Chris had a grand time getting from what turned out to be Security, CO thru Pueblo and about half way to Walsenburg. Rather than rehash all the details, I figure you can check out The Friary and get his accounts first hand. I spent my time, as he put it, jealously geeking out on his progress.
As Saturday the 4th arrived, I received a message from a Couchsurfer who was in Santa Fe and looking for either a couch, or possibly a ride toward Denver. I agreed to meet Josiah at a Starbucks to see if he may be interested in riding toward Pueblo where I could drop him off, and also pick Chris up to ensure that he was here for his Tuesday appointment, and so that we could start laying the foundation for our joint departure. Impatience... ahhh.
Josiah is a short, skinny, early 20-ish looking hipster type from California, who is in fact nearing 30 and is paranoid about “chemtrails”. His plan was to get to Denver, then Salt Lake City, Portland, then a return to Cali. He was one of the cleanest vagabonds I have seen, which led me to believe that, despite the fact that he claimed the term "nomad", he was in fact a trust fund kid who slept more often in hotels than in fields--as he had the night before in Albuquerque. For whatever reason, he was also traveling with a bike, and a brand new Mac laptop, which he could not keep his attention from while I was there.
My primary concern was that Josiah would be the stereotypical hippie douche and fortunately, he was not, though he did talk with that annoying upward inflection at the end of every sentence! “The chemtrails are THERE to make the population docILE!” Between the bike and his concern about being dropped in an unfamiliar area, taking him with me was unrealistic.
Laina and I left Santa Fe for Colorado City, CO at about 6:45, figuring it would take about 4-hours to get there, grab Chris, and then another 4-hours back. I ran into a 66-year old bike tourist while gassing up who is “riding for our troops” and said that he was stopping to "avoid a coming snowstorm" that I had heard nothing about. It was a beautiful, albeit cold evening so I figured he was mistaken. By Raton, I discovered that he was far from it; it began to snow like crazy! Thankfully, Raton Pass was fine, but the next 70-miles to Colorado City was rather hairy with near whiteout conditions almost the rest of the way to Chris’s exit.
I found Chris at the Diamond station as planned, and saw him editing his hand- out cards as we walked in. He looked windblown and loaded down, with his snowshoes hanging off the now- his Kelty. He looked like quite the adventurer! We coffeed/gassed up, then drove off toward New Mexico. The weather thankfully had lightened and he and I chatted while Laina sacked out in the back. Over the next few days, we wrapped up our dental obligations, made several trips to REI, chatted, watched movies, had two gluttonous “last meals”, and welcomed Shalain’s parents in from Michigan for her birthday.
As the week progressed to Thursday, we had set a tentative (always tentative!) plan to leave on Saturday via train or bus toward Tucumcari, Amarillo, or possibly even La Junta or Lamar, CO. There was no clear vision of which way to go, but traveling old Route 66 seemed like a neat beginning, and Oklahoma has an odd draw for both of us. Thursday thru Sunday, however, would prove to be yet another lesson in the folly of planning!
Travel stories and the occasional rantings of an evolving cynic who's simply in search of a little human authenticity. Tales include hitching across the Rockies with an eventual cop-killer, a weekend with a terminally-ill billionaire, meeting my siblings for the first time, trips to Mexico, and scores of random people from Mass.-Slab City-Chiapas who are often even more interesting...for better or worse!
"The trouble with self-delusion, either in a person or a society, is that reality doesn't care what anybody believes, or what story they put out. Reality doesn't "spin." Reality does not have a self-image problem. Reality does not yield its workings to self-esteem management." -J.H. Kunstler"The world does not reward honesty and independence, it rewards obedience and service. It’s a world of concentrated power, and those who have power are not going to reward people who question that power."-Chomsky"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."-Dylan