Posts Tagged With: BackCountry

Colorado… land of dreams…

It was the back to school dance of 1980. I (Lynda) was starting my sophomore year: Erick was starting his Junior year at Goddard High School in Roswell, NM. That was when it all started.  Erick had seen me during the school year but I was going steady (remember that term) with a friend of his named Frank. Frank and I broke up over the summer and I was a single girl… until that Back to School dance. Erick wasted no time. He immediately asked me to dance and we danced all night together. Yes, he asked for my phone number and with much excitement I gave it to him.

When he called the next week (he was genius) he said that he was taking his younger sister to the circus in town and would I like to go. How could mom say no to that? He was such a gentleman. He, of course, met my parents and promised to have me home right after the circus. He opened my door and did all the things that a young man is supposed to do. Oh, and he cleaned up so nice. I was so proud to take his arm and hold his hand and walk next to him. Little did I know that 22 years later when I took that hand again it would take our breath away. More on that later…

As we began to get more and more serious in our dating he gave me a Promise Ring. It had our names down each side and a tiny diamond at the top. We talked about where we would go after we graduated high school. I had moved to Roswell in the summer of 1979 between ninth and tenth grade. My freshman year, 1978, was spent in Colorado Springs; CO. Colorado was greener than anything I had ever seen at the time.

My parents moved there from Oceanside, CA where I went to seventh and eights grade.  Oceanside was ok but it was a rough time for me and I was thrilled to leave. Colorado was different. I had always lived in the desert, never where the scent of pines filled the air and there was snow.  And yes, I had to walk a quarter mile in the snow to wait for the school bus. We had 3 acres just outside of Colorado Springs and we could look out over the city lights at night and see the tram lights as they went up the side of Pikes Peak. Under a full moon the snow on the mountains would glisten and reflect the moonlight. Twinkling stars were everywhere.

We decided after graduation we would move to Colorado and buy an A-frame house and grow old together. We talked about living in Colorado; what it would be like and what we would do.

Well, he had difficulty with a certain vice-principle in school. It was clear that Mr. Lair was going to do everything he could to see that Erick didn’t graduate. Erick knew he couldn’t support me without an education so he went to speak to the recruiters. He would have liked to join the Air Force but poor vision and glasses deleted that option so instead he enlisted in the Marines. He knew I would talk him out of it so he didn’t tell me until right before he left for boot camp. I was angry. No, I was Livid! But there was nothing I could do but let him go and promise to be here when he came home.

He came home after graduation from boot camp. OMG did he looked good. He walked taller and straighter than I had ever seen anyone walk. He was no longer a high school kid, he had become not just a man; he had become a Marine. He was home for about 15 days and then he was gone again. He had become a Marine, but I was still just a high school girl whose worth is measured by whether she had a date to the prom. Long story short, I lasted through boot camp but I didn’t have what it took to wait for him to come home again. So our romance ended with a letter.

It was 10 years ago; November seventh, 2003 when I got the email that said, “Is this the same Lynda Smith?” When he later asked, “What are you doing?” my response was “leaving a bad job and a bad relationship” He said, “Why don’t you come up to Alaska?” and I did. We knew that we had unfinished business. He met me in the airport with twenty-two red and pink roses (one for each year we had been apart) and a fur coat – it was winter in Alaska.

When we saw each other we both started running. he was trying to video me but dropped the camera to his side as the microphone of the still rolling camera recorded “oh my God.” We embraced, in the middle of the isle until security asked us to move. We gathered our things, I donned the fur and we walked – or should I say floated – outside to the parking area. Just like in high school he opened my door, helped me in and as I shook off the cool night air, he appeared in the driver’s seat of the Land Cruiser.

As if there had never been a day missed, our hands met on the console and our fingers interlaced. The moment our fingers found each other, we both gasped for air. The feeling of our hands together took both our breath away. Apparently every handhold for 22 years was unconsciously compared to that handhold. It was as though our hands found home. Once we found our breath, we kissed again. It was a long, hard, welcome-home kiss.

Now thirty-two years later as I type this we are traveling in Koko (our home on wheels) to set up in Breckenridge, Colorado for the ski season. He just asked me “how do you like our A-Frame” my response… “I think I‘ll adjust.” No, Koko isn’t exactly an A-Frame, I think maybe she is better.

Colorado Rocky Mountain High

Colorado Rocky Mountain High

We will spend the majority of the winter here in Breckenridge with our Epic Ski Pass. The Epic gives us access to several ski resorts in Colorado but also 2 in California and four in Europe – should we choose to go there. The month of December we will fly down to Belize where we will SCUBA dive the Blue Hole, tour the Mayan ruins in Guatemala, go hiking, cave tubing, zip lining, you name it.

