We opted for Colorado again. Why? Because it always provides ample dirt roads, cool mountain air and the ever necessary flowing water. But before lush Colorado mountains, we needed to push through hours and hours of barren desert. So of course, we stopped in Mexican Hat for our first night of camping.
Valley of the Gods called to us. This place is very special to Mike and I. It was our first bit of dirt we hit on our honeymoon and we've been enamored with this place since. We had our hearts set on a specific spot with slight elevation over the valley and most importantly afternoon shade. While we escaped record temperatures in southern Arizona (it hit 118 at home), it was still in the high 90's in Valley of the Gods. Shade was crucial. We lucked out!
Mike and I set up camp pretty quickly. We parked. HA! We wandered around while our camping companions set up their roof top tents.
We settled in, the boys conversed over frosty beverages and Mandy and I started on dinner. We discovered freeze dried food at the Overland Expo (West). We ordered a bunch from Thrive Life and were thoroughly impressed with how tasty and easy it was. I'm still not convinced its cost effective, but it saved space (both fridge and dry food), weight and mess. Mandy made a log of which meals we ate. If she actually blogs this year I will link to it at some point.
The sun set. The (almost) full moon rose. The night remained warm and we left the doors to the teardrop open. Elly was dramatically hot all night and kept us both unfortunately conscious. But it was a good first day on the road and the week had just begun.