Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Setting up Primitive Camp...(Colorado: Part Four)




It was Wednesday morning and we'd just gotten back into Leadville from our Yurts. We hadn't had a shower since Sunday night, and dropped by a laundry mat to do a load of laundry and take a shower.




We stopped at a little local Mexican restaurant and ate until our bellies were full. We'd been living off of Cliff Bars, beans & rice, bananas, and almonds for 2 days.



We drove about half an hour to Twin Lakes, where we would set up camp at the Mt. Elbert trail head. The moment I had been counting down to since February was just hours away.



Finding a spot to camp was a little less than easy. There was a campground close by, but Michael was dead set on a camp in the middle of nowhere.




The aspen trees were beautiful.

It was only 6:00pm and it was already almost freezing. We were at the highest
elevation I had ever camped in, and that night it would get down in the mid-30's.
The mosquitoes were the worst I've ever experienced.



We hurried to build a fire and set up our tent and tarps before the sun went down.
Michael cooked steaks over the fire while I packed all of our needed items for the morning hike. The hike. Everything I had researched and prepared for. Moleskin and band-aids, a first-aid kit, cliff bars and snacks full of carbs and protein, a camel back, my hiking socks, the boots I'd been wearing in for 4 months, extra clothes, flashlights, camera equipment, bug spray, and phones.



Hunter was out cold, still exhausted from our hike up Horseshoe Mountain. We'd already hiked over 30 miles in 3 days, and tomorrow we would add another 12. My old man was pooped.
I finally had reception on my phone for the first time in almost 3 days, and called my parents. I talked to them both, and they were both worried sick.
When we got home from our trip, My Mom told me that her and my Dad had stayed up all night, trying to use Google Satellite to find out where we were in case anything happened to us.

I slept terribly that night. It was freezing, I was scared to death of being in a flimsy tent in the middle of the Rocky Mountains with bears, cougars, and crazy mountain people out there with no help around for miles.


And mostly, I just stayed up thinking about Elbert. What would it be like? Would I be able to do it?
It was raining at this point.
Tomorrow the weather predicted storms, and I knew that if there were any lighting, on top of the 2nd tallest mountain in the United States was not where we wanted to be. One more thing to stay up all night worrying about...



next: Climbing to the summit of Mt. Elbert

32 comments:

Christine--RHP said...

Oh dear. This must have been nervewracking. I couldn't do it. Can't wait to see how it went!!!!!!

Kathleen said...

cute flashlight hat :] were you feeling any pregnancy symptoms at this point in your trip? Suspecting anything...?

Aura said...

Not at all! Other than passing out. Actually I was doing one of those conception calculator things, and it said that the egg implanted in my uterus the day before our big hike. So weird.
We call it Yurt Baby.

I was starving the whole time and peed a lot, but those could also just have to do with how many calories we were burning, and the gallon of water I was drinking a day. I didn't start feeling really pregnant until I was around 7-8 weeks along. Then came nausea, hives, acne, bloating, headaches, indigestion, fatigue, sore boobs, food aversions... basically everything terrible that happens, happened :) Lucky me.

Kathleen said...

Yurt Baby! too cute... I guess Violet would be... "bad sushi night baby"

Annie Kennedy said...

This makes me want to camp so badly! :) I love hearing your stories, and those trees are GORGEOUS. I can't wait to hear the rest of this, and what an adventure to tell your Yurt baby one day! :)

Pam said...

this is exciting, i love how you're ending each post like a chapter, i feel like i'm reading a book and someone is holding the next few pages hostage from me lol

angie on maui said...

Aura, I'm loving each installment of your CO trip...this post, especially. It reads like a choose-your-own-adventure-book and we're your audience living vicariously through you. :)

So excited to read what happens next!

Kristina Fournier said...

AH! I am loving these posts. You make me so envious that Stephan and I have yet to travel ANYWHERE together since we've been together. But only two more years of being under Marine rule then we're outta here!

So, SO excited to finally read your next post. And I can only imagine how beautiful the photos are going to be!!

Notes from Holly St. said...

great photos..that burrito is calling my name!

Hollie said...

Sore boobs!! That was how I knew I was pregnant. I hope you're feeling better now.

I love all the thin, tall trees. Can't wait to read more!

Alexandra Durbin said...

