Durango, Colorado Autumn 2014
We spent the following day in Farmington, New Mexico. I toured the Chamber of Commerce museum, bought a CD of local music at the gift shop, and then took the dogs to the local dog park. From there, we headed toward Durango, Colorado. Along the way, I stopped at the Ute museum.
Places to see along the way:
I love Colorado, she says with a sigh. Why I don’t live there …
Anyway, we stayed at a KOA in Durango, and then had a conversation with the locals about snow. Yes. Snow. It was better, I was told, to stay south of the Rockies and travel up the Front Range from there because several of the passes were already closed.
I love having conversations about mountain passes closing due to snow. It makes my heart sing to know the mountains, the snow and the wind are still stronger than I am. This is especially true as I grow older and my elders die. I do not want to be the oldest one I rely on. That’s where mountains come in at. They are older, stronger, taller, and wiser. And I will never grow older than they are.
From Durango we did, indeed, stay south as we traveled east. And, we did, indeed, travel through snow up in the mountains. Now, you should know I have always threatened to spend my last days in the San Juans. What I was hoping as I drove higher through the mist and snow was that this wasn’t my last days. Snow I love. Evergreens, too. But as stressful as Arizona had been, I didn’t think I wanted to say good-bye just yet. One prays while traveling switchbacks and climbing and descending among mile upon mile of dense green forest.
I pulled off into the parking lot of a cabin-restaurant in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere. The menu was simple. Help yourself to what is on the cafe hot plates. Dessert was sold-out earlier, but would I care for something else? I would.
The rain falling outside chased a few of the road crew inside.
“You didn’t eat her food, did you?” I was asked. Too late, I told him. He shook his head. “Just don’t eat the cobbler.” I got pie instead. He thought maybe that would be my saving grace.
It feels good to be included in local good will when you have been trembling and praying for the last hundred miles or so.
The dogs and I continued on.
Around supper time, we drove past a barbeque in progress. A half mile down the road, I turned around, and headed back to the barbeque.
Apologies, but they were preparing for a catering event. So sorry, the restaurant is closed. What am I doing with four dogs in a car with Arizona plates?
I told them.
Ram asked the owner if she needed any help. I could stay at his place. He already had four dogs, so dogs were not a problem.
Who are these people along the road who look for ways to offer a good meal, pleasant and peaceful conversation, a safe place to stay, and a future to be part of? Why are we not like this to people every day? Or is it just here, in this place, where strangers are ignored, and friendship is held hostage until someone “earns” our respect?
I appreciated the offers, but I needed more than a place to stay. I needed a real, cash-paying job, not just room and board in exchange for housing. But thank you, sincerely, for the offer.