Golden Gate SP - June

In mid-June we booked three sites at Golden Gate Canyon State Park and invited two mutual friends and their families to join us. We celebrated our 1-year wedding anniversary on this trip.
 

Kathy drove our Jeep Wrangler to the campground. We decided to do some off-roading on some nearby Jeep trails. This would mark the first time that Randy allowed one of his vehicles to experience a dirt road.
 

We were in Loop C. Our site required three levels of blocks and even then we were still not perfectly level. Need to buy another bag of levelers before the next trip for times like these.

Instead of tire chocks, Randy used that yellow contraption you see between the tires. It worked very well.
 

When we camp, we represent.
 

Here we go...our first Jeep trail excursion ever. We chose the Pickle Gulch trail. Our Colorado Trails book said it was a Level 3 trail (out of 10) with a scenic rating of 7 (out of 10), so it sounded very nice.
 

We took opportunities along the trail to park the Jeep and look around. Look at our Jeep already super-dirty, covered in dust.
 

 


 

 

Somewhere along the way, we got lost. That mud pit is not a Level 3 characteristic. But what the heck, let's see if our Jeep can clear that obstacle. While it was a thrill to make it through, it was a mistake to do it. Randy should have just gone around like most people did. He is still finding dirt everywhere underneath.
 

 

This obstacle confirmed we were off trail. No way I was going to attempt this. We drove around it and ended up on some very rocky, barely passable trails. Eventually we did not know where we were. There were even times that Kathy had to step out of the Jeep so Randy could drive up the trail. Kathy's weight (after all, she's no feather-weight!) was enough to prevent the 4-cylinder motor from successfully traversing some very steep, very rocky paths.

We kept our cool, used Randy's AT&T work phone which still had a signal, to figure out where we were and how to get back. Without that lifeline, we were in trouble. Never again will we keep going when the trail deviates from its rating.

We will certainly never forget our first Jeeping experience together.
 

Randy's buddy Sterling and his family joined us for the weekend.
 

We stocked the outside kitchen refrigerator with plenty of cold beverages.
 

Sterling's new puppy took a power nap soon after they arrived.
 

Mr. Hatchet ensured we had an ample supply of firewood for the weekend.
 

Sterling and his wife Kim.
 

Kathy's longtime friends Gianna and Annette and their two kids camped in a tent on the other side of us. 
 

One morning for breakfast Randy cooked eggs, bacon, and sourdough bread with avocado and sea salt for Kathy.
 

That is some serious good-eatin right there.
 

We encountered a blacksmith near the trailhead to Panorama point.
 

Kathy is ready to go hiking.
 

Gianna, Piper, and Eagan (along with Annette, not pictured) joined us on the hike to Panorama Point.
 

We made it. The weather was beautiful, almost too warm.
 

Kathy does a lot of this when we go camping together.
 

Getting the group campfire ready for the evening.
 

 

 

 

 

Wait...we drink Absolut Vodka Pomegranate martinis when we camp? Of course! And nice photo bomb, Piper.
 

 

 

Kim and Kathy visit by the campfire.
 

 

For lunch one day Randy grilled Thai-spiced chicken accompanied by French fries and Brussels Sprouts. Heaven, no?
 

For Saturday evening dinner, Randy grilled a bone-in rib-eye for him, a filet mignon for Kathy, and some bacon-wrapped asparagus.
 

It was a super-relaxing, very enjoyable, and no doubt memorable wedding anniversary weekend spent camping together with close friends.
 

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