Updated: May 20, 2019
After a lot of struggle with the actual process of getting to Questival I was very happy to finally get an opportunity to introduce myself to my teammates, a group of amazing Dyrt Rangers who have a varied skill set which would prove to be very exciting for the event.
I arrived Thursday afternoon, the first to camp and after being able to catch up on some work. While awaiting the arrival of my teammates I noticed a sign of good luck, a bunny just beside our campsite. For anyone who has followed my adventures over time, you know that any time I have had a positive experience at a location there has usually been a wild bunny which has appeared at my campsite.
Following my arrival, Hayley made it to Chatfield, the state park we would call home for the next 48 hours, then shortly after Daniel pulled into camp. It would not be until Friday that we would get to meet Carrie just a few hours before the event began.
The first night was spent enjoying the company of the team and camping, though it was subfreezing and I ended up not being able to camp in the tent because I did not have a sleeping bag equipped for the temperatures. FAIL! But the backseat of my car cut the wind and allowed me to find enough heat to survive the frigid evening.
There is such a unique thing to be said for people who have a common thread meeting for the first time. Though we all have very different backgrounds and lives beyond our common interests, the ability to connect from afar and finally meet in person was something that can only be noted as a unique and special experience. This was a long time in the making and all of us were very excited to form a partnership and compete on the big day, but more over we were ready to build a friendship.
Planning for the big event began on Thursday evening as we received the challenge list and began dissecting it to determine which challenges would be best suited and align with our strengths. This continued into Friday morning as we went into great detail to outline our strategy.
For those not familiar with the format of the Questival or even the concept of what it is, pretty much it is a HUGE scavenger hunt sponsored by the brand Cotopaxi. But unlike other hunts you might be familiar with, this one has an underlying message of community service and impact. Traveling from state to state the competition focuses challenges on knowledge of the area around you and making a positive impact on the area as you compete.
In addition to service challenges, there are fun challenges which inspire participants to engage the world around them and invoke a sense of fun in the community. Then of course there are the physical challenges which range in difficulty. This is one of those competitions that you can do no matter your skill level and depending on your concern with winning, competing or just having fun each person can take away a very different experience.
With Hayley’s expertise in the Denver Area we were able to get an idea as to where things would flow more realistically, she would become our navigator. Daniel, also familiar with Denver would be our trusty driver. Without these two and their knowledge our Questival would have probably been much more chaotic.
The planning was detailed and well thought but also provided room for flexibility. Everything was accounted for based on location and a basic time frame was mapped out to streamline the 192 challenges provided on the list. Though we were unsure of “surprise” challenges or challenges which might change over the course of Questival, there was a basic outline in place which without I will say would have made for sheer insanity.
We quickly discarded some of the most difficult challenges to conserve time, though they were higher point items the realistic 24 hour deadline would be spent poorly trying to accomplish the biggest challenges which would also be counterproductive to our goal of providing the most service and awareness in the community for positivity. Many of these challenges were a part of the Fitness and Wellness Challenge and included hiking 14ers or doing long hikes.
Though we are all outdoor people, we are also realistic people…lol
The morning of Friday began a bit rough with Daniel falling off his telescoping ladder from his Roof Nest but quickly turned for the better as we had a warm breakfast and the clouds began to lift. Gathering our thoughts and mentally preparing for non-stop action we were ready to go list in hand, though this was the original list and it did end up changing a bit on the app throughout the contest.
We prepared a campground breakfast sampling which proved to be far to much food for 3 people as we opted to try the Mountain House Breakfast Skillet, Breakfast Hash and Biscuits and Gravy, all of which were 2 serving and though we were hungry ended up being a feast we were not yet ready for. We were able to get a little work under our bets testing out new equipment by Morsel Spork and Primus in the creation and see the difference in how each of the Rangers were accustomed to consuming their morning meal. Daniel provided his coffee press, which I will say was one of the more impressive pieces of campground equipment but also something which could be handy at home. I indulged in some Laird Superfoods Coffee with EVO Hemp Protein Powder to really power me up and the day had begun in a cozy way.
When Carrie arrived we all were dressed in our themed outfits which included our signature shirts provided by The Dyrt, Ranger Hats with special hand ironed embellishments by Daniel, llama socks provided by Socks & Souls and pieces of flair. Each of us had our own unique take on the look adding flannels, suspenders and different hairstyles. We ran through a brief run-through before heading out to the Kickoff to start off the most insane 24 hours of life. It was now time… Time for Questival!