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If anyone wants to learn how to drive a standard vehicle, go on a road trip. Stalling Chris’s car is becoming less of a regular occurrence.

On our way to Colorado Springs, we rolled through amazing scenery in Northern Texas and New Mexico. We briefly stopped in New Mexico to hike and take in the warm weather.

The terrain drastically changed to a hillier and more interesting ride. Mountains!

In an effort to go check out the ‘Seven Falls’ in Colorado Springs, we spent about half an hour wandering around a fancy golf resort called The Broadmoor. It was like a scene straight out of the Titanic. The staff wore bow-ties and greeted us as they walked by with ‘Good Evening, Sir/Ma’am.’ We were completely out of place and 100% acting like we belonged.

Soon we realized we were absolutely nowhere near the ‘Seven Falls’ and found out it could only be accessed by shuttle. We scratched off that idea quickly and headed into the mountains via the Ford Focus.

Many things we have tried to plan simply have not worked out. BUT that often leads to the best parts of travelling. We found what could be considered a very dangerous narrow dirt road twisting through the mountains surrounding Colorado Springs. Looking over the edge of the road down the mountain, it was a straight drop at most sections. There were no guardrails to stop any vehicle from flying completely off. Tunnels connected various sections of the road.

As Chris put it, it was, “a drive your own rollercoaster,” kind of ride. Absolute insanity. So much fun! I think I was gripping the handle on the passenger door for 2/3rds of the drive. Half terrified, half having the time of my life. The views on that ride were priceless. We got a lot of use of Chris’s GoPro.

The following day we decided to get our legs moving! We hit up the YMCA that morning for a workout and shower. I went for a run around Colorado Springs. The weather was amazing and I couldn’t resist. I didn’t realize that soon I would be involved in a chicken chase.

I googled it. Colorado Springs allows backyard chickens. A maximum of 10, with some specifications about shelter and area for the chickens to roam. So potentially there may have been 10 chickens in a yard close by. I only saw 1.

1 clucking chicken. I like to say it chased me. Reality: it wobbled as quickly as it could behind me for a house and a half. I was terrified. I blame the unexpected on my fearful reaction. When do you see chickens roaming yards in downtown Ottawa? Exactly.

Post-chicken chase, a local of the area told us to go check out Red Rock Canyon. It was a beautiful hike. It was mostly uphill, so a fairly decent workout! The day was sunny and a high of 19!

We found a cozy spot to park that night. It was located, unbeknownst to us, beside some incredible hiking trails. We woke up and went for a hour long hike through trails in Woodland Park. Literally scrambling up the side of a fairly steep hill, we reached the top of a rock lookout with one heck of a view.

We worked in a coffee shop close to Denver that day. I scored my first freelance writing gig!

The drive to Salt Lake City didn’t look too long on the map, especially when mountains and snowstorms were unaccounted for. We got caught in a wicked snowstorm. We arrived in small town Frisco, Colorado in the worst of it. The executive decision to park for the night was made. Driving through a wild windy snowstorm in the middle of the mountains after dark when we were in no rush = not smart and completely unnecessary.

Throughout the night, the wind was treacherous. Huge gusts shook the entire car. The wind gusts measured at a max of 36 mph that night. The noise and force of our mobile home being shaken allotted for a somewhat sleepless night. The feeling that your bed is going to be lifted off the ground with each wind burst is hardly soothing.

By mid-morning it had almost entirely cleared. With sun in the afternoon forecast, a bit sluggish we were back on route. We continued the drive to Salt Lake City through Rock Springs, Wyoming. Wyoming marked the 11th state we had driven through. I still can’t believe this is our life right now. Chris and I have had numerous discussions about the reality of this trip. It feels unreal. Unreal in the best way possible. The views we get to wake up to, the lack of an alarm clock going off every morning, the ability to decide the day of what we feel like doing, and the general freedom to go and do as we please; It feels so far removed from the regular grind. Every day is different. We stayed that night in Wyoming. Salt Lake City was only a few hours’ drive away. An endeavor we would undertake the following morning.