A Road Trip: Freezing in a Hot Spring

photo evidence of Camp Daddy trying to kill us while he drove

It’s finally here! The travel blog encompassing the road trip I took with Camp Daddy and The Rival has been rejuvenated. I know it has been awhile, like long enough you could have probably seen all 50 states since the last post in this adventure, but it’s finally back. I’ve decided to extend the story out into smaller sections and it will probably be a bi-weekly post, but I promise this story will get told!

So anyway, let’s get on with it! Last time I wrote, I told the story about how Camp Daddy, The Rival, and myself made it to Colorado and camped out at a remote site in the Rockies. That day we celebrated The Rival’s birthday before heading to bed.

So the next morning found the three of us waking up around 8:00 am and enjoying the crisp morning air. With how cool the night was, all three of us slept in our clothes and were able to get up and begin our morning routine: eating a breakfast of crushed mini donuts, trying to get coffee started on smoldering embers, putting on deodorant, and brushing our teeth. Did I ever mention The Rival and I decided we didn’t need to shower this trip? We’ll discuss that more later, but just know it drove Camp Daddy up a wall.

Of course taking down the tent is part of any morning camping ritual. Just make sure to be outside of it when it comes down.

Anyway, our big goal for the day was to find the hot springs that was listed near our camp. If you’re in the area I suggest checking it out, the link is here. We had searched around for a bit off the directions on the app, but to no success. Finally, The Rival lost patience and decided to befriend the “Kyles” and when he came back he told us we were very wrong.

Apparently these guys were from overseas and had been just kind of going around camping like we were. They had been to the hot springs area and warned us that it was cold, but we didn’t care. They also had told us there was an area up on the mountain side we had to trek where you could jump down into the Colorado River (something the three of us didn’t do).

So following their directions, the three of us headed out. There was a narrow and steep path that led up the side of a mountain that we first had to climb. I’d say it was easy, but by the time things leveled out, I was winded. From there, we followed a winding path through mountain shrubbery and sage, watching as birds flew overhead and hopped through the brush. It took us about a good 10 minutes to walk over to our destination before we found the sign that showed you could jump into the Colorado River at your own risk.

Sadly, we didn’t get much photographs of this area. The three of us all had low phone batteries and didn’t spend enough time in the car to get them charged. All of us wanted to make sure the hot spring was photographed, and so the phones stayed away as we walked. It took us a few tries to find the hot springs since it didn’t have a sign like the jumping point, but when we did, we were thrilled.

The path down was a narrow climb of rocks on a cliff side. It was another steep drop down, but it appeared people had taken the time to place rocks to have a makeshift “staircase” down to the springs. We slid and flatfooted our way down until it leveled out into the hot springs we were looking for.

The Hot Springs off the Colorado River

We were thrilled to finally be in this spot and felt there was no way that it was cold like our new camping friends said. We each stripped down to our bathing suits and got in. They were right and we were wrong. Although it wasn’t freezing, the water was just slightly warmer than the river that flowed beside it. We took a few minutes and forced ourselves the rest of the way in, we refused to not enjoy the hot springs that we adventured to find.

We spent about a good half hour in the area and during that time we found to areas where warm water was trying its best to make this small pool live up to its name. The first was in a back corner under the water. The Rival had found it after dropping down to his neck in the water. The other was a small flow of water coming out of the wall featured in the photo. During our time here we were able to watch a river tour float on by and while the guide did his best to crack some jokes about poisonous animals by us, The Rival continued to yell back to him, trying his best to be funnier than the guide.

It was at this time I decided it was a perfect opportunity for a “shower.” Although I had no soap, I took the warm water and covered myself in it, getting the fine layer of grease that had started to develop off of my skin. Camp Daddy and The Rival followed suit and then we decided that the hot springs were done for the day. We had the goal of setting up camp near Arches National Park and it was a good 8-10 hour drive away from us.

So we trekked our way back up, Camp Daddy and myself harassing The Rival from a higher perch as he was the last to climb back up and took his time leaving the hot spring. As we were goofing around we heard voices, and fearing it could be a park ranger, we stopped messing around and scurried up to the top.

When we reached the top we encountered two other men around our age with one rocking an awesome Nikon camera and taking shots of the river from above. We exchanged pleasantries and discovered that they were both from Illinois as well and doing some travelling. What was even cooler was that both of them grew up close to where we did. While talking to them, they had highly encouraged us to avoid Arches (it was a tourist trap) and instead go to Canyonlands National Park instead. There they said was less crowded and had more to do. They even told us a story about how they snuck into one area at dawn and beautiful photos of the sun rising over the canyons.

