Colorado Camping

I just got back from a short trip to the east coast. I visited a friend who moved there for school. We’ve gone on an annual camping trip for five years now and I wasn’t going to let 1,694 miles stand between us and tradition!

It started in 2015. We had known each other two months when we planned the excursion. Due to busy schedules, we planned about a month and a half out during Mother’s Day weekend. When Thursday rolled around, the weather was calling for rain. “We’ll go south,” she said, “it should be better down there.” We headed out Friday evening after work; and made it to Buena Vista; we camped there for the evening since it was dark. It rained on us that night, but it was a light rhythmic rain and we didn’t mind. After waking up to a bright blue sky we drove around the small, quaint town taking pictures and sipping coffee we bought at a local shop. As we headed toward the Sand Dunes, the sky continued to get darker. We assured each other it would be okay and the weather would break; I wasn’t too convinced of what I was saying, but I think she believed it.

We got to the campground by the Dunes and began setting up our tent just as it started spitting snow. We went through great lengths to put up a tarp (to keep us dry while we sat by the fire we intended to make) much to the chagrin of our neighbor across the way. He was from Maine and camping in a small trailer. You know you’re in bad shape when someone from Maine is worried about you being cold! We took a short hike to the Dunes because neither of us had been there. We walked backwards–by then the snow had turned to ice pellets and were hitting us in the face. We got to the Sand Dunes, counted to three and turned around, all we could see was snow. We headed back to camp, not necessarily defeated.

At the campground we sat in my car with the heater on to warm up. The windows were fogged and you couldn’t see out of them. It was decided we wouldn’t be making a fire. Suddenly she said, “I am not having fun right now. I can stay but I don’t want to. Can we go home?” I suggested going to my parents’ house in Colorado Springs instead of back to Denver since their house was closer. We would at least be able to adventure the next day. After not so much of a drive but a slow crawl, we arrived at my parents’ house, exhausted.

We laughed about the trip and enjoyed the adventure so much that we made it a yearly thing. To date, we still have not had a weekend with completely clear weather, no matter what state we are in.

Climbing Kilimanjaro

Most things I decide to do I can tell you the exact moment or time the idea appealed to me. I can’t with Kilimanjaro; I don’t remember when climbing it came on my radar. It’s been since at least 2014, but I’ve wanted to go on a safari in Tanzania since 2010-I don’t know if Kilimanjaro was part of that dream.

Last summer my friend visited and shared her goal of wanting to do all 7 peaks. After she left I was thinking about my desire to do Kilimanjaro and I text her, “Want to start with Kilimanjaro?” As she does with most adventures presented to her, she said yes. We spent months talking about it and finally made plans. We’ve set a date and picked a company, we’re officially climbing Kilimanjaro later this year!