Traveling!!! Traveling is an imposing and awe-inspiring fondness that can happen to anyone who seeks out for the discovery of nature, adventures that give adrenaline rush, sailing across seas and oceans, relishing food fantasies, incredible cultures of people around the world, hiking and going for those mountains, living in the wild and you name it. Without denials traveling gives you immense pleasure, surprises and puts you afloat in the sea of infinite happiness. It turns you an instant poet, very often even though when we aren’t so good at it when you’re in that elite category of traveling. It leaves you amazed, stunned and overwhelmed.
But sometimes it does teach you lessons of how some people can turn bitter and gives you never fading scars of hatred, just by throwing at you with sharp-tongued words of intense dislikes.
After the grand trip of the beautiful Wyoming, mountainous Montana and the plain lands of South Dakota, we headed for the magnificent Colorado. To be in particular, we headed for Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) in Colorado. We stopped in the city Rock Springs in Wyoming on the way for the supper. And the next stop we did was at Estes Park. We reached the visitor center of Estes Park, Colorado around 3.30 am. We halted there in the parking lot and went for sleep after a long drive of at least 10 hours, covering 500 plus miles of journey.
That was a calm and smooth drive from Wyoming to Colorado. We woke up at around 8.30 am and enquired at the visitor center about the top attractions and the road map of the national park. Headed out next for a lake in Estes Park and went ahead for Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. And we started driving in Trail Ridge Road of the Rocky Mountains and the drive was bit scary and quite adventurous with quite a lot of steep slopes, hairpin bends and scary mountain edges in the highway.
We stopped at 12,000 ft. where the mountains were snowed and the roadways were snowplowed. We could see no trees out there at that huge altitude. It was just road, rocks, mountains and snow. It was cold out there and quite a bit windy. And the highest point on the road was 12,183 ft.
We saw the close by and snow-capped mountains all around. Absolutely a beautiful place of various mountains of different and huge altitudes. We stopped at a place to witness a cow Moose and its calf. Lots of people and quite a few pro photographers joined us in seeing the scene of a cow Moose and its Calf. That was the first time ever I saw a Moose. We expected to see one in either Yellowstone or Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming but we didn’t get that luck. Yet we were fortunate to see one here in Colorado. Else we would have returned home without seeing one.
In the strong winds on the Rocky Mountains of Colorado at 12k feet, there was quite some verbal clashes happened between me and my colleague (my only co-traveler) because of the road map which got flew right off my hands and hold. I tried my level best to catch and get hold of the blown off map but it just got flew out of reach in spite of my couple of hard attempts at it. Looking at that my colleague, the co-traveler got mad and he did throw some harsh comments yelling at me, “You’re lazy. You could have got hold of that. But you didn’t try 100%.” And he further squawked, “How could you be so careless. If I were you, I would have got that. Now where will we go and search for a road map. Visitor Center is very far away from here and we can’t go down again and we have no time for that.”
I did retaliate screaming, “The winds were stronger and I couldn’t act on it any faster. I tried my level best. I would have you seen your strength against the strong winds if you were me. No one have talked to me like that and don’t ever do that again. Your words were highly provoking and I can’t take that again.” That was my countering response to my co-traveler and colleague. “You wouldn’t have altered the outcome better as the winds were quite vigorous and the grounds were all snow drenched”, I furiously reacted further.
The quarrels didn’t just stop there. It continued. And he continued, “I need the road/visitor map now. We don’t know where to go now. Since you let the road map blew off, you take the responsibility of getting the road map from someone.” After that he stopped at the Alpine visitor center and asked me to get down and go get the road map from the park ranger if possible. And again those words were so harsh on me. I felt like someone was treating me really harsh for the first time all my life. And I did find myself harder and slower to react to his words.
I didn’t want to take more words from him, so I just got down from the car and walked towards a Park Ranger and told him, “Sir, Can you please give a road map if you have one. I just lost the only one I had; in the strong winds.” And he politely replied, “Oh yes. I have one for you.” He took one and gave it to me with a smile saying, “There you go.”
And walked back to the car faster and gave the road map to him and said, “Never talk about it again. It was really annoying and it reached bitter heights.”
And after that he drove to few attractions of Rocky Mountain National Park in the afternoon as per the road map. Wherever he did drove to, I just stayed in the car in the parking lot and didn’t have much of the interest in seeing places of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I was completely upset with someone just abused me with some intolerable words. That was quite new to me and I didn’t know how I should react. Should I have had a strong punch right on his face holding on to his neck? I didn’t know! Those moments were highly embarrassing personally. What if you start realizing that your co-traveler has just spoiled all the enthusiasm you had in travel? He made all the upsets possible with his harsh words and talks. My mind was completely occupied with the arguments happened between me and my colleague. I asked myself sometimes, “Should I blame the strong winds or should I blame myself? Was I really being lazy at that point?” sitting in the car and looking at the pictures taken on my DSLR with huge frustrations on my colleague.
And there I learned at the top of Rocky Mountains at 12k feet that “Never travel along with someone, whom you may not feel comfortable. Even a thin layer of misunderstanding in such travels could kill all your enthusiasm you had in travel plans”. Get a co-traveler who would match your wavelength. Or just travel solo, who’s going to kill you if you stand up and say “Hey I’m going to travel solo.” No one would. And the true fact is, it gives you loads of freedom.
I didn’t speak a word to him since we started off to our work town Wamego in Kansas from Rocky Mountain National Park and all through 600 miles of over 10 hours of driving in the dark times. We reached Wamego around 7 in the morning. And I took my backpack and he dropped me at my apartment in Wamego. And I didn’t mind even to say a bye as I would have to see him at work in Caterpillar Work Tools in Wamego. I was supposed to go for work on that day. But I did more than 5 hours of driving in the night times. So it was quite tiring on my eyes and body. So just opened my official laptop and sent a note to my supervisor at work and told that I’m sick and would try to log in from home in afternoon. After that note, I just fell harder on my bed and got an intense 5 hour sleep for the work in the afternoon.
Being in the same team at work, we have never talked to each other even at work since then, unless there is a work-forced scenario in the project at work. What am trying to insist here is that, it (misunderstanding in the travels) definitely breaks the bond stronger.
Hereby I say “A long travel with a companion either makes a stronger bond or breaks a bond stronger.”
We concluded this quite extended and early spring trip spanning just 5 days with Rocky Mountain National Park having started with Badlands National Park in South Dakota and further continued with:
- Custer State Park, Custer, South Dakota
- Mt. Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota
- Devil’s Tower National Monument, Wyoming
- Wind Cave National Park, Wyoming
- Big Horn National Forest, Wyoming
- Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming / Montana and
- Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Putting all the quarrels, misunderstandings and a bit of egos apart, this trip definitely can’t be forgotten in my life time for sure. That was primarily because this long trip was loaded with lots of roadway journeys, adventurous driving in the mountains, phenomenal wildlife, stunning mountains, magnificent landscapes, incredible geothermal features, amazing waterfalls, rivers, streams, lakes…. and hell yeah.. the embarrassing quarrels with my only co-traveler and my colleague as well. Although I hate him until this point of time, I just didn’t want to reveal his identity. I would consider him as a bad lesson and that’s all I can say!
And I insist again, “A long travel with a companion either makes a stronger bond or breaks a bond stronger.”
Have you ever had such quarrels, fights, misunderstandings or hatred feelings with your fellow traveler which had you pushed to the extreme limits?
Note: #*All photos were downloaded from various sites listed by Google Images Search as it would suit the theme of this post better. Thanks for your visit. Hope you stay cautious about your companions in your travel.*#