On a quest for tall peaks and new territories, I flew to Denver with three outdoor women, embarking on what we dubbed our “National Park Backpacking Road Tour.” We carved out a semi-circle route from Colorado to South Dakota, bought one-way tickets, and reserved a rental car for two weeks. We were ready for adventure travel.
Beyond that, we only planned to plan nothing.
As someone who loves to plan ahead, this philosophy was stressful. The most exciting part of a trip was when I had the chance to research, schedule, and book. But by the time I returned home, I learned that letting go, having no agenda, and following intuition could allow for the most exciting and carefree of experiences.
Our first stop, Rocky Mountain National Park, welcomed us with an hour-long hailstorm. We waited it out in the car before beginning our hike to the backcountry site. During our two-day excursion, we passed lush plant life in the lower wetlands and hiked steep sections that reached elevations of more than 10,000 feet. From these heights, we were rewarded with views of evergreen forests and mountain lakes.