In early spring of 2007 I decided to quit my job, sell my house along with nearly everything else that I owned, and to live out of my car while traveling the country. These are my stories (and pictures) of life on the road.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Second verse, same as the first

Sorry about the lack of updates in the last week. I've mostly been in the middle of nowhere with no cell service and very few opportunities for Wi-Fi connections.

Sarah arrived late on Wednesday just as I was wrapping up at the library in Silverthorne. We hadn't seen each other in over 3 months (I hadn't seen anyone I'd known in over 3 months) and it was great to hang out with her again. She drove out with a couple friends and we didn't know where we were staying other then it was at the ranch that her friends uncle works for. It turned out to be about a 50 minute drive NW from Silverthorne down a gravel road to a 8000 acre ranch in the middle of the mountains. We all pitched some tents in the yard that we'd call home the next few days.

Since this was Sarah's first venture into the mountains it was time to switch into full tourist mode. Hitting the sights and seeing all we could see in the short time we had before she had to be back home for work (in less then a week). We had a great time packing it all in. Heading to Rocky Mountain National Park on a weekday to beat the crowd and then a Class III rafting trip the day after that. Saturday we headed to Denver for a wedding of one of her friends (her reason for coming out). We all had a blast dancing at the reception before calling it a night at the hotel. The next morning we got up and while Sarah got caught up on some reading I met a fellow member of for a quick lunch before we packed up our things again and headed north to Ft. Collins.

We did a little shopping around Ft. Collins before calling up Randy Bernklau, who I know from iATN and worked with shortly about 5 years ago, to see what he was up to. Turns out they were just firing up the grill so we headed out to his acreage on the west side of town for a great meal, great company, and a great view of the mountains at sunset. He was kind enough to offer us a place to stay for the night so we could wake up refreshed in the morning for a trip up the Poudre Canyon as we began our journey back to the midwest.

It was a gorgeous drive up through the canyon, even if we did have to dodge a few rain showers. We only had a few days left and were trying to plan our return trip when we heard the weather report saying the temps in Wyoming and South Dakota were supposed to be around 100 degrees the next couple days. When we heard that we knew we wouldn't be doing anything in the middle of the day so we made a hard push to drive through Wyoming and into the Black Hills of South Dakota before we fell asleep that night. We woke up in the morning when it was still nice and cool for a good hike around the Black Hills. A little after lunch time we hopped back in the car, turned on the air conditioning and started towards the badlands. We stopped for a while in Rapid City to kill some time and to do some shopping during the heat of the day, arriving in the badlands a little before sunset; giving us the best views of the day arriving from the west.

I noticed that my return trip to Iowa was taking a nearly identical route with the same destinations I'd hit on my way from Iowa. It was more fun doing them all a second time though with someone else along. This time I decided I'd admire the buffalo from the safety of my car instead of stumbling across them in the middle of the night on the prairie. It wasn't quite as exciting, but it wasn't near as scary either. I couldn't convince Sarah to get out and pet one even though they did look tame. Where's her sense of adventure?

We found a place to cook some food and sleep for the night and when we woke up to another cool morning again we got a nice hike in before it started to get real hot. We got back to the car, pulled it in the shade, and made some pancakes for breakfast before hitting the road for one last big push to the east; which would get us back home again that evening.

While I was looking forward to getting back home for a visit I was also getting pretty excited about heading east this fall. Definitely not ready to be done with this trip yet.

If you want to see some more pictures of our trip back check out the most recent pics on my main Flickr page. If you're viewing this poster at a later time and date you'll have to dig through some sets to find them. Or maybe if I'm nice I'll remember to come back and update the links.


bjbuell said...

What? You couldn't stop and see us in South Dakota again!? I would have cooked for you!

Alan said...

Was everyone one gone during some point in the day? If so then we did stop by your house but no one was home.

If someone was home all day then I really wanted to stop by but Sarah wouldn't let me.

You've reached the end of the page but that's not the end of the stories. If you want to read more (and who wouldn't!?) then click on the archive links to the right hand side of the page. They're listed by month; the adventure starts in May.

The February archives aren't actually from this trip but are previous adventures I've had, which are worth reading as well.