Thursday, July 5, 2012

Settled again - at McPhee Campground, CO

We got everything necessary for our departure done yesterday, and I woke up early this morning raring to go.  I had to get Katie out of bed for her morning walk to the dumpster with our little garbage bag. That might have been a first. We were on the road before 8 am and stopped in Cortez at the Walmart for some food, a tall Cosco 3-step stool and lots more chew-toy treats for Katie.

We were soon on our way to McPhee Campground, which wasn't a very long trip.  So far I like this campground; it has lots of trees and bushes.  There is a lake nearby that we saw on our way in, but I can't see it from the campground. There are some electric only sites, some full hook-ups, and lots of dry camping sites, which is what I have.

 View from my kitchen window of our picnic table area

I drove around one of the two loops, then the other and chose a site.  Good Verizon here, The Palms is pointed West for my solar panels, and pretty much in the open.  Our picnic table area is behind us, with a nice tree west of the table, so if it's hot, the table will be in the afternoon shade.  Lots of Restrooms and water spigots around the loops.

We got settled and paid for four days (in this loop, you can only pay for four days at a time in the "open" - not reserved - sites.  I like that best, anyway, because if I want to move, I've only got four days in the site.  The Camphosts' names are Venita and Spanky Bear, they are the only bears in the campground.  They said no problem, they are slow this summer and there will be lots of empty sites.  If I DO have to move because someone else wants my site on the fifth day, I'll just find another one.

Female Black-headed Grosbeak

I can receive UPS packages here, so I'll see if my daughter can mail my Sirius XM radio here.  They don't have US Mail service, though, just package shipping companies.  I need to get the mailing address from Venita.

Female Black-headed Grosbeak

There are deer here, I've already seen one walking through the neighboring campsite, and the birds above that I snapped at Venita's bird feeder.  She said there are doves, pigeons, hummers, lots of birds. When I saw the Grosbeak, I knew what it was because of the one I snapped at Mesa Verde, but this one looked a little different, so I looked it up, and yesterday's was a male - black head - and this one with the white on her head is a female.

It's cloudy and there has been a lot of thunder, and we just had a nice rain.  I'm hoping for more.  I was told the Mancos Fire, the one I drove past on the way to Mesa Verde, has been put out, so I think the area I'm in is safe, fire-wise.

With my Senior Pass I'm paying $8.50 per night, a much better rate than the $14.63 per night at Mesa Verde.  There is a 30-day limit.  I don't know if I'll stay that long, we'll have to see how it goes. 

Here's the recipe for the croutons, it's a great way to use up the end of the loaf of bread:

Homemade Croutons

6 slices bread
¼  cup olive oil plus a little more
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
Slice your bread into 1/2” pieces. (Or into quarters if you're doing snack squares.)
In a large skillet, heat your olive oil. Add the minced garlic and saute for 1 minute, or until the garlic has started to brown. Add the salt and bread to the skillet, making sure each piece has plenty of room. (If you crowd the bread, it won't brown correctly.) Let cook 2 minutes, gently shaking the pan every once in a while.
Turn each piece of bread over and cook an additional 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown.  (The oil never seems to be enough for me, so I always take out the bread, add more oil, and put the bread back in, trying to make sure they are all turned over.  You could toss the pieces in a bowl to coat both sides before putting them in the pan.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread the coated cubes onto a baking sheet and bake until golden, about 10 minutes.  (I usually then turn off the oven and keep them in there a while so they get pretty crunchy.)
This doesn't make a LOT of croutons or "crispy toast squares," so I usually make two batches.  I keep them in a sealed baggie in the cupboard. 
From me and Katie, have a great Thursday, everyone!  :)


  1. I'm trying to decide if we want to go back to AZ through CO. Put this campground on a list of places to stay.

  2. Glad you like it there. We will be arriving on Sunday. Depending on how hot it is we may try to get an electric site so we can leave the rigs with the pets inside while we take a day trip to Mesa Verde.
    Look forward to meeting you!

  3. Mmmm - those croutons look so tasty! You are becoming quite the birder. Isn't it fun?

  4. Sounds like a pretty nice place to be especially if it's cooler than Arizona and there are no bears!

  5. Nice site. Lots of birds to see and take pictures of.

    Thanks for the recipe will have to try it.

  6. Looks like a nice place to spend some time. Sure can't beat the price. Think we will have to try that Crouton recipe. Have a Great Friday. Can't believe that it is already over a year sense you started your journey fulltiming.

  7. i really need to get a bird feeder... sigh...

  8. Just found your blog when I was looking for pictures and information on Mesa Verde camping. We are going there in a couple of weeks then up into the area toward Telluride and McPhee. Glad to know you had some good experiences. I enjoy your pictures. I too love taking pictures of the birds! Going to check out the rest of your blog. We are planning on staying at that Heron Lake on the way to Mesa Verde so gotta go read about that...

  9. Thank u for the comments on my blog!! Made me feel better :)


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