Well, my ‘vacation’ is half over, and I’m almost in the exact same place as I started. Except, today, I actually have to change physical locations. It’s about a 3 hour drive to Glenwood Springs. Ideally, I want to leave as early as possible, but, again – this was supposed to be OUR time. So, I text to an empty abyss that I will hang around till noon, waiting for some kind of contact, and I grab my camera.
I decided to take one more walk downtown & get some early(ish) shots of the capitol in the A.M. On the way back, I’m psyched to eat breakfast at Tom’s Diner – yeppers – the SAME one from Suzanne Vega’s song (to reinforce this, a version of the song plays a few minutes after I’m settled in my booth). I LOVE diners! From the menu, I decide to get the ‘crunchy french toast’ – how intriguing!!! (It’s french toast coated with Corn Flakes)!! I add scrambled eggs, bacon & home fries to make it a heart attack special. Oh, and a tea to drink – cause I want to be healthy and all! I take some pics – of the diner and my food (yeah, I know – whatever…it makes me happy)….
Stuffed and sleepy, I walk back to the hotel to finish packing up. But, first, I want to see if maybe I got an email. Maybe?!?!? So, I boot up my trusty laptop and click my ‘Safari’ icon. Frickin Macs – even going onto the internet needs to be An Adventure! I get an error that it can’t connect. What….the….fuck? I try several times, fiddling with settings, rebooting, re-re-booting. Still nothing. I’ve wasted at least a half hour on this, and I really need to get a move on.
I have to check out, but I stay in the lobby as long as I can. Since my laptop has decided to be cute and misplace its internet connection, I wait for a chance at the ONE computer Ramada offers to its guests. Nothing in my inbox (not really a shocker), and I send an email, a text – I will head to Red Rocks to see that venue – since it is just barely out of town and I can drive back if Tim gets out & ready to go.
I am not really confident of that happening, but my delusional glimmer of hope dances around my head.
So, I drive to Red Rocks.. in early afternoon – during a heat wave. I REALLY wish I could’ve gotten there earlier. There are ideal times of day to shoot – and under a direct sunlight is NOT one of them. But, I’m there & explore the area a bit. It really would be amazing to see a concert there, under the stars. Maybe some day I’ll get back and fulfill that fantasy. Nevertheless, it was a cool outting on a hot day!
I wait as long as I can before moving on, periodically checking my phone. Finally, I have to resign myself to the fact that I’m driving solo to Glenwood Springs.
The scenery is beautiful – mountains surround me on my journey. Of course I wasn’t trying to take pics of the snowcapped mountains while driving, because that woudl be dangerous… Um…yeah.
The roads get a little freaky the further west I go. There are avalanche warnings, and ‘runaway truck’ ramps because of the steep roadways. Luckily, I do not see any funky accidents (though, you know part of me hoped for a little excitement that does NOT involve me personally). However, the various signs are definitely reminding me of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. And, you know, any time you can throw in a P.W. reference, it’s all good!!
I get to Glenwood & pretty easily find my motel (only a couple of turnarounds!). Yay for immediate checkin! Boo for a flight of stairs to deal with! But, I lug, unburden, and plop.
..but not for very long, since I bought passes to the Aspen Songwriter’s Festival…(which is a 45 minute drive). That’s right – I TOTALLY visited Aspen!!!
It’s more gaping and gawking as I make my way south. It’s beautiful, the sun is starting to set & I’m about to see one of my favorite performers (Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze) in a quiet, unplugged setting! AWESOME!!! I bought us passes to see the whole line up of the night – which includes John Oats (of Hall & Oats), Cy Curnin (of the Fixx), Matt Nathanson & Donovan Frankenreighter (sp?). I’ve only heard of three of them, but whatever, it’s going to be cool.
Of course, I bought 2 passes. Tim was going to try to use his connections to get us press passes, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Neither was he actually able to attend said event. So, I sat by myself, and had different neighbors through some of the performances. I also had my camera (the older point-and-shoot), and attempted to get some shots of Glenn – and in true Laura form, I missed his quick moments of quirk. I’d also taken pictures of Cy Curnin – who had one beautiful and powerful song in his set – that I can now NOT find anywhere.
I was snapping away during the first 2 sets, running down the ornery battery of my little camera. Did I pack a spare battery? Nopers. Did I manage to somehow LOSE the pics I did get of those guys. YOU BETCHA!!!
I had out my cell phone for the last acts. Alas, tracfone was NOT meant for quality pics – by any stretch of the imagination. But, I really enjoyed the show – there was a helluva lot of musicianship, and that’s something I appreciate on its own. Matt Nathanson was a riot, and they played some really fun and groovy tunes. A couple of examples: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtZ72XUG1wU&feature=related and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCC5d-FoHuQ&feature=related.
Yeah, that’s right, we found another highlight!!! Still, it was sad to see my unused pass. TIM WHERE ARE YOU? ARE YOU OK? I really wish you were experiencing/enjoying this with me.
And, then it was over. The epic jam session came to a close, and all left happy (some left EXTRA happy since they’d had a few). One other cool thing I’d noticed – some of the musicians had become part of the audience during parts of the show. Now THAT’S coolness itself. To appreciate a peer, or just support them, there’s no better feeling or gift.
I leave, and am happy for the fresh air. However, also a bit trepidatious – since it’s dark, I’ve never been there before & parked in a garage in East Padunkadunk. So, I start walking in a convenient drizzle in the direction I believe my car is in. I feel like I walk WAY too far relative to how long it took to get to the opera house. So, I try to cut back a bit, aware there were two other girls headed in the same general direction. Thank goodness I spot them a few minutes later, as they have found the very garage I was looking for. I didn’t recognize it in the dark – but see my rental calmly waiting for me. Relieved, I exit the gate, paying my fee.
Ok, Aspen – now to find the main highway… in the dark, with little clue how I got where I was… in the rain. Haha – we KNEW this was coming. After driving in circles through downtown and some of the residential areas, I somehow finally find my way. By this time, it’s raining pretty hard, my windshield wipers are not doing a good job, I’m tired, cranky from my circuitous route, overall stressed from not knowing what’s going on with my friend, and I’m really ready to be in bed. Oh, and my contacts are too dry and/or my eyes too tired, so I have a bleary vision of the mess outside my window. I’m leaning over the wheel and driving at a snail’s pace, as everything is conspiring to make me not see the white dashes indicating I’m actually in my lane.
TELEPORTER ACTIVATE: To my hotel room!!!
Well, that didn’t work. Guess I’ll have to press on and..
