I am writing this from the warm, heated space of our Airbnb. Heaven.
Our first camping trip wasn’t a glowing success. Puck seems to have mostly forgiven me; but it was one of those times I was glad he hasn’t figured out how to call the SPCA.
I had been worried about the weather, but after several upbeat conversations with a guy at a local outdoor shop, I decided to go for it. We reached our camping spot around noon on Friday. I wanted to make sure I had many hours of daylight to set things up. It was very (very) windy, but that was expected. The forecast said it would be dying down soon. I was very proud when I set up our new tent. With that accomplished we drove to town for trail maps and to get our bearings. And to wait out the wind. When I really couldn’t justify one more coffee, we headed back up to our campsite. The wind was still howling, and all of our sleeping gear was covered in fine layer of sandy dirt. I figured I could shake it out when the wind stopped… right.
We sat in the car while I ate a cold dinner. Waiting for the wind to stop. Then we decided we would just have early bed. Surely the wind would stop overnight.
Puck was fairly jumpy for the first few hours, but eventually settled down. He had not been feeling well but luckily it was not every-hour-on-the-hour potty trips. I tried to keep him covered with his two blankets, but once I fell asleep he managed to shake them off. When I woke up around 4:00, my nose was the only thing sticking out and it sure felt cold. But how cold could it be, really? This is the Banana Belt of Colorado! Puck was not shivering, which I now attribute to him having gone into hibernation mode. When we both had to pee badly, we got up. The ice on the tent was ominous. Temperature: 22 degrees. So we sat in the car and cranked up the heat to stay warm until we could run. I drank coffee, Puck ignored his food, and we waited.
Once the sky lightened, we hit the trails for a run. It was clearly too cold to bike, but we needed to do something. The trail was lovely and we had a nice run. By the time we were done, the wind had started again. We headed down the hill to warmer climes for my first mountain bike ride. Which was short and tentative.
I now suspect the wind blows here a lot and the locals just don’t tell you that.
Day 2 of camping was very similar to Day 1. We hung out in town. I drank coffee, then a beer, then another beer. Back at the campsite, we sat in the car, I ate a cold dinner, we froze our butts off in our sleeping bag and blankets that were now fully saturated with dirt. It was 28 degrees when we got up. Windy.
After another run and a short, very cold bike ride, I disassembled camp, threw all the filthy equipment in the car and we drove to town to wait for our Airbnb. I spent several hours at the laundromat. The Airbnb looks like a garage sale for camping equipment. But it is warm. Did I mention that?
It wasn’t exactly the best first camping trip; but on the bright side, our next camping trip is almost guaranteed to be better.
Salida is a very cute town. I have found excellent coffee, excellent beer, excellent trails. Is there anything else?
We have been running and biking. I’m slowly gaining confidence on my mountain bike. Puck seems to be getting over his tummy bug.
We are warm.
Life is good.