In the heart of September, nestled amidst the pristine landscapes of Ouray, Colorado, the Rocky Mountain LTVers embarked on an unforgettable RV rally. Ouray, often heralded as the “Switzerland of America,” was the perfect backdrop for this enthralling gathering. With its jagged peaks mirroring the iconic European Alps, mesmerizing waterfalls echoing nature’s melody and the historic charm of the town itself, it’s no wonder that the Ouray Riverside Resort became our sanctuary for the duration of the rally. Ouray’s sheer beauty and tranquility provided a picturesque setting and brought together the essence of what it means to embark on a recreational journey.
BBQ & Campfire Pies
The rally roared into action with a grand kick-off meeting that set the mood for the coming days. After reviewing the rally agenda and program, excitement buzzed among the crowd–it was raffle time! Many were keen to get the coveted Leisure Travel Vans-branded merchandise. To add a sweet note to the event, our treasured friends from Quebec generously brought a taste of Canada: authentic Canadian maple syrup and other northern goodies.
The aroma of smoking meats and tantalizing sides wafted through the air as the Ouray Cafe & Steakhouse, conveniently located onsite at Ouray Riverside Resort, catered a BBQ dinner that was nothing short of delectable. Attendees relished the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make new ones, all while savoring mouth-melting BBQ.
As dusk enveloped Ouray, attendees congregated around the community fire pit, the warmth of the flames matched only by the camaraderie in the air. That night, a unique treat awaited everyone: using cast-iron individual pie makers, attendees delighted in crafting their delectable pies (which we learned are called “pudgy pies”). With a simple pairing of bread and assorted pie fillings, the fire’s heat transformed these humble ingredients into sweet desserts, adding another layer of shared memory to the rally’s rich tapestry.
Waterfalls & Craft Brews
As the sun’s first rays painted the skyline, participants laced up their hiking boots in anticipation of the Ouray Perimeter Trail hike. This trail, renowned for its breathtaking vistas and the raw beauty of nature it showcases, took attendees on a journey around the entire town of Ouray and through some of the area’s most notable sights. The murmurs of appreciation were audible as the group reached a vantage point overlooking Cascade Falls. The gushing waters cascading down the rugged terrains offered a moment of tranquility and reflection. Further along the trail, Box Canon awaited its geological wonders, inviting exploration. The sounds of water, the coolness of the stone, and the marvels of nature left everyone in awe.
Post-hike, with a mix of exhaustion and exhilaration, the group congregated at Ouray Brewing. The establishment’s rooftop deck, with its panoramic views of the surrounding peaks, was the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate. Over cold beers and a hearty lunch, tales of the trail, personal adventures, and future travel plans were exchanged. The camaraderie was palpable, with every story and laugh deepening the connections within the group.
As evening settled in, the community fire pit’s atmosphere turned warm and intimate. Flames danced, casting a gentle glow on the faces of the attendees. Here, under a canopy of stars, stories continued to flow. Whether it was recounting memorable RV mishaps or sharing heartfelt memories from past rallies, the campfire gathering epitomized the spirit of the Rocky Mountain LTVers: a community forged through shared experiences, adventure, and a passion for the open road.
Bikes & RV Sharing
The following day was no less exciting, with every sunrise heralding new adventures. A particular highlight was the invigorating bike ride along picturesque dirt roads that led us to the charming town of Ridgway. As the wheels spun and dust rose, riders were treated to sweeping views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. There, amidst the town’s rustic charm, attendees enjoyed freshly brewed coffee and delicious breakfast bites, sharing laughs and rejuvenating for the journey back.
After returning to the camp, an interactive RV tech talk took full swing. The session was enlightening and engaging, with seasoned RVers sharing their wisdom and answering many questions. From troubleshooting common issues to discussing the latest RV innovations, it was an invaluable experience for both novices and veterans.
However, the real magic began with the RV tours. Attendees opened the doors to their homes-on-wheels, revealing a treasure trove of innovations. Each RV told its unique story, showcasing ingenious organizational methods, cutting-edge gadgets, thoughtful upgrades, and personal touches that transformed them into more than just vehicles. The tours seamlessly morphed into a progressive happy hour as attendees moved from one RV to another. The spirit of hospitality shone brightly as folks served an array of finger foods and beverages, turning the event into a delightful mix of exploration and indulgence.
As night fell, the community fire pit beckoned once more. This time, the classic aroma of s’mores wafted through the air. Under the starlit sky, attendees toasted marshmallows to a perfect golden brown, sandwiching them between chocolate and graham crackers. Each bite was a delightful mix of warmth, sweetness, and nostalgia, a fitting end to another memorable day at the rally.
Via Ferrata & Hot Springs
The spirit of adventure ran high as 10 daring attendees embarked on the Ouray Via Ferrata, a challenge that promised both thrill and awe-inspiring views. Scaling the cliff sides, everyone who took on the endeavor completed the downstream route, navigating iron rungs, cables, and bridges. They were rewarded with panoramic vistas of Ouray’s stunning landscapes while hanging high above the Uncompahgre River. Each step and grasp was a testament to the blend of courage and support that defined the group.
Following the exhilarating Via Ferrata experience, a celebratory mood was in order. Attendees regrouped at the rooftop of the Ouray Brewery. Here, with the backdrop of the towering mountains and the memories of the day’s adventure fresh in their minds, the group raised their glasses in a toast to bravery, friendship, and the spirit of exploration.
Later, the Ouray Hot Springs pool beckoned, offering a serene respite to soothe tired muscles and rejuvenate spirits. The world seemed to slow as attendees sank into the warm embrace of the mineral-rich waters. Conversations flowed effortlessly, laughter echoed, and as dusk painted the sky in shades of pink and purple, a collective sense of contentment settled over the group.
The evening culminated in one last gathering around the community fire pit. The familiar ritual of crafting s’mores was carried out with an added sense of nostalgia, recognizing the end of an unforgettable rally. As flames flickered and marshmallows toasted, attendees reminisced about the past days, cherishing the shared moments, the new friendships forged, and the promise of future reunions.
Breakfast Burritos & Goodbyes
The final morning of the rally dawned bittersweet. With bags packed and RVs nearly ready to roll, attendees gathered again at Ouray Cafe & Steakhouse for a hearty send-off breakfast. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee filled the air, mingling with the savory scent of breakfast burritos. As folks bit into the delicious wraps and sipped on their choice of coffee or juice, there was a palpable mixture of satisfaction and nostalgia.
The meal was interspersed with chatter—recollections of the week’s events shared anecdotes, and tentative plans for future meet-ups. It wasn’t just a breakfast; it was a culmination of the bond forged over the days in Ouray.
Soon after, the familiar hum of RV engines reverberated through the resort. The time had come for the final LTV pack-up. One by one, attendees secured their homes on wheels, their faces a mix of contentment from shared experiences and the inevitable sadness of parting ways. As RVs began to depart, the air was filled with waves, hugs, and reunion promises. The sight of the convoy leaving Ouray, each vehicle carrying a piece of shared memory, was a poignant reminder of the magic of the Rocky Mountain LTVers rally, and as the town of Ouray receded in the rearview mirrors, there was an unspoken agreement that these memories would be cherished, and the bonds forged would only grow stronger.
Written by: Teresa Pennington