We thanked them for the suggestion, wished each other luck and made our way back to the horrible ride that was our Mitsubishi. If you’re confused on why I say horrible, check back on a previous post that explains our misadventures so far in the vehicle. Anyway, we arrived to find the campground nearly deserted, which worked to our benefit. We took the privacy and changed out of wet swimsuits before climbing into the car and heading out.

We had to drive a good 20 minutes doing nothing but guesswork since there was no service for our phones and most of the phones were dead and dying. We eventually were able to get out of the little range we camped in, found cell service, and routed our way to Moab.

That’s it for this week. Thank you for reading and if you’ve enjoyed this service, go to the bottom of this page and follow me on my social media pages. I promise I talk a lot about writing and do my best to entertain anyone willing to listen. Enjoy!

A Road Trip: Onward to Colorado

Jesus in the wheat

So picking up from Saturday’s post: (which you can read here if you’re behind) Camp Daddy, The Rival, and I took off relatively early after enjoying some coffee brewed over an open flame. This portion of the trip felt somewhat long and painful due to the lack of scenery stretching through Kansas, however there was one bright spot since it was The Rival’s birthday and we had plans to celebrate at the next camp location.

To give you an idea of how this part of the drive went, let me give you one example of the conversations we had or as I like to call it: how The Rival and I broke Camp Daddy.

The argument was simple: Grass is useless because if humans were to try and live on only grass they would die. Camp Daddy disagreed with the statement, saying we could live on it as long as we ate other things as well and it was a source of fiber.

Somewhere along the way, The Rival and I determined that grass was inedible because if you would die eating only that, you shouldn’t eat it. This began getting Camp Daddy riled up so The Rival went for the finishing blow.

The Rival: Really, cyanide and grass are basically the same thing.

Camp Daddy: No they’re not! Cyanide would kill you instantly, you can’t even ingest it.

The Rival: Yeah, and eating just grass would also kill you, so it’s basically the same thing.

Me: I agree. If they both can kill you while eating it, then clearly they’re the same thing.

It was then when we started hearing a pain scream and as I turned I saw Camp Daddy falling into the luggage next to him and go “Fuck you! You’re just trying to rile me up!”

And with that, it took him a good 15-20 minutes to engage in a conversation with us again. But that’s just how Kansas was, there was a whole lot of nothing to do besides stare at the countryside, count the miles to Colby, KS which was advertised for miles, and search for Jesus. Which by the way, did you know Kansas wasn’t part of the Bible Belt?

Bible belt according to Wikipedia

The reason I bring this up is because it felt as though most of Kansas was having us play hide and seek with Jesus through the countryside. Now don’t take how I’m wording this the wrong way, but for real, all across I-70 west was billboards of Jesus, a lot of which were like the image posted at the beginning of this post. It was also very bizarre because none of them gave advertising for a church nearby.

But anyway, that is how we spent most of our day. We took one break in Kansas at a rest stop, where we chowed down on pb&j’s and chips. When we finally got out of the state, we had a hard time believing we had actually left. We knew that Colorado was more than just the Rockies, but it was kind of jarring to spend the first hour or two driving through the area and getting the same view as we did in Kansas.

However, we kept pushing forward. There was a small break with a bathroom and supply stop at a small town off the highway. The only fun thing to happen there was watching The Rival get mad and pee in a field next to a gas station since they didn’t have a restroom and then crossing the street for supplies at a place that did have one.

After this break, we quickly pushed through Denver and found our camping spot for the evening, a location in the mountains near Bold called O.C. Mugrage Campground. It was another free and gorgeous location about 20 minutes off the main highway. I’d love to tell you more about it, but this is a great stopping point, as the campsite itself was an adventure to get to, along with the camping that took place after.

One view headed towards camp

So that’s it for this week! Subscribe, follow my social media accounts, do what you have to so you don’t miss out on the next post in this series! Until next time, have a good one.

A Road Trip: Camping in KS

Camp Daddy and me messing with food and tent stuff

Picking up where I left off yesterday, we had just chosen our spot to camp for the night and were quickly getting things laid out for the evening. At first, there was what seemed to be a lot of things working against us.

