adventures with Henk the Buell

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Celebrating people, ideas & things that make the world a better place. Kitchen Chemistry, Social Alchemy, Adventure Activism.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

One can strut around a town as laid back as Silverton looking like a fraggle right off the rock and not get a sideways glance. I just got in and parked Henk at the hostel, dropped my bags and took a walk in my leathers with my duct taped boot and a gold and black rasta cap that Brett slipped into my bag before I left, saying it looked better on me than it did on him, and besides, every time I wear it, I’ll think of him. He’s smart. It worked.

Silverton, Colorado, reminds me of Dawson City, Yukon. It’s a contrived-looking western movie set with wide dirt roads and old mining town brothels surrounded by mountains mid-way between Ouray and Durango on the Million Dollar Highway. Yet, at first glance, nobody here seems to be trying too hard to attract tourism. It has a nice “we don’t really care if you come or not” attitude and the locals seem to love it for its remote and rugged beauty. The girl at the hostel invited me to the grand re-opening of Avalanche Coffee down the street, which, she said, was not just a place to get a cup of java, but a “center for revolution.” I passed, but perhaps I’ll stop in for some local politics and a soy latte in the morning before pushing over the last mountain pass to New Mexico. I saw snow on the road today on McLure Pass at ten thousand feet, so I won’t be leaving tomorrow much before noon.

I was all packed up and leathered up and ready to leave Glenwood Springs yesterday when a freak storm came raging through the canyon, thrusting sheets of rain over the river and threatening to down Henk, parked beside it, with gale force winds. I’m not surprised. It’s been stormy inside. The last three weeks have felt like a lifetime of sunshine and Sundays and I didn’t want to leave. “What day is it today?” Brett would ask every day with his Cheshire cat grin. And every day, he would shout enthusiastically, like a kid who just realized Christmas Eve is only one sleep away, “It’s Sunday!” And he would go about his day spreading holiday cheer. Every minute with Dog and Dude was a blast. He walks around Glenwood like he’s mayor, talking to absolutely everyone in his path, joking, delivering smiles, collecting votes. He got mine. He started signing his emails to friends “D & D (&M)” as though seemlessly (if tentatively) making me a member of the team. He joked about taking me to Vegas—not to play poker—and I was shocked that even just as a joke, just entertaining the thought for an instant, a pleasurable chemical reaction arose in that irrational and muddled communication channel between that wide open space that used to be my heart and that vacant cavity that used to be my brain. He always jokes. And he claims that every joke is based in truth.

Brett and Ling and I have covered some ground together, geographical and emotional. The two of them have been such a delightful surprise in so many ways. Perhaps it was the landscape that blew my heart open, but it was Brett and Ling who came to play, bringing with them so much light and laughter. We took three days to say goodbye. I tried being skillful, but it was Brett who showed all the grace. “This is no time for tears,” he said sweetly, drying my cheek with his thumb. “You’re either going to find out that this guy is everything you’ve ever wanted, in which case you should be very happy.” He smiled and lifted my chin, meeting my eyes. “And you will always have great friends Dog and Dude.” More tears. He dried them on his shirt. “Or you won’t feel anything,” he continued, “in which case, you get your ass back up here and you and I get to continue on with the adventure.”

He’s right. It’s stupid to cry. Every woman should have my problems.


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