My Experience – Rocky Mountains in Colorado
I live in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. I do not fear snakes, but I do fear roots. Last October I broke a rule and got married. Man, 10 minutes and I had already done it twice. One year I crawled into my sleeping bag and afraid I would not be found. She said “we are going to have a baby”. I screamed with excitement!
I did not tell her that I did not have a tent because I did not want her thinking I had abandoned her. She came out to my car (on foot) with the carcoat over my packed camping gear. She was colder then I thought and less inclined to give me warmth back then. We tried to make small talk about our day and ended up almost comatose. I decided to write this off to nerves, as I always do.
I spent the next month taking weekly flights to Grand Cayman and exploring island life. I could see clearly the river that separates Grand Cayman from Antigua. It was my friend’s house. We watched the boats go by at the harbor entrance. There we seldom any cars. At the beach itself people were very friendly and peaceful. I spent a week at the beach just lying around getting sun cooked by the kids.
It was such a sweet moment when I watched these poor people relax in their home away from home. I wished I had their baby. Then again maybe I did.
The other trip I went on was Cornwall. We rented a cottage right at the airport. It was not luxurious, but it was spacious. We could watch birds and do other things while we were waiting for the plane. Once on the plane I watched them enjoy a mini-vineyard tour. It was a lot of fun and of course I knew I would be sleeping in the same bed as them, but did not see them while they were soaking in the sun on their patio. Wow!
Once we landed in Cornwall I went straight to the Penguin Farm. I was surprised, but glad to see them. Most of the time while we were waiting for them to arrive we were all talking, or at least I was. I traded slight nervous energy for excitement and kept them in sight the entire time.
The children were quiet and consisted in simple hello and good morning. I was relieved to see they had the same interests as me. Hiking and bird watching seemed to be a pleasure for them. I could photo them if I wanted to, but they were into “play” and movement. At meal time we all sat around the small open fire roasting marshmallows and sharing stories. Of course we chattered on about our days. I did not hear much about the giant squirrels. Maybe next time. They were such tiny humans.
As the children went off to bed, I searched for tops and bottoms in the carpet. I could not really see, but could feel something was there. I was hoping that it was time for a middle-of-the-night feast.
The bell rang. The fire consumed wood. We were freezing out there in the backcountry. A hungry bear was not far away. I Chortled like I have never laughed before or since.
I felt so sorry for the poor campers in the tent. It was their misfortune to have the hooded bear roam around so aggressively. Perhaps if I had stayed inside the tent, there would have been a different ending. I exchanged a quick glance with my wife before scurrying out of the door and up the trail.
Our bump stopped when we got to the top. We stopped at the visitor center desk and presented our visitor’s card. They asked us if we had been hiking the previous day and if we had a tent. I buzzed the card through the reader. “Yes” was the automatically inserted answer. They said they would hold it for us.
We went to the campers office to fill out a basic card. They asked us to write down the nature of our hike so they could have a file on us. When I got back to the tent I saw my name on the list. It was official. I was officially a full time backpacker.
Back home I would stare at the card and smile. That was all it seemed to me. I did not see my face on the list. Perhaps next time.
Later that week I checked the website. They had a listing of every camp in the White Mountains. I started calling camp after camp. I was amazed at how many there were. astounded, I say to my rudder, why did you list so many camp sites?
I could list a dozen camp sites and still be frustrated. Why do you list only 10? I want to camp everywhere.
I raged to go home.
I needed to get out of the city.