We drove through the campground looking for the perfect spot to call "home" for the next 24 hours. There, in a magical setting (damp pine trees sparkling in the sun, a table nestled in amongst the trees, no camp spots too close by) was the perfect place just waiting for us. We started to unpack and set up the tent when we were greeted by a cloud of mosquitoes (we somehow overlooked the huge puddle of standing water, a fantastic place for the little brutes to call home). Not wanting to give up our spot, we quickly dug through the car to find the bug spray (which I'm pretty sure was just sugar water), and there, lying on the ground and looking pretty fresh, was a dead bat. THAT my friends, was our bad omen. From that moment, the next 24 hours continued to go downhill.
After spying the dead flying rodent, we figured it was a bad idea to sleep there just in case a swarm of rabid bats decided to attack us. You know. Logical thoughts here. We drove to the other side of the campground and picked out another spot (rodent free, puddle free, MOSTLY mosquito free).
|The final location.|
When camp was finally set up, we went in to town and walked around for a while. The shops in Steamboat were disappointing, so we thought it would be fun to take a drive on some of the back roads over the Pass. Everything was going beautifully. It was amazing how green everything and how blue the sky was and we even did a little... "off-roading" so to speak.
|Yeah, we get crazy out here man.|
So there we were, driving up a hill with no one around. We get to the top and we see 3 tents, a man with a crazy beard, and a mini van, clothes drying on a boulder, and for some reason our guard instantly goes up. We slow down as Beardy McBeardson starts walking towards us, and out of no where, these two scraggly haired men come out of the bushes grinning from ear to ear and start walking towards our car too (if you've ever seen scary movies, you know this is the point where we get eaten alive).
Sasquatch rolls down the window (despite my pleas to keep driving) and Beardy walks up, the two of them exchange pleasantries, and then neither of them say another word but just nod at each other. I notice the Scraggle Twins pick up a little dog that was running around and start poking at it, making it screech in anger, all the while smiling at us. Weird.
Beardy tells us that there is a spot just past his mini van if we'd like a place to camp (nooooo thank you!) and we tell him that we were just out driving around (the Scraggle Twins are still grinning at us). Beardy says that they have been stranded on top of the mountain for 3 days after ripping a hole in his oil pan driving over rocks. He then tells us that there were 8 of them in the car going on a backpacking trip (where were the other 5, I would like to know??) but that they luckily had enough food and water to last them. He then asked us if we were going in to town the next day and if he could hitch a ride to pick up the part for his van, and we, being kind people, told him that we were driving the other direction come morning. No part in that, thanks.
We quickly said our apologies, wished them the best of luck, flung the car in reverse and drove out of there as fast as we could, all the while, the three are still standing in our rearview mirrow, smiling.
We drove fast back to camp, imagining a few "hitchhikers" somehow on top of our car ready to pop out and as we're pulling in to our campground, we realize that where we had just been was directly above our camp spot. Somehow, they were probably watching....
That evening we made a roaring fire and tried to push the nonsensical thoughts from our mind. We opened a bottle of wine and had a relaxing, cozy evening without any more weirdness (besides the sheep across the freeway yelling all night). I got a chance to try out the zoom capabilities of my new tablet, and I must say, I was pretty darn impressed!
|Playing around with the sunset.|
The next morning I woke up and thought I would be nice and let Sasquatch sleep, and set up the stove and make coffee (something I have never done on my own while camping mind you). I get up, and of course since I'm trying to do something nice, it starts to rain. I brush it off and continue getting the propane and the stove set up. I get everything hooked up where it needs to be, turn on the burners and hit "ignite" and before I know what has happened, a blowtorch worthy amount of flames came shooting out the side, the flame from the burners shot out 6 inches past the stove, singeing my hand (losing all the hair on my knuckles), and the fumes had created a fire INSIDE the stove. All I can think about in this moment as the arm where the propane screws in becomes white with ice crystals is "It's going to blow...this thing is going to blow, all because of coffee!".
I rush over to the car, my heart beating a million miles an hour, and try to stay calm, urgently informing Sasquatch that the stove is on fire and I don't know what I should do. Out spews a handful of curse words from the sleeping giant as he takes in the situation from a sound sleep, in his socks and underwear, while the rain is pouring down, the mud is getting thicker, and the stove is closer to blowing up. Eventually his thoughts are gathered and I'm told to throw water on it while he looks for a towel to try and smother the flames.
In the end, nobody was harmed (not even the table that I was sure would be burned after that incident). But let's just say, that was a TERRIBLE way to start the morning.
We pack up our muddy mess, ditching the coffee idea, and head back to town to try and find coffee that I have no part in making. We find a quiet coffee shop where we could recover from the traumatizing morning and decide to go to Strawberry Hot Springs (a place I've always wanted to take Sasquatch). By this point, I just had a feeling it was going to continue to be a crumby day. We drove to Strawberry Springs, a long drive up a dirt road that leads to the middle of nowhere, only to find out that they don't take credit cards. LOVELY. After the morning we had, the lack of sleep, and not having the necessary form of payment for the one thing we had planned to do in Steamboat, we decided it was time to just head home. Sasquatch was extremely accommodating and offered to drive back to town to get cash but I pouted like the child I felt like and said to just go home.
And that is our tale of our ridiculous 24 hours in the stupid little town of Steamboat Springs. So if you see a dead bat, just stop what you're doing and change every plan you made for the next 24 hours. Because chances are, they're going to be crazy.
After unloading our muddy mess, throwing in a load of laundry, taking a hot shower, ordering a tasty pizza, renting a couple movies from the Redbox, and falling asleep in my clean, soft bed, those 24 hours had been redeemed.