The Road to Colorado

Editor’s note: Today, Lisa Martinez continues her ongoing series about an amazing adventure she has planned: a “14er” up Pikes Peak. LMH

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Colorado Road Trip Quick Stats:

Trip Day: 1
Route: From Carrollton, TX to Amarillo, TX
Departure time: 4:47 pm
Mileage: About 350
Arrival: 10:40 pm

After a half day of work, and an afternoon of packing, I could hardly believe that all our planning and preparations for this Colorado Road trip and Pikes Peak ascent were about to be put to the test.

Although I was in “make it happen mode” to get on the road, there’s always that little nagging voice that creeps in. “Are we really physically ready to climb a 14er? Do we have everything we need for rustic camping?”

From the looks of our car load, I sure hope so! Gear that we packed includes: Hiking, camping, outdoor cooking, fishing, biking, and that which is oriented to a few city-living days while staying in hotels and with friends. We’ve done our best, and shortly we’ll know for sure just how ready we are!

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We left home a couple of hours later than we originally planned; however, in this first leg of the trip, it’s just my husband, Mike, and I driving after work to break up a 12-hr drive. It was nice to have the luxury of not rushing or affecting anyone else by leaving a couple hours later.

Stop #1: The Double-back
The double-back just sounds better then turn around to go back home to retrieve the DSLR camera. Oops!

This was a classic case of, “No, I thought YOU packed it.” Thankfully we were only a little over a mile down the road.

Stop 2: Italian dinner, in Decatur, Texas
Smartphones make road trips so much easier. I scoped out what was nearby on a great restaurant app, Urbanspoon. I found a Pizza place/Italian Restaurant that got a 97% rating: Verona Pizza & Italian Restaurant, off N Hwy 287 in Decatur. Unfortunately we had already passed it, so this was the second double-back–about 3.5 miles–to get to this popular Pizzeria. It was worth it, though!

I love that my husband, my life-long travel companion, always finds a way to make me laugh. The first hearty laugh came over dinner. We had ordered a salad and a medium Supreme Pizza to share. The Server brought some light-n-flaky rolls to the table, which Mike kept calling biscuits; however, in the South, biscuits are another thing altogether. But I digress.

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After the Caesar salad and rolls, unfortunately there were a couple of uneaten Pizza slices left in the pan. With a few more hours of road before us tonight, the to-go box just wasn’t a good option.

We both hate wasting food, so Mike felt the need to explain his level of fullness. Using hand gestures, he proceeded, “When people are stuffed up to their gills – it’s right ‘here’,” said Mike pointing to the sides of his neck near his ears.

“But if it’s higher than the gills, it goes ‘here’,” as he made an “upchuck” motion out of the mouth.

Wow, but it made me laugh though.

The other crack up was earned after playing a few rounds of our favorite road trip game app – “Movie Quizzle” (we are movie buffs). Quizzle is full of fun movie trivia, and a nice way to break up road trips. One trivia answer was the film, “The Towering Inferno”; however, when Mike recounted his response, he said, “The Firing Interno.” Our apologies to Director John Guillermin of that award winning 1974 film, but Mike’s verbal blunders are always a sure source of laughter for me.

Toward the end of day 1, we enjoyed a beautiful pink sunset across the Texas plains, while wind turbines spun in the distance. After about 6 hours, we pulled into our hotel – the Ashmore Inn of Amarillo, off of East Interstate 40.

While given 3-stars online, the Ashmore left a bit to be desired. Nothing quite says welcome like witnessing the desk clerk get into it with a difficult guest on the phone and whisper an obscenity as she hung up the phone. But the bed was pretty comfortable, the shower hot, so those served the primary needs. We also finally had a place to properly enjoy the S’mores cookies that Maddie, our sweet summer intern, made for our send off. I never had a S’mores cookie, but now I’m a believer!

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This post is part of my Colorado Road Trip series. Tomorrow we’ll be off to Colorado Springs to meet up with some of our group, so come back and join me for the next leg of our journey!

This is the third post in my Colorado Road Trip Series. You can read about my training here. Continue to track our outdoor adventure right here over the next 3 weeks.

Lisa Martinez

Lisa Martinez

About Lisa Martinez

A writer, artist, and silly-heart from her youth, Lisa Martinez utilizes a variety of mediums as outlets for creative storytelling, laced with humor whenever possible. Lisa attended Franciscan University, where she studied Writing, Mental Health, and Theology. In 2004, she discovered her passion for driving small business growth; now, with her husband, she owns a boutique digital agency, illuvint, based in Dallas and partnering with a world-class team across the States. Closed Doors Open Windows is where her personal blog lives on the web.

Copyright 2014 Lisa Martinez

About Lisa Martinez

A writer, artist, and silly-heart from her youth, Lisa Martinez utilizes a variety of mediums as outlets for creative storytelling, laced with humor whenever possible. Lisa attended Franciscan University, where she studied Writing, Mental Health, and Theology. In 2004, she discovered her passion for driving small business growth; now, with her husband, she owns a boutique digital agency, illuvint, based in Dallas and partnering with a world-class team across the States. Closed Doors Open Windows is where her personal blog lives on the web.