I'm not usually an impulse buyer, but I couldn't resist purchasing this nerdy camping gadget. It is a camp stove and grill that literally runs on twigs, pine cones, and sticks, and it can recharge a cell phone using a built-in thermoelectric generator. I can't wait to kick back in the Airstream, grill squirrel-burgers, and endlessly play Angry Birds and Farmville during the next zombie Apocalypse.
I tested out this gadget over the weekend at the East Portal campground in Estes Park, Colorado. This is a popular Larimer County campground just outside Rocky Mountain National Park that offers many camping amenities like electrical hookups, water, hot showers, and a dump station.
|Campsite at East Portal Campground|
|Rocky Mountain Views from East Portal Campground|
|Wildlife frequently visited the campground. Each morning deer meandered through campsites providing many close-up photo opportunities.|
|Great spot (A39) at East Portal Campground, but a little tricky to back into|
If you go: East Portal Campground is secluded at the end of highway 66 (Tunnel Road), just past the YMCA camp in Estes Park. It is on the free shuttle route which stops near the campground every hour. The shuttle goes into town and connects with routes into Rocky Mountain National Park for hiking and sightseeing. This is a great way to get around - I didn't use my car once during the weekend stay.
It is a nice campground, although a little crowded this time of year with families of exuberant kids still on summer vacation. Campsites are spacious, but can be difficult to maneuver into. Larger trailers will find it a challenge to navigate the sharp curves and tight corners in this campground. It makes a nice destination though for Bambi-sized campers.