Insurance and a Guy named Matt
To cut a long and very anxious story short, it is impossible to insure a vehicle in the US without a valid US address. It is illegal not to have insurance and you cannot drive your vehicle off the dealers' forecourt without it. After much swearing, web browsing and cursing the online company that we tested before leaving, we stumble across a company called 'Adventure Agent', who state they can not only provide insurance, but get your vehicle licenced and the plates posted to a collection address. Too good to be true we thought, but gave them a ring anyway. Matt was incredibly helpful, professional and nothing was too much trouble, not even our stupid questions and he definitely got us out of a tricky situation. www.Adventure-Agent.com
We met up with him and he joined us at Poncha Springs when we married the truck and camper together. But before that we had 2 days to kill whilst they pimped the camper with solar panels and extra batteries.
So off to Great Sand Dunes National Park to climb our first 14,000er - Blanca Peak. The walk in was steep, long and tiresome, up a boulder strewn track that was marked as 'Extreme 4x4 Track', with phases marked Jaws 1,2 and 3. So glad we didn't test 'Red' or our off road driving skills on it as they were hard enough to scrambe over. A very cold night camping at 12,000ft next to Lake Como was spent and we listened to fellow climbers returning to their tents in the dark as we lay in our sleeping bags. They had had an epic long day because of the snow conditions, so we decided that this peak could wait for another day as we didn't want an epic day on top of a long walk out. It was a tiring couple of days, but great to be out on an expedition, and we learnt that you need to allow an extra couple of days for these climbs as the walk-ins are big. On visiting the Dollar Store next day, we were informed that Blanca was a beast and there were much easier ones to climb, we looked at each other and laughed - typical, why make it easy and try those first?