Sunday, July 27, 2008

into the woods

Today we start in on backpacking, which naturally means this will be my last post for a week. We drive up into the mountains from Pueblo this morning towards Buena Vista. We'll camp at the trail head tonight and then start hiking Monday morning.

I've gotten a lot of questions over the past few weeks regarding such things as: Are you really going to sleep in a tent for a week? Are you going to have to carry all of your food on your back? You mean you're not going to have running water out there?

Yes, all this is true. I consider this true camping - back-country backpacking, carrying all your needed items on your back in a pack, and far, far removed from civilization. We sleep in a tent, not a cabin. We cook our own food. We do not have bathrooms. We do not care if we smell bad this week.

This in my opinion is the purest form of a vacation, and I absolutely cannot wait.

Our trip this morning will take us up one the prettiest drives in Colorado, that being the Arkansas River canyon from Canon City westward. It features 100-300 foot sheer cliffs on either side of a narrow canyon which twists and turns upward over the course of 30 miles. The road is right at the bottom of the canyon, bordering the Arkansas River which at this point will be quite narrow, though moving quickly and appears extremely pure with a blueish green tint. Very beautiful.

Buena Vista is the closest town to where we will be hiking, though even that will be about 20 miles away from us once we get up into the back-country. But to give some sense of placement, we'll be about 100 miles directly west of Colorado Springs up in an area called the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness. It's called this because the primary mountains of the region - reaching upwards of 14,000 ft tall - are named after a handful of the Ivy League schools such as Mt. Harvard, and Mt. Yale, etc.

So that's the plan folks. Five days from now (Friday) we'll be exiting the wilderness - hopefully much refreshed, and inspired by some of the most beautiful country in the world. Priority #1 will be finding a steak restaurant to partake of a medium-rare prime rib, after a week of eating dehydrated meals in ziplock bags. But after that I'll post an update or two here to bring you up to speed on how the week went.

I will say this, if you don't hear from me for say, I don't know, two weeks from now, you may want to call the ranger station in Buena Vista, CO. But I don't anticipate any issues... let's just pray for good weather, and safe hiking. Talk to you soon!

3 comments:

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Ive read this somewhere else.


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Melissa said...

i'm so jealous. y'all are gonna have a sweet time. i expect somehow to be able to see pictures.

Anonymous said...

wow, this is going to be quite the vacation...you're going to be just like the dude on discovery channel? man vs. wild? you're going to be living the DREAM! :)

have a great time!

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