In July, we packed up Petey and hit the road for our hiking/camping trip to Colorado. I thought I'd finally get around to sharing a few photos and stories from that trip.
We decided to take a different route than our usual drive north through Kansas. We headed though the Oklahoma panhandle, New Mexico, and finally ended up in Colorado about 10 hours after we started.
Driving through Oklahoma looks like a whole bunch of this. Old barns, towns with only a stop sign and run-down gas station (population of 8) and lots and lots of open fields. It's actually borderline scary to drive through most of the state if you're not used to it. It's the kind of drive where you can go an hour and not see one town. It's best to make sure your car isn't going to break down, that you have plenty of supplies, and you don't need gas.
Finally in the panhandle we were able to start seeing the New Mexico mountains in the background. It was well over 100 degrees and we saw some of the most hideous, giant grasshoppers we'd ever seen. They're not afraid of you, either. This one kept coming straight at us until we fled back to the car wishing we'd never left it.
We called it the land shark, and cursed all the creepy creatures that can only survive in arid conditions like the Oklahoma panhandle.
In New Mexico, the beautiful thunderstorms started to roll in. It was such a nice break from driving 6 hours in 100+ heat and sun. Finally we were able to open the windows and breathe in the mountain air.
When we drove over the Colorado border, the sunshine started to pour in, again.
We were headed to Leadville, and we were just 2 hours away when I started to see the first of the 14ers. They were intimidating, and I was nervous. Traveling to Colorado a handful of times in my life never seemed as scary as the moment I looked up at a mountain this size and realized we were here to climb to the top.
It was Monday morning, and in 3 days we would get ready to summit Mt. Elbert, the tallest mountain in the range. I stared at them from the window, wondering what it would be like to reach the top of the snow capped mountain.
Ready or not, we had 3 days to get ready for the most challenging hike we'd been on. We pushed on to Leadville back country, where our Yurts were waiting for us.
next: Part Two: The Yurts