I just got home half an hour ago from Colorado and I'm pretty tired, so this will be brief. Two days ago we spent most of the day rafting, which was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. We picked the calmest route, recommended for beginners, and it was incredible. The view, the teamwork, the hilarious guide, everything. There's that sense of accomplishment when you make it over a rough patch of rocks and strong currents that is so new to me, even if it is just a beginner's obstacle. Our teammates were a couple with an endearing Kansas accent; the wife befriended my mom almost instantly. She also was the first and only person to fall into the water during one of the rockier parts. My only complaint is that there was no wildlife to be found. I would've liked to have seen an elk or a ram or something.
Yesterday was the busiest day of the whole vacation. It began with a visit to the biggest Siberian husky kennel in the nation; 144 dogs, each with its own space and distinct personality. I was hoping not to see a bunch of dogs forced into one cramped kennel together, and that was not the case. The guides love each of them equally, take care of them like children and know all of them by name. These dogs are bred for sledding, but during the summer they pull golf karts too, which is awesome. This really cool and cute chick with dreads was our guide. Just a bit of a crush there, I must admit. She seemed like the kind of lady you just want to sit down and chat with because she has such a kick-ass personality. But anyway, the dogs pulled us for four miles around the valley. The best part was playing with them and lovin' on em. Huskies are my absolute favorite breed, so this was heaven for me.
After that, we headed to Breckenridge Stables. I remember going horseback riding twice when I was younger and totally obsessed with horses, and I remember it being a bit more fun than this. My horse was obnoxiously slow compared to the others, and my stirrups were so poorly adjusted that I could barely move my legs or walk after the hour and a half ride around the mountain was over. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the bumpy and uncomfortable ride, but it definitely wasn't supposed to be as physically painful as it was for me.
The finale of our trip was one last hike in a beautiful gulch. It was the highest we'd ever been on the mountains, so altitude sickness kicked in for all three of us. We ran out of breath extremely quickly, had trouble catching our breath, got headaches, felt really thirsty, the whole nine yards. But we got over it and explored every poorly-defined path that branched off of the main path. It was a satisfyingly, relaxing end to the perfect vacation.
This morning we began the fourteen-hour drive back home. My dad texted me and told me that my great aunt had passed away. This isn't a surprise for me at all, and in a way I'm glad she's gone just because she won't have to suffer any longer. The funeral is Monday. I can't say I'm terribly sad. I haven't cried, haven't felt any real grief. Maybe that makes me a bad person. Heartless even. I don't know.
To make me seem even more heartless, what really disappointed me was my dad telling me that our trip to Springfield for the Madness tour, which featured some of my favorite bands, is canceled. I've been looking forward to that for two months now. I know it's awful that I'm more distraught about a concert than the fact that my great aunt has died. It's just...her death is a release, you know? She's free now. No more pain or morphine or hospital food. I think it's almost kind of sort of a positive thing.
Brittany texted me once we reached Kansas, which made me so very happy. She asked how the trip was, I answered her questions about Colorado, promised to show her pictures. She said we can't hang out any time too soon. She's contracted chicken pox. Most people deal with that when they're kiddos, but Brittany's eighteen. That's so weird. I feel so bad for her. I told her I hope she gets better real soon, asked her how her trip to Mayhem went. She must've fallen asleep because she never answered. That's okay. She needs rest. You'd think that after all this time, a text from her wouldn't mean much. But I still get that giddy feeling whenever I see her name on my lock screen.