Adventure - Page 8
24 DAYS ON THE ROAD
Our camp neighbor, Andy, a Navy man from Bremerton, Washington, joined us at our then-roaring campfire. He was cold from fishing all day and the night was beginning to chill down quickly. Andy was very impressed with our gourmet dinner, which we shared with him. Noting our teardrop camper and my unusual occupation as a brewer he declared, "I couldn't be that unique if I tried!" He was, however, unique enough to have brought some homemade blackberry jam, which he had made himself from the berries in his backyard, and he shared it with us for the bread.
That night it was cold and dark. It was the new moon, and without that glowing orb in the night sky, the stars were completely amazing. Only once before, in Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington State, had I ever seen stars that amazing. When you are that far away from big city lights and their washout effect, the multitudes of stars in the night sky are truly 3-dimensional. And indeed, they appeared to have strings of light connecting them to each other, exactly as I remembered them from that other clear, dark night, seven years ago.
We woke up early the next day and everything was covered in a thick layer of frost. Reconnected the teardrop to the car, packed up, and headed to the airport with Joy, both of us promising that it won't be five years till the next time we see each other!
From Wyoming into Colorado the land was mostly flat with some rolling hills covered in sagebrush. Saw several herds of antelope, two sand hill cranes, and a juvenile bald eagle eating road kill. Drove straight through to Steamboat Springs and stayed at the KOA, the most expensive overnight of my trip at $21. Normally I would have searched out a more scenic campsite, but it was nearly dark and I didn't want to drive further. A relatively tropical 62°F in the trailer at 10:00 pm that night, so I slept well.
After a hot shower the next morning (the only thing a KOA is good for, in my humble opinion), I headed toward Denver to visit my sister, Heidi, her husband, Jan, and their 10-day old baby, Jake, who was born while I was on this trip.
Wow, and I thought I was already in the Rocky Mountains! Took Hwy 40 through Sulfur Springs and Winter Park, and drove up the longest, steepest road of my trip. We (the Honda, the teardrop and I) had to get down into 2nd gear to make it over this baby. Was hoping the little engine that could, would. Whew! It did! Hwy 70 into Denver was only a little less steep (3rd gear), but murderously scary, as the lanes were painted quite close together, and after spending most of my time having 2-lane country roads to myself, Denver's 6-lane superhighways seemed quite crowded with numerous double- and triple-trailer semi-trucks barreling down on me from all sides.
Found my sister's house, and after I pried my white knuckles from the steering wheel, went and knocked on the door. Met my new nephew, who was, of course, the cutest baby I had ever seen, with long eyelashes and tiny everythings.
Click here to go to 1999 Teardrop Adventure Page 9.
The story is 16 short pages total. You can jump to other sections of the story here:
1 - Departure
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