HOLY SHIT!!!! WHAT IN FUCKALL WAS THAT?!?!?!?!
I am startled as I see this random white ghost-like thing come charging toward my car. I am NOT in the mood to be haunted, spooked, possessed, or poltergeisted!!! So seriously, BACK THE FUCK OFF!!
I continue rolling on, and my adreneline slowly dissipates. I see more of these freaky fliers, and finally realize that I have just witnessed one item from my scavenger hunt list: Tumbleweed. Yeppers, the storm was carrying these albino brush straight into my path. And some of them are HUGE! Not the Critters-sized balls the movies have trained my eye for. Thanks for playing, I’ll be sure to check it off the list when I get back to the hotel. Hell, IF I get back. I have no idea how far I am out, I still can’t see for shit, and I didn’t have time to gas up before leaving Glenwood; of course, we’re creeping toward the gauge danger zone. I must really enjoy the stress of these playful little scenarios I create for myself.
FINALLY!!! Signs for Glenwood.. and a few gas stations. I pull into one, then realize it’s closed. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Aw, fuck it, I’m close enough. Just one thing… which exit do I need and what roads do I need to take? More tumbleweeds flit by merely to mock me. I know their game, so I just drive on. I find a street parallel to my hotel, and FINALLY find a gas station that’s open… and probably with very little juice left. So, I gas up, and pull into my hotel.
Relief, exhaustion, and sadness envelop me as I finally lie down and get ready for merciful sleep.
Aahhh… my easy day around Glenwood. There are 3 things I want to try to do/see in the area. The first is a visit to the Glenwood Caverns – an adventure park with cave tours!!! Of course, i also want to see the hot springs that give the town its name. But, I’m up early and decide to go for #3 on my list: A visit to Hanging Lake – which involves climbing up mountain trails to a beautiful lake lookout. A look outside gives me the giggles – IT’S SNOWING!!! Pretty flurries brush the evergreens outside my window. I’d left Denver in the middle of a heatwave, and now it’s SNOWING! Hello, magnificient mountain machinations! But, I figure, whatever – it’s light snow, and I packed multilayers. I’m good to go hiking!!!
Yes, there are several checks of my phone, to no avail. But, just as I’m becoming blue again, IT RINGS!!!!
Nervous & excited, I look at the number. 401…
Damn, it’s from work! I take a moment to deflate before answering (lest the squeak be mistaken for gas). It’s my boss who’s covering my department, and has clarification questions. As great as it feels to be the expert, and teach something to someone, the luster is gone under the pall of my disappointment. So, I give the info he needs, confirm that, no, my vaca is not going well…or fun, and we hang up. I hate being the downer, but when it’s the truth, I’m not sugar-coating it. OOH, speaking of sugar, I have some maple cotton candy. I’m gonna have some more & maybe a bit of my chocolate bacon bar. (Even typing this experience over several sittings, it’s still a helluva lot)… Mmmm, bacon.
Ok, now I really feel obligated to have some of the maple treat, since i mentioned it. Though honestly, the bacon bar is enough (especially with my vino).
Ok, where were we?
So, there seems to be a bit of a break in the weather, I’m up, and motivated to try to climb me some mountain trails!!! But, first: Breakfast!!! Luckily, there’s a small place sharing the parking lot with my motel. Looking for something unusual, I order some crab meat & egg on toast dish. Yeah – I’m a palette adventurer!
Belly full, I decide to head to Hanging Rock…a couple of hours after I’d intended to leave. It’s still kinda crummy out, but once I get an idea in my head – it’s all over! A short drive and I’m in the parking lot. The beautiful flurries have morphed into a chilyl drizzle. I sit in the car mentally kicking myself for not leaving when it was nicer out. Walking a bunch of trails that are noted as ‘difficult’ is not a good idea under sloshy, darkened skies. Not to mention I’m there all by myself, and could get stuck (or hurt) somewhere up a mountain! However, the decision is made clear while I sit & mentally debate forcing myself to go through with this very dangerous undertaking. I’m at the base of this mountain, yet the wind is so strong I feel the car shake.
Um…bone-chilling rain & harsh wind.. This plan is a bust, so it’s time to mosey back. I try taking pictures of the mountains, tunnels & bridges on my way back to Glenwood, but, it’s crappy out, and I’m driving so they aren’t my best effort. I mean, it’s dangerous to take pictures while driving in ideal conditions, so of course I wouldn’t do anything so foolish in rain/sleet on windy roads in a place I’m unfamiliar with….heh-hem…
I arrive back at the hotel defeated, depressed and lonely. That was a complete waste of effort – and the coulda/shoulda’s invade. “You should have left right when you got up (ignoring, of course, that I could’ve been stuck on the mountain as the weather worsened). “You shoulda tried to find the park instead”. But, if it’s too crappy for outdoor activities, surely the trip to the Adventure Park is a no-go (you have to take a gondola up the mountain just to get to the park!
I want a drink. But, now I don’t feel like actually doing anything or going anywhere. The enormity of the stress of everything falling apart on this trip, and my anxieties about Tim’s well-being have found its moment to scream and echo through my mind.
I settle for eating some chocolates I’d bought on my Whole Foods excursion, curling up in bed, and having a cry.
Ok, enough of that – time to see what I can do for the afternoon. The weather’s let up a bit, and I decide to try to find where the gondolas leave from – supposedly it’s only a few minutes from my motel. So, ready in my multi-layers, I wash my face, get my gear, and head out the door.
This time, I succeed in figuring out exactly where the ticket office is & luckily there is a tour beginning shortly. I end up in a gondola with a fun couple, so there is a bit of comfortable chit-chat as we make our way up. It’s almost a white ghost town when we reach the park. Everything is covered in snow, and, really none of the rides are open. It’s just the gift shop & restaurant, and the cave tours.
Did you know there’s such an entity as “Cave Bacon”? It’s not for eating (or licking)… Seriously, they frown on that. No – it’s a natural formation with alternating bands of color, that, doggonit, LOOKS like bacon. Sorry vegans, there were no “Cave Cauliflower” or “Tofumites”.
The tour lasted about an hour or so, but there was a lot to see, and cool phenomena to witness (and take ZILLIONS of pics of). Ok, they’ll be narrowed to a more reasonable number. BUT there was this one formation they call “Oscar” cause it kinda looks like the statue (actually, it looks like a weird dildo to me)…and water drips on it, making for a potentially awesome pic. I made my attempts and got a couple of good shots. And, NO, there was no hanky panky – for crying out loud, there were CHILDREN present!
