Based on the sheer amount of photos Chris Watts took during the two-day camping trip to the Great Sand Dunes, it’s clear the adventure with Nichol Kessinger meant a lot to him. It was exciting, fun, and he was intoxicated by her [and she by him].
They used Kessinger’s vehicle to travel to the Great Sand Dunes, and by 12:53 they’d already pitched a yellow tent [Kessinger’s].
This song was playing in the background when the campsite was briefly recorded on video:
It looks like these images below [above cloud level] were taken with the campsite slightly in the background, to the left.
Between 14:29 and 18:55 Watts took dozens of photos and video, of the landscape, but also of his mistress sandboarding, and several selfies of himself with her. Kessinger was dressed provocatively for the outing in a tight, sleeveless teal t-shirt, and very short shorts. Watts was more understated in a grey shirt, black shorts and black cap.
Even without make-up, Kessinger was hitting the right buttons with Watts, causing him to voiceover a video of her skiing down to the bottom of a dune:
“So damn sexy!”
She thought he was too.
We know that shortly after the trip ended, on July 30th, Watts wrote several love letters on colored paper.
Whatever he felt, it appeared to be mutual. In a self-recorded video that first afternoon, Kessinger breathlessly thanked Watts for coming out with her, and said she was glad he was having a blast.
Both Watts and his mistress knew they had to make this last weekend count. It was the last chance, at the end of their long, hot, summer romance, to punch the ticket and stay on the roller-coaster for one final series of giddy swoops and turns. After that, it would be back to intermittent cuddles and random, stolen intimacies.
Kessinger still had the idea then that when Shan’ann and the kids returned, her access to her beau would be seriously reduced. Watts was even more painfully aware that once Shan’ann and the kids were back, the roller-coaster ride was going to be over, perhaps forever.
That night they made a campfire and then bedded down together under the whispering trees and twinkling stars.
It’s also worth noting that on July 28th Shan’ann never got hold of Watts, and he never got hold of her. If they had spoken at any time that day, perhaps this would have interrupted the spell, broken “the leash” Kessinger was placing on her man.
This was the first day in weeks, perhaps years, that they had not spoken for a full day, and perhaps that was all that was needed to put his family completely out of his mind. On the 28th he was experiencing what it felt like not be be married, not to be a husband, not to be a father, not to be obligated to them. He didn’t need to think about them or do anything he didn’t want to do. And he
liked loved it. This was the life he wanted.
The Great Sand Dunes made an indelible impression on Watts and, based on Kessinger’s texts to her friend Charlotte Nelson two weeks later, seemed to seal the deal for her too.