Changes

I am not a huge fan of change. I like routine and predictability. I can’t catch a curve ball, especially one in a schedule. These trips have so much room for spontaneity and, in my eyes, that means chaos. And the more chaotic a situation is, the more I freak out. So, how in the world does Zak get me to go on these trips? A huge part of it is The Spreadsheet. The planning Zak pours into these six weeks is really remarkable. Below is a screen shot of just a bit of The Spreadsheet. The columns go to W and include information such as where we can do laundry (including specific laundromats), breweries we will be near, the hotels with pools, parking prices/Spothero reservations, and all the costs of every single thing. 

I don’t spend nearly as many hours as Zak does on The Spreadsheet, but it is my safety net. I know that, not only has Zak thought of everything, but it is documented and recorded. There isn’t a whole lot of room for the unknown to happen. We don’t have days with nothing going on. And I like that. I need that. It means that I can mentally prepare for each day, each aspect of the 44 days.

Then today happened. Zak threw a huge curveball. I almost broke out in hives. In the late morning, I received the following message from Zak:

So I’ve spent the last hour or so looking at weather conditions all over and I really think we’re going to be fine with one big exception – Colorado. With all the snow it seems inevitable that Ida & Gray’s/Torrey’s will be a no-go. Even the Ute Trail looks pretty questionable. So here’s a radical suggestion – spend only a couple days in CO and spend some time at Arches/Canyonlands instead.

A rough plan would look like:
Days 1-2 as planned
Day 3 as planned but stay at the hotel in Winter Park instead of camping
Day 4 rafting, find a hotel somewhere between Idaho Springs and Moab
Day 5 Arches/Canyonlands not sure about sleep – no rooms at Inca Inn
Day 6 Same as 5 could stay at Inca Inn
This would also mean not doing Denver at all so no Monaco
What do you think?
What do I think??? I don’t know!! We leave in 10 days and I am not ready to hike in the desert this trip. I haven’t considered that and this isn’t some kind of go-with-the-flow road trip! But it was a busy day at work and report cards are due, so I simply replied:
OK. 
That reply gave Zak the go ahead to make the change to the plan and he spent the rest of the day finding hotels, hikes, breweries, and laundromats.
The girls are thrilled, especially Ellie. We get to go back to Arches and we have our fingers crossed she gets to see Ranger Mike again. She even sent him this email tonight:

Dear Ranger Mike,

 I have good news. Colorado got so much snow this year and we were planning on going there instead of Utah this summer. Now we will be spending less time in Colorado AND GOING TO UTAH!!!!! We will be going to Arches and trying to hike the Fiery Furnace again. We will be there June 14th, 15th, and the morning of the 16th.

Over Memorial Day weekend my dad and I went hiking in the Manistee National Forest in Michigan. My sister has a broken arm, so she and my mom could not come. We hiked 15 miles the first day and then we backcountry camped. We hiked 10 miles the next day so in total we hiked 25 miles.

 I only have 5 more days of school. We leave in 10 days for our 6 week road trip. I hope to see you this summer!!

From,

Ellie Knott

So there we are. We leave in 10 days and we just replanned a decent portion of the trip. I really am ok with it. We may be losing a Kimpton night, but we are also losing TWO camping nights. I think this goes as a win in my category. And I might have enough time to prepare for some desert hiking.

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