Estes Park Winter Festival 2016

Time for the maiden voyage of our new Phoenix Pop Up Campers Fuso Camper (PHX-FG) to Estes Park, Colorado!

When we first realized that this new adventure rig was a real possibility for us, the trips and locations to travel became endless.  The real difficulty with having such a great platform to hit the road in now became choosing WHERE to go and try out the new rig.

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After some brief research, we learned that the town of Estes Park, Colorado was hosting a Winter Festival with snowshoeing, craft beer and a chili cook-off.  What’s even better is that Estes Park is gate-way into Rocky Mountain National Park, leaving endless possibilities for outdoor activities.

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For day one we loaded up the snowshoes and headed to the demo days in Rocky Mountain National Park.  This snowshoe demo session was setup perfectly to allow for a little snow hiking before we rolled into town for the beer tasting and chili feast.  Our toddler is getting pretty sure footed in her Tubbs snowshoes.

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The Fuso Camper proved to be an AWESOME place to hide out from the blowing wind and frigid temps, both before and after our hike.  It was pretty awesome to sit inside the camper and have a nice warm cup of coffee after a family hike in the snow.

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Honestly, this trip was more about the beer and testing out the new adventure platform. Given the extreme cold and windy conditions, it didn’t take much persuading to get the crew to pack up shop and head for Estes Park.  Once we got inside the Winter Festival, we realized just how awesome this event was going to be.  The smell of chili cooking, the site of folks walking around with tasters of beer and the separate kids area with extensive crafts and games, made this festival the perfect place for us.

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The Winter Festival had some great beer and even better chili.  We bounced back and forth between the two for quite a while before our three year old decided it was her turn to have some fun.  The organizers of the Winter Festival did a great job making a family friendly environment and had an entire kids area with bouncy castles, crafts, faceprinting, smores, and a train for the kids entertainment.  It was really well put together family friendly festival.

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After the festival, we decided we didn’t really need to go far to camp of the night and chose to park the PHX-FG at the Estes Park fair grounds with the other vendors from the festival.  When attempting to “stealth” camp in a Mitsubishi Fuso you must attempt to blend in with the locals.  So we parked the camper next to a few older trailers and battened down the hatches for a windy night.  While it was an incredibly windy, the camper kept us nice and warm all night.

One of our favorite parts about this new camper is the ability to cook a legitimate meal and take our time getting ready.  So for our first morning in the camper, we had some great coffee and whipped up some eggs and bacon.  It really does make a trip nice when there is no real rush to be anywhere.

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2016-01-17 07.52.42 2016-01-17 16.18.10Estes Park 202For the rest of the day, we headed up into the Rocky Mountain National Park for some additional family hikes and photography.  We spent a snowy day driving around the park and taking in the amazing scenery.  At one point we came upon a gigantic bull elk laying down off the side of the road.  We stopped for some amazing photos and enjoyed a nice quite moment watching him lay in the snow.

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After a long day of hiking and driving around the park, we decided to stay another night at the Moraine campground.  For dinner we enjoyed making another delicious meal in the kitchen of the Fuso, while reading and listening to music.  The space the new camper provides us and the amenities within such a compact platform are amazing.

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What a great first weekend, in what we are confident is going to be an awesome new adventure platform.  If you’ve not attended one of the Estes Park Winter Festivals, I would put it on your list of things to do next winter.  The event was well orchestrated and the access to Rocky Mountain National Park provides an enormous amount of great adventures to be had.

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