There is almost nothing that can phase me while I’m on an adventure. Jeff can break down, storms can blow in and try to kill me, I can end up sleeping in sketchy truck stops… Doesn’t phase me a bit.
However the youngest member of my team needs 45 minutes to adjust to the idea that the seats fold down in Jackson. That being said, last Friday we packed up Jackson for his and Grant’s maiden road trip with A Man, A Jeep, No Real Plan.
This adventure stays true to the spirit of this blog. We have a rough outline, but nothing set in stone. We also are being joined on this trip by my parents, who normally go to the cabin this time of year anyways. Luckily the also embrace the “winging it” mentality…
So, on Saturday morning we embarked on what ended up being a 32 hour long stumble westward.
According to google, the trip is about 20 hours of actual driving. How did we spend the other 16 hours? Well there was some time spent betting my father that he couldn’t fit through holes in random objects. As of writing, he has not gotten stuck yet.
We also spent a good chunk of time trying to find open businesses that also have open bathrooms. I knew going into this trip we were going to have some issues due to covid-19, but I didn’t expect it to result in driving over 100 miles while having to pee because literally no where had a freaking bathroom.
The only other notable thing is the fact that it is damn near impossible to find a hotel with 2 rooms in Kansas on short notice. When it was determined that it was time to stop for the night, I started calling hotels in a town about 50 miles ahead of us. according to google there are 15 hotels in this town. The first 13 of them I called didn’t have a single room available… Hotel number 14 had exactly 2 rooms available, so I booked them from the road. Upon arrival at this establishment we were greeted by a loud party in the parking lot. Thankfully the walls in this hotel were more sound proof than one would expect.
On Sunday evening we arrived at the cabin just in time to unload the vehichles and put Grant to bed.
Monday was spent getting used to the altitude. In the morning we took Jackson out and got some dust on him in the morning. When we stopped Caitlyn got a bunch of photos, I only got two. The above one I am falling in love with. When I get my act together and start selling prints, this one is definitely going to be available.
The other one photo I got is also likely to be available. Once Caitlyn was done with her photos she came and found Grant and I as we explored the various different types of bugs found at high altitude. He loves the grasshoppers up here. Caitlyn does not… At any rate, I snaged this photo as they were walking away and he was telling her all about the grasshoppers.
Monday afternoon we went into town for lunch and to find better wifi. While Caitlyn worked on her school stuff, Grant and I went exploring the beautiful town that is Creede. There was a distinct lack of tourists and some of my parents favorite shops were closed due to Covid-19 (some of them temporarily, some permanently). Luckily for Grant, the old train is still in the small park, and that is all of the exploring he cared to do. Mom and I ended up tag teaming who’s turn it was to play on the train and who got to go look in the shops.
Tuesday morning Caitlyn and I left the Tiny Terrorist with my parents and took Jackson out to play. We drove him on several 4×4 trails, the most challenging of which was up to Ghost Lake. I am proud to say that Jackson was able to go everywhere I wanted him to, even a few places that Caitlyn would rather I hadn’t tried. That being said I am still confident that Jeff can kick Jacksons ass. Eventually we will let them play together and find out.
Jackson wasn’t the only one to get to play on Tuesday morning. I wasn’t at 100% yet, but I was close enough to do some climbing. Nothing too major, just climbing ontop of some 20 foot bolders… It took the wind out of me…
You see, the cabin sits at about 9,000 feet above sea level. To give you some perspective on that the tree line (altitude where the air is too thin for trees to grow) is around 12,000 feet above sea level. So the air is a bit thin around here to say the least and over doing it before your body adjusts is a legit fear.
Another fear up here is wildfires. On Tuesday afternoon we picked up the little man and headed towards the scorched remains of The West Fork Fire Complex of 2013. This fire consisted of three seperate fires that were started by lightning. The individual fires were the West Fork Fire, Windy Pass Fire, and Papoose Fire (between the three fires over 110,000 acres was destroyed).
I have to tell you, walking through the destroyed forest 7 years afterwards is eary, as you can see above, its beautiful but unsettling. If I were to have an exhibit of these photos it would be called “Remains of the Temple”. My words just can’t do justice to what I saw.
On our way back from the fire area we stopped at this beautiful lush lake and hiked around a bit. I think the best part was watching the look on mothers of small children as the realized the genius of putting a bell on your preschooler while out in the wild. It’s great, Tiny Terrorist gets to free range in the wilderness, and we always know he is within ear shot and where he is without needing to hover.
At any rate, as the moon started to rise over the mountains, and the sun still beat down on us, we decided to call it a day and head back to the cabin.
Stay tuned for Caitlyn’s takes on our adventures and for the rest our adventures. We will be here for another 10 days and I think we all know that is plenty of time for me to have a few adventures!
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