For Memorial Day weekend, I drove 4 hours to Fruita from Boulder with a friend for a long weekend of mountain biking. Our plan was to meet up with a few other MTB ladies from Utah that we spoke to briefly in a Facebook group. While I technically had no idea who these ladies were, we didn’t care. I run several of my own online groups to connect outdoor women, so I have to trust the Internet to do this exact thing.
So about 4 hours later, we pull up to the North Fruita Trails Campground off of 18 road. We were told which campsite to set up at, but again, we have no idea who we’re meeting. How many people. Their names. What they look like. The moment we finishing setting up our tent a few people ride back to their site and up to us. Awkwardness ensues. Why haven’t they said hi? Were we at the right campsite? Wait, why is there a guy in the group? Crap, we’re at the wrong site! All of this flew through my head, then out my mouth, until the girl I’ve been chatting with remembered we were coming and finally came forward.
We continue to set up and get to know the people we’d be spending the next couple of days and nights with. Turns out, they were all relative strangers to each other, too. And that everyone invited someone else of which they barely knew as well. Somehow, this trip quickly turned into what we now affectionately called Stranger Danger Weekend. By the time we woke up on Sunday morning, there were eight of us. All ready to ride. And all ready to learn each other’s names.
Over the course of the weekend, we rode nearly every trail at 18 road together and enjoyed a 15 mile loop at the Kokopelli trailhead in Loma. We split the most massive and delicious pizzas in town. Played chess in a local bar. Enjoyed sunset beers on a ridge. Cracked inappropriate jokes around the campfire.
This was the most excellent weekend I can remember in a long time. And the coolest part was that I barely knew anyone yet it felt like we knew each other for years. Or at least days. There’s something about people who love the outdoors and adventures. For the most part, everyone is quite open and welcoming. It doesn’t matter if you know the people well—or, you know, at all—it just matters that you both genuinely love what you’re doing and that you all just want to share the stoke of whatever the adventure may be.