To start, the tent I had brought had never been put together by any of us. In addition, our grill still needed to be assembled, food still needed to be cooked, AND a fire started. Now granted, all of these should seem like easy tasks, but the three of us are very hit and miss on making things happen.

Thankfully, that night was one where we didn’t have much issues. The Rival and I found a way to work together and had the tent set up in little to no time at all. Camp Daddy did Camp Daddy things and managed to find tools to get the grill quickly assembled (which I didn’t even know we had tools), lit a fire, and was cooking before we completely had the tent set up.

By the time the dust settled we had a beautiful campsite set up and were on our way to relaxation, or so we thought. But more on that later. In the meantime, we chowed down on a mix of spicy sausage, red beans, and rice while admiring the beautiful view we would have from our tent tomorrow.

A picture of our tent with what we referred to as the “sacrificial stone” in front of it

The rest of the evening was spent doing our favorite past time: Dungeons and Dragons. While we were driving, Camp Daddy had written a session for The Rival and I to play in. As much as I would love to give all the juicy details of that session, that would take up an entire post on its own.

So instead I will give you the gist of it. The Rival and I each played a dwarf characters that were trying to find an old dwarven temple. While we were there, we ran into some goblins and spent the remainder of the time threatening and killing them before finding an awesome underground area.

So as we closed down on the session, we began packing up and calling it a night. Everything seemed fine until I made one startling discovery: I had forgotten to pack my glasses. This began a fun new game to play the rest of the trip for Camp Daddy and The Rival: protect me from anything I couldn’t see at night.

The first thing they had to do for me? Identify the flashing lights and bangs I was hearing. Throughout the night while we played Dungeons and Dragons, we heard a constant barrage of explosions along with flashing lights in the distance. For awhile we assumed that it was nothing more than thunderstorms, after all the wind kept picking up and dying and occasionally some light rain would fall.

The rain also made things fun, because it led to us making a mad scramble to put the rain tarp on in the dark, something, as I said before, we had never done. But anyway, back to what was happening in the air around us.

We had went to bed assuming that it was a thunderstorm rolling through. As we laid there, we listened to the constant explosions, adjusting our bodies to deal with the inconsistencies of the ground going from hard to soft. After awhile we dozed off looking out the front of our tent watching the lake and the lightning flashing over it.

image by Frank Cone

It was around 3:00 a.m. that I was awoken by two things simultaneously. The first was the explosions starting up again with absolutely no storms around us. The second was the sound of what I thought were people outside the tent.

I laid silently and stiff as a corpse, in part because I didn’t want anyone to hear I was awake and because my body was that stiff from lying on the ground. After a few minutes I started to believe I was going crazy when I saw headlights.

I positioned myself to look out the window and saw a small red car trolling across the road. Me, being a paranoid person, worried that they were going to stop and come up on our tent. I whispered to The Rival and Camp Daddy, but if they were awake, they didn’t say anything. I watched as the taillights fade into the distance.

Next came another bang. It was at this point that I no longer believed that it was just thunder and so I decided to try and find out what was happening. Naturally, I did what any survivalist would do and googled “what are the explosions near me” on my iPhone.

Surprisingly, a hit came up. Apparently there was a military base called Fort Riley nearby and they tested weapons and equipment at all hours. It would take up too much room to write everything it said, so I’ll give a link to their description here.

After finding out what the noise was, I still was unable to sleep and so I spent the rest of the night waking up and drifting off again until the sun came up. Once this happened, Camp Daddy, The Rival, and I worked together to quickly pack up camp and hit the road again. While we tore down the tent, Camp Daddy was nice enough to even make us coffee over an open flame.

That concluded our first night of camping and although it was a beautiful location, it was nowhere near as perfect where we camped the next evening. But, if you want to know more about that and see double the images from it, you’ll have to follow my pages to see when the next part of the story drops!

Road Trip: First Stop, Kansas

What most of Kansas looked like. Photo by Robert D. Brozek

Welcome back to the exciting story of my road trip across the southwest! As much as I would love to give a summary of what happened last time (I image “The Road So Far…” popping up from a Supernatural season finale while Carry On Wayward Son plays) but instead, I’ll just insist that you explore my webpage and read what I wrote before.

Anyway, back to the story. So we had just left Champaign, Illinois and began our long trek west. It was an exciting time for me because as far as I can recall, the farthest west I’ve ever been is somewhere in Arkansas. (I suspect I may be wrong on this account and will be getting a call from my parents stating otherwise).

