On 1 July 2013, I wished a fond farewell to San Diego/Camp Pendleton and hopped in the car to head east to Fort Leavenworth, KS. Although I was sad to be leaving, I was also excited for the big adventure ahead of me. On the first, I pretty much aimed to get as far as Flagstaff, AZ, which turned out to be about an eight hour drive. Along the way I stopped to take some pictures of a fire that was burning on a mountain off of the highway.
After a very long day in the car, I found a hotel to crash in for the night. After I got settled, I walked next door to Outback for some dinner, where I met a guy who worked for the State Fire Services department. We chatted for a while about things to do and he gave me some good recommendations for the next day's trip to Mesa Verde.
July 2 - I woke up early and hit the road to make the five hour journey to Mesa Verde National Park in Southwest Colorado. This was to be my first night testing out my new tent! I arrived around 1pm and immediately headed to camp registration. I secured a tent site and wandered into the campground to establish my campsite. After that, I headed out to hike the Prater Ridge Trail, a beautiful 8 mile hike around the ridge line.
It started raining when I finished the hike, so I had to hide in one of the bathrooms for a while to keep my camera from getting destroyed! After the rain subsided, I was pleased to find that my tent is in fact waterproof and held up just fine. After a bit of reading, I got lucky and caught this deer wandering through the campground!
Some final shots of the view from the campground.
After a nice hike, I settled down in my tent to read for a while. After that, I went to the camp store and purchased a delicious microwaveable mac&cheese dinner and some Pinot Noir...classy, right??? More on why I had to eat a microwaveable meal later in the blog...
Overall, it was a great start to my journey east.