Nature

Switzerland of America

Today the road trip continues. After having a relaxed day with Wes and Amy yesterday, I feel like traveling further again. In the morning Wes tells me that I’m about to travel to the most beautiful part of Colorado. He didn’t say too much, it is indeed an amazing landscape. It makes me think of the beautiful nature in New Zealand. High mountains covered with snow and many rocks and wide views.

The first destination of today is Black Canyon of the Gullison National Park. This wasn’t originally on my list, but we saw it in my book about the National Parks yesterday morning while looking at my route.

History

Visting old mining towns

When I wake up in the morning I see it’s 4AM again. I seem to be quite consistent in my waking up time here so far. Unfortunately I’m not feeling well. My body has to get accustomed to the high altitude here in Colorado. We’re at 8500ft here, that’s about 2,5km above sea level. It’s about twice as high as Helena, Montana where I more often go. Quite different than in the Netherlands where we are below sea level. Last night I had a few nose bleedings and right now I have a headache and feel nauseous. I hope it’ll get better soon and in any case I’ll be driving to Arizona later this week where the altitude is lower again. After writing for a while, I go back to sleep and wake up again at 7.30AM when some light is entering my room. I quickly get up so I can say goodbye to Amy before she leaves for work. I feel quite a lot better than a couple of hours ago and I’m full of energy again.

After I said goodbye to Amy, I have breakfast with Wes and together we look at my map and the route I’ve planned out. He gives me some recommendations for places to see and I adjust the route. We find some more National Parks to add to the map and some towns to visit.

Outdoors

Hiking the Rocky Mountains and visiting friends

During the night I wake up a few times. Partially because of the jet lag, but also because it gets very cold in the car. I’m glad that I bought a little more expensive sleeping bag yesterday. It does a good job in keeping me warm. Still I turn on the heating a couple of times in the night to make it a bit more comfortable. Around 3AM I’m fully awake and can’t sleep anymore. I’m happy to remember that the barista of yesterday told me that the local Starbucks opens 4.30AM. When she told me that I was really wondering why that would be, but now I’m happy that they’re open so early. After I have had breakfast in the car, I walk across the street and get a double espresso. It’s an early start of the day, but I think that’s okay, so I can do a long hike this morning.

After I update my blog and check my e-mail, it’s just about the time of sunrise and I drive to a place in the Rocky Mountains that Chris pointed out to me yesterday. Just after seven o’clock in the morning I enter Rocky Mountains National Park.

People

A friendly mountain town

At around 4AM I wake up when Adam is quietly walking into the kitchen / living room. He’s making coffee and getting ready to go to the gym. Back home I don’t know anyone who wakes up earlier than I do, but this guy apparently has the same mindset as I. “This is the only way to get ahead in life”, he says, “If I wanted to be average, I’d do average. There is a reason why I do what I do.” I smile and understand what he means. There are many people that say that they are not a morning person, but I believe that everyone can be a morning person if you want to and have a good reason to wake up on time. When you’re traveling it’s also nice to wake up early so you get the most out of your day. I download an app to show me the local sunrise, so I’ll be on time the coming weeks to take nice pictures.

After Adam leaves the house I first think about getting a bit more sleep, but since I’m already awake and slept for about eight hours, I figure that I can get up as well. I read the blog of yesterday another time before publicising, add some pictures and check my e-mail.

Traveling

Flying to America

It’s interesting how you can look forward to a journey, but at the days before departure don’t like it so much at all. Saying goodbye to family and friends, finishing work and packing everything isn’t my favorite thing to do. Especially the packing. I’ve traveled quite a lot so far, but I still always manage to pack too much. I think it’s because I like to have a choice when I’m traveling. Choice of clothes to wear, choice of books to read and so on. After a bit of a struggle I manage to bring the weight back to about one kilo over the limit hoping it’ll be okay. Just before I go to bed my neighbor Liv-Marit texts me to say goodbye. I walk downstairs and have a short chat. She recommends me to do some meditation before sleeping, to relax and have a good nights rest. I say goodbye to her, set two alarm clocks and follow her advice. It was a good idea, just focussing on your breath for a moment before you fall asleep helps clearing your mind.

Life

Time for a new adventure

I’ve had several blogs in the past. One of them is of my first journey in the United States in 2011 where I traveled for 80 Days in America. Another one is the blog of my adventure in New Zealand in 2017. These websites contain the stories of beautiful journeys I’ve made and are full of good memories. I think that writing blogs while traveling is a nice way to stay connected with other people and to share experiences.

Next week I travel to America again. Unlike some previous trips, I won’t do much work this time so I can focus more on the journey. In line of that I was thinking not to write a blog either, but last week I realised that I would probably miss it. I love to write and it also helps me experience traveling in a different way. Traveling alone is a great way to discover the world and life and more about yourself, but it’s also nice if you can share your stories.