La Reunión Buena de Buena Vista Rally
When: July 24-29, 2017, or whenever you arrive and decide to depart.
Where: Buena Vista, Colorado
If you have been curious about boondocking
, or have wanted to try it but were concerned about being on your own in the sticks, this is the event for you. If you are open to some dispersed camping in the Buena Vista area, just south of Leadville, you will enjoy a nice dispersed site near town on the old Colorado Midland railroad grade road. It has some trees and you can walk down to the Arkansas River. It may be an event held just this year, or whenever the Rocky Mountain Rendezvous group does not have a planned meet.
The area all the way from Interstate 70 down through Leadville, Buena Vista and down to Salida is a rally
great area. Plenty so see and do and several dispersed camping sites. It’s about 2.5 hours from Denver and is a quick get-away without driving all the way to Durango, Silverton, Lake City, etc. for great views. The road over Independence Pass to Aspen is south of Leadville about half way to Buena Vista. There is also Cottonwood Pass out of Buena Vista, and a whole lot of other roads to take to incredible places. You will see why Colorado's largest business is tourism.
Dispersed camping here is nice since no reservations, registration
, BLM permits or payments are required. Whether just a few or many show up, it won’t matter. Just pull in, set up and enjoy the setting, activities and great views. I am guessing that the site can accommodate at least a dozen campers, probably more.
There are no check-in or check-out times. Arrive and depart whenever you want to. Maximum stay in this site is 14 days. There are no pre arrival or post leave dates. Just arrive and depart within the 14-day limit.
The site is about 3 miles north of Buena Vista on the old Midland Railroad roadbed. At the traffic light
(there is only one) in town on Hwy 24, It intersects with Main Street. Turn left and go about 3 or 4 blocks east to I believe Colorado Ave. (I will check for sure before the get together). Turn left and follow the road out of town. It is asphalt at first then turns to gravel after the houses. Continue through the two tunnels. After the second one, you will see a very large rock ahead on the left. That’s where you want to go. Enter on the right side of the rock and you are there! Don’t drive in on the left side of the rock as that is for those who put in or take out for rafting. If you arrive during the week, the site is usually pretty empty.
Watch for on-coming traffic through the tunnels. They are wide enough for only one vehicle, don’t try to meet another in them. They are short so allowing the other vehicle to advance is no big deal and drivers are courteous.
Services: There are no services such as a pit toilet, garbage dumpsters, drinking water or hook-ups of any kind, so each camper has to be self-contained. Bring whatever you need to survive, however, if you forget something, you are only about 3 miles from Buena Vista so it’s easy to get food from a City Market (Kroger) food store at big city prices, not tourist town prices. Also has a large, new Ace Hardware, Tractor Supply, Loves truck stop, and many local mom and pop restaurants and coffee shops. No franchised ones in the entire town. Has a new library with free wifi and really nice seating.
Showers are available for a fee at the Senior Center on the far east end of Main Street in Buena Vista, in the new red building on the right side.
Bring a large garbage bag to hold each of the daily smaller garbage bags so everything is hauled out after.
Pets: All pets must be kept on a leash and you are also responsible for cleanup and disposal of your pet’s waste. No Pit Bull or Doberman dog breeds allowed. They are illegal in Denver for a good reason.
For those who need a Wal-Mart fix, there is one down in Salida, otherwise, Buena Vista has everything you need. It is a tourist/local rancher town and not at all pretentious. It is boondocking
without being in the boonies unless you want to go further into it.
No 4x4 or heavier vehicle is needed as it is a level, maintained road as well as are the campsites. I am guessing that the site can accommodate at least a dozen campers, probably more
What to do: Since there are so many things for each to do on their own in the area, there would be only a Meet-and-Greet and viewing other campers for planned events. However, for those who insist on having some traditional activities as well, we could “borrow” a couple of ideas from the Quartzite gathering such as each contributing a can of soup (no cream style) that gets all mixed together and shared with the group one day for lunch. It tastes surprisingly good.
We could also use their dessert pot luck idea. There are a few fire rings there so open fires might be allowed depending on the fire season.
There is also a hiking trailhead about a ¼ mile from the camping site. Some who climb to the top of the rock top next to the site holler out as if they just finished climbing a 14er. Tourists!!
Bring your fly fishing rod for some trout fishing close to the site.
If anyone has a kayak, they can bring it and put-in very close to the site.
Some may want to try the white water rafting on the Arkansas. There are several professional outfitters in Johnson Village just 2 miles south of Buena Vista. Leadville is the headwaters of the Arkansas River and the epicenter of white water rafting. Plan on getting wet if you go!
Photos of the site will be forthcoming in early summer when I get back up there.