We had cracked the window open the night before as the apartment tended to run a little warm. At some point in the morning I awoke with a chill and had to close the window. Rob woke up around 7 and watched a show on Netflix while I dozed off to sleep again. Around 7:45, we finally got up and showered and dressed for the hike and then realized it was snowing outside. It looked very cloudy and there was a chance of rain throughout the day. We weren’t sure what this would mean for the hike we had planned. Regardless, we were renting an SUV with a rooftop tent out of Boulder so we were going to be heading that direction anyway and opted to play it by ear. We all agreed to go out for breakfast this morning rather than cooking our own. We went to Snooze, which is a chain but only in a few states. Emma knew the hostess and she graciously gave us a free peanut butter chocolate pancake for the four of us to split. It was so good! I ordered the breakfast tacos with chorizo. Rob got the Havana Dreamin’, which is basically an open-faced Cuban with an egg on top. I was pleasantly surprised by this one, it’s not a true Cuban, but it was quite good!
After breakfast, we made our way to Boulder. We made a quick residential pitstop to pick up our new vehicle at its owner’s house. We continued on following Brian and Emma, now in our own ride; a 2010 Ford Explorer, outfitted with a rooftop tent, a fridge, sink and grill! We all drove to the Flatirons for another hike, this time a real one. It was pretty aggressive terrain, but a fairly short duration (about a mile in and a mile back out) which made it more manageable. The weather started off great, turned to hail momentarily, and then cleared up again all on the way up. The views at the top made it worth it. After soaking them in, we made our way back down in good weather and spirits. We weren’t quite ready to part ways with our gracious hosts, so we all decided to get a round of beers at West Flanders on Pearl Street in downtown Boulder. I got a sour beer which was excellent. Mandy got a gingersnap ale. We all shared a bunch of appetizers and soaked up the afternoon sun. We wandered around Pearl Street some more, until our parking meter was about to expire. At this point, we said our goodbyes and parted ways.
We hopped in our rig and drove off into the sunset.
Well, not quite, but we did spend the waning daylight hours driving along a bunch of canyon highway miles. We didn’t really know where we were going exactly. We just had a rough heading of “towards Estes Park”. We made a few stops along the way to see if a few areas allowed camping. After a few strikes, we found gold? Maybe? We aren’t really sure what the road we turned onto is. It had a few signs, but nothing that said no camping. As we drove up this windy, rugged dirt road, it became clear to us that it is regularly used for target practice, as evidenced by tons of orange clay shards littered about adjacent to the road. We didn’t see anyone as we continued climbing uphill. Eventually, we reached a dead end in a small cluster of trees. We came to be so very thankful for those trees.
We parked in a small circle at the end of the road, where the remains of a previous campfire rested. We setup our tent, which took very little time, and spent the remaining daylight doing some vehicle organization and inventory. It’s quite weird using someone else’s camping equipment! Eventually, we decided to climb up into the tent and do some writing for you all before getting some shut eye. At lights-out, we noted the silence all around us, and the pure darkness.
"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
- Bilbo Baggins
We're just an adventure-loving couple with a puppy looking to share our stories with the world.