I had studied the camping areas around Durango and discovered (according to the
National Forest website) that Target Tree Campground had $10. a night camping.
With a National Parks Senior Pass I could camp for $5.00. I needed to camp where
there were some facilities and a table until I could get my van organized. I had planned
to spend some quiet time going through my things... deciding what was really worth
One camping blogger that I had followed...
"RV Sue and her Canine Crew"
-- had said when she was getting set for her adventure... that when you accumulate a lot of
stuff it is just something someone has to deal with when you die. Well, as far as I know
Sue is healthy... and I don't have plans on dying anytime soon... but... when you think
about it... what is all that junk we collect, anyway?? And paperwork!! enough to choke
I think there may be a prevailing mentality among RVers and Van-Campers that well...
that you can live in a sticks and bricks house all the time -- and spend your money
paying bills and mortgages -- or you can live where the scenery changes whenever
you like (some quite beautiful)... and where you are away from noise and smog.
Some even call it "Freedom." I wasn't quite ready to commit to "full-timing", but I loved
the camping part.
Well... I had been gradually getting rid of my possessions over the past several years and
hadn't had a lot left to go through, but I didn't know for sure what things would be the
most important... and what would fit in my van. I had brought too much stuff, but
I had pictured myself at a big picnic table in the cool mountain shade slowly going
The cot that I had designed (with the help of my brother) allowed good storage beneath,
and ran the entire length of the van behind the driver's seat. On the other side of the
van was a 10" wide shelf, and inside the tailgate was a shelf running the width to the cot.
This left a 20" aisle beside the cot where I could put my feet when I was sitting on the
cot. I had some storage... but not a lot.
(Note: After several threshings and "cullings" I got to the point where it all began to work
quite well. The cot was very comfortable for sleeping and for sitting and most things are
within reach. It is a real success! When I get a camera I'll post a picture.)
Target Tree had a camp host... Jeff... who lived in a small trailer that was set-up with solar panels.
He's a retired plumber from Austin, but grew up in Colorado. He's buying land here now
and likes being a camp host. He also volunteers at the animal shelter and other projects.
The fee at this campground was $15.00. Colorado's National Forests now have a "concessionaire"
that runs their campgrounds, and camp hosts are employees of the concessionaire. So, it
figures that the camping fee would not be $10. a night. They do still take the Senior Pass.