From desert heat to Rocky Mountain snow

Airstream ready for departureThe saying is that “the journey of a 1,000 miles begins with a single step.”  The problem is that it takes a while to get ready for that first step. Lots to pack, arrange, and prepare when you don’t plan to be home for five months.

And that explains why our Airstream left the driveway two days later than planned.  Things weren’t quite ready and in the context of months, a couple of days isn’t really a big deal so it made sense to delay the trip just a little.

This delay cost us a couple of good stops. I was planning to go to Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monument, then up to the Four Corners region and stop at Hovenweep National Monument. But we had also committed to a rally in Fort Collins and so instead of just moving the entire schedule back, we had to skip past the Four Corners.

That meant taking the Interstate highway system, a necessary but tedious expedient. Taking the Interstate is a great way to get from A to B without seeing anything. Almost as good as a jetliner. But we were slightly pressed for time and so we plowed west on I-10 and north on I-25, with the only good part being the detour through Hatch, New Mexico and a stop for lunch beside the town’s collection of advertising statues.

Hatch NM Airstream

After a night in Albuquerque we pressed onward to Littleton CO and Chatfield State Park, just outside the Denver metro area.  This park surrounds a flood-control project that forms a nice little lake.  There’s a bike trail surrounding the lake, which enticed Emma and I out for a very pleasant morning of riding on our electric unicycles, for 14 miles.

Chatfield SP Emma EUC

But now that we’ve gotten here, the weather is about to make us regret doubly our decision to skip the sunny and dry Four Corners region…

Fort Collins rally wx

Snow?  High temps of 37?  Isn’t this May?

This will definitely put a damper on the rally, but knowing the Airstreamers they’ll all find a way to have a good time anyway. Personally I’m going to stay in the trailer all day Friday with the catalytic heater and a movie marathon running.

To get ready Eleanor and I went digging in our under-bed storage and swapped out all our shorts and sandals for those items we keep on board for the occasional spate of bad weather. I keep a few items in the Airstream at all times: long underwear, hat, gloves, warm socks, and some grungy clothes for emergency roadside repairs. This stuff rarely comes out, and I sure didn’t expect it to be needed four days after leaving the near-100 degree weather in Tucson.

Well, on a journey of 1,000 miles (or in our case about 10,000 miles) change is to be expected. Before this trip is over we’ll visit at least 11 states and perhaps a couple of Canadian provinces. It won’t be sunny every day, nor will it always be warm. But, if we’re lucky, it will always be interesting.