When I was younger I knew Colorado was home. My dad brought me here on a week-long trip, just two of us kids and him when I was 16 years old. That was the defining moment of me leaving my home state of Texas and coming to find my soul in the quiet, dense forests of Colorado.
Since that fateful year, I have been camping alone as often as I could. Just me, my vehicle and whatever things I could pack in it. I used to stay at the base camp of Longs Peak. I would listen to the hikers early in the morning gathering up packs and getting ready to begin their ascent up to the top of this Colorado 14er. I would sit on a rock near the campsite and watch them all come back mid-day, exhausted but invigorated from their trek. It was my way of recharging my internal battery, I would come back to my family a better mother, a better person, one that could make it another month, year… whatever it took.
This year has been a hard one for me. I am still working through why, but until then, I am working on making me better. Recharging my soul with the sound of the mountains. As I was looking for my next adventure, the next place I could stay, I found an amazing website called Hipcamp it is a website that started.. with a wave.
The Hipcamp story began with waves—gorgeous, glassy, barrelling waves, to be exact. They were crashing on the Big Sur coast at Andrew Molera State Park as founder and CEO Alyssa Ravasio watched in frustration. She had recently spent several hours, multiple chrome tabs and way too many websites trying to find a spot that suited what she thought was a simple request: set up camp and watch the first sunrise of 2013 somewhere on a beach.
And so the idea for Hipcamp was born. Alyssa attended Dev Bootcamp, an intensive ten-week programming course to learn how to code. She built a very basic version of Hipcamp and released it in June 2013. Co-founder Eric Bach joined later that year, and Hipcamp continues to grow, with new features and campgrounds every day!
So… I went, I found an amazing bit of land, quiet, private-ish and full of promise for a single woman, looking for her sanctuary. I found Soloman’s Peak to peak pit stop.
I choose where to put up my tent, just as importantly I got to choose where I hung my hammock, and where I would stash my bottle of wine (In case you are wondering, that beautiful waterfall made a great wine cooler.) I sat and read, slept in my hammock and even cried over a fox that came to visit while I was putting up my tent.
I learned a lot while I was by myself:
* Bring less food, you won’t eat as much as you think you do. Kids need 3 meals a day, us adults, we can live on strawberries
* Talking is over-rated, the silence of the forest is enough
* Sleeping bags are NO over-rated, bring as many as you can. Sleeping warm is important
* If you are going to get into the water half naked, or fully naked – Make sure the landowner and his kids are not walking the dog *blush* Just sayin’….
I walked around and got some photos, I needed to get some camera time and I this location was exactly what I needed. There was no one to distract me, only my own head to remind me of what I needed to do. I didn’t feel the drive to take photos of myself or of frivilous things. The only reminders I needed were of the things that I loved.
I encourage everyone to do this. Find a spot, explore, sit quietly with a book and I promise you will find yourself within amazing situations.
How many times can I say I was reading some daily devotionals and a moose came walking by? A moose, snorting, making noise, moose.
It is one of those memories I will never forget.