As for Camp Daddy and The Rival, both of them had been west several times before so they didn’t seem as eager to see everything as I was. However, our first destination was one that none of us had been to before: Arches National Park in Utah.

In case you don’t want to click the link. Photo by Christopher Janda

Over the course of our day, we drove for about 8 hours that day, driving through Illinois, Missouri, and stopping a little ways past Kansas City.

During that drive, nothing too crazy had happened. We spoke about our usual passions like Dungeons and Dragons, our friends, and what we were expecting to get out of this road trip.

Our camp was chosen for two reasons and these two reasons would be the guiding principles as to how sites were chosen: First it had to be free and decently rated on the Campendium app. Second was that we had to be able to reach it and have camp set up and dinner cooking before it got dark. We didn’t always follow that second rule as things went on, but I’ll explain more on that later.

On our way to camp, we passed through this awesome town called Wamego. This was one of those hidden treasure areas that you don’t really hear too much about. As we drove through the town, we found that it was mainly covered in Wizard of Oz things. It was fun to drive through and see all of the different themed places they had and if we hadn’t been on a time crunch, we would have probably spent the day there.

Downtown Wamego, KS

It was a shame to pass through this town, but we were on a budget and so we eventually made our way to Pottawatomie State Fishing Lake No. 2. Don’t ask me what happened to the first lake, because none of us knew and we were too scared to ask.

The site itself was beautiful. After leaving the luxury of black top roads behind, we traveled up and down some hills on gravel roads until we eventually came down into a wooded area with a gorgeous lake smacked in the middle. We slowly followed the road around, checking out the various other tents setup back in the woods and close to the lake.

Although I was slightly envious of the campers that were able to get spots away from the road, we were able to snag a nice campsite next to the lake that was equipped with both a picnic table and fire pit. In no time at all, we were unpacked and beginning to set up camp.

That’s it for today! Come back to the blog tomorrow, as I’m going to change things up and do a back to back road trip posting and in the meantime, enjoy your weekend.

A Road Trip: The Battle to Leave Champaign

Who’s ready for another installment of my road trip story? Doesn’t matter, because I’m ready to tell it!

So if you recall from last week’s post, my friends The Rival, Camp Daddy, and myself had decided to take a road trip around the southwestern United States after The Rival had a job fall through in Las Vegas. UPDATE: He’s now taking the same job and going at the end of the month so now he has to travel on his own.

But anyway, this story isn’t just about him, it’s about all three of us. So the morning of July 30th we were all awoken by The Rival and pushed to shower and get ready to leave by 9.

To say we did well at this would be a joke. There was a lot of fumbling around with showering and getting ready and a reluctance to go shopping for groceries since we had put that off. However, in the end we finally got moving.

We first went to McDonald’s for a breakfast that can only be described as “cheap.” For real, I don’t think any of us spent over $5.00 before we headed over to ValuCheck, where we loaded up on what we believed to be all the supplies we needed.

After what seemed like an eternity, which was only 20 minutes in real time, we finally had all our groceries and were headed back to the house to begin packing our “midsize” SUV. I cannot stress enough how much Hertz sucks for giving us the vehicle we didn’t want.

If you’re wondering why I didn’t call and complain either, trust me I did. The few times I called and questioned if I had the right car, they insisted I did and would hang up. Don’t book with them.

Back to the story. Once we came home the true battle was on. A full week’s worth of groceries. Sleeping bags. A tent. Coolers. Random assortment of camping supplies. All of this was to be wrestled into a compact SUV and we still had to get a small charcoal grill to add later on.

It was a long, uphill battle but after some wizarding moves by Camp Daddy (something he’d continue to do the whole trip) we got everything to fit with just enough room for the three of us to sit comfortably. Sadly, we did have to leave behind camp chairs, which would bite us in the ass later on.

Once the car was loaded, there was just one last stop before we hit the road: a pickup at Walmart. It only took us 10 minutes to get there and while Camp Daddy and The Rival went to go snacks and drinks for the trip, I was charged with grabbing the charcoal grill.

The pickup experience at Walmart is what I would call “bizarre.” You essentially enter your information either on their app or a screen near a desk and just wait until someone shows up with your items. There really wasn’t any indication that it worked until someone came out with my product.

