Practice Makes Perfect: Pop Up Camping “Test Camp” at Cheyenne Mountain

Cheyenne MountainTrent has been wanting to take the camper out for a “test camp” since we bought it in January. I have been nervous about getting too far ahead of the warm weather. But March in Colorado is here, and we are doing this! No snow for us, thankfully (March is the snowiest month), and the high temperature during our stay is in the 50’s.

We set up camp in Cheyenne Mountain State Park in Colorado Springs. It’s one of the few official campsites in Colorado open in the winter. Most seem not to open until April or even June. Fingers crossed we won’t regret this…

We brought along the pups, Molly and Tucker, both 8 year old lab mutts that are really our four-legged furry kids. We pretty much just threw a lot of stuff in our car and headed out late afternoon on Friday. Let’s see what happens!Molly and Tucker camping

Highlights of this inaugural pop up camping trip:

  • We made it here! Given the high winds we’ve had lately, I was a little nervous about this trip, but we made it, and the Freedom Machine followed along super easily! The low profile meant the wind wasn’t an issue.
  • We had to set up camp twice because we didn’t realize not all the sites were walk up. We had nearly finished setting up Friday evening, and it was almost dark, when a family pulled up with a giant RV and told us we were in their spot. Oops. Good news: we can set up and break down in less than a half an hour and I’m sure we’ll get faster with practice.
  • Creepy school bus converted into a cross country camper. This thing pulled up after dark the first night and really freaked me out (imagine how this white bus glowed under the full moon. I wish I had a photo of that!). It wreaks of Scooby Doo ghosts and serial killers, but I tried not to think about that and to instead just be thankful for the hippie potheads whose easy access tent was between ours and the Bus of Horrors.Attachment-1
  • Naps are even better at camp because I don’t ever think “I should be doing something productive.” Taking a before-noon nap with the wind howling around us and the portable ceramic heater keeping us toasty under a down blanket with 80s music playing on our jambox in the background was perfection.
  • Drinking wine from a plastic camping cup after my nap.My view with wine.JPG
  • Spying an 8-point buck and a herd of white-tail deer while on a coffee run (haven’t figured out camp coffee, and Starbucks was within a short drive).
  • Going for a walk with the whole pack (me, hubby, and two dogs) and seeing another herd of deer and then three Air Force jets screaming overhead (Air Force Academy is nearby). That was cool.Deer at Cheyenne Mountain


  • Everyone is so NICE! Even the inhabitants of the Bus of Horrors were nice, and I know that because they had a dog. It’s so easy to walk up to other campers and just strike up a conversation, get tips, trade stories, and just generally be human to each other. I’m still pondering why that feels so unique because it really shouldn’t. There’s work to be done in my real life if slowing down and actually striking up conversation feels like such a luxury.
  • Bathrooms are key. Our Freedom Machine doesn’t have one, so we will need to reserve camping spots by the restrooms whenever possible. Walking a long distance in the middle of the night isn’t my favorite thing, and the alternative is simply not an option (maybe by the third month, but who am I kidding?)
  • Cooking scrambled eggs in the mountains on a camp stove took me 30 minutes, and they were still runny. Need to research further. Update: Hubby cooked them to perfection in less than 10 minutes the next morning. Need to research further.
  • A lot of people who camp in Colorado in March do so in monstrous RVs that qualify for property taxes as far as I’m concerned. I feel pretty rugged over here in my pop up. Notice the mood lighting emitted by the giant RV below.
  • The best things we brought and need to bring again: ceramic heater, wine/beer, layers, paper plates (use then toss in fire), dogs (good for snuggling), flannel sheets, collapsible organization cubes, and a relaxed attitude.
  • Two people and two dogs can be quite happy in a Freedom Machine. We should have traded in our tent camping a long time ago (mattresses can’t be overrated)! We embraced relaxation and a slow pace, and it was a great two-day run-through of this peaceful approach to life.  Looking forward to the next trip!

3 thoughts on “Practice Makes Perfect: Pop Up Camping “Test Camp” at Cheyenne Mountain

  1. I am enjoying every bit of your blog! You absolutely make me want to get closer to nature. Thank you for sharing this amazing adventure with all of your loyal followers… especially ME!

    Liked by 1 person

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