There’s really not much to see and do up there after the tour, so I take some pics around the park, then descend again. I’m feeling better, especially since I was actually able to check one thing off my ‘want to do’ list. I decide to keep up the momentum and try to find the hot springs. I’d already packed my bathing suit in case I felt so inclined.
So, driving around the small town in circles for an unnecessary amount of time, I FINALLY find the parking lot for the actual hot springs. Yes, I am special, though CLEARLY directionally-challenged. You know, fuck this P.C. shit – I am a Navigational Retard! It’s ok, since I’m talking about myself. I don’t offend me.
I go in, rent my locker, get my towel, then get changed and showered before going to the actual springs. I half-understand showering before entering public pools – after all, you don’t want a big scum layer menacing the clean citizens! But, seriously, I’m not a skeezer, and the shower is COLD! And, it’s cold outside as well. But, whatever, Colorado, I’ll play by your rules. So, I wrap the teeny towel around me and head outside.
The springs are set up almost like an olympic pool, and are known as the largest of its kind in the world (spanning over two blocks). It’s set up into two main sections – with one being slightly cooler. I immediately beeline for the masochist end, whether intentional or not. I’m able to get a spot by the edge, where there actually is a platform to sit in the steaming water. I’ve visited natural hot spring areas on New Zealand and Japan, and am VERY thankful that Colorado’s version does not have their overly-pungent sulfur odor! Clean and green, Glenwood Springs. I LIKE IT!
Yeah, so going in from the near-freezing air, the water is a pleasantly hot shock. I ease myself in (thankfully gracefully, as the pool is teeming with people). My pump is on a beach chair, and of course I forgot my cap, so worry about the risk of water entering my cannula. But, I figure, it’s clean (after all, everyone showered, right?). I’m here, I’m going to enjoy the experience, dammit!!! (My cell phone’s in my locker, so no chance of that distraction… of course, I feel guilty/worried, but still, I need to RELAX). It really is an intense experience – I have to keep popping out of the pool because breathing becomes difficult in the super sauna. There are a few guys next to me talking shop (construction work and the BS that they deal with), and different people come and go on my left side. I try to be as nonchalant as possible as I pop out of the water to sit on the edge of the pool, but on two occasions air gets in my bathing suit, making for an embarrassingly juicy-sounding squelch as I land. Whatever, I’ll never see these people again. (PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don’t let a single, attractive, nice guy be around for that impression!!!).
At some point during my soak, I realize that it’s not just the air above my shoulders cooling me off. IT’S SNOWING!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! How delightful – I’m in nature’s stewpot, and tiny flakes of relief are falling on me! What a wonderful dichotomy!!
Ok, I’ve had enough. From the chest down, I’m red, some of the tension has gone away, but the breathing thing is kind of a big deal. Besides, I just wanted to be able to say I experienced it (and of course, actually HAVING said experience was key). So, on my way out, I decide to hover over the small jets that are pumping in the hot water. HOLY SHIT, THAT’S HOT!!! Seriously, I’m surprised my skin didn’t just disintegrate. Ow. Ow. Ow. I’m ready to face the flurries now!
Lest the heat aura wear off, I hasten to the locker room, towel off & put back on my multilayers. Ahhhhh. Finally, a neutral temperature.
I go back to the pool, and snap a few pics of the snow falling – as unobtrusively as possible (with my dSLR at full telezoom). Yeah, I’m probably pretty lucky not to have gotten attacked..though, in general, they do seem more mellow in Colorado.
Ok, so now what do I do? I’m starting to cool off quickly, and a check of my cell phone reveals no messages or missed calls. (sad face).
The depression starts creeping in again. I want a drink. And sushi. And a comfy bed. I know – TO THE LIQUOR STORE!!! After some browsing, I settle for a red wine w/screw cap (since I don’t have a bottle opener). I had a menu from the motel lobby of a sushi place that delivered. So, I head back, place my order & make sure to take pictures of my ‘treat’. If you look closely, you’ll notice that I’m drinking my wine out of a child’s souvenier cup from my zoo trip. That’s right kids, I’m keeping it classy in Colorado!
With my cell phone beside me on the bed, I pass out… er, retire for the night.
I get up early, intending to try to get some sunrise pics in pretty valley. This goal is also on my (sadly scant) scavenger list; I missed out on chances in Denver, and missed out on a side trip to Pike’s Peak – waiting on a friend…
So, I have no idea which way the sun is coming up thanks to my stellar sense of direction. I actually set up in the parking lot of the Cavern Adventure park base. I realize that I’m not actually going to get any shots of the sun, so I move to higher ground. Luckily, I’m at least able to capture the terra-cotta, earthy tones and reds as the sun wakes up the mountain. People are starting to wake up, too…and give me curious looks as I stand in the middle of a random parking lot taking pictures of a highway (which, of course, ran right across mother nature’s marvel).
Well, time to pack it up & start heading back to Denver. It’s beautiful this morning, and Hanging Lake deserves a second try! I’m leaving early enough that I figure I can do the hour & a half climb and still get to my next stop (Castle Marne) in time for afternoon tea! Um, yeah – you’d think by now I would have realized my completely feeble grasp of the physics of time and space… But, with that plan in mind, I’m off!!!
There are a couple of rest areas I stop at along the way to take some pictures. Besides, there’s no way I could pass up the “No Name Rest Area”!!! Yeah, sheer awesomeness!!! So, took the obligatory picture of the sign before meandering back on track to Hanging Lake. That’s right, I hit two rest stops on my way to a 20-minute destination. Must be my Rhode Island side kicking in. But, at last my arduous journey is finished, and I arrive back at the base to Hanging Lake.
I have some reservations about leaving my laptop in the car, but, what the hell… thieves don’t visit nature retreats, right? Nature scares em. That’s what I heard…on the streets. So, reassured, I start walking. I’d been forewarned that the climb was difficult, and that it was deceptively a long walk just to get to the start of the path. But, a couple of bottles of water & a few juice boxes stowed, I’m ready to climb a mountain!!!!
It really is like a 10-minute walk just to get to the base. Ah, at last, I see a path. It’s what I expect, a rough path curving upwards. After about 5 minutes, I have to stop as my wheezing is scaring the squirrels. Dammit, I forgot I was ALREADY at a thin elevation…and I’m planning on climbing higher?!? I also hope I have enough juice boxes, because being stranded halfway up or down a mountain with low blood sugar is NOT in any way, shape or form a good idea. Oh, and, let’s not forget alone. Check the cell… oh – no reception! That’s even better.
