, or Washington DC metro areas.

The basic plan:

Leave Colorado on 8/20 and make our way to at least the middle or eastern Kansas the first day. From there, our goal will be Meta Missouri where I want to investigate some of my family heritage. I will be looking into my 2nd great grandfather's history. (If he had any brothers or sisters. Who his parents were etc.) After about two days in Meta, we’ll head home by way of I-70 for most of the trip, curving north up through Ohio then hugging Lake Erie, through New York and into Massachusetts. We’ll spend a few days in Mass, then down to Connecticut for a few weeks. Long range, we hope to be back in South Carolina no later than late October.

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