After our night in Fort Collins we woke up semi-early to pack our car for our El Grande 4-week West Coast USA Road Trip. Apparently both of us suffered from nervousness and excitement so badly that we ended up having a huge argument over petty things just to relieve the tension building up inside. I can’t even remember what exactly we argued about but I want to share the experience with you because, honestly, travelling isn’t always fun and games (or ‘honey licking’ as Triin would say in Estonian ‘mee lakkumine’).
It dawned on me how much time we had spent together. We had literally been in each others company for the past three months: neither of us went to work, neither left to spend time with their friends or to a gym class that only they like. Three months. About 99% of the time we are cool. Life of a traveller is pretty new to us which means that we’re figuring out our likes and dislikes as we go, in a rather unique setting. For example, when I used to live and work in London I enjoyed the routine, I loved cycling to work and I loved having conversations with different people every day, like my colleagues, friends and patients. Now, there is no routine, it’s all new all the time. The conscious alertness required to maintain a travelling lifestyle is enormous, no wonder we get into heated arguments and sleep like babies every night.
The funny thing is that I’m not tired of Triin’s company at all; she is interesting, funny and so intelligent, she is the BEST and PERFECT travel companion. I’m not just saying this because she reads this. It’s because she is the only person I would ever be able to spend this amount time with and there are so many things I love about being ‘us’, like how we listen to thought provoking podcasts and share our thoughts afterwards, what agreed or disagreed on. I love hearing what she liked about a place, because it usually differs from what I liked. I like that we are a team and I wouldn’t want any other travel companion. [Aww, says Triin]
So, after our exciting morning we began our trip towards the Four Corners in the south west corner of Colorado. Apparently it’s the only place in the US where four states meet: Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. It was a long way away along and through the Rocky Mountains and it promised to be a beautiful drive. Our RAV 4 was amazing and Triin was certainly enjoying driving again. We drove to a mountain village called Dolores about 5 hours from Fort Collins. The drive there was amazing – the road kept snaking over, around and through the steep cliffs of the mountains offering gorgeous views of the vast spaces and forests – we enjoyed it all. We really pushed to get to the Dolores campground because it was starting to get dark at about 7pm and apparently thunderstorms are a daily/nightly thing in the summer in the Rockies. We noticed plenty of dark thunder clouds around. Even our car radio at some point went suddenly silent across all channels and then offered some white noise with intermittent beeps and a grave male voice repeating ‘This is a test’ [ssshhhhhhgrsshhhh] ‘This is a test’ [sshhhgrshhh] which freaked us out a bit especially because last time either of us had heard anything like that was in a TV series Lost. Was the Dharma Initiative after us???
It was our first night camping and to be honest I was nervous, because it was my friend’s tent, so we were about to set up the tent for the first time in the dark and (maybe) rain. Luckily for us the tent was so easy and quick to set up. It was one of these pop up ones you throw on the ground and it bounces into a tent. Just as we got the main tent up the sky opened and it poured heavy mountain rain on us. Triin said I look very sexy in the awesome green poncho we borrowed from Amy. Luckily it stopped raining after half an hour and we could quickly prepare a delicious dinner of beans and rice (read: throw a can of beans and a bag of cooked rice in a pot and pray for no rain for 5 minutes whilst frantically stirring the mix in the pitch black darkness waiting for it to warm up enough for human consumption). We’re so #blessed, because we managed to finish cooking, eat and even brush our teeth in relative dryness. We fell asleep with a massive thunderstorm and hard rain raging over our heads but luckily for us we were so tired and just passed out. it was an eventful first day and I think we did really well.
We awoke in the morning to beaming sunshine and blue sky. Now we could truly appreciate how beautiful our campground really was so after coffee and breakfast we walked around a bit to take in the mountains and the river. I seriously couldn’t stop thinking of my parents, because we used to go camping and these American RV’s were HUGE!! Some of them looked like tour busses for Beyonce – I couldn’t stop staring at them. At the reception we had another coffee and just enjoyed the couch after our first night sleeping on a yoga mat. We were definitely getting an air mattress.
We explored the communal area and played the horse shoe game when a guy started talking to us. He was about my dad’s age and we spoke for a while about travelling and life in general. He was so nice and said that he admired the guts we had to leave everything behind to travel for an indefinite amount of time. Whilst i was taking photos of the campground I ended up talking to yet another interesting guy who had taken a backpack and a sleeping bag and travelled in the UK, Amsterdam and Germany like a proper nomad. It was fun meeting other travellers!
Then it was time to leave for Four Corners and after an interesting lunch of navajo burrito at a local diner at Dolores, we were ready. I love the idea of eating six small meals a day with the emphasis on small. We started to realise that we’re ok to share meals as the portion sizes in the US are pretty mental at times. The ‘single serving’ of navajo burrito, albeit delicious, made us for about 4 meals. I suspected this was not going to be great for my waistline.
Next stop Four Corners and then, Sedona in Arizona!