Wendy and Nils

Colorado Story

     In the name of exotic romance, Wendy and I booked a weekend trip to Colorado, complete with first class accommodations such as the movie of our choice on Jet Blue Airlines and a full body massage at an Aspen hot springs resort.  Colorado… the majestic land where men are real men, and guns are available to all men, regardless of their criminal record.  Where gun racks are encouraged and gunlocks are discouraged.  Where a beard proves your ability to survive in the wilderness.  Where beer with 3.2% alcohol is available, thus making all men appear to be heavyweight drinkers.  Where men can wear tight jeans and velvet valor cowboy hats, eat Rocky Mt. Oysters, and still be openly prejudice against gays.  This open bigotry must contribute to the overall happiness that is immediately noticed upon any encounter with a Colorado resident.

     We arrived to the airport just after midnight, and it seems when it’s late in the evening the folks at Hertz are incapable of recognizing the difference between a Chevy Aveo and a Jeep Wrangler. When they brought us the Jeep, we quietly checked the paperwork, confirmed they had only charged us for the Aveo, and left before anyone noticed.  We departed the airport at the opportune time of 1:00am, giving me a whole half hour to get a drink before last call.  After drinking a few brews and doing some four wheeling, we realized nothing closes in Denver, so we did some grocery shopping, went to EMS to pick up some camping supplies, went shopping for CD’s etc….  All the overworked and tired employees seemed unusually happy to be working at such odd hours, so I hypothesized that they are in such pleasant moods because Coloradians obviously have access to some of the highest quality herbs in the nation.

     As we headed west, the spectacular view was unimaginable mostly because it was the middle of the night and we couldn’t see anything.  We got off the highway near Copper Mountain and found a place to sleep.  Luckily we were far too tired to realize that we were sleeping on a 45-degree slope, over sticks and rocks, just a few feet below a glacier.  When we woke up, we had a great view of the snowcapped peaks and a beautiful stream.  Neither of us lost any digits from frostbite, and no animals ate us for breakfast, so we prided ourselves on our expertise in the backcountry

     That morning we drove to Aspen in search of the infamous Rocky Mountain High.  We stopped at Hanging Lake, where I made us my lunch specialty, raw tuna fish from the can.  We hiked to see the beauty of this majestic anomaly of nature only to find that I needed to break federal conservation laws in order to cool off with a swim.  The walk was crowded, and for the first time in my life I saw a couple of black people hiking, an attraction I wanted to take a picture of, but in the confusion I mistakenly had them take a picture of us.  We also encountered overprotective white suburban parents who actually put helmets on their kids in order to safely enjoy their afternoon stroll. 

     Considering I had only been dating Wendy for a couple of months, it was my primary objective to get her in a bathing suit or less as often as possible, so I had us take a side trip to a secret hot springs near Aspen.  The springs wasn’t as much of a secret as I remembered, so we shared the place with stoned hippies and families with kids who were questionably potty trained.  Oddly enough, Wendy seemed to enjoy the cold water of the nearby river more than the hot water of the springs, so she spent most of her time swimming in 45-degree water, but she still got down to her bikini so my mission was accomplished.

     After our swim, we continued driving west until our trip to Colorado turned into a trip to Utah, where the Mormons are plentiful and the liquor is not.  We took the rental Jeep four wheeling.  I practiced wheelies and bottoming out.  It was a cloudy day, and being in the desert so far from anywhere gave me a feeling like we were mistakenly on a different planet, as in an episode of Star Trek, and some cave bitch with laser eyes was going to jump out and incinerate us.  Maybe I was still just feeling my contact high from the smoked out hippies back at the springs.  In the evening, we ate at the restaurant of the Ramsey’s bat swinging bodyguard “Pasta Jay”, which brought me back to memories of lawlessness in Boulder.  That night