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March 30, 2014

Cripple Creek, Colorado

Yesterday was Saturday. Jen's in Houston for Spring Break. The night before (Friday night), I decided I'd spent the night in Colorado Springs.

It's sort of weird to have two places in two different cities and try to decide which place to stay. I spent Friday night in Colorado Springs, got up Saturday morning, and drove to Morrison.

so I got up and went for a long ride through the mountains. Everyone on a motorcycle is out riding every chance they get this time of year. You're sort of threading the needle, trying to get in a ride here and there. If the weatherman says it's going to be 60, you can bet your sweet ass that the bikes will be out in droves, and they are.

Steve says a young rider picks a destination, but an older rider picks a direction. I get on my bike and start riding, and as I ride, I start to get excited about the possibilities of where I might go. Of where I could go. Maybe I could go up to St. Mary's Glacier...or to Rollinsville...or down the canyon through Golden Gate Canyon.

As I ride, I pass other riders, and at first, they don't wave at me. And I get sort of bummed out and start thinking that maybe the riders in Colorado aren't as friendly as I'd remembered. But then, they start waving, and you have to realize that life is like this. You win some, you lose some. And if you let the losses get you down, or change your outlook, then this is just silly. Not everyone on this earth is going to like you. Or be nice to you. Or be friendly. Fuck them. They don't matter. Move on.

So I end up rolling up the Central City Highway and it dumps you out in the middle of downtown Central City, not that anyone cares. Not that it matters. The place is a ghost town. Black Hawk overtook them in the gambling industry, and a new trillion dollar highway won't change that.

I roll down into Black Hawk and hit Highway 119, the famous Peak to Peak Highway.

Now, I have to choose a direction. North? Or South? I can't really remember which way the Golden Gate Canyon is. So, I pull out my cell phone. Turns out, it's North. So I roll out North towards Rollinsville. For some reason, the signs direct me onto a dirt road, which I don't recall at all. Eventually, it dumps me into Coal Creek Canyon, and I know where I am now, but the signs completely fucked me. They steered me away from Golden Gate Canyon, for whatever reason. Thanks for that.

Eventually, I wind my way down to get my hair done down the hill.

On the way back, I decide to stop and get Jennifer the Easter Bunny for sale at King Soopers. I go inside, find the rabbit, buy it, and bring it home on the motorcycle. The rabbit is roughly 3-4 feet tall, and it's hard to miss, on the KTM. It's like I have another passenger.

He's too big to go out with, so I take him home, shove him in the closet, and decide to crash for the night.

In the morning, I get up and I'm trying to think of what to do. I can't really come up with a plan. Finally, about noon, I get up and decide to drive the KTM down to Colorado Springs. I want to get down there in the daylight hours. Before it gets too cold. So far, I've only had my Tahoe down in the Springs. It's too cold in the morning for me to get on the bike and take off on a 1 hour 15 minute ride. I just can't do it. The Tahoe is a luxury because it has this compartment of air that travels with you, making the drive tolerable, instead of a freezing cold nightmare from hell.

So I roll out and decide to stop by and pick up another Easter Bunny on the road. Head by another King Soopers, and pick up another giant Easter Bunny. Then, head south on Highway 285 to Pine Junction, then south through Pine...at this point, I don't really know where the road goes. So far as I can recall, I've never been down this far before. I mean...maybe I have...but it's really fuzzy. Maybe never. I'm not sure.

Just rolling south through the mountains...lots of burned out forests. I spend a lot of time thinking about the forests. But, really, I don't have a better plan for the forests. They're all beetle kill and forest fires and they look like shit, but honestly, I think this is sort of nature's plan. I'm not sure that cutting fire breaks and thinning them is any better, honestly.

Some of the houses are sort of nice, but it's hard to imagine living out here all isolated and all. I mean...it's just too isolated, really. We're an hour from nowhere at this point.

Then, I turn a corner, and I recognize where I am...Charlie and I came down here fly fishing one summer many years ago. God how the years slip by.

Now, I keep going, and I'm following the South Platte River....I sort of loosely remember this...and now, the town of Deckers. I've been here a few times before. I met a guy here when I bought the canoe. What year was that?

Now, south out of Deckers on Highway 67. I'm looking around and I decide I've never been here before. But then, some parts start to look familiar. And the funny thing about the brain is that, when I see these pieces...and it triggers memories...I can always place the pieces. This puzzle piece reminds me of a turnout outside of Ouray, Colorado. That's where that piece fits.

But now, more pieces. This looks familiar. More familiar. We came back this way...with Wendy one time....maybe when she and I went to Santa Fe. She knew this shortcut/backway back and we came this way. For sure.

So, maybe for the whole trip, I didn't ever really find anything new. Maybe I just am retracting my steps that I'd forgotten over the years. It's weird getting old. It's hard to understand, really.

At Woodland Park, I turn west on 24 and get up to Divide. At Divide, I'm supposed to turn south and make it up to Cripple Creek. But it's cold. Windy. Weather isn't really looking all that good. Not inviting, really. I'm tired. Cold. Hungry. I stop at this little BBQ place in Divide.

Go inside and get some nice BBQ. The woman's from Dallas. Knows her shit. Sets me up with a BBQ sandwich. I decide that it's too cold to finish my trip. And head back down the hill to Jose Muldoons.

Posted by Rob Kiser on March 30, 2014 at 3:37 PM


i wave at people all the time while driving my truck, nobody ever waves back, they think Im crazy. TN is full of aholes, screw southern hospitality.

Posted by: mop on April 3, 2014 at 5:15 PM

To accompany the Easter Bunnies, you should get a copy of "Harvey" with Cary Grant. It would be fun for you to watch.

Posted by: Easter Bunny on April 6, 2014 at 12:26 PM

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