Our trip, Finally in full swing
PSA On Staying With Friends:
Over the last 18 days, Samantha and I have slowly made our way from Phoenix to Durango, to Vail, to Denver to Steamboat Springs and now to Aspen and we AT LAST feel like we’re actually on our road trip.
Please, allow me to explain this phenomenon. While in Durango we stayed with our “Durango parents”, Nigel and Tammy, and camped for a night with our friend Nichole. While in Vail, our entire focus centered around shooting for the Go Pro Mountain Games, which was fantastic, but also highly stressful as I put a ton of pressure on myself to deliver stellar photos. Because we were both sick, we ended up in a hotel three of the nights we were in Vail. In Denver, we stayed with the Marketing Director for Kokopelli Packrafts, Alex and her husband Nathan.
In Steamboat Springs, we were finally free to camp, AT LAST! That’s not to say that we did not camp off of Homestake Road during the Mountain Games, but the point is that our trip is about exploration, adventure, and finding a new place to base ourselves and build our future together and these “crutches” offered up to us by our beloved friends and adopted family, though appreciated, really do not help us achieve our goals in any way shape or form outside of saving us a few bucks and make a little easier to stay on the road longer. That being said, we love you all and we are thankful and appreciate your help and support, but we also have to acknowledge our reality and what we need to fulfill the purpose of and maximize our road trip.
Post Mountain Games, we made our way towards Denver, but then found ourselves opting for a detour over Guanella Pass, eagerly searching for a campsite. (unsuccessful, yet again) Our trip into the city was prompted by a few of our gear sponsors, Kokopelli Packrafts, and Niner Bikes. Zachary at Niner gave us a full tour of their awesome facility in Fort Collins and helped us get fitted on our matching Jet 9 Carbon RDO mountain bikes.
If you guys saw from our instagram stories, we inflated our pack-rafts, one Nirvana, and one Rogue, (both with spray skirts) for the first time in Alex’s front yard, while she gave us a run down on the proper setup, maintenance, and storage.
With Aspen being our next destination, we opted to take the road less traveled and go up and over Rocky Mountain National Park toward Steamboat Springs, where we were yet again shut down (from camping) both due to snow in the high country, and to “calving season” (Elk and Deer having babies) which lasts from May 15th, through June 15.
We spent the rest of our afternoon in downtown Steamboat Springs, which we found out is a mountain bike mecca, full of trails. This was an opportunity for us to test our our brand new Niner two-wheeled wonder bikes. Despite the elevation, and both of us being relatively out of shape, our bikes performed flawlessly under the guise of two operators with little to no mountain biking experience. We vowed to ride them daily until that changed.
Another unwanted night in a local hotel helped us find the campground at Steamboat Lake, which is a place straight out of a dream. Though technically a well-developed campground, this drive through North Central Colorado up to the lake gave us some of the first glimpses of the peace and solitude that we were both so eagerly yearning for. Sam also made it her personal goal to pull up land prices to see if there were any parcels we might want to consider for a future purchase.
We took our Kokopelli Packrafts our for the very first time on Steamboat Lake and splashed and paddled our faces off. I tried my luck at fly fishing from the raft while Samantha experimented with filling her boat with water, learning the importance of “drip guards” (rubber rings that attach to the paddle to prevent water running down the shaft and into your boat on each stroke).
We camped, we ate, we finally found solitude…