1st stop. Buffalo Creek

It had been 634 days to get back to this place in my life. When my last road trip ended I was heart broken. I remember that day so clearly when I unpacked my van and rented a room from a friend back in Colorado Springs. I remember unexpectedly crying and feeling immense grief as I unpacked my van and I realized this was the end of the road.

So much happened after that. I ran into some serious health problems that pretty much keep me grounded and didn’t allow me to be active the way I like to. I rented a cute little cottage in downtown Colorado Springs and went back to my old job as a recruiter with the condition I would work for them for a year in hopes I can return to my dream.
My dream was very much still alive. I pushed thru, made some money, and was able to resolve my health issues. Going back to recruiting was a tough decision but I ended up working with great people and made some great friendships and money. At the end of my 1 year commitment I was in an excellent position to launch another adventure. My savings account is stacked, I have a new mountain bike, my health is good, and made some nice upgrades to my minivan camper. 

To kick off this adventure I had my sights set on hiking the 500 mile long Colorado Trail. Starting in January of this year I began my training. I started dialing in my backpacking gear and doing longer and longer hikes with my pack loaded to get my cyclist body in shape for a long hike.Training was going great until I injured my foot and developed a case of planter fasciitis.

My very dialed backpacking kit. I always wanted to take a gear explosion pic like this. 

My hammock set up I planned on using for the CT. 

It was a tough pill to swallow but  I made the decision to postpone the Colorado Trail hike due to the foot injury and switch my focus back to cycling and Vanlife which is what I had planned to do after the hike anyway. 

Here is my new and improved camper setup. I sold my sold my 6’x8′ awning and went all out for ARBs 8’x8′ awning and Deluxe Room. ARBs Deluxe Room is outstanding! It’s a fully enclosed room that can be converted from fully enclosed, screened, or open. In addition to the massive living space I can now cook and relax protected from the wind, rain, and bugs. I also purchased a separate small solar system to supplement the main solar system integrated into my van build. Then I set out to find the most baller camp chair I could find. 

Here is what the room looks like fully enclosed on a test run trip down to Canon City.

I am super grateful that I have such good friends and family and was sent off with several small gatherings and a bikepacking trip with my best friend Mike and a weekend backpacking trip with my nephew Evan. 

On June 22nd 2020 I launched my next journey with my self built mini campervan and made my first destination to an area called Buffalo Creek. It’s a very popular dispersed camping area surrounded by world class hiking and biking trails. As long as you get there on a Tuesday or Wednesday you can usually find a good spot. Here is my first camp site!

My first bike ride was a 20 mile easy ride on mostly roads. It felt good to be pedaling and during the ride I got an invite from my friend and frame bag builder Joe of Jpaks to ride a multi day bike route around Crested Butte that I had designed a few years ago. More to come on this adventure.

It was time to bust out my mountain bike and ride Little Scraggy trail. Little Scraggy is a well built MTB oriented trail with lots of tough climbing and a long fast and flowing decent at the finish.

After the ride I was treated to an interesting sunset and had dinner with some new friends that I am sharing my camp with. 

Here is Kristy and Shaun that I ended up sharing my large camp site with. On my last adventure one of the challenges I encountered was loneliness and lack of human interaction. I decided on this journey I would make an effort to meet people and be more social. Sometimes as an introvert that can be tough but I am already off to a great start enjoying conversations and meals with my neighbors. 

I went out for another ride on my gravel bike but this time I was going to enjoy the smooth and easy going single track this area offers. All in all I got to stay 6 days in Buffalo Creek and was able to get some great rides in and make new friends. I love this freedom!!!

Not everything is glorious about Vanlife. Here is me and Baby Yoda hanging out in a King Soopers parking lot in Denver while we get our shit together to go back into the mountains!

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