Once I had the grill, I decided to sit and wait on a bench for a few minutes as the guys wrapped up shopping. However, this did not last long as I learned a lot of people do not have a concept of personal space, as multiple people about ran into me while I sat looking like a lost child clutching the small grill I picked up.

I eventually went out to the car and waited for Camp Daddy and The Rival to find me. After cranking some pop hits on the radio and blasting the AC they finally arrived. I was given the Kyle Juice I requested and we were on our way to our first camp location, which was found with the help of the Campendium app.

That’s it for today! If you haven’t followed this blog or any of my social media pages, make sure to click the links at the bottom of the page to do so! Also, check out Camp Daddy’s and The Rival’s Instagram pages. Both are well traveled men and have some great content to check out.

Where in the USA is Ty?

Hello everyone! As promised, I will soon begin writing about some of the places I’ve traveled to this summer. However, that will not be taking place for another week or two because I will be gone from today all the way to August 5!

Crazy, right? In the meantime, I thought I may share some of the areas I’ve been to or heading to in the near future so that everyone has some ideas of what to look forward to!

Again, these posts are going to kind of be a mix of reviews and maybe non-fiction. I feel there was a lot of fun things that I did on my adventures that I want to share but I also want to be able to provide any reader with a fair assessment of the area and places to see and hang out.

Also, just for this post, I will be borrowing images from pixabay.com. There is a bunch of beautiful photography on there and I highly recommend using it to support photographers. Anyway, lets get to it!

Gulf Shores, Alabama – one of the first places I went off to this year. My wife and I have some wonderful friends that live in the area and it was already our second time visiting there. Fun place to be and it never hurts to be near the beach.

New Orleans – Absolutely one of my favorite places I’ve been to so far, and not just because it’s the city I got married in. Great night life, incredible food, and a laid back atmosphere that makes it hard not to enjoy.

Chicago – Now I know what you may be thinking: Ty, you’re from Illinois, aren’t you FROM Chicago? Well that answer is no and although I’ve been there many times, each experience is different. I’ll be writing specifically about the Uptown area and Wrigleyville, where I spent most of my time that weekend.

Woodstock, IL – Known for having the movie Groundhog’s Day filmed here, this town is home to an awesome charity event called Barndance. Between the live auction, free flowing beer, and music, it made for a great weekend.

Wisconsin – While it doesn’t seem fair to just claim the whole state of Wisconsin as one place to visit, that’s how this is going to have to be for a moment. Spending a night up in Madison (which is a great place itself) before heading to Chippewa Falls for a bachelor party weekend at a lake house!

Southwest United States – that’s right! Next week some friends and I will be taking on a camping road trip. A week of driving and hanging out under the stars in the desert. If there’s time, maybe exploring the Rockies and finding them aliens.

So that’s it for now! Make sure to follow my social media pages if you want live updates of how my trips are going this week and thanks for reading!

Transitions

So after some time, I am finally back to using my web page! Now for those that don’t follow me on social media, I recently announced that I’ve converted the page to outsource my writing to those that may be in need of a writer for their company.

However, fear not! Although my web page has gone through some design changes and now gives you the option to hire me, I will be getting back to writing original content once again.

Now looking at the top of the page, you may see that there are three categories of writing that you can now choose from. All three will begin having new content once again to be read and enjoyed.

The first is my fiction. One thing I love doing is writing works of science fiction and horror. Although I SHOULD be trying to gain publication with some online magazines, I generally get too excited about what I’m writing and want to share it with the world right away. So that trend will continue in the fiction area.

I’ve also decided to keep the writing prompt section mainly because people seemed to enjoy it. Not only did it help other writers, it also helped keep my craft up to par as well. So if you’re a new writer and needing practice, make sure to check in there.

Finally, the blog portion of my page is the one thing that is going to undergo some changes. As of right now, most of the posts on there are updates on either myself or my book. This is going to change so that I can continue to provide quality entertainment.

Going forward I’m going to begin sharing some of my travels that I’ve done this summer. Some of the posts will share what I did while others will review some of the places I visited. I’m hoping it will help serve as a basic guide for those wishing to visit these places in the future.

The blog section will also have a different format and I will try to stick with a more traditional setup for that writing.

I believe that’s everything that I have for now. Make sure if you’re not following me on social media you click on the icons below! I’m always posting some form of content to my pages and if you’re not subscribed to my page for updates on my latest work, make sure to do that as well!