I awoke to a familiar sound, one I loved; however in hiking circumstances hated. I knew today's forecast called for rain so I was not surprised when I heard the raindrops bounce off my rainfly. Luckily, I did not have to hike today; I wanted to, but I didn't have to. I decided since I probably wouldn't get the beautiful blue skied Delicate Arch photo I wanted, what was it worth to go through the trouble of getting up and hiking in the rain. I decided to relax, and stay resting in my tent. After I woke up a little, I decided to upload and resize some of the photos before getting up and packing everything up. I am a little behind on my blog post writing, but didn't have enough battery on my laptop to start writing. I used it until it died, and luckily that was just enough time to finish the photos. I knew the rain had stopped, and opened my tent to find somewhat blue skies with clouds; seems I could have hiked the arch and most likely gotten a decent photo. That is one thing I have learned on this trip, there will be an infinite amount of things I will want to do, and not have the time to do. This is something I have to accept that I don't have the time for this trip, but surely will be back in the future to visit. I packed everything up, and headed for Colorado. Within 10 minutes I saw a Shell station, and decided I might as well start off with a full tank; so I pulled in to fill up. I saw an unusual trailer being pulled by a Range Rover, it suddenly caught my eye. I pulled the pump from the tank, and began pumping still intrigued by the trailer. A woman came up to the other side of where I was pumping, and I asked "what does your trailer mean?" She gave me a vague description of how they wanted something spiritual and meaningful but not religious. Her company (which I do not know what it entailed) had the symbol with the Om as a logo, and the elephant symbolizes good luck and wisdom. Instantly I fell in love with not only the vinyl trailer, but the fact that there were other individuals like myself. I feel so torn at times between my lifestyle and interests, I love my Range Rover and a lot of other finer things in my life. However, I love meditation, and I want to further my practice in yoga. Not to mention, my love of travel, hiking, camping, and the outdoors in general. It was humbling to see I can have both lifestyles and not be hypocritical. I merged back on the highway and started my drive; it would take about 5.5 hours or so to reach my friend from the trail, Ziplock also known as Brittany. The scenery entering Colorado started to incorporate bodies of water, as well as more mountains. There were a few tunnels, a lot of construction, and a big portion was right along a river. Very refreshing from the desert, though there was still red rock evident in places. There were a lot more cars on the road than what I had been used to, and I looked down at the odometer to realize I hit 5,000 miles on the rental! (I didn't start at 0, but I got it with like 80 miles or so, and by the time I left I had added 100 give or take.) The landscapes were breathtaking, and they only improved. I am a master of multitasking, but was a little overwhelmed when I hit Vail. The highway curved and then there the snow covered peak was in sight, it was the most gorgeous thing I have ever seen. The skies were radiant and blue, and the contrast of the white of the mountain was unreal. By this time; I was talking with Blake through Facebook messenger, sending him photos, sending my mom photos, taking photos with my Canon camera, and driving. If I ever had an ADD moment, it was now; Blake and I would be talking about something and then before responding I would just start sending breathtaking mountain photos. I noticed the temperature had dropped to a frigid 37 degrees, and then Breckenridge was in sight and it was even more beautiful. The further I drove, the more the temperature dropped and the clouds rolled in; until finally it was a blizzard. It was bizarre to me that just this morning I was in the desert, and currently I was driving through vast amounts of snowflakes. It lasted for about 15-20 minutes, and then I was on my was to descending into town. The snow stopped, the temperature had risen, but the clouds remained. Ziplock had to unexpectedly work from 3-7:30pm, I would be arriving around 3:30; though she said go on in, shower, and do what I would like. When I got to the house, I knew she had two roommates; Emily, and Matt. Emily would be there napping, and Matt wouldn't be home yet I was informed. I walked in, went into her room, and found a note for me welcoming me to Colorado. I set down my things, gathered my shower essentials and headed for the bathroom. At this point Emily had woken up and was sitting in bed, I had introduced myself quick and she had told me that Matt had just gone in the bathroom. I waited a bit, and then headed in after him to shower. After my shower, I sat in Ziplock's room and blogged a little. It was around 6:00 and I decided to head down to GCB (Golden City Brewery) where she worked. Once I got there; I noticed a food truck, a lot of bicycles, and a lot of people outside. I went inside and instantly saw her behind the counter. She came out and gave me a big hug and there was an interestingly attired man with a fake mustache standing next to us. Apparently some of Ziplock's friends were here and she went and grabbed Andrew. We talked for a minute, and then she went back to work and he brought me over to the table and gave me the last of the pitcher of beer. Andrew introduced me to Zeno and Kate. We talked for awhile about my trip, and their lives, which they are all still in school, and then decided to head to pick up booze and garlic bread for dinner. They were going back to the house tonight for dinner, Emily was making spaghetti, so I tagged along while Ziplock finished her shift. I sent her a text that I was heading to the liquor store with Andrew while Zeno and Kate picked up garlic bread. We went back to the house and picked up Matt and Emily before going to buy beer, and then headed back to the house. Normally in the past, I would have been very shy and skeptical about meeting so many new faces; I am starting to just embrace the new people I am honored to meet and grow into a more open opportunity kind of person. Matt is from Alaska, Emily from Texas, Kate from Canada and I forget where the others are from. Emily and I talked a lot in the kitchen about horses, she has horses at home and rides. I told her about having horses growing up, and how my mom used to show. I cut and peeled the garlic while she prepared the rest of the sauce. Zeno, Matt, and Kate hung out in the other room listening to records and playing with Henry the puppy. Kate did join us and form the meatballs, I sat on the floor and played with Henry he was so cute I wanted to take him along as co-pilot with me. After dinner was prepped, and just waiting to finish cooking I joined the crew in the other room. We sat eating amazing Newman's Own salsa, listening to records, and drinking beer. Kelly joined and we all got our bowls of spaghetti, meatballs, sausage, and garlic bread; it was amazing. ManBear, also known as Chris; was on his way over from Boulder and Ziplock would be walking in any minute from work. We all hung out and the party kept growing, after ManBear, and Ziplock arrived, so did Kyle and Toast. (Toast is not a trail name, I have no idea why they called him that, I didn't ask.) The small get together was turning into a small party and each new face brought a challenge for me to try and remember everyone's name. After dinner, we decided to play giant Jenga. Matt and roommates had made the game and written all sorts of things on the inside of the blocks to do while drinking. The majority of the people here were in college, Ziplock included but she is 28 years old. It was kind of nice hanging out with all of them, I felt like just another roommate and got the college experience I didn't have when I was in college. Some of the blocks read, "sit on Santa's lap" you will see Matt on my lap below, waterfall (meaning everyone drinks their drink until the person to the right of them stops), anyone wearing stretchy pants take them off (all girls but myself participated in this, and Toast was tied in with his sweatpants), anyone wearing jeans take them off (including myself), take a lap around the house naked (Emily knew which block it was, pulled it anyways, did it; and then Matt locked her out of the house which was cruel, and many others. We had a great time, and played around 5 or 6 rounds before Ziplock, ManBear, and I called it quits around 1:00am. Ziplock and I had plans to go skiing in the morning at WinterPark, it was closing day and she had won free tickets. It was supposed to rain and be crappy but we figured we would get a couple runs in and then just party. She put her memory foam topper on the floor for ManBear and I and we crashed there. We set an alarm for 8:30am, got all of our skiing gear ready, including party accessories, and after ManBear suffocating Einstein the cat with all of his love, we passed out while the party continued on in the other room.
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