With Questival just a few hours away, I finally have arrived in Denver after 2 days of what I could honestly say have been some very trying days of travel.
Before taking off on Tuesday afternoon, I was all a buzz about products I was going to be sharing with you all and my new path to Colorado.
Every time I have been to or through the state I have always traveled westerly through Texas, one of the longest and most bleak stretches of road to travel. For miles and miles all you see is flat prairie lands with an occasional cow, old building or wind turbine. Small towns are extremely infrequent and until you get to a major highway you can drive for miles without seeing as much as the hope of a gas station.
But this time was different! I was going to be taking a northern path through Oklahoma and Kansas before joining I-70 and traveling across the state line. I had NEVER been this way and I was so excited.
But more even than the change of scenery I was excited because I would also be avoiding storms which were producing winds, hail and even tornadoes in some parts of the panhandle.
I got on the road and made it just past Oklahoma City, nearly 4 hours into my journey when the storm cells shifted in my direction hours before they were predicted to do so and BAM there I was in the middle of the storms just the same.
Originally I was planning on getting to Wichita, Kansas and staying at one of the free wildlife management area or reservoir sites in the area as these are plentiful just around the outskirts of the city. However, that would not be the case as the rains over the past few days right alongside the terrible conditions which had shifted were creating flood warnings in every direction. It was later in the evening, the roads were soaked and unpredictable and I could see as I drove that the Arkansas river was topping its bounds and flood plains were already very saturated. I made the decision that I would not be camping in or near Wichita and instead would keep driving until I escaped the path of the storms.
Escaping the storms became an impossible idea as I continued to drive and noticed the radar was showing a system that was just sitting over the entire state. It then became a choice as to how much rain I was willing to endure or what I would be able to fathom as a backup plan for camping.
I always am prepared for most situations. Because I drive so many miles I wanted to make sure I had an adequate area in my car to rest if I needed to pull off for a couple of winks. Before I left Texas I had made a small comfortable bed in my backseat for these little power naps, and now it would serve as my rain shelter during the torrential downpour of Kansas.
I searched for a location which would be safe to pull off and from there I had a nice shelter to safely rest and ride out the storm. Let me just say this… it poured all night! Gusty winds further confirmed that I had no business camping on that night and just why it is you should always be prepared for the worst case scenario.
The next morning after waking up and freshening up I took back to the road to get a few more miles under my belt. Along the way I was determined to see a few things since I had not been able to make stops with the crazy rain, so I found a couple places of interest which occupied a few hours of my day.
The temperatures started to drop off mid-afternoon and the winds commenced once again. It was exhausting to even attempt to drive through as my small car was pushed against with the strength of Hercules. I was tired, my body was tired and enough was enough for day 2.
I was still in Kansas and you would have thought it was the never ending state! I will say, the moments I was able to stop were amazing, but being so limited on being able to truly explore the state was just becoming exhausting and I wanted nothing more than just to finally be able to say “I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore.”
It was another cold and rainy night, but I slept like what seemed like forever. Maybe it was that I was cozy in my blankets and didn’t want to get up and be subjected to the cold or maybe it was that I just truly needed sleep.
Day 3 and finally around 10:30 I was able to cross over into Colorado! I feel like I already have won a competition and that was the contest of the endurance against the weather. But ….as the miles passed and I drew closer and closer to Denver, here came the snow!
I swear, this trip really has been about how many different travel conditions you might encounter. But that is part of the travel experience, and if that has taught me that no matter how many times you try to prepare, the unexpected always has the chance happening.
The snow seems to be more of a welcome wagon than a threat and so after passing through some of the snow capped hills of Eastern Colorado and into the city limits of Denver, I have now never been so happy to have arrived at a location.
Now I only await meeting my teammates for the first time so we can officially get to know one another and strategize. I can only predict it to be a wild weekend of antics, so let’s buckle up and get ready for something exciting. Let the countdown to Questival begin….