And then? In January back here to finish out the ski season before meandering our way to the Florida Keys for more SCUBA diving.  We couldn’t do that sort of thing if we had a traditional A-Frame. So yes, I think I will adjust to our “A-Frame”

This dream took 33 years to bring to fruition. Let’s create another one that is 32 years in the making. But this time, lets enjoy all those years together. I love you, Babe.

Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Downhill Skiing, Hiking, Hot Tubbing!, Living Passionately, Love, Reconnection, RV Travel, Scuba, Ski | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Lynda’s Update on our Road Trip


Just a little update on our status and progress. We have been though Ouray and Telluride, CO, Yellow Stone, the Grand Tetons  in WY and Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and   Wind Cave, South Dakota.

There was a bit of drama in the Tetons… The campers across the road from us set a generator under a clump of pine trees and started a mini forest fire. 4 trees went up in moments. We are told that the campers started a fire brigade and had the blaze out before the fire department got there. it roasted 3 trees and completely destroyed 1 that had to be removed completely. When we returned home late in the day from exploring the Grand Tetons, everyone was excited to tell the story. We were thrilled thinking that we had dodged a bullet. Our precious Koko, out home and everything we now own was spared. The next morning after I returned from photographing the cool mornings sunrise I looked up at our out-stretched awning only to discover it was full of burn holes from the embers. Upon closer inspection will need all 4 new awnings as there are holes in all of them. But THAT appears to be the only damage. And, the park will pick up the bill for the new awnings.

We had Erick’s nephew, Garrett for a month that flew by. We did a couple of over night camping adventures. One was 3 days and 2 nights along the Hell Roaring Trail. a beautiful trail that parallels Yellowstone River. Our campsite required us to cross (excuse me I bellieve “ford” is the proper term) the river. Yes 3 of us with full backpacks (tents, sleeping bags, food and of course my camera) in fast moving mid-thigh high water. No one went down but it was close. At one point I looked up from my footing to see Garrett facing DOWN river, AHHHhhh! He got himself turned back around and made it the 35 or so feet across facing upriver like a champ. I have a whole new appreciation for trekking poles. It was like having 4 legs instead of 2.  We nicknamed the crossing “Butt-pucker Creek” The Creek is highlighted in the video. Afterward, on the way back to Koko, we saw the trail marking for where we were SUPPOSED to have crossed. It wouldn’t have been near the adventure. AND it didn’t lead to our own private black sandy beach. We sent Garrett home yesterday from Denver and are now headed back to Wyoming for the 6 day, 5 night Executive Leadership Exhibition backpacking though the Wind River mountains of Wyoming.

My camera is getting quite a work out. I am putting the final touches on a slide show set to some rocking music. It will be about 15 minutes (3 very appropriate songs). When complete I will put it up on face book or your tube – what ever will work and send links. My phone got tested for water resistance also. I left it out overnight in the rain in Spearfish, SD (yes, South Dakota) It didn’t work for 3 days so I go a new IPhone 5 and then the 4S started working and appears to work fine. It now operates as our Ipod – a very expensive Ipod… but it fits in to are Boze speaker and the IPhone 5 have a different connector and doesn’t fit. It even still connects to or WiFi on board. That was a $400 lesson.

We were in SD one week before the Sturgis. Motorcycle Rally. There were more motorcycles (and every variety of Tricycles) on the road than cars.  We missed it this time but may time a trip more carefully in the future. That area of SD is spectacular. The Crazy Horse memorial and Mt Rushmore are amazing. We re-routed our trip so Garrett could see them.

After out hike in Wyoming we will be on to Bozeman, Montana where Erick has found several trails that NEED to be explored. it is also where we plan to have the awnings repaired. We expect to do some longer hikes. Mt Rainer in Washington and Three Sisters in Oregon are 40+ miles. I will have to get a couple more batteries for my camera. I seem to be able to get a day/battery.

Then we will meet John and Terri at the Bristle Come forest near Mammoth in CA in September and head on to San Diego for a couple weeks before heading to Aspen for a conference and to find where we will spend the ski season.

We haven’t been dancing since we left SD (that’s San Diego not South Dakota) I suspect we will correct that in Bozeman (and be prepared in San Diego).

Well, that is the update. Erick is learning all about the mechanical aspects of Koko and doing great with it. We trade off on driving and navigating.  The navigator spends the majority of time doing something on the computer (like writing this).

Erick Lynda Garrett -2

Lynda Carpenter

Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Love, Reconnection, RV Travel | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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