Camping in a tent and finally leaving Telluride

It’s light when I wake up and I press the button on the car keys to open the back door. I enjoy the cold air entering the car and the view of the now familiar mountains. I stay in bed for a while with the door open. I think I’ll just have a relaxed weekend. Where I’m usually quite focussed on seeing as much as I can on road trips, I want to take it a bit slower this time. While I have my breakfast I talk with the campers next to me named Nicky and Jeff. They’re breaking down their tent and travel to a different place. We have a friendly talk and they give me some tips for places to travel to. You can find friendly people practically everywhere in America.
After breakfast and enjoying the view for a while I drive back to town and sit down in the coffee place – bookstore. The other day I discovered that there is one power outlet behind the couch at the bookstore and I sit down to recharge my laptop, phone and power banks while posting new stories to my travel blog. When the blogs are posted and my devices recharged, I go outside and plan to do another hike.
It’s the third of the three hikes that the lady at the bookstore had recommended me. A local told me other day that this one is most challenging and indeed it’s a steep hike up. It also might not help that I had pizza and beers last night, haha! At three quarters of the climb I’m a bit tired and put in my headphones for a change. I normally don’t do that, but am surprised again by the power of music. As soon as the beats enter my ears, I’m filled with new energy and continue hiking with a faster pace. At the highest point there is a comfortable bench offering a great view of the surrounding mountains. I sit down for a while until more people show up and then continue hiking down. Going down is a lot easier and it goes through a forest, offering some shade. I have my lunch halfway down and then walk back to my car. Yesterday one of the guys at the party told me about a mountain lake at the other side of the mountain where you can camp as well. It’s a dirt road to get there, but not as bad as the one from yesterday and I’m glad I’ve had some practice by now. It’s only early in the afternoon and I have plenty of time, before it gets dark so I drive carefully and slow. When I arrive at the lake, most campsites are already taken, but I find one free site in the forest. Since I have time, I decide to set up the tent I bought at the start of the roadtrip. It’s the same model I had last year, but it’s an upgraded version with the the poles already connected to the tent. That makes setting it up a lot easier and I’m done quicker than I expected. I get the air mattress and sleeping bag from the car and prepare my sleeping place for the night. Then I put my swim shorts on and walk to the lake. It’s pretty cold, but I take a dive in it and it feels great and refreshing. I didn’t have a shower for a few days, so it’s extra nice to freshen up this way. When I’m back at the tent I relax with a book and later with Netflix. I like that I can have the comfort of comedy shows on the big screen of my iPad while camping. It’s a bit of the best of both worlds. I go to bed early, but am waken up around 10pm by some drunk and loud people a few campsites further. It takes about two hours before it quiets down and it’s a good practice to keep a positive mindset. I fall asleep again around midnight and wake up by myself at 5am. Perfect. I bring my stuff back to the car and break down my tent, not making any effort to be quiet either. Fitting the tent back into the bag is a struggle and I wonder why they don’t make those bags just a little bit bigger, that would make it so much easier. In the end I succeed at packing everything again and go for a walk around the lake before I leave. There is some snow on one side, funny to touch snow in July. I drive back to the coffee place and plan to actually continue the road trip today. I tell the store owner “This is probably it” and say goodbye. This time for real. I drive out of town and about halfway the next town I stop at a viewing point to enjoy breakfast with a last view of the mountains.
I drive the whole day. Colorado is absolutely beautiful, very green and a lot of mountains. The mountains further north are more spread out though and not as dramatic as in the Telluride area, which will definitely stay my favorite. When I’m close to Colorado Springs, there is another small town called Woodland Park where I have some friends living, Amy and Wess. I give them a call and they’re super excited for me to stop by. It’s great to see them again after about five years and it doesn’t feel that it has been that long. Amy is just cooking dinner and I’m excited to eat a healthy home cooked meal. Since it’s such nice weather, we eat outside in the backyard. We talk about my traveling and Wess tells me that Telluride is also his favorite area. After dinner we drive out of town and go for a short hike. We hike in the forest where they have a fun surprise, a huge natural construction of red boulders. It looks very random in the middle in the forest and contrasting with the green trees it’s a beautiful sight. I do a bit of rock climbing while Amy and Wes stay downstairs. When the sun is setting we drive back to home. It’s nice to take a fresh shower and sleep in a bed again for a change. I think I’ll stay here a few days before continuing driving further North.

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