We woke leisurely this morning. When we were good and ready, and not a moment sooner, we started out of bed. Mandy cooked breakfast for us again, while I cleaned up the cabin and the truck. After breakfast, we made our way back down to the springs again. This time we could see much better. We were in awe at the architecture and landscaping of the entire facility. Even the restrooms are in a gorgeous building. The stonework that comprises and surrounds the pools is beautiful. The springs were mostly vacant, except for a small group of people who seemed to be doing some sort of professional photoshoot. Clothing remains optional for overnight guests, until the springs are open to the public at 10am, so you can imagine the sort of photoshoot. We chatted briefly with the photographer and the models who were all quite friendly. We hopped out around 10 to finish up packing our gear and to check out.
Once again, Mandy turned the key in the ignition of the Explorer and nothing happened. We were able to get a jump start from the park staff. We went into town to find a coffee shop for coffee (obviously) and to post a couple updates for you all. We also got on the phone with the vehicle’s owner, we think. There’s some sort of weird partnership involved with owning and renting the vehicle, or something. But the point was to reach an agreement with them about reimbursing us for replacing the truck’s battery. We had been hoping to get to more remote places, but its lack of reliability and recovery equipment has us second-guessing if that is a good idea. Under normal circumstances, in our own vehicles, this sort of thing would be a non-issue, but these are not normal circumstances. We found an Advance Auto Parts store and bought a new battery after we’d been paid for the total. I replaced it in the parking lot in short order, and we were good to go. I also tried the recommended troubleshooting procedure in the Yeti Goalzero 400 manual. It just recommends to disconnect the battery terminals, wait 10 seconds, then reassemble. There was no change after this procedure, so we stored it away again, and set out.
On the road, we made way back to Breckenridge. This time for real. The weather and views were amazing all along the route. We made some photo op pit stops along the way. As we were nearing our destination, we stopped in at the Dillon Ranger Station to inquire about dispersed campsites. The ranger explained that there was nothing available this early in the season within the Dillon district. However, he suggested we call the ranger in the next district south of Breckenridge, and gave us the phone number. We reached out to a ranger there, who provided us with some tips about forest service roads.
We continued on to and through Breckenridge. We went up to Hoosier Pass on the Continental Divide, and then descended into Fairplay. Just south of Fairplay, as we were told, there are forest service roads that would be open and which we could camp on. Perfect! As we continued on out into the middle of nowhere, we debated if this was a good idea. We considered what might happen if the truck didn’t start. We surveyed the surrounding area, which was wide open plains, and considered the possibility of another night of strong winds. We also estimated the drive time to get into Breckenridge the next morning, and what time we’d have to be up in order to pick up equipment, a lift ticket, and get onto the mountain for first tracks. We turned around in the middle of the dirt road we were on, (which still had another six miles or so to go) and we went back into Breckenridge. We were so torn, but ultimately agreed this was the best option. We found a hotel with room for us for one night on really short notice.
After we checked in, we walked the short 10 minutes to Main St. to find some dinner. We ended up at Kenosha Steakhouse, at the bar. We got a round of beers and ordered some appetizers. I got Broken Compass Fruit Boot double IPA, and pulled pork mac and cheese. I got the Colorado Cider Glider Cider and a cup of bison chili. Rob got a Smore's stout by Short's Brewing Company which was delicious. We figured we’d get something else for food, but after we’d eaten our orders, we were content. We ordered a night cap; Yellow Snow, and Coco-Nuts, and then went back to our room to sleep.
"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.