These pictures are so beautiful. I am so looking forward to having travel experiences like this with my own Mister. I went camping in Yellowstone this past summer, and it too was absolutely freezing. It gave me a new found appreciation for all the animals that live gracefully under such harsh conditions regularly.

Sini said...

Scary and same time amazing, your camping trip. I love to read these post, like others said before there in comments, it's like a story and I need to follow it :) I'm converting all these lenghts and degrees while i'm reading, wow. 30miles is much more than I did think :D

Ruthie said...

Ahhh the Quaking Aspens...I love the sound their leaves make when the wind dances through them, and the flour-like dust from their smooth bark. Makes me miss the ones in the yard of my childhood home. I love reading about your adventures Aura! Thanks so much for sharing them.

amber said...

these photos are BEAUTIFUL! it just looks amazing! and wow, you guys are hard core!

Kara said...

you are so fascinating! and co is gorgeous!

Johanna said...

I am loving your mountain story! I'd like to do this someday.

For the first time ever this summer, we camped in a forest highly populated by black bears (Northern California). In Kentucky, we don't really have bears, and I'd never seen one in the wild, so I was totally spooked. I can relate to that scared-in-the-tent feeling! Our campsite even had a sign posted notifying us that bears had been there the night before. The next morning, we came across one on a trail! Holy shit, I almost died - my nightmare came to life! It was about 30 feet away and more afraid of us than we were of him. He ran off. Whew!

Casa e Cose said...

Hi!

Just love to read your blog! So personal and well written and amazing photos! Want to know more about your HIKING too!!!

Every Little Thing said...

I keep thinking how my 7-year-old puppy (always a puppy in my eyes!) would do hiking like that. She's kind of a brat so I think she'd enjoy it to a point, and then start giving me those eyes. Those "I can't believe you're doing this to me, why are we still here?" eyes. I think she literally rolls them sometimes.

I'm glad your puppy made it through! haha

Kim said...

I love these Colorado posts (as I do all your posts really) Its like reading a good book...and then you have to put it down... but you dont stop looking forward to reading more and seeing what will happen next! You are one brave lady Aura! Go get that mountain!!!

Olivia said...

What the heck? I'm totally nervous reading this post and waiting for the next!! lol!

christina said...

i just have to say - i've been reading your stories since 2002-2003...way back in the lj days. i've seen you through breakups, hair school, meeting michael, planning your wedding, being a perfect wife, and now being a mom - i can't even believe it! it makes me feel so old! i feel like i know you in a way i cant explain, from the way you write and invite people into your life. thank you for being so open and congratulations on all the new beginnings in your life. you're going to be a fantastic mom. :)

<3 from new york.

Amber said...

I am seriously biting my nails while I read these! I have been to Twin Lakes but did not camp in the wilderness. I would of been up all night freezing and worrying too.
Our family use to stay every summer at Mt. Elbert Lodge. It is such a beautiful mountain.

I can't wait to see your hiking journey. And I am so impressed that your lab went along with you. What a wonderful experience!!
XOXO
Amber

Julie-Inspired said...

What an adventure, and I don't think I would have slept much either.
p.s. your dog must love.love.love you two!

Julie

Anonymous said...

Tell me you bought one of those bars of soap, that is too funny! Beautiful, beautiful photographs! I can't wait to hear about the climb!

Parissa said...

I can't wait to read your next post! Love the photos! I'm curious about the crazy mountain people you were worried about... Had you actually met any of them, or just heard about them?

KT Mac said...

Ha! I'm so relieved to hear my parents aren't the only ones who obsessively use google maps and google earth to track my location when I travel!

Kim and Steve Brousseau said...

Aura,
The trips looks like so much fun. You two remind me alot of Steve and I. We're planning on hiking the cascades next year...Mount Sahalie. It will be a trip...miss you...still wish you could cut my hair!

S and O said...

Wow these pictures are so amazingly beautiful!
What a wonderful trip :)
xoxo
Olivia

Studio 13 said...

Beautiful photos.. just discovered your blog, and could sit here all day looking at them, and reading about your travels!

Tamara Nicole said...

Ooooh how fun!!!

FEDERICA said...

Just found your blog, and I'm glad I did!
Greetings from Italy,
Federica.

Lil Muse Lily said...

that burrito looks delicious!!!!
gorgeous pictures as always.