And we are off!!! We pulled out of Denver with our Toyota 4-Runner packed with camping and climbing gear bound for Durango Colorado. Our Aunt Mary and Uncle Ken rented a house in the hills above Durango. We love spending time with them as they enjoy many of our same interests. And having spent some time at their place this past winter we knew it would be a wonderful basecamp to get our traveling legs under us.
Our plans for the time in Durango were to hike, climb spend time with family and decompress from the stress, and there was lots of it, that we had to endure over the past number of weeks. Turns out giving up your sources of income, selling most of your possessions and getting all the little things in life (banks, health insurance, etc.) set up for you to be homeless and disconnected creates a wee bit of pucker factor, dry mouth, goose bumps and sleepless nights. Crazy how much mental stress transfers to the body.
We had a GREAT surprise when on our first full day in Durango when Ali, Mary and Ken’s daughter flew into town to surprise us, she is a nurse in the Air Force. For the next five days we would enjoy playing and laughing with Ali….such a treat. My (Sean’s) parents also arrived that week for two days. It was great to enjoy some time hiking and even rock climbing, my mom’s first time ever! with them before we headed out on the road.
The first week was super relaxing as we spent time with family. We hiked, climbed, white water rafted down the Lower Animas River and made multiple visits to the local breweries. We also squeezed in the Animas River Days Fest and live music here and there. Thoughts of the stress of the previous couple of weeks melted away and seemed a distant memory. It was the most relaxed we have been in quite some time.
Week two brought more of the same, but with some changes too. My parents and Ali were gone and with less than a week until we truly hit the road the stress of what was coming started to creep in. Tacked onto that we had to get our first round of immunization shots this week for our upcoming international travel and we had to complete our East African Visa applications and send our passports to the Uganda Embassy in Washington D.C. Trying to wrap up those last minute, and important, details combined with our new focus on the pending heat wave we are about to drive into brought the stress closer to the surface.
We enjoyed so many nights cooking and just chatting away with Mary and Ken….it was truly the best way we could have ever hoped to start our 18 month journey. Being able to relax and not worry about the day to day life details for a while really started us on the right path….thanks so much Mary and Ken.
With the last intertational travel details taken care of is time to repack the truck and hit the road on what we plan to be 6 or so weeks of climbing our way through California and up the West Coast.
What is next? – A climbing road trip of the west coast