Wandering at our leisure, with only the blue lines on our road map as our guide, we headed for the Rocky Mountains and the San Luis Valley in south-central Colorado. A Class C motorhome would be our habitat on wheels and provide all our beloved creature comforts, enabling us to make choices on the fly. We especially appreciated these comforts in winter camping conditions amidst the Rocky Mountains.

In the latest offering from Born Free Motorcoach (a 22-foot Rear Side Galley Class C Motorhome), enjoying the RV lifestyle is like being a turtle. Carrying our shelter with us, we could stop for the night wherever we decided the day should come to an end; bring our favorite foods with us; and sleep in our own bed.

With its 30,000-BTU forced-air furnace, seemingly endless supply of piping-hot water, full-service galley and bathroom, comfortable sleeping quarters, TV and DVD player, and all the 110-volt electrical power we could possibly need (via a built-in 3.6-kW auxiliary generator), we were warm and content even when bad weather hovered just outside the Born Free's dual-pane windows. Brewing and enjoying a morning cup of Joe, regardless of where we might find ourselves when we awoke, was bliss.

The San Luis Valley is a long canyon that begins near the town of Salida, Colorado, and runs all the way south to Santa Fe, New Mexico, with the state line intersecting it midway. It's probably 40 miles across at its widest point, surrounded by the San Juan Mountains in the southwest and the Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) Mountains along its eastern flank, where magnificent peaks like Blanca and Crestone Needle poke through the pastel blue sky at 14,000-plus feet.

The San Luis Valley features a raw, magnificent beauty rich with the history of American Indians, Spanish, Mexicans, and Mormons, the last of whom began settling here in the 1870s. Today the area offers plenty of attractions for visitors, with places like the Great Sand Dunes; Jack Dempsey's childhood home; a spiritual community where Buddhas perch among pine trees; an alligator farm (you read that right); the oldest town in Colorado; railroad excursions; murals that depict the valley's rich history; and much more.