Nomadic Life – Week 1
This past week of our new nomadic life has been a trial by nomadic fire. Jennifer and I sold the house and then I spent two long days finishing up my work obligations before we hit the road. First stop was the South Slope Recreational Area of Pikes Peak. We set out to test our truck camper, who we’ve named YOLOM (You Only Live Once Mobile) and set him through his paces. It was a rough climb up on a washboard riddled road (CO 368 Old Stage Road to CO 8 / Gold Camp Road) and finally CO 376. We spent the day hiking and enjoyed the park. I am in the process of writing a review and will have that for you all soon.
Back to Colorado Springs
After that Jennifer and I headed back to Colorado Springs to move our Subaru, which still hasn’t sold, to a friend’s house. We spent most of the day there so Jennifer could work and I did a few repairs on YOLOM… I told you it was a rough climb up to the South Slope Recreational Area. Nomadic life issues.
Late on Monday we headed up to Denver and met a friend for dinner. We ended up crashing in her driveway and spending most of the following day working out of her house (Thanks Jayne!). I took the opportunity to get an oil change done on YOLOM and we set up an appointment to get my iPhone battery replaced that evening.
I have an iPhone 6. The battery on which was getting 51% efficiency. This means that it would turn on and then die after about 10 minutes of use. The Apple Store replaced the battery for $30 and it is like I have a brand new phone now. It took less than 2 hours. Much cheaper than buying an iPhone 8. If you have a 6, I recommend taking advantage of this great deal!
Nomadic Life in Rocky Mountain National Park
Jennifer, YOLOM, and I then made our way to Olive Ridge Campground on the outskirts of Rocky Mountain National Park where we would start a new nomadic life adventure. It was July 3rd and we got one of the last campsites available. It was a great spot. Very quiet. It cost $15.75. Good thing we started carrying change.
We woke up early on July 4th and made our way to the backcountry office where the park ranger helpfully prepared our permits for the month. We have arranged for four backpacking trips. The first of which started on the 4th of July. We then headed down to The Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park. We arrived at 10 AM and the parking lots located within the Wild Basin area were already full. Luckily the park gives priority to backpackers with permits and they arranged for us to park right next to the Wild Basin Trailhead. This saved us several added miles onto our adventure. We spent the rest of the 4th, 5th, and the morning of the 6th exploring the Thunder Lake and Lion Lake trails of the wilderness area. This was our first nomadic life backpacking adventure and we had a great time! A guide to this area/hike is forthcoming.
Once returning to civilization and pausing to cook quesadillas (we also saw a moose, but didn’t have the camera in that fleeting moment) we set out for Estes Park in search of supplies, showers, and laundry. Finding these things in our new nomadic life has had a learning curve. Estes Park is an expensive place. We got our supplies at Safeway which wasn’t too bad and in the same complex found a decently priced laundromat in Dad’s Maytag Laundry… $2.25/wash and $1.25/dry. They had shower facilities as well for $7 a piece. I decided that was too pricey. We are on a nomadic life budget now. After a little more searching we found $2 showers at Mary’s Lake Campground (open to outsiders even if you aren’t staying there). The facilities are decent and the shower was hot… I couldn’t adjust the temperature on my shower, but luckily it was where I liked it. Jennifer said her’s was adjustable so mine must have been broken.
Finding Our New Campsite
By this time it was getting late so we started south to grab another site for the night at Olive Ridge Campground. It was a Friday night (6th) and we arrived in late with them being all booked up. We continued south and after a few more stops came across the Camp Dick Campground. They were all full up as well, but have some double sites. We kindly asked a family if we could park next to them and take the second spot. They agreed and we paid the full $21 price for the second spot.
It turned out that the family of three we camped next to was from Boulder, Colorado. They asked us to join them at the fire pit and we roasted some hot dogs and told our stories. They were excited about our Nomadic adventure and shared with us their stories about train hopping in college and doing missional work in Belize. It never ceases to amaze me how much we can have in common with complete strangers. The love of the outdoors draws us together.