Friday, May 21, 2010

Side note...

It's interesting because while we have been traveling I have realized how important it is to make friends with the locals. The more friends we make the more information we get on things to do and sights to see. I like not knowing what we are going to do next and relying on the kindness of strangers to lead us in the right direction.
Day 3 - Moab mountain biking excursion

Days are begining to run together for me and I am having a hard time remembering the route we took. After the set back in Grand Junction we woke up bright and early once again, and headed off to Moab. Since we have Kelty with us we knew we wouldn't be doing much in the National Parks so we looked for other options. Brandon had been talking about mountain biking and really wanted to try it so we went to a local shop and rented some bikes. We were told Moab has some of the best mountain biking trails in the world so we needed to try it out. It definitely was an experience. I was fairly certain I would be heading over my handle bars during the journey but we finished the trail unharmed. It sure was exhausting! We did a twelve mile beginner - intermediate trail, and let me tell you there was nothing beginner about that! I felt like I was plummeting to my death a few times while riding the brakes down the mtn, but after I relaxed a bit the ride went much smoother. All in all the ride was a blast, and now we are both ready for our next big purchase... a mountain bike.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What next?

Brandon and I have been on the road now for almost two weeks. During this journey we have done some great hikes, met some interesting people, and learned a lot about how to travel on a budget. We are both tired from packing so many things into what seemed to be a short trip but we're excited to get back to Estes and start our summer.

I'm not even sure where to start for this trip because it seemed to fly by and what we did at the begining of the journey seems like it happened last month!

Day 1 & 2 - Grand Junction, Palisade, Colorado National Monument

The start of our trip took us a short drive to Grand Junction. While we were there we of course visited all the city has to offer... Palisade (just outside of GJ) is in the bananna belt we were told which makes it a great climate for grape growing. We visited some of the many wineries, breweries, and even a distillery, and called it a night. We found a great state park to stay for the night and decided to throw everything into the front seats of the explorer, lay the seats down, and roll out our sleeping bags. What a great way to camp! Easy set up, no fee, warm, and comfortable... We got very used to this as the nights went on.

The next morning Kelty woke up of course before sunrise, so we were up bright and early to head to the Colorado National Monument. The morning was beautiful but the forcast called for rain so we were certain we would get rained out for our plans later in the day. After hiking around the Monument, Kelty was ready to get out of the car and we wanted to get to the Black Canyon for a backpacking trip. Brandon had researched this hike and was so excited for it. There was great fishing, sights, and a great hiking trail for Kelty. After driving two hours from the Monument we head down a dirt road to get to the trailhead. This road was another 30 minutes at the least and we still weren't there... We look into the distance and there is a huge grey cloud that looks as though a storm is near. I wasn't sure what to do because I knew Brandon had been looking forward to this hike, so I started packing things up. Hiking in the rain is one thing but when you are backpacking and all the stuff in your pack has a chance of getting soaked it could be a long night... then add a wet dog on top of that.. I did not think this was a great idea.

After talking it over we decided.. with much hesitation.. to turn the car back around. We were in the middle of nowhere, on a dirt road, and if the road got flooded from the rain we would be stuck in mud for who knows how long. This made me nervous, of course, and I was glad to be heading back to town towards the rain.

As we drove we noticed that the storm cloud never seemed to get closer (and we were driving towards it). We looked back to where we had come from and that storm cloud was there now! I was so confused... I have been in the Mountains for two summers now and have never misjudged a storm this much. To my surprise we find out it was a dust cloud. It was hovering over the city all day and the rain never came. I just wanted it to rain. But it never did.

Now that we had lost the entire second half of the day - and when I say that I mean two-thirds of the day because we were up by 5 - we decided to head to a brewery and get some happy hour drinks. As we were ordering our first two beers, a local of Montrose, CO, started conversation with us. We told Randy of our plans, or lack there of, and he had some suggestions for us. He seemed to know the area of the entire SW very well, so it was great information. We seem to make friends everywhere we go and here was no different. Randy, a contractor, was on his way to Telluride to work on a house there and he invited us to stay the night if we would be passing through anytime in the next week. What seemed to be a great offer and sounded like a lot of fun, we decided to pass because it was out of our way. Maybe next time we are offered to stay in a multimillion dollar house we won't pass it up. We exchanged numbers and went our separate ways for the night. Going back to the same state park we stayed at the night before.