Thursday, August 12, 2010

From Xela to Colfax

Forgoing our visit to the Grand Canyon (it's pretty hard to hike down when all of your gear has been stolen), we forged on through the desert toward home sweet home, Colorado!

It was a long but beautiful scenic drive, with an overall sense of bittersweetness in the air. We were both feeling a bit overwhelmed about the end to this amazing journey being so close in sight. Will we ever have this opportunity again? Will we feel comfortable back in our old place? Will anyone even understand what this year has meant to us? Will we lose our memories of Guatemala too quickly? How did the end sneak up on us so fast?

Many hours and a couple of mirages later, we finally arrived at The 4 Corners, but missed out on the opportunity to put on feet (& paws) in all 4 states.

While we were sad that we would be missing out on a Colorado must do, we both agreed that it was high time for the sad little monument to be turned into something much better than it was.
Quite possibly though the better photo opportunity turned out to be just right down the road.

We left as 2 and return as 3!

(flashback to March 2009)
What an amazing year it has been. Life changing to say the least. We've met so many great people and traveled to so many unforgettable places, but there really is something comforting about being home.

With the sun setting behind us, and the last 24 hours of our trip planned out to a T, we pushed on through to Pagosa Springs to meet our goal. After an unsuccessful attempt to camp downtown, we drove on over to the highly recommended Pagosa Riverside Campground.

Unfortunately we were not very welcomed by an unfriendly Texan campground manager and his just as unpleasant wife. Having only $20 cash, we explained that we were wrapping up a very long trip and asked if it would be ok to pay the balance ($4) in the morning after a visit to the ATM and were scolded about needing to plan better. My eyes blazing (this was at least his 3rd or 4th rude comment in 5 short minutes), I kept my mouth shut, but as if he hadn't already been rude enough, he told me that he could see I wasn't happy with him and if I didn't like it, I could go on down the road. It took everything in me to not rip him a new one, but since it was late and we were dying to hit the springs before bed, I simply turned and walked away, leaving Ben to hand over the $4 in change he has just scrounged up in the car. (Who has that much change after more than a year with foreign currency?) Dorothy, we're certainly not in Guatemala anymore. Interestingly enough though, this was really only our 3rd unpleasant encounter with anyone during our entire year and a half away - none of which were Guatemalan.

So we returned back to town, situated our 4 legged friend in the car with a nice big bone, and hit the hot springs for a couple hours of soaking and relaxing.

The following morning we emerged from Dewey bright and early to find that nearly everyone else in the entire campground was already awake and taking their morning walk. Having slept outside the car, secretly guarding us all night long, as the sun came up one of us was tickled to learn that we had been parked right next water. By the time we crawled down from above, she was pleading with us to take her first dip in the icy cold Rocky Mountain waters and lucky for her we're suckers for her doggie paddle.

After packing up camp and drying out the dog, we loaded back into Dewey and hit the road.....or at least we thought.

Not recommended, Pagosa Riverside Campground.

About a mile down the road our tempermental left rear tire started acting up and we decided it was best to have someone check it out before we drove off into the middle of Rocky Mountain nowhere. Can you even believe that we made it the whole way to and from Guatemala and it was our first car incident? Well it was a good thing we did get it looked at because it was in need of repair, so $18 and an hour later we were good to go.

Rocky Mountain high.

Several hours down the road, fresh out of podcasts and needing a stretch break, we paused for a quick hike on Kenosha pass.

Not long after arriving, we returned to the car in order to make it to Denver by sundown. Some of us were not so happy about leaving.

Finally a few hours later we found ourselves in familiar territory.
Welcome back to the Mile High City!
Home sweet Capitol Hill.

And back on the 'Fax at long last!

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