I’m guessing if you’re bored then you’re not looking to read about someone moping about life and it’s multiple issues; I wouldn’t be either. But since there is a kevinkelly before the .wordpress up there in the address bar, I can type whatever the hell I want. I will try to eke out a positive ending but let’s get real – life doesn’t always have positive endings neatly wrapped up with a sunset and serenade. I remember some author or creative person talking about how much american storytelling has effed up the public conscience by unwittingly stating that there is a nice, tasty conclusion to all of life’s problems. I wholeheartedly agree.
So ya, I got sick for a few days out here. No worries, I tend to have an affinity to sickness when I travel and jump into multiple physical activities without much sleep. That is common sense. The odd part about this trip was that I started missing home within the first week. This was good for I hadn’t really missed home since I was 18 and had been away for a month overseas, steadily worrying about the social circle happenings I was missing out on that seemed so incredibly important at the time (but which in retrospect were silly and retarded. Ahh, youth.) This was bad because I had just left barely a week ago and I was missing what; life in a basement, over-beered nights, inconsistent people, an overwhelming feel of stasis? I was in Colorado dammit, in the land of ice and snow from the midnight sun where the hot springs blow! Yea I was. But it wasn’t hitting me yet.
I started to gently fit in to a semi-cycle of climbing, laptop working in the library or coffee shop, dinner parties, red wine, more climbing, nature, 12:30 bedtimes (super early for me) and new friends. This was good, I liked this – first week in Colorado is awesome and fun, yaay! The second monday is when things began to shift from lightness to areyoukiddingmeness? It started off very subtle. My facebook account had been jacked up for a few days and now I couldn’t log into it at all. This perturbed me at this instance for I had multiple conversations going on thru the book of faces on my future travel plans and, if you’re anything like 95% of the average 15-35 year old, facebook is a regular part of your day as much as a lightning-fast morning bowel movement greased up with a good night’s sleep, a new food-layer of cereal and some strong coffee. Ah well, what’s a couple days without it. I can quit cold-turkey as I have before in dark lands with no wifi. I kept clicking around idly, heavily procrastinating on work and other demands of my life when I noticed that the clicking was taking much longer than usual. I’m gonna go ahead and sacrifice the play by play of computer malfunction and get straight to the point. After a matrix like pattern of binary code appeared on my screen, my hard drive bit the dust. Luckily i had an inkling that this was occurring and backed up some important things while overlooking other important things (SHIT).
Amid a myriad of other smaller and more personal things I dare not divulge on a public forum, I decided it was time to leave estes and see more of the mountain range. Luckily, I have good friends in Colorado Springs who decided to take me up on this. I made the drive down in the morning as a huge winter storm was nipping at my heels which would ultimately extend my trip by another day. Thru Boulder, Thru Denver, Thru the other mountain range towns I traveled marveling at some new American landscape I had never seen. First stop, Mac Store. No Luck. They didn’t have the hard drive and would take 3-5 Days to get it. Thank goodness I was able to sit there for 2 hours while they were able to figure this out! Luckily I was coming up to the house of some very quality people Jake & Kim. Kim was at work so Jake and I headed out to do the ‘little’ manitou incline hike at the base of Pike’s Peak. This hike turned out to be the steepest, most breath-raping mother****er I had ever set foot upon. Picture in your head (or here) a 1 mile hike in which you cover over 2,000 vertical feet with the aid of thousands of railroad ties and busted rusty pipes as footholds. Imagine starting this hike in nice 55 deg weather and ending in freezing snow covered ties in THE worst possible outdoor shoes (currently described as “A bit heavy, with no traction on slick, or wet terrain.” and they aren’t kidding). I was wheezing like an 80 year old grandmother as this chick glides up past us with her little puppy. Luckily, altitude hasn’t kicked my ass this trip and jake and I were able to finish somewhat respectfully before sundown, even taking the scenic route back to the parking area. My barely-there ass cheeks continued to ache for the next 3 days.
Seeing as how Jake & Kim are originally from St. Louis, we decided to hit the bars that night. After ordering obscene amounts of Thai food, we headed off to the Bristol Brewing Co. for some insanely dark beer and that sand & metal disc shuffleboard game that I can never remember the real name for. A word about altitude & alcohol – They are awesome together. One micro beer to buzz and you feel like you just finished a 6 pack of Bud Light. (Also new in altitude, much more methane production.) Kim had to work in the morning so Jake and I dropped her off before heading out on a little pub crawl via ten-speed in the frigid night air.
The night eventually ended around 2:30 a.m. after many, many dark beers, many rounds of darts, and some of the most inspired farting I have ever had the pleasure of smelling all due to the digestive effects of heavily americanized Pad Thai.
This trip to Co. Springs definitely helped avert some down&outness. Over the course of the next few snowed in days, we watched multiple documentaries, ate much food, read alot, booked tickets for the rest of my walkabout, and played some intense Mexican Train Dominoes, also entering a great new phrase into our vocabulary, ‘The Bone Zone’. Also, I just need to say, that the local Colorado Springs 9 o’clock news may be the most unintentionally funniest and crappiest news program I have ever seen. Real life came whipping back at us on friday when Jake had to return to work and I had to return back to estes.
Before I could make it back, I had a 5 hour wait in the Flatirons shopping mall outside of Boulder so that I could tell the Apple Store employees the exact same story I had just told to Co. Springs employees a few days earlier. I made the most of the time by solidifying my severe hate of malls, eating some long fasted from McDonalds, and watching Zombieland in the mall cineplex for the cheap matinee price of 8 BUCKS! I thought matinee equals cheap?
Amid all of these minor little things that happened and the addition of more personal shit, the missing of a free Tapes n’ Tapes concert at CU in Boulder, the weary drive back to Estes and the continual feeling of losing control over my STL life I was/am feeling less and less of a good/greatful/happy/upbeat/purposeful/unlimited potential vibe than I thought I would as I’ve made my adventure out west…
(How’s that for ending on a happy note? Sorry – this is the truth though. No sense in sugar coating a true account of travels. If there is anything positive to eke from this bleak post it’s that my St. Louis pride continues to swell everyday and I have never felt more connected to my hometown. I actually want to wear a cardinals hat.)