My husband, Marty, and I decided in September 2004 that we would go camping and elk hunting in Colorado together. His father, George, had taken a contract job there and his residence was literally at the base of the mountain of which we would hunt. I had never been elk hunting, but Marty believes it to be the greatest adventure ever, next to kayaking, of course. As the date approached, Marty was ready. He practiced with his bow, as to not miss the kill shot and we physically trained, as the altitude was wicked. Our airline tickets had been purchased and our room and board were secured. The day before the trip we packed and packed some more. As Marty was packing his bow, the serving on his bow broke. This is where we should have realized it was going downhill fast.On the first day of our trip, we flew from Jackson, MS into Albuquerque, NM. From there, we rented a car and made the three hour drive to Durango, CO. I remember the heat. Although this was Colorado, it was hot. Of course, that could have been because we missed our turn and went about one hour in the wrong direction when the air conditioner went out in our mid size rental car. "No problem", we thought, "We'll just exchange it for another car in Durango." Easy enough. You'd be wrong. We were able to exchange the car, but only for a compact. Remember, we had packed a lot of stuff. It took about 30 minutes to get the new car loaded. The luggage fit in the trunk like that of a jigsaw puzzle.
Upon leaving the rental facility, we made the traditional stop at Wal-Mart, as we do on every vacation. This time, we had to purchase Marty's hunting license. It was $537.50. I wasn't hunting, so I didn't need one, but I did get some candy because that- I did need. It was still early in the day when we arrived at George's temporary residence. It would still be several hours before he got back from work, so we decided it was a great time to hike the mountain and do some scouting. After all, we had spent a lot of money on this trip and we wanted the best possible camping spot available.