With age comes wisdom. For most of us, with age also comes a career, family, and a home. Roots to keep us in one place and away from a gypsy life, being able to pick up and move when the universe comes calling. Most of us still have the flame inside of us to explore, and so the only way to keep that flame alive is to make due with what we have. Pack up the gear when we have a few days off and do what we once thought was the unthinkable, become the dreaded weekend warrior: the people from the city who crowd the sanctuaries of the true dirtbag, the people who flood the local bar after a long day in the sun and hit on your significant other, the people who make life pure hell on I-70 any weekend. We didn’t think we could ever live this god-forsaken life, but priorities change and life happens. There’s still a way to be true to your younger, free spirited self; and this is how.
Becoming the ultimate weekend warrior.
We have all shown up at our favorite mountain refuge and found it suddenly packed with cars – as if some ridiculous blog on your favorite brands website just told everyone this is the best place in Colorado. One of the best parts of being in the mountains is the solitude and getting away from the hustle n’ bustle. Finding a different spot on the fly can cause some agitation but sometimes it’s a blessing in disguise. My favorite spots are the ones I’ve stumbled onto to. Looking at a map of wilderness areas in close proximity is one of the best ways to find your new home away from home. The forest service is a great resource for what’s available in certain areas. If there is water and dispersed camping allowed, you have yourself somewhere to call home for the next couple of days. Look at topo maps and see where there might be a good viewpoint. Get the hell away from your car. The further up the mountain you go, the less people there will be. This goes for finding a trailhead as well. Is driving an extra twenty minutes worth your own secluded spot tucked in the mountain? Most people would say no, which is why there are fourteen Rav4’s and Chad’s Jeep parked at the spot you just passed up. The point here is make the extra effort.
Living in Colorado also has the advantage of being neighbors with some other great places. A roundtrip from Denver to Moab is $148, to St. George is $247, and to Missoula is $127. Rent a truck or put on your pack and hitch a ride, be the tourist in another state for a change. You’ll get a pass, we have a surplus here. Go talk to some locals, they might tell you somewhere like Hanging Lake… they might also tell you about their last favorite spot they don’t frequent anymore; maybe, if you can cut up with ‘em and prove you’re not too much of a Joey.
If you’re really wanting to get to the mountains every weekend, then finding a place that wasn’t as great as the previous week isn’t that big of a deal. That’s kind of the joy in it. You’re out exploring new places, and the worst thing that could happen is that you’re view of God’s country from your tent isn’t as far as the one before. Keep everything in perspective. If it takes you an extra twenty minutes on the highway, or if there’s already someone where you want to stop, remember, you could always be living in Indiana.
To continue on how to be the weekend warrior and if you enjoy camping out of your car, reminiscing on the dirtbag days (or never lived em, but wish you had), I’ll talk about some of that next week.
Peace. Love. Be Hippy.
“I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing.”
– William James