Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The weekend after I returned from Alaska, my sister, Christina, had a couple of soccer games up in Colorado Springs. We went to her game at the Air Force Academy then spent the evening with her before we all went up to Boulder for her game the next day. Since we would already be in Boulder, my parents and I decided that we would drive up to Estes Park afterwards and stay the night there. After Christina’s game we did just that. After driving up the pass we crested the hill overlooking the town at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Driving across the bridge that separated the North and South sides of a shimmering azure lake we spotted something that looked vaguely like the Loch Ness Monster. Upon closer inspection we realized that it was the Loch Ness Monster, of the inflatable variety. We looked up and saw why. A huge banner shuttered with the wind which read “2008 Scottish/Irish Heritage Festival”. The three of us looked at each other and immediately knew what the other two were thinking. “Hooray! Kilts and bagpipes!” There was no way we could turn that down.

We parked the car and wandered up the hill amidst sticky, cotton-candy faced kids, and guys you wouldn’t want to see bend over. Following the sounds of the forlorn (bagpipes if you will) and the smell of Guinness we made our way through the festival. To our left dog’s catching Frisbees off their owners’ backsides. To our right were rows of tents representing the various clans. With our pints of Guinness in one hand and kettle corn in our other, we wandered through the tents and listened to more bagpipers. We had come at the end of the festival so after only an hour and a half they were having their closing ceremony complete with 102, you guessed it, bagpipes. Tents were packed up and free kettle corn distributed. We left and searched for a hotel room. We found one in a beautiful hotel on the lake. Our room had a balcony that looked out over the lake to the gorgeous mountains shooting up into the sky just beyond. After a really bad Mexican dinner I just sat on that balcony and watched the moon flicker off the ripples in the lake.

The next day we drove up into Rocky Mountain National Park. Immediately after paying our entry fee we looked off to our left and saw a herd of about thirty elk. Driving further in we saw even more. We drove further into the mountains before we parked the car and took a hike. Passing towering walls of sheer rock colored elephant grey we made our way along the arduous trail. Occasionally we would make hydration stops or take in the awe-inspiring scenery. Crystal clear lakes shimmered under the bright blue sky and brilliantly reflected the magnificence surrounding them. After a full day of mountains, lakes, waterfalls, and chipmunks my parents and I made our way back down to the car. We ate dinner at a Nepalese restaurant before driving back down south along the Front Range to arrive home again.

I stayed in Colorado for about two more weeks before heading up to Denver to catch my westbound train. During this time I went to the local Goodwill and treated myself to a whole new wardrobe so that my hemp pants aren’t the only pants I own anymore and my shirts actually have buttons. The day before I left, Nieve, Michael, Amanda, my mom, and I took a tour of Boulder beer breweries. Several hours and many beers into it we were all nice and toasted. Besides for a half gallon of beer being spilt on me I would say that it was a pretty successful tour of the Boulder breweries. As the sun rose the next morning it was quite difficult to raise up off Nieve’s couch and prepare for the next leg of my journey. At the train station I checked in my luggage and said goodbye to my mother. After a hug and a kiss I boarded the locomotive. I sat down in my seat and watched the beautiful Colorado scenery change into the rugged yet equally beautiful landscape of Utah. By the time it arrived in Salt Lake City the train was an hour and a half late, but it did arrive.

Kim was waiting there for me as I stepped off the train. It was after midnight and she was wearing a hat (something I never see her do) so I didn’t even recognize her as I walked right past to my luggage. I turned around to see if she had arrived when this little guy in a Newsies hat and glasses walks right up to me and I realize that its no little guy at all, it is little Kim. She helped me get my stuff into the car and we drove back to their house. While I was away they moved Riley and his things downstairs into the room I was using but it was also still kind of the guest room as the futon was still spread out next to his bed after Ruth’s mom had just come to visit. I lay down and fell asleep. The next morning Kim and Casey came down to wake Riley from school. As soon as he came in the room and saw me, Casey had the biggest grin on his little face. He woke Riley and Riley turned his head in my direction. He had no idea what was going on but was enjoying it anyway.

The boys went to school, Ruth went to work and I was alone in the house I had left three months prior with no intention of returning anytime soon. I had time to gather myself and get in touch with my surroundings before reassembling my bicycle. By gathering myself I mean beating all of the top scores on WiiFit. Now Ruth is mad at me. On Sunday I went to the Zen Center and felt like I was back home. People were happy to see me and most were very pleased I hadn’t left for South America. Afterwards I went to another lesbian couple’s house to help them take care of their three year-old daughter Julia. I was to stay with them throughout the week and look after her while one of her moms worked and the other was out of town. Julia is a brilliant little girl with a strong will and able mind. She has an excellent vocabulary for a girl of three and I can imagine her becoming a great leader someday, like Wonder Woman. (What? She was a great leader with that awesome invisible jet and unbreakable lasso.)

After spending a week with the soon-to-be superhero I moved over to my friend’s house overlooking the great salt lake valley where I’ve spent the last two weeks continuously looking for employment, organizing refrigerators and pantries, cutting hedges, and getting lost in hours upon hours of Grand Theft Auto 4. What a life, eh? For now I’m waiting, meditating, making music, searching and killing lots of drug dealers. What’s next is anybodies guess.
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