We actually ventured out into the wild wilderness twice this summer for some close-by camping. It’s sort of a feat to make it out a few times, and we are bizarrely satisfied with getting there twice between only 8 weeks that Ahna has off, several weeks of which were already committed and compounded by my work schedule. The first trip was up to the Breckenridge/Keystone area, where we camping close to Lake Dillon. It was an extremely welcome relief from the stupid hot summer that we had down here, as the nighttime temperatures dropped into the upper 30’s.
Prior to that trip, we had been sporting a three person dome tent as our ‘spacious’ tent, but we decided to hit the local Coleman store and look for a clearance tent that might fit a slightly larger bill. Boy, did we ever. It cost us under $80, and it’s an eight person dome tent that I think could fit the car if it were needed. When I tested it out in the backyard prior to the trip, I worried we had made a size mistake. Who, in their right mind, would ever need a tent that size unless you were attempting to camp several families under one roof? But because of the very good cost, and the idea that it would potentially serve us well as car campers for the next few years, we gave it a shot. It turns out that I’m really glad that we kept it. Once we got up to the site, we went into Breckenridge for some fun at their adventure area before hitting some dinner in Dillon (rough camping trip, right?….PS – didn’t want to push too hard with it being Ezra’s first time out since he was one, and Ahna being 26ish weeks pregnant). Once we got back to the campsite, the temperature dropped, the thunder rolled in, and the rain came. From 6pm until after 2am. No campfire, no stargazing, no ghost stories. Just time in the tent…in the large, spacious tent that had room for all of us to find a space and not feel on top of each other. It was perfect.
The second trip also featured a few firsts for us: first time that just Ezra and I went out, and the first time that we went along with another family. We headed down to the Arkansas River Headwater State Park and camped right along the river (about 100 yards away). We did take the smaller tent this time, as we figured that the weather would be nicer (it was), and Ezra would have some friends to play with (he did). Cooked dinner at the site, had a campfire, ate smores, and told stories (non-ghost made up ones by the kids). We had one trip in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom (glad Ezra is a boy in this case), and we awoke in the morning to find bighorn sheep roaming the campsite area. On the way home, we drove the Skyline Road in Canyon City (video below of our trip taken with a GoPro camera)…which is a must drive if you are ever in that part of the state.
The trips resulted in lots of fun and a desire to push for more of them next summer. We all got a little dirty and smelly, but we survived the heat, the cool, the rain, and the sun…and did so on the ground inside a tent. Good times.