Our first destination is Denver to pick up our new camper. Like kids on Christmas morning, we can’t wait to open it up and play with it.
Leg one: 1300 miles – the sound of that delights us.
After being cramped on a landmass 40 miles by 60 miles with an island wide speed limit of 45 mph, we couldn’t wait to travel some distance and double that speed.
Colorado here we come.
By the second day, we’ve traveled through Washington’s agricultural basket, stopping just to sink our teeth into fresh juicy peaches and cherries purchased from a roadside fruit stand, we cut through Southern Idaho, across Southern Wyoming and drop into Colorado to the town of Walden.
As the sun settles in the western sky, ahead of us, the bright sunlight softens into beams of gold, the evening shadows begin to outline the mammoth mountain peaks. Lassoed by adrenalin and awe, Colorado is introducing us to the Rocky Mountains.
Jazzed on caffeine and dazed on beauty, we search Walden for a room for the night, but have no luck. We must go to Steamboat Springs which is about 100 miles away. Back on the road we go.
We’re halfway up the mountain pass when to our surprise the amber gas light flicks on. Not a welcome sight considering we have to travel 30 more miles up the pass, and 50 more down it till we get to a gas station. Turning and climbing, my anxiety rises like the elevation. Cell service and daylight disappear.
Trenton keeps cool as he drives unlike me, I’m squeezing the armrest, taking deep breaths and praying over and over, “Please let us make it!”
Finally we crest the summit; we descend and roll on closer and closer to the lights in the valley. Like the moon, our mood rises as the flashing neon gas sign welcomes us to town. Running on fumes, we pull in and fuel up. Acknowledging luck was on our side, we both let out a sigh of relief.
This was not in my plan I think to myself. But for this trip, our plan is to have no plan – a feat easier said than done for a constant organizer like me.
This journey is about making change, not just location, but a matter of thinking too. It’s about welcoming unpredicted situations; working through them and appreciating the lessons they teach you.
Throwing away the plan does not mean losing the focus – flying free requires some attention to detail. We appreciate this early lesson since tomorrow a 1200-pound camper will be installed to the back of our truck.
We turn our attention to finding a room but it turns out Steamboat Springs is completely booked, every room except for a fancy suite in some swanky resort that is. Too tired to keep searching, we check in, drop our bag and pour ourselves a couple stiff drinks.
Clinking the suite’s crystal glasses together as we sit at the foot of the goose down bed, simultaneously we toast, “here’s to not having a plan, and to never running out of gas.”