Well, I am stubborn when I get an idea in my head. So, I continue to climb. There are some rocks to scrabble over, and then I find my first true obstacle. My “Oh, shit” moment, if you will.
Well, it is a mountain…so really, I should have expected snow. It was the ice that threw me a bit. Ice on the clearly designated path…sloping upwards…with nothing to grasp onto but snow and ice.
So, like an elderly person with osteoporosis on ice skates, I gingerly make my way forward. As it is, I’m resting quite often, so I don’t really have momentum. And, though I could technically pull a leg off my tripod as a monopod/walking stick, I don’t think about it till much later & by then, I’m too damned stubborn to try. Oh – and I’m wearing a pair of Roos (not exactly super-grippy hiking boots). But, I decided to go on this adventure, and I WILL TRIUMPH, DAMMIT!!!
I rejoice every time I see a sign marker or bridge on the trail, thinking I MUST BE CLOSE!!! Well, I’m close-r…. Finally, after almost 2 1/2 hours, I see this maze of railing and steps. NEARLY THERE!!!! Hot damn, I need a juice box, and a rest, but I MUST make it to the top first. Pulling myself on the railings, I round the final bend, and at last glimpse what I came here for. A gorgeous, turquoise lake fed by a steady waterfall, only birds and wind tickle my auditory sensors. It’s just me and an Asian couple who had previously lapped me up there. First, I must take in the view. Second – sit down with sugar check. The very nice couple actually offer me a bit of their lunch, but I am content with my juice. They are also gracious enough to take a few pictures of me in front of the lake – and are very tolerant of my super picky ‘one more time, this way’ requests. (It looks like their efforts may have been for naught – I didn’t see any pictures of me in my edited folder… oopsie). They explore a path near the actual waterfall, while I breathe and take in the scene.
Another cool feature about this mountain lake – there is a tree that’s fallen the span, that you can walk across. I am VERY much aware of my balance problems (physical, not mental) before daring to step up to the challenge. Parts of the tree are slightly under water, and there is some wobbling. I’ve left my gear bags on a bench, and just have my camera in my hands. I go almost halfway across and stop – I can see the fish below me, and various plants. I snap some pictures, then remember I have a polarizing filter…. on the bench….safely stowed across the water. Stupid! , So, I slowly, carefully, turn around and head back. I make it without incident and put my filter on. Phew!
Ok, one attempt at a wet, unstable balance beam is daring – two is just retarded. But, mini-bus, here I come – cause there I go!!! Again, I go about halfway across. My feet splash a bit in the under-water parts, but otherwise I go safely. I try to crouch – not quite kneeling, as I try to get those feisty fish. Yes – they’re flirting with me – coming close enough to be seen, but sometimes just under the shadow of the log. But, I continue to take pictures, then turn and get some of the waterfall from my present viewpoint.
I think I have everything I need – and if not, too bad. It took WAAAYYY too long to get up here, and after the hour or 2 to get down, I have a 3-hour drive ahead of me. Time to move out, Pepper. I slowly get out of the crouch and stand, getting ready to turn. As I start walking, trying to navigate over a deep log puddle, I start to sway. OF COURSE!!!! I automatically twist and shift to compensate for my momentary lack of balance. Puddle or into the drink? DAMMIT!!! My instincts save me from falling over, but drive my foot ankle-deep into the puddle I’d been trying to avoid.
Normally, this would only result in light cursing – a potty mouth consisting of “Crap”, or maybe “Dammit”. However, if we will recall, I’m on a snow-filled mountain, with ice on the trail, and I have a long walk down. So, I very well could be facing a bone-chilling slip & slide return in my squelching sock, sacrificed for the sake of myself and my photography. Potty mouth briefly turns into septic speech, before I continue on. However, thank you, Mr. Roo for NOT slipping as I landed that foot. You saved me from a frozen bath, and I will not forget your efforts. But, we must finish exploring the area so we can get the hell down this mountain!
I take the same path as the couple – it goes almost under the edge of the waterfall. Beauty!!! And, even better, there are funky icicles everywhere. It’s like a crystal paradise. I snap away, and marvel at nature’s magnificence. It really is beautiful and calm. As I continue shooting, a random guy comes into the area. I don’t get the fight or flight vibe, and laugh as he says he was glad he didn’t have to take a swim – apparently he saw me as I teetered dangerously on the log, and was worried he’d have to jump in to help me. Trust me – I was relieved as well. He seems like a cool dude & was up with his son, taking in the scene. Another positive interaction on a gorgeous day, within a high haven! Makes me wonder how Tim’s doing & hope he’s all right. Damn, I think I’d gone a few minutes without worrying.
Ok, really need to be moving on. I want to make sure to take a quick trip up to ‘Spouting Rock’ before I go, though. As I’m taking a few last pictures, totally ready to move on, something out of the norm catches my eye. A double-take reveals there is a strange blue bird just chilling on a nearby tree. DAMMIT! Where were you an hour ago, I’m ready to leave!!! Seriously, not ONE animal or bird did I see on my way up the trail. Not even damned flutter till I got to the top & a couple of small ones flitted about. NOW, when I just want to move on, I’m glued to one spot, hoping it doesn’t fly away before I get in a decent shot. Not cool, birdie. NOT cool. But, I’ll play your little game. So, 10 minutes later, birdie flies away. I take a bunch more shots of the lake scene (just to be safe), and finally head to Spouting Rock.
It really is pretty cool. Located on a level above the lake, there’s a small spot in the rock wall that’s literally spouting water. There are more icicles close to the opening. Plus, you can actually see the lake below. Click, click, click.. I take my fill of pictures. I would have stayed longer to ooh & ah, but I really needed to move on. Seriously now – daylight is burning!
I make my way down through the safety zone of steps and rails, and once again find myself facing the neked path. Ok, Pep, you’ve braved snow and ice on the way up, you WILL make it down! Gravity is your friend…and enemy, so for Bob’s sake – don’t take it for granted! I have no pride, no sense of ‘dignified’, so I do what any smart, grace-deprived gal would do: I slide down the icy slopes on my ass. That’s right, I’d rather risk path rash to a broken ankle…by myself…hundreds of feet up a mountain. And, yes, the thought of taking out my monopod (which DOES have a spike bottom you can screw on) DOES cross my mind… But, the heinie-slide it is! And, for the most part, it’s pretty successful. There are a few ice parts that have too much wet snow to do much good, so I carefully try to find the most snow to step on as I progress.
