Sunday, August 15, 2010
housecamping in colorado
In planning this trip to Colorado, my first visit in 8 years, my visions usually involved waking up on a peak somewhere in one of the national forests, a steaming cup of camp coffee in my gloved hands, my breath coming out in icy wisps. The kids curled up in their sleeping bags, awestruck at the view of the continental divide just outside their tent.
So I’m almost embarrassed to say that we have been in Colorado a week now and have spent every night in a bed, with access to showers, stoves, Legos, trampolines, a swimming pool, and even television. Haven’t had a cup of camp coffee since last Saturday. Funny how my Colorado has changed now that I have kids in tow. After dragging them across the country for five days, all they really want at the end of the journey is to play, preferably with other kids. So, while I’m really missing the backcountry, I am so grateful for the hospitality of our friends, the Lentzes and the Nevins, who have basically provided us with a home base while we’ve been here.
And housecamping has a secondary benefit: it allows me to pretend, for a little while, that I’m a Coloradoan again.
Despite the luxury accommodations, we’ve done plenty of playing in the mountains: we’ve hiked in Boulder and in Golden Gate Canyon State Park; we’ve biked up the canyon on the creek path; we’ve pushed the Westfalia up mountain roads that taxed her poor old engine. But we’ve also had days by the pool, days where the kids rode bikes around the neighborhood while we chatted with friends. It’s not the rugged Colorado of my daydreams, but even this family-friendly version has been splendid for my soul. I’ve missed this place, and in many ways, it still feels like home.
And we’re going camping tomorrow.