Zagy and I have been engaged in an ongoing argument about the merits of spontaneity versus planning. Zagy advocates for a spontaneous approach which, applied to the context we find ourselves in, means driving with no specific destination and hoping to find a campsite by chance, or otherwise sleep on the roadside. I advocate for planning which, also applied to said context, means stopping at a Starbucks or McDonalds for free wi-fi, searching the area for formal and informal campsites, and then calling information centers to get directions, discover availabilities, and make reservations.
Both Zagy and I are very persistent in our approaches, and ceaseless in our arguments. We find ourselves constantly compromising, not from cooperating, but from winning and losing small rhetorical battles. As a result, the progress of our road trip is guided by both a spontaneous spirit and active foresight (though not always accurate). While it would seem that this blend of trusting fate and careful step taking would work to our benefit, our current situation proves that sometimes compromise is not always a good thing (but no nods to Ayn Rand here). Both spontaneity and planning have their disadvantages, and our constant bickering has cherry picked these disadvantages to provide us with the campsite where we now find ourselves pitching a tent (and in Zagy’s case, hanging his hammock from the roof rack).
If you zoom out, our location is superb: the buzzing town of Estes Park, Colorado, sitting at the foot of the Rockies, and full of local shops and treasures, bubbling creeks, giant boulders, and herds of elk. If you zoom in a different scene is depicted: the KOA Kampground of Estes/Drake, a gravel clearing, a decrepit lean-to, bordered by route 34 and downwind from a horse ranch. The benefits are plenty: private showers, clean water, cookstoves and free wi-fi, but our campground here is far from the idyllic site 14 off of West Magnolia Rd. that we slept in last night, where the soundscape was composed of chirping crickets, whittling woodpeckers, and the tribal drummers of site 5.
How did we end up here? Zagy’s spontaneity had us leaving Connecticut a day early, and then driving through the night the next day to Boulder. Thus, we had two extra days to burn before our check-in time at Yellowstone, and negative one days to be able to reserve any nice campsite we became attracted to in Colorado. After three rainy days in Boulder, we decided to see somewhere else. Though I had little notice, my planning instinct nonetheless took hold, and I tried to spontaneously plan our stay near Rocky Mountain National Park. I found dozens of campgrounds in the area, either free or inexpensive, and we embarked to Estes Park with a confidence that we could easily find a place to stay. This was not so, as everything was either booked, un-reservable, or un-findable. Thanks to the help of a Rockies YMCA employee, we found our current site and shelled out the big bucks for it (granted, it’s not that expensive). Thus, we find ourselves having been shafted by the immediacy of spontaneity and the unbacked confidence of incompetent planning.
Possibilities for tomorrow: a hike up the rockies, a cold swim in Lake Estes, Zagy going to Epic Climbing Gym across the street, and a leisurely tour of the town of Estes Park. By the night of the 10th, we’ll be in Bozeman, Montana at Yellowstone Park. On the 11th, we’ll be surfing the rapids of Fire Hole Canyon Drive (if we can find it). By the 13th we’ll be at the Hoover Dam, and then soon situated in smoggy Los Angeles.
Other fun facts:
-It’s cold and rainy.
-Cold beans are awful.
-We drove past a man at a road construction site asleep at a traffic barrel, holding a stop/slow sign and supposedly directing traffic.
-Baz punched me in the face when I gave Nani a look that was supposed to say nice nose ring.
-Zagy got married.
-Theresa just woke up.
-Boulder has an awesome kite store.
-We went to The Spot and found out where the griever hole is.
Our new sidecar.