Workin’, Chillin’, Campin’…

Holy cow, what a week. I suppose I’ll start at the beginning. It’s a long story, so I’ll break it off from the main page.

The week started with me being a bit sick, and working with my brother on our first job without the boss around. 400 square feet of pre-finished, 3/4 inch red oak. Not too bad. We did run into some frustrating problems and ended up with more than 3 days of labor on our hands (the rest of which, to my understanding, remains unfinished). Then on Thursday we started another job without the boss in Monument (about 20-25 minutes from my house), doing a little less square footage with unfinished wood. It went a lot faster, but it ended up being a little longer than we had hoped it would take and we left Friday night, without finishing. This meant I would have to go back alone on Saturday.

That night I got a call and hung out with some friends on the promise that we’d meet for dinner and then be spontaneous. At dinner we decided we were going camping from Saturday to Sunday afternoon. Sweet. Then as for Friday night, we packed all six of us in the most unreliable car any of us owned and headed up a mountain. It’s not that we didn’t think about how stupid that was… we talked about it and somehow decided to do it anyways.

So on the way down the mountain, the car died and Joy (the driver and owner) started freaking out. Above the commotion was my voice, sternly attempting to calm the situation. I got her mostly calmed down when it was suggested that someone else drive, so I took the wheel. At that point it was more coasting than driving because the car had died and wouldn’t stay running. All the guages looked fine, and a quick once-over of the car revealed no observable problems. So we coasted a ways (in an automatic unfortunately), and then I was able to start the car and proceed as if nothing had happened. Then we pulled over at the spot Joy had been telling us about (the whole point we went up the mountain). We hiked a little ways and climbed up on a rock to check out the nighttime view of the city. It was pretty cool. Of course this was after Joy had misdirected Jeff, who ended up all the way on TOP of the rock with only treacherous ways down, where one mistake would cause him to fall to where the rest of the group was, bounce or slide a few feet, and then plummet another 100 feet, probably to his death. So, not wanting him get too worried, I climbed up to join him in his predicament. Call me crazy, but I won’t leave a friend alone in a predicament if I can help it. So we get up there and plan and look for the best way down. I checked a couple possibilities and he followed when I was pretty sure I had found the easiest way. Then it happened… We made it down safely. 🙂 I had to throw something in there for you worriers.

We went back to the car and a couple people (namely Joy’s sister) wanted me to continue to drive, but I very firmly stood behind Joy’s driving, explained that I trusted her with my life, and got into the passenger seat. We easily made it safely back to the resturaunt to retrieve our cars and left for our homes, excited about our camping plans. But my work week wasn’t quite over.

Saturday morning I woke up at 8 (due to a mishap with my alarm) and hurried to get ready. I talked to my parents and brother about borrowing the equipment I needed for the weekend and headed off to work. I wasn’t able to finish the work, and left later than I had wanted to. I was to meet the group for camping at 2pm, more than a half hour from my house (In the oppiosite direction of Monument). I grabbed some food, got a quick haircut and started off, late as usual, to Jeff’s house. Fortunately, they were running late as well, and I ended up having to wait a half hour for them to arrive from shopping.

We got the trucks loaded up and headed up to a spot near Gold Camp road. It was a crazy drive, with several instances requiring 4wd Low. The guys were in a pickup with firm shocks, no A/C, windows down (in all the dust), sitting in a bench seat. The girls were in an SUV with comfortable shocks, A/C and leather seats. We definitely felt a little more manly as a result. Overall the drive was pretty fun, and definitely required a bit of driving skill to accomplish. We got up a ways, passed a good camping spot, and kept going in hopes of another. We decided we’d gone far enough when we saw a huge Ford with great tires and an 8 inch lift stuck in the snow (yeah, snow in 60-70 degree weather… it’s Colorado). Now we had to back down. After all the impressive driving Melissa had just done in the truck behind us, she quickly admitted that backing down was beyond her, so I headed to her vehicle, shook her hand to compliment her driving, and took the wheel (I’m beginning to notice a very acceptable trend here ;)). We backed down, turned around and headed for the spot we saw in the first place.

We arrived at the spot and decided to set up camp. All the wimps (just kidding guys) figured that, even though we wanted to just sleep under the stars (aka no tent), we should set up the tents just in case it rained or something. But you know what that meant… Come night time, it was simple to just crawl into the tents instead of rolling out their sleeping bags on the ground. So Jeff and I were the only ones outside that night. After some shooting, snowball throwing, wood chopping (with a tiny hatchet), fire-building, cooking, s’moring, chatting, and singing, we decided to hit the sack. Jeff and I had a long night of keeping watch, as there were a few guys messing around right next to our camp, and we wanted to make sure they didn’t try anything funny. Needless to say, Jeff’s Smith and Wesson SW99 handgun gave me a warm fuzzy feeling of “Just try it, buddy.” Other than that, the night was uneventful.

Much to my dismay, I was the 4th person to wake up, looked at my watch and read “7:15am.” And with everyone up already, I knew there was no going back. It was time to chop some wood and get a fire going for breakfast. I continued to assert my position as “Lord of the Flame” and tried extra hard not to set my tail on fire. I didn’t. That was good.

And that pretty much sums it up. We stopped at Chipotle on the way back, and two members of the group had a bit of a spat. One said something that hurt the other, tension ran high… definitely dampened the mood. So I rode back with one of them, attempting to offer comfort and restore peace. I think they’re ok now…

All in all, it was a great weekend during which Jeff, Matt and I asserted our manliness in many different ways, while the girls were probably secretly laughing at all out efforts. No worries… At least we felt more manly.

So now I’m home, a little sunburned, and extremely tired. It’s a good day to lay inside and do nothing. So instead of nothing, I decided to write this. I hope it wasn’t too long for you. Have fun.

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