It was just a month ago that I arrived back in the U.S., and in that short time I have had so much fun visiting with my friends and family. I’ve been on a few road trips and outdoor adventures, and had some time to pull my life together. I got to spend my first two weeks up in Michigan, camping with my extended family on the Big Lake, writing, relaxing and taking a vacation away from my extended vacation… which was very needed…when I hit U.S. soil, I had $65 in my pocket, a months worth of overdue student loan payments, and no plan… After a solid week trying not to stress, consulting friends and family and making some phone calls, I felt a little better about the changes that are going to take place as I shape-shifted from an ultra-mobile global vagabond with endless horizons, to a post-undergrad with a $30,000 student loan stake in my foot.
Looking back at this last year, I am amazed at all the experiences that I was able to have. But, they required that I be living on the run for the last 9 months… budgeting, planning, working odds and ends, packing, moving, always in transit, diving head first into an awesome adventures, unsure at the end of which, where I would be… All that being said, I am excited about the prospect of having some stability in my life.
After some thought, I decided to call some friends back in Durango where I did my undergrad, after talking with them and getting excited, I decided to move forward (as opposed to back) to Durango and see what I could drum up… At this point I had made my way back to Fort Collins and was spending time with my parents and some buddies from high-school while looking for ways to get down to Durango where I could start looking for a job. My sister left an old Toyota 4-Runner in Fort Collins, and my father told me it needed a bit of work, but it’d probably make the journey. So me and my dad spent a few days working on the car, getting new tires on it, and getting it cleaned up and road worthy.
So, I strapped my bicycles to the roof rack and loaded up my sisters old rig up with my dusty ski gear, climbing gear, cloths and an old Weber grill. I was getting exited about another 500 mile cross-Colorado road trip… And adventure it was… with 230,000 miles on the V-6 Toyota, I kinda wished I picked a rout with less steep passes on it… But the Toyota made it, granted at her own pace…
Making the drive from Fort Collins to Durango is one of my favorites. I try to make the journey different every time so that I can explore this beautiful state. I chose a 500 mile route that crossed 6 passes and went through Rocky Mountain National Park. It was slightly stressful seeing the “transmission oil temp” light come on every time I was cranking up a pass, but, I wound up pulling over every time the light came on for about 20-30 minutes, popping the hood and walking around to talk pictures. Although she was working hard to get up the passes we took it slow and made it with no problems at all.
After being on the road for 13 hours, I pulled into Durango well after dark, in a poring rain laughing to myself.
That night, I fell asleep on the floor of a room, that I knew I could call mine, for at least the next 12 months… I slept on that floor, for 14 hours…