With a Big Smile from Colorado…

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

“I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till I drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.”
~ Jack Kerouac ~

Bonanza Circle entrance-5 xxx

No doubt as the excitement is building up. Colorado is ahead of us. Specifically the Bonanza Circle area near Marshall Pass passed Poncha Pass . Close to a million acres of BLM land. Tall grass and what makes it attractive is its clusters of trees every mile or so meaning shade for most of the day even though the temperatures will be dropping to a comfortable mid 70’s during the day and mid 50’s at night. I never thought we would see Colorado this summer. So spoiled we have been, it seems like a dream come through. You don’t want to get there on a weekend, the clusters will be occupied as I know from previous experience. We will arrive on hopefully Tuesday. I have my own favorite spot. Maybe even Monday evening.

Bonanza Circle entrance-4 xxx

It is only a dozen miles from Salida where the food shopping is easy as also water is available. 700 more miles ahead of us. 3 days? Just about. I like Salida. It is a dog friendly town and a bit artistic with also a few bicycle shops where I always stop to see what they are doing even though I am not going to buy one. A few hours away is Gunnison, Crested Butte and a few other little towns. We have Friends there, we have made many Friends throughout these past years as that is also where my mail will be forwarded this time around.

Blue Mesa Lake-3 xxx

We left today. Highway 70 all the way! Boring for most but I keep myself entertained by the cars passing us as we never pass anyone, the fields endless into the horizon filled with corn growing of all sizes and different hues, the bales of hay already rolled up and stacked for the coming winter, dilapidated road signs from past doing well restaurants now defunct and much more. Topeka, Junction City, Abilene, Salina, Russell and finally early mid afternoon we stopped here in Hays. "Any City USA". The heat wore us down and I can only wait just a while longer to put my head down for a long sleep as Spirit already himself is dreaming. The weather. We are so much always at the mercy of the weather. I had never realized that aspect so much until this summer and we will appreciate as never before the cold coming up on us soon.

Crested Butte xxx

Crested Butte-7 xxx

Finally we made it in two days instead of three. Not like me to push ourselves but we seriously needed to get out of the heat. Yes, we are at 9000 feet or so but, we can’t go up the road. Again the weather is holding us back as it must have rained quite a bit and the mud is deep. To make the matters worse I found out that our favorite site is occupied. So we set up  at the start of the road for the night with more rain in the forecast for tomorrow. Morning will be decision time as to where to go. I cannot think about it now. Lake City? Blue Mesa Lake? No need for a decision now. A good night sleep is in order. Don’t ever be jealous of us living on the road! It is not as easy as it sounds, yet I know it beats four walls even on a bad day.

Crested Butte-4 xxx

Crested Butte-2 xxx

Crested Butte-3 xxx

Morning has come and already also the rains. It is all coming back to me now. I have to admit we have not been living on the road much lately. Just has not felt like it and my symptoms of withdrawals were becoming strong! My back and hip problems held us back, and then on it was Kansas making a B line there and another B line here. This morning it clicked in what is left of my mind. We have over 2 months before my next Dr’s appointment. The gears suddenly changed and went into "having much time" mode almost also as a weight was lifted. Just Spirit and I… the roads… time…

Crested Butte-8 xxx

Crested Butte-10 xxx

Crested Butte-9 xxx

A couple years ago, if this was today, I would have tried going up the muddy road. Been there, done that I felt. Wiser now. There was no one that would have pulled us out. As it had happened before we would have set up on the side of the road and wait a few days for all to dry up. I was happy with my decision and we took on Monarch Pass to finally settle as we had done a few times in the past on the shores of Blue Mesa Reservoir Lake. I thought it would be hot but the forecast on all my weather apps showed cooler temperatures. A bonus. And yes, it seems that there is phone reception everywhere now. The coolness might be from the Lake effect. This is good. A nice spot close to Gunnison, Crested Butter, Lake City for a day ride, Paonia through the back roads and for some reason, could be my kidney belt or my mind, my back is doing better. The clock has disappeared and for now also the calendar. The skies here are dark, the cold wind is blowing hard as I stand facing it, eyes closed letting me endure what I have been missing.

Crested Butte-15 xxx

Crested Butte-13 xxx

Crested Butte-12 xxx

Crested Butte-11 xxx

Crested Butte-17 xxx

Our first morning here as I stroll outside with a cup of coffee in hand is as being in Paradise. The dark clouds have been replaced by a clear blue sky as the cold remains slowly waking me up as Spirit is still asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night shivering and had to put on my winter gear! I won’t let my Friends in Kansas know about that while they have their air conditioner on blowing full blast, they will be jealous. This is it. This is the essence of the road. This is what we live for as I am not even thinking about what will we do today. I am just enjoying the moment as I could scream from having found again the pot of gold. It does not get any better than this. The smile has come back plastered on my face.

Blue Mesa Lake-4

Stay well…
                Ara and Spirit

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6 Responses to “With a Big Smile from Colorado…”

  1. Randy Says:

    Great riding along with you and Spirit. Glad you’re back in cooler country. I’ve a friend in Cotopaxi, on 50 Southeast of Salida, who after visiting for years made it permanent and works at the Salida Dance Studio. And three more friends and family moved to Colorado this year. Some powerful attraction.

  2. Dick Says:

    You have reminded me how much I miss Crestted Butte!

  3. Billy Bob Says:

    Bring some of that cooler weather back with you when you come back to Texas.

  4. texascindy Says:

    YOU are back my friend…the road missed you as much as you missed it…I feel joy in this entry! I can just see you there facing the wind, eyes closed and head back enjoying it all…so happy you are in your element again.
    Hugs and scritches and safe travels!

  5. Joe Zeller Says:

    Ara, we met in Tucson and went to the African Village together. And we must have been within shouting distance in CO as I traversed the same route as you at about the same time. Lake City to Blue Mesa is among the most beautiful unknown bits of road in CO. Be well and good luck with your upcoming surgeries. our confused and troubled world needs you.

  6. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Wow Joe… That has been a while! Tuesday is spine surgery, then the right hip after 3 months. Hopefully it will allow me to come back up to CO before the left hip sometime in September. Who knows! One day at the time… You Stay well and in touch. We try!

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