Some people may be a bit confused, and with good reason. I had a plan (ha!) when I arrived in Denver from Idaho almost a month ago, but somewhere along the way, the inspiration and motivation to go to New York City and Maine left me, if it was really ever there at all. I have never been a big fan of NYC, and have already spent a small amount of time there, in Brooklyn during the anti-war march in 2003. I have no interest in enduring a “San Francisco on Steroids” experience. In retrospect the idea was probably a temporary sedative to allow me to focus on the real purpose of this interlude. I do want to see New Hampshire and Vermont, and I will. I just don’t feel a compelling urge to do it now.
I finally gave up and decided to try to call my trucker friends, Ken and Cesar, to see if by chance they were near, or would be near, Denver. I got a hold of Ken and was amazed, shocked, and floored by the fact that he was back in Idaho, and on his way back to Tampa. Through Denver. THE NEXT DAY. He told me that he was headed through Nashville to drop off a load, and that I could either ride there, or all the way to Tampa if I liked. I had no clue what to tell him; he said to get in the truck and decide on the way.
I was NOT returning to Santa Fe. This phase of the trip would continue.
Removing the tent made a huge difference. Suddenly the backpack was not only lighter, but suddenly cavernous! I could now downgrade the pack, but thought it better to have too much room than not enough. Also, I could add another pair of pants and STILL be lighter. As I was about to leave for Eric’s, we weighed the pack in at 43#. Considering I left Denver on May 20th with the same pack weighing 55#, I’m quite thrilled. I also discovered that, for the first time since high school, I was below 160# myself! I have dropped 45 pounds in the last 15 months, and 30 in the last four alone. Yes…I AM proud, thank you.
Chris and I said our goodbyes and it was off to Eric’s place after a trip to McDonald’s and to the Skylark Lounge on Broadway for some PBR and a final rantfest. This is in the neighborhood I lived in when we left Denver last summer, and it was nice to be back there hanging out. I love Capital Hill too, but it’s a bit ‘hip’ for me.
We got back to Eric’s place, and since Ken wasn’t going to be arriving until 4:30-ish the next day, I had one more day to work. I slept on his floor…and like a stone.