Palisade, Colorado

Palisade Basecamp RV Resort

July 9, 2020

The calendar read July 9th. The big day was upon us. After months of planning and working towards this moment, it was finally time for us to embark on our new life!

However, there was one last piece of business to attend to before we could leave – we had to sell Clay’s car. It was looking like we would have to sell it to a used car lot, but at the very last minute, a private buyer swooped in and purchased it for $1,500 more than the dealership was offering! With the G6 off our hands, we dropped off our apartment keys, loaded up the truck (cat and all), hooked up the trailer, and we were on our way.

Although our trip to Palisade was roughly a straight shot west along I-70, the trip was hardly a straight shot in terms of elevation, as the route took us over the backbone of the Colorado Rockies. Fortunately, the voyage was pleasantly uneventful, and before we knew it, we were pulling into the Palisade Basecamp RV Resort.

We couldn’t have picked a better spot to kick off our trip. This place was absolutely stunning with vibrant colors in seemingly every direction – from the yellow cliffsides of the surrounding mesas to the dark blue Colorado River running right next to the campground enveloped by lush green vineyards and peach orchards.

In addition to the beautiful visuals, we were also blown away by the incredible hospitality of the staff and fellow campers. Everyone in the campground was so outgoing, so much so that it actually gave us a bit of culture shock following years of living in an urban apartment setting. We also quickly realized that RVers had vastly different views regarding COVID precautions than the Denverites we were leaving behind. As we pulled up to the campground, Sam donned her mask and ran into the clubhouse to get us checked in only for the lady behind the counter to say "Honey, take your mask off. I can't hear what you're saying."

With the camper all set up and the campsite thoroughly explored, it was time for us to branch out and explore the surrounding area. Luckily, we didn’t have to go to far to find some fun. The lovely Corterris Winery butted up right next to our RV park, allowing us to sample a generous number of wines without ever getting behind the wheel.

The next day, we opted to do some hiking and atone for the previous day’s sins. We settled on the Palisade Rim Trail, which, like it sounds, took us along the edge of Palisade’s largest mesa and provided us with some fantastic vistas.

Following the hike, it was once more time for some R&R. We grabbed our inflatable tubes (along with a few adult beverages), headed upriver, and plopped our butts down in the cool Colorado River for a pleasant little river float which culminated a mere few hundred feet from our campsite.

Our trip was truly off to an amazing start, but our time in Palisade was up and we were onto our next spot (or so we thought). After loading up the trailer and hooking up to the truck, we bid farewell to Palisade Basecamp and drove the 45 minutes to James M. Robb State Park in Fruita, Colorado. We arrived at the front gate and gave our names. After scanning the roll sheet for several minutes, the gal working the desk told us she couldn’t find our reservation. Following a quick search of our emails, the realization slowly began to materialize – we were there a day early…

Embarrassed and dejected, we made our way back to Palisade with our tails between our legs. Thankfully, Sam took it easy on me, and instead of cussing me out for my haphazard planning, she printed off a calendar to make sure this wouldn’t happen again. We managed to put our mistake behind us and had a great final day in Palisade complete with another round of drinks out on the river. With our calendars now in sync and our egos in check, we set out the next day along the all-too familiar trail through Grand Junction and towards Fruita.