Like my forefathers (dad & Ellen), I embarked eastward on state highway 50 – branded the “The Loneliest Road in America” by Life Magazine back in the 1980s. I was promised a virtually private tour of the wild west with captivating open landscapes. Highway 50 delivered.
The original itinerary mandated that I blaze through Nevada all in one day and camp like the feral wolf-woman that I am just over the Utah border. Then a highly grotesque episode of a certain podcast (key words: “campsite killer”) shattered my inner solo-fem camp-champion. With a little extra cash from my headband sales at my wonderful cousin’s shop in San Fran and bits of gas money from fam, I did something completely out of character. I paid for a place to sleep. The zipped to the Budget Motel in Delta, UT. Where? Exactly. The dreams suite was outfitted with an ice! machine! and enough deadbolts to provide some sanctuary while I rebuilt my camping confidence. And I await mom’s spare stun-gun in the mail.
That respite left me ready to truck through Utah to Colorado where I knew I would camp but in the company of a friend. The stretch through Utah proved varied in landscape and altogether lovely.
With Utah under my belt, so began my Colorado excursion. As a disclaimer, I utterly failed to capture the scenery on this leg of the drive. Partially because everything, everything was stunning. Best of all was driving into a huge storm formation near Grand Junction with Alice along for the ride. The sky was ominous and provocative all the way to Buena Vista. A happy detour lead me through Vail and Frisco before I turned and headed south (the right way).
Mountain Man Dan Margolis has been hunkered down in his latest adventure-ville (Buena Vista) for a few weeks now guiding rafting tours, kayaking, and discussing the lot of it with his paddle-sport friends using an essentially incomprehensible lexicon. When we approached his friends’ tent to exchange greetings and I heard them negotiating trades for Catan resources, I knew it would be a fine night. Campfire, stars, general grimy camp-charm. Just dandy.
My Colorado stint was brief but I saw enough to understand why everyone here seems to stay the same age and aggravatingly peaceful/fulfilled for their entire tan, toned existence. I bid you adieu, Colorado, for I must venture south where my baby cousin (20 years old) awaits to show me his chosen home in Santa Fe. May I stay sustained for the journey with equal parts kale chips, Int’l Delight creamer shots, and adrenaline from the occasional jackrabbit making a dash across the road.