I fell asleep with the back doors of the van looking up at more stars than I could fathom. It was the day from hell trying to get to this very remote and very high in the mountains campsite… but it was more than very worth it. Three hours southeast of Fort Collins, Colorado I had the single best night of my life.
At six PM in the mountains of Colorado it was nearly pitch black, the sun was setting faster than we could navigate the winding dirt roads. We drove slowly, our eyes peeled for the many deer and cattle that would causally walk across the road. Once we were a few miles away from the nearest valley town there were no lights or people to be seen. Just us on the road, with the dim lights of from our 1996 van.Mildly terrifying. Extremely exhilarating. Slowly but surely we climbed in elevation. By the time we found a place to camp it was pitch black outside. We parked the van, hung some fairy lights and began to unpack.
It was the first time in my life that I heard silence. Truly nothing. The wind would blow every once in a while, with a cow moo here and there. Other than that… SILENCE. No buzzing, no beeps, cell phones vibrating. It was hauntingly beautiful. Serenity that years of living in the city could never provide.
We cooked over an open fire, plenty of Colorado joints in hand to keep the laughs coming and the mood right. It was perfection. Seeing the man I loves face glowing only from the light from the fire and the dim light from the night sky. Stars, so many stars. The moon bigger and closer than I had ever seen it. I was certain this was paradise. I fell asleep in his arms. Held by both my husband and the sky.
We woke up to sounds of something moving right outside the van. Closer and Closer.. I began to worry. Then we opened the sliding van door to see who or what was coming for us. COWS! We had awoken to a herd of cows. They continued to graze, unbothered by our presence. It was surreal, I felt so close to nature. Like the walls I had built around myself my whole life were being chipped away at. A genuine human experience. Something so little made me feel so whole.
We made breakfast and coffee over our fire. Our breakfast conversation was not verbal, but rather wide eyed glances at one another. As if to say “are you seeing this?” and “can this be real?” I felt so connected to the earth. The literal physical dirt like I had never been. All around us different shades or green, yellow, red, orange. Dried yellow grass on which the cows grazed led my eyes up to the green of the trees. The trees guiding my eyes ever upward to the mountains. Each layer or rock and earth a different and more beautiful shade than the last. Tears filled my eyes and there was nothing I could do do stop it. I had never seen anything so beautiful.