For the record, I only fell twice on my way down.. Once right back on my butt. Ah, nature’s cushioning. And, I believe I had my kneepads on, so the other fall wasn’t bad either. I pass a few people on the way down, wet butt and slingbag slip slidin’ along. That’s right – I am the picture of grace and dignity…and soggy butt. But, at last I get out of the ice zones – when I see the rocks I’d scrambled over, I know I’m almost back to the beginning of the trail. I’m really wishing I’d had more time to spend there, taking lots of pictures of the different colored stones, beautiful ice and snow patterns, and everything else that will make this mountain special and unique. But, alas, I’m really behind my ideal schedule (what else is new), and really need to get a move on.
SOLID GROUND – I COULD KISS YOU!!!! But I won’t because there are other people around. Yes, I’m finally on the cement path, meandering back to the parking lot. But, first, a pee break. (OK, we all know, first was a check of the cell phone. I didn’t have reception the entire time I was up there!) I DO have a voicemail!!! News? Word? Relief? Answers?
Haha – have you not figured out my lot in life YET?!?
I had a lovely message from Castle Marne – the B&B Tim & I were supposed to be staying at that night. They were asking if I confirm whether I’d be there for afternoon tea. Sigh. Guess not. I’d been shooting to get there before 4… but now it looks like it’s going to be closer to 7 or 8! HOORAY!!
Ok.. FOCUS! Back on the road, no more rest stops. Just straight highway east. It really is beautiful here, with red rock mountains capped with snow, and evergreens dotting the landscape. Sure, the air is thin (I still have trouble breathing at night even after being here almost a week!), but it seems pleasant and mellow (but that could be the abundance of green-card carrying reeferites).
I think I ACTUALLY find my lodging without getting turned around, taking a wrong exit or ending up in another city! YEAH! Of course, it’s nearing dark, I haven’t eaten anything really since breakfast, and I’m wiped out. Long drives are bad enough, but after a grueling climb & semi-treacherous descent, I’m fucking BEAT! I easily spot the B&B – like its name implies, the building is a stone structure resembling a castle. Among the neighboring apartments and houses, even at its small scale, it’s an impressive sight. I’m always a fan of small touches, and my eyes are in for a visual orgy…once I can make it inside.
There’s a keypad lock just to open the screen door. Well, I guess a moat would be inappropriate in the middle of a major city – but MAN, that would’ve been cool! I ring the bell, and wait to be admitted.
The woman who answers the door, Mrs. Diane Pieker, is just what you’d expect – a sweet lil old lady. The type who could easily be a milk & cookie granny…or a sadistic cannibal under the guise of feeble, loving geriatric. Come in, dearie! And, yes, her husband enters a moment later, and his friendly, knowledgable demeanor DEFINITELY puts him inside the suspicious category as well.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived. I knew that they let out rooms, each named for a specific person. I don’t know if I’d want to notoriety of a “Laura Pepper” room. Firstly, I don’t think my parents would be comfortable with some stranger tromping through their house. Seriously, it’s kind of a creepy situation if you think about it. Secondly, if it were true to the nature of the organism, it’d be, by nature, virtually unwalkable. Imagine strangers weaving their way through (organized) piles of papers, projects, and clothes – to make it to my small twin bed in the corner of the room. And, if they were to have the full experience (you WOULD want them to get their money’s worth), mom or dad would have to call up “SUPPER”, to which the equally rambunctious “OK!!!!” would be the appropriate reply to call downstairs, from their comfortable lounge on the bed. Random guest Bob would then go downstairs, fill his plate to “Binging Football Player” capacity before squirreling himself back up to the safety of his rented she-cave. BUT – there’s free premium cable, a mini fridge in the room and wired internet. OH – and a nifty smurf collection in the dining/computer room – where one could marvel at mom’s ever-growing collection of little blue figurines. Seriously, it’s impressive and well worth the price of admission! See, we’ve got olde knickknacks and whatnot!
Speaking of – HOLY RETRO, BATMAN!!! As I’m checking in, I can see a few rooms around me. A proper “living room” – complete with silver tea sets, parlor games, a piano – and everything else that would keep guests of the pre-tech era occupied. There’s a beautiful stained-glass window halfway up the stairs to the second floor (where the bedrooms are).
I hold out a small glimmer of hope the other half of my reservation has checked in. Nope. And, it’s small comfort that if he doesn’t show, I’ll only be charged a single occupancy. I’d rather have the person than the money.
Really, I didn’t expect anything good, but still would’ve been nice.
I’m thankful for the quick and kindly reception by the inn’s caretakers, but, yes, I am ready to be shown to my room, thank you very much. We alight the steps (well, I trudge, since my legs are really pissed with me right now. Sure, I’d put dry socks on when I got to the car, but lefty also remembers its extra effort a few hours ago). Luckily, it’s a short journey & James opens the door and hands me the key. I am in the Lang room – and no, I don’t think there’s any relation to Johnny or K.D. Sorry, kids, I know you were hoping.
I get my first glimpse at the actual room; aside from a few photographs, I had no idea what I was in store for. Oh my GOODNESS!!! It’s like a replica of a room from a teeny tiny doll house (which, of course, really are just replicas of life-sized rooms like this!).
IT’S SO QUAINT!!!! A bed, wardrobe, sink in one corner with a hat rack. Yes, a HAT RACK!! The radiator has a menagerie of items on top – including guest sign-in books, other reading material, and a mini-mailbox full of mints. There’s a small bathroom w/toilet and shower. But, it’s the bed that is the clear centerpiece of this micro-suite. THE BED!!! A four poster, w/ dark red comforter and plush pillows. It’s so high off the floor that you need a stepping stool just to get on the darned thing!
Now, this is cool. And, I’m glad I didn’t have any booze cause that’s a broken ankle just begging to happen. Lefty agrees.
But, still, it’s pretty darned cool. It’s set up exactly as it would’ve been eons ago. Ok, well, they’ve upgraded. There’s a flashlight in the wardrobe instead of a candle and flint (but, really – I don’t blame them. You wouldn’t want a pyro turning your lovely anachronism to ash). Plus, there’s wireless internet. C’mon – if Victorian times had the technology, you KNOW they would’ve embraced it – all 5 websites they would’ve had!! But, alas in our (overall) authentic B&B experience, there is no TV. Sorry NCIS, tonight I fly solo.
Totally the opposite of the intention of this trip.
And, with that, I begin my wondering and worry anew.
I’m exhausted, cranky, numbly anxious, lonesome, and I haven’t really eaten since breakfast. It’s probably close to 8pm, and I just want to be settled. A shower sounds lovely.
Oh crap – I left my toiletries in the car. Armed with the code to get back inside, I head back downstairs. James & Diane are merely caretakers, so it’s quiet and uninhabited downstairs. I go out to the rental, thankful it’s still light out. Before I lock the car, I also grab my soaked sneakers so they can dry out in a non-molding environment. Once upstairs, I unpack what I’ll need for the night, and rummage for foodstuffs. I’m hoping I don’t crash overnight, but with a mondo exercise afternoon, it’s definitely possible. Luckily I find a few juice boxes and a protein bar purchased at WF. At least that’s SOMETHING. And, now back up for a hot shower.
There are very few things that I truly feel are completely taken-for-granted luxuries for non-third-world societies. Sure, I miss the super-size option, and the internet is great for my ever-expanding secretarial spread. But, a hot shower brings almost an ecstatic relief that is unmatched by most any other action or circumstance in my life. A close second, of course, is the feeling just after collapsing onto one’s bed after an exhausting or physically/mentally/emotionally trying time. I will enjoy this sensation just as soon as I finish experiencing this wonderful gentle pummeling of steaming streams upon my weary bones.
Shhhhh. Mama needs a moment.
Ahh. Showered, dressed, semi-nourished. Time to log onto the internets. It’s another round of disappointing site round-robin. No word from Tim in an email, facebook, no texts or voice mails. Dammit! This is driving me crazy and disheartening. Just to know what was going on would be a huge relief. But, for today, it is still not to be. I send messages updating where I am, hoping all is well, etc. I know if he legitimately hasn’t been able to check his messages, there will be a SCARY lump sum from me. But, what am I supposed to do, ignore him? Forget that I came here to meet & hang out with him? Sever the one emotional connection I’ve felt in almost 2 years?!!? I’ll risk psycho status in favor of showing someone that I truly care about him & don’t blame him for shitty circumstances.
I only have one more day in Denver, and I don’t know if I’ll hear from him before I leave. With that thought, methinks it’s time for sleep – maybe tomorrow will be a better day. So, as I’m now a few feet off the ground, I try to drill in my head NOT to have a sugar crash or need to piddle, lest I forget about my potentially perilous dismount. And, as I’ve now done 3 nights in a row, I make sure my cell phone is on the bed next to me…just in case.
Dammit! Stupid sugars!!! It’s the middle of the night, and I think I’m almost out of juice boxes, but I’m shaky. Luckily, I’m able to scrounge for some sugar sources, and take advantage of the hard candy curteously left for guests. But, man, NO MORE CRASHING!!! Seriously, disease, you’re really starting to piss me off! I’ll lower my basal rate so less insulin will suck up my Werther’s Original. Now GOODNIGHT!
A deep breath and I open my eyes. It’s morning, and I’m in a big girl bed. My phone has made no sound or shake, but I check it anyway. Then I turn on my computer and confirm its lack of word as well. Oh well, can’t blame a girl for trying.
I have a breakfast reservation for 8:30. Considering my nutritional routine over the last few days, I’m especially looking forward to this part of my stay. I get dressed, and start to look at pictures, waiting for the magic hour. Then, I head downstairs, and enter the dining room. It’s another knick-knack-paddy-whack wonder. I sit at a beautifully decorated table with a full-service breakfast served with a smile. I love everything about the room. There is classical music playing, tea or coffee offered right away, and even what appear to be porcelain placemats with a simple picture of flowers in a basket.
As James offers me freshly-baked muffins, I am joined by two other guests. A father and daughter, visiting from California, sit opposite me. Of course, we attempt to make wicked awkward small talk and are grateful when breakfast arrives. The main dish is a southwest fritatta – a little spicy, but absolutely delicious. There’s almond bread, and homemade jams. The plate also has fruit slices and edible flowers. You KNOW I took pictures. Yes, my host and fellow guests looked at me funny, but I didn’t care. THIS is an experience. I’m all about the details, and care that people can put into presentation and environment. I really wish I’d spent a few days here. Regardless of the uncomfortable scenario of sharing breaky with perfect strangers, it really is a relaxing getaway with friendly and knowledgable hosts. James bends our ears with some of his favorite sights in Denver, and the surrounding cities. We listen with amused patience, but I won’t say we didn’t exchange a few glances…
Dad and daughter leave to get ready for their day, and I continue my photo odyssey. I need to check out in a bit, so I take a break to pack up my bags and dried sneakers. I take some photos around the room – and manage to get a shot of myself in the mirror that could almost pass for a portrait. I also take a closer look at the guest book. As I flip to a blank page to leave my mark, I am giddily gawking at an entry. It’s signed “Vern Neitr” ‘Zuni’ fetish carver’.
What in the hell is a FETISH CARVER?!? A wily whittler? Is he carving people? Creator of hand-made phalluses? I’m INTRIGUED, APPALLED and EXCITED at the same time!!! Now, THIS has made my day, and I think I’ve seen everything of interest in the room.
I lug my load downstairs, and leave everything by the checkin desk. Then I take some time to explore the living room, taking pictures of the bits and pieces that fit together into this trippy timewarped travel lodge. There is no door to this room, but a set of plush curtains pulled back, perfectly frames this portal into pre-i-Life. There’s a fireplace w/flowers behind the grate, and an old desk w/twin chairs by a trio of lace-curtained windows. Actually, I find the chairs creepy – for some reason, they bring to mind the twins in The Shining. Seriously, it sticks in my mind every time I look at the pictures! And it does not help that the room is decorated and painted with dark red hues. However, my mind is taken away from the dark place as I scan the rest of the room. There’s an old fashioned rotary phone, Victrola, and various other toys and gadgets scattered throughout the room. As I’m photographing the tea sets, James enters the room and asks “What are you taking pictures of NOW?!?” I take a moment to gauge whether he’s offended, but I think he’s just amazed at the amount of things that capture my attention. Like I said, I’m all about the details, and this place is FULL of them. But, now I’m a little self-conscious, and only take a few more shots before heading over to turn in my room key and check out. But, outside, I take some more pictures of the exterior. It’s just what I do.
I’m a little sad to leave this haven, and even more so since this is my last day in Denver. Today, I’ll be heading east – to a hotel close to the airport. One reason I chose it is that there’s a wildlife refuge in the area. I follow my trusty Mapquest directions, and make it there in good time. The only thing…the directions lead me to a high school. Ok… I’ll go down the street a little… No-go.
DAMMIT!!! Ok, I know I google mapped it, so I must have missed something. Back to the high school… Well – there IS an indication of the Arsenal Wildlife Refuge, but it says “Authorized Vehicles Only”. Am I authorized? Are visitors allowed? I park over to the side, and decide to walk the perimeter of the chain link fence I see surrounding the refuge.
Crap, it’s hot out here. Should’ve had some water with me. Hooray for desert environments. But you know what’s in deserts? TUMBLEWEEDS!!! Yes, I see large and small dustballs spring and frolic across my path. I try to isolate them with my camera and only hope I get a couple of clear shots. There’s also a lot of little prairie dog mounds dotting the ground to the left and right of the path I’m on. Maybe I’ll actually SEE some wildlife!!! Sure enough, eventually I see the little heads pop up. YAY!
I walk another 10 minutes or so, still on the wrong side of the fence. It’s really hot & windy, and as I round a bend, I see there’s still a LONG stretch of chain link before me. Ok, apparently I’m not going to find an entrance. Time to start heading back.
OOH! Prairie dogs out of their burrows!!! Slow step. Pause. Slow step. Longer pause. (I’m still probably at least 100-200 feet away). Sloooow step. Snap some pics – where the critter is just a small speck in the frame.
I check my phone. Because that’s what I do.
THERE’S A MESSAGE!!!!
Nervous, excited, hoping it’s not another psych! moment, I open the file.
“Im at the denver colorado neurological surgery center. I am having an angioplasti like thing for an artery in my head”
Panic pant…panic pant
Artery in my ..(panic pant) HEAD!?!?!?! AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I KNEW I shouldn’t have come here! Stupid! Stupid! STUPID!!! I should’ve been available to get this message ASAP! Who knows how long ago it was sent (I don’t think I was in a state of mind to actually check the message details for that info)… Is he ok? WILL he BE ok? Was he not ignoring me? Would he want me to be there? Do I cancel my plane ticket now? Does his family know?
I frantically text back. I want to be there, dammit! I just need to know where the hell this center is.
I continue toward the car, waiting for a response. In the meantime, I try to distract myself by getting pics of the closer-by-the-moment doggies. But, really, who am I kidding, this latest turn is scaring the shinola out of me. Prairie pups are no match for doomy-gloomy visuals and scenarios – the type which fester quietly in my brain at all times, just waiting for their moment to shine.
I’m done snapping, probably close to snapping, so I hasten to the car. One check of the phone before I go.
Did I miss my window of opportunity? Will he get back to me? Will I get to see him before I go home? WILL HE BE OKAY?!?!?!
Go-Go-Gadget GPS – TO THE HOTEL!!!
Um, yeah, much like the Inspector’s defective detailing, my direction-sense is hopeless. And, I’m still too stubborn to actually try to work the damned GPS mom loaned me for the trip. As I attempt to follow my written directions, I loop around various parts of eastern Denver….and not necessarily the best areas either. Any time now, highway… Since I had directions from 2 starting points, ONE OF THEM had to come to fruition eventually.
And, so it came to pass. I FINALLY found my way to the hotel!
Park. Breathe. Breathe again.
Ok, let’s get this show on the road, I have luggage to lug, and emails to check. And one last, lonesome, antsy day here in the west – and, damn, it’s flying by too fast. Bags in the car, bags out of the car, check-in, check-out, worry, worry, worry, scurry, scurry, scurry, sit in hot springs in a flurry. Missed the sunsets, missed the parks, missed the speakeasy, missed the Rocky Mountain Oysters!!! And of course, a missed opportunity to spend time with someone I let myself care about.
Stupid feelings. Stupid clusterfluff of a life. A-holes let me in, make me care about them, then vanish – by malice, apathy or circumstance – it all feels the same on my end.
I picked this hotel because it was closer to the airport, and I was looking forward to cocktails w/Tim during their FREE DRINK happy hour. It may just become my ‘numbing hour’ if I make it there. C’mon Laura – let’s get inside & checked in.
The automatic doors usher me into a cool, air-conditioned lobby. But, that’s not all that’s cool. There is an atrium w/fountain, and the rooms all overlook this central attraction. There’s lots of green and a real feeling of class, swank, and LIFE in here. Check-in is simple, and I take the elevator up to my room… er… SUITE!
Apparently this place caters to business travelers, so the rooms are a home away from home. My room opens to a living room – with big-screen tv and kitchenette. There’s a bathroom – with bath/shower, and a separate bedroom – ALSO with big-screen tv! Seriously, if I’m ever back here, I’m staying here again, it’s gorgeous and comfortable!
Pee break! Then, close second priority – connect to internet & try to find this hospital.
OF COURSE there’s nothing with that exact name. But, there IS a similarly-named facility right in this area. I call – no-go.
Not surprised. But…Shit!
Ok, let me try calling the other neurological centers in Denver.
As a last resort, I call Tim’s neurological doc’s office. I ask what facility he would send a patient to, since I THINK he’s affiliated with the nearby Porter hospital. And, yes, they confirm that’s the most likely choice.
So, full circle from day one in Denver, I call the hospital. No, he is not a patient there. Of course. What did I expect – to actually FIND him?!? SCREW YOU, LAURA PEPPER!
Somewhere during this gut-wrenching week, either by my own logic, or mom’s input, I put together the idea of the HIPPA laws. I don’t know if you had a person’s name and what they’d be in for if the hospital would tell you flat out they weren’t there. It’s a distinct possibility. He could ABSOLUTELY have been in any of the places I called, but by law they couldn’t tell me. Of course, in that case I would’ve MUCH rather heard a “We’re sorry, we can’t give out patient information,” than the guise of someone checking who wasn’t going to tell me fuckall anyway!
By the way, as much as these regulations may be necessary and well-intentioned, they are also HORRIBLE! What if your father/sister/mother/brother was in a car accident in a coma. You call every hospital because you haven’t heard from them in a week…but NO ONE will tell you they’re there! Do you have to wait for them to get out of the damned coma and sign a info release document? IF they’re not a vegetable at that point?
You know, I have plenty of reasons to loathe the medical system and its minion sub-branches. But, really, this is a new low. Seriously, it’s privacy at the expense of peace of mind and must-have information. I wonder if there’s a point to me wearing a medical bracelet with my contact info on it. Are we/will we get to a point that it won’t be used for this purpose, instead absconded by a pervy crank-caller? Or, better yet, an impersonal billing office?
Here we are again, panic-angst, my old friend.
Nothing more I can do. Time for a bath. That’s right, scalding hot water fills a porcelain vessel wherein one can ease into a lounging position and take in the relaxing properties of nature’s life-giver. Oh water, you are far more to me than I could ever be for you. I am shamed in my inadequacies. But, I’m going to forget about that as I ooh and ahh in your tension-melting embrace. Of course, the phone is on the floor beside the tub, but, as predicted it doesn’t ring or buzz, so I am not distracted from this languid liquid luxury.
Ahh – now I feel better. Hot water + lovely lounging slouch = “….ssshhhh, I’m having a moment.”
But, I haven’t eaten anything since my fancy-schmancy breakfast. And, now for the agonizing process of making a simple decision. Seriously, it’s no big deal for me to decide to fly across country to meet someone – but, come time to get some vittles and I’m all flustered! I’m in the mood for Mexican, and luckily there are a few places closeby. I’m also keeping in mind my goal to get some sunset mountain shots, as well as hitting the hotel’s FREE HAPPY HOUR!!!!!
I leave the hotel, and remember to gas up my rental, since I didn’t prepay & don’t want to get rogered at the pumps near the airport. Then, to the drive thru! Mapquest, you have failed me again! I drive up and down the street until I finally find the small snack shack tucked in front of a shopping plaza. My super-compulsive nature propels me to order enough food for 3 people, as usual. On the way back to the hotel, I look out for a candy place I’d seen on the Mapquest map. Alas, it is a distribution center and not a storefront. So, no delicious delicacies for me.
By the time I make it back to the hotel, the Happy Hour is half over. WHY, OH WHY did I go and buy food? They have bar snacks!!!!
I scarf my taco salad, tacos and whatever the hell else was sitting in my 5lb bag in front of the tv. Unfortunately, time’s a ticking – it’s going to be a tossup between trying to get some sunset pics and actually getting some gratis boozing on.
What, oh what, is a girl to do?
Hmm, well, Mr. Phone, what do you have to say for yourself?
Well, I guess that cinches that!
I head downstairs, room key, ID, pen & notebook in hand. GET IT ON!
And, now, we again visit said journal:
“I’m sitting in the atrium of the gorgeous Embassy Suites Hotel. I think this is the sort of place my mom would like to stay at. Beautiful lobby, rooms have a living room and bedroom, bath – view of the mountains. CRAP, I”m missing mysusnset!
But, what makes this now one of my new fave hotels? HAPPY HOUR, BABY!!!! That’s right – there’s a “Manager’s Reception” every night between 5:30-7:30. – complimentary snacks AND DRINKS!!! That’s right, I said DRINKS!! And tshe didn’t even check IDs or room keys!
Of course, a $1 tip is a good idea (and I can’t tell if the server’s on something), but I got a Long Beach AND Buttershots on the rocks for FREE!!!.
And, there really seems no limit on the number you can get! She seriously asked if I wanted one or 2 with the first order – and that’s the equivalent of a Long Island (which I’m now gulping hoping to catch the end of sunset. Damn, I think I missed the opportunity.)
Damn, I’m an idiot.
And still no word from Tim. Guess the second meeting’ll be a no-go.
I’ll have to take a pic of the lobby when it’s not crowded. Really wish I’d been here one more night. Of course, I’m half-debating staying a few days to see Tim. Yeah, I dunno what’s up with that – actually caring about people and their welfare and whatnot. Plus, I’m kinda bummed we never even took a pic.
Also wish I’d stayed longer at Marne Castle. Though it was a wee bit uncomfy sharing breaky with strangers…and awkward, overall it was a really peaceful and restful environment – with wireless accesss to boot. Hell, guests were eevn able/invited to play the piano in the living room (till 10pm). I, of course, did not embarrass myself with this entreaty.
I’m starting to wonder if this Happy Hour gig is a predator’s invention – I will be getting up in a few to go to my room. (And, I’ve missed my Rocky Mountain Sunset.) Will I stumble? Will my gait and glazed eyes scream “VICTIM”?!? Believe you me, they did NOT skimp on the booze.
As usual – COULDA/SHOULDA/WOULDA – if I hadn’t gone to the “Del Taco”, I would/could have been here earlier and actually ot my pics, dammit!!
As it is, I’m about to do my walk of shame and sigh as I see the darkened skies outside.
Yeah, I think I actually may have gone up for another single beverage. I was just in that mode – you know the one. The one-eye-half-closed, I need to just buzz out, numbify and hope it’s not the old skeezers checking you out (and counting your beverage totals). Damn, where are the cute guys at? Ok – let’s face it, I wouldn’t do anything with a stranger, but even eye candy would be welcome at this point.
Hello, Mr. Phone, do you have anything to say for yourself?
I thought not.
Ok, self – get thee upstairs.
I manage to get up and across the room, leaving behind my munchee popcorn and goldfish (We love the fishes cause they’re so delicious!) I’m not staggering or stumbling (which is DEFINITELY a good thing since I basically pounded my drinks like they was my bitches! Ok, I REALLY don’t condone the pounding of bitches – even if they ARE holding back yo money. Hey, skeezers gots to eat, too, right?
…and manage to make it back up to my room. I immediately go to the window and see if I can get some night shots. Luckily there is a crescent moon & I get the lens right up to the glass. I bet this would’ve been REALLY pretty an hour ago as the palette changed from baby blue to black. Oh, well, I’m a schmuck. Time to flop on the bed.
Hello tv, my old friend. Amuse me until I’m ready for sleepy. Internet, tell me something new and wonderful.
You’ve put in a good effort, but alas, I’m ready to not be awake anymore.
I carefully open my eyes, and take a moment. A slow rise to a sitting position. No spins, no sickness. I’M IN THE CLEAR!
Hooray for blossoming alcoholism – I don’t really feel hung over. Which is wonderful, since I’m flying out this morning.
Away from Denver, 1700 miles from Tim, the very reason I made the trip, who I met briefly in VERY stressful circumstances. It was but a moment, overshadowed by a cloud of craptastic claustrophobic classic case of a Laura Pepper preposterous passage promoting preclusions to a perfectly peaceful pedestalization of a potentially permanent party to become a member of my meandering motion toward meaningful matching of a male making me…… happy, safe, loved and alive.
No pressure there, right?
Guess I’d better pack up – it’s time to head home. And, no – there’s no word, so canceling my flight at this point is not an option, since I could be in the isolation booth forever, for all I know.
We’ll catch you on the flip side, kids – part 3 of this saga is soon to come. As it is, this took several sittings over MANY months to get together, so take some time to digest this doozy. And, as always, feedback, sympathy, empathy, or whatever is welcome and encouraged.
Thanks for reading!