Saturday, January 25, 2014

Fri, Sept. 27 to Sat, Sept. 28: Back For More Sekrit Camping!

Again, belatedly posted, but better late than never! :)

Brennan and I went back to the sekrit camping place that we visited this past summer.  We knew that it would be chilly up in the mountains in late September, but I figured it would be manageable as we have decent camping gear, and Brennan is a human radiator.

We arrived just as twilight was really settling in, and found a light dusting of snow on the ground.

Not so bad, right?  Build up a cozy little campfire, and it's all good.
WRONG!  It was so freezing!  I stood practically on top of the campfire, or as close as I dared get for fear that I would catch on fire myself from the heat.  It was extremely windy that evening, even in the sheltered little spot that we found among the trees.  I can't imagine what it would have been like if we camped along the edge of the mountain like we did last time!

The tent was nice and cozy, though, and I was not even remotely cold at all that night.

I think the hardest part about the whole trip, though, was waking up the next morning.  The sun shone brilliantly through the trees, and the earth smelled so crisp and fresh, and the colors of the aspens were gorgeous , and the light little covering of snow on the fallen leaves looked so playful... but it... was.. freezing!  I don't think I've ever experienced anything like trying to change into clean clothes in that freezing air.  Lesson learned: sleep in my clothes when camping in the cold!
We had a delicious breakfast, and I begged Brennan to go for a walk with me in the sunshine in hopes that it would help me warm up.

And yeah, it was cold out.  And I left my hat and gloves on.
But it was gorgeous, and worth every freezing degree and breath of wind.

We wandered over to the spot where we camped several months earlier, and it looked much different than the warm green place we had back then!
The view was different, but just as gorgeous.

Kaylee was there of course, and Mikka (Brennan's German Shepherd), and they loved running around the mountain fields with us, unphased by the cold.

One of my favorite things about Colorado continues to be the colors.  While I miss the brilliant reds and oranges of the maples in New England, there is something so rich about visual experiences in this state and I wouldn't trade them for the world.

We had used up the little stock of firewood that some previous campers left at our campsite, so we gathered a few fallen trees to replenish the supply.  I'm pretty sure Kaylee was thinking "THROW BIG STICK!" the whole time!
Our original plan had been to stay for the entire weekend, and I'm pretty sure this was mostly my bright idea.  After feeling like I couldn't get warm all day, though, I asked Brennan if he wouldn't mind if we just left.  I was disappointed to leave this beautiful place, but didn't think I could take another cold evening and morning.

The drive back down that windy little road was incredible, and we reached a point in the drive where all of a sudden the world around us was tinted yellow by the light filtering in through those lemony aspen leaves.

I love this place.

I want to try cold weather camping again, but I think next time I'll do some reading up on tips from others about how to make it a more pleasant experience. :)  The crispness of the air and the colors and shapes and textures all around us were more than worth the discomfort, though, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.