"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

"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

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."-Dylan

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

8/17-8/18/09: Denver to Gillette, WY

Following a couple of false starts and a Craigslist Misfire, Greyhound finally dumped me in Denver Monday evening. I had gotten an email from another Craiglister, but by the time Eric had picked Chris and I up, there was no more contact with him.

Stepping off, it seemed that this stay in Denver would last either 8-hours, or a full day until the next bus heading my way left. Chris had made arrangements for me to stay with him at Loreli's if the ride flaked out, so we went to hang out with Eric at the Candle Light Lounge for a few beers and 7-months of catch up. Eric had read about Dennis in the Denver Post prior to my write-ups, so much of our time was spent discussing each of our particular insights and what living his particular life must have been like. As always, we later began discussing society, politics, and governmental uselessness as the beer settled in.

I learned that Eric had nearly drowned while rafting the Colorado River over the summer, and the experience had quite an affect on him. It seemed to put the notion of fear into perspective; he pointed out that he's no longer "afraid of much." The most basic of human conditions is survival, and once you experience something like that, it can't help but snap priorities into focus. Funny how fear has bubbled to the surface as a recurring theme.

Eric had to work Tuesday morning, so Chris and I walked to the Alameda Denny's to chat over coffee and see where we were after 5-weeks. It turned out to be one of our more remarkable conversations. This supposed month of "doing nothing" had instead been an intense period of reflection and realignment for him as well. Much of the conversation centered on each of us boiling our evolving ideas down into something easier to convey. We also noted how we had been able to incorporate tangible experience to both alter and expand them. I wish I could easily explain that process, but I can only invite you to re-read about Randleman, Ciel, Pat, Kim, Mike, and others. Suffice it say that analog eyes work much better than the digital ones and, for insight, this beats the hell out of anything on CNN.

This condensed stopover in Denver was quite nice on many levels, and served a nice purpose as a place to reset and launch forward. I obviously never heard from Rideshare #2, thus Tuesday was spent chatting, being entertained by Loreli's daughter, Izzy, and waiting for the bus to leave at 6pm.

Before I knew it, Eric had dropped me off, and I was back on the bus riding thru Ft. Collins and then into Wyoming. Cheyenne and Casper came and went, and I was quickly learning that my hopes of a good night's rest were futile. That would play a significant role Wednesday.

The bus dropped me in a cold, wet Gillette, Wyoming a bit after 5am and I was thrilled to learn that the stop was actually a functioning station. I organized my now-disorganized pack and caught some precious sleep before stepping off into unfamiliar territory again at 8am, and for the first time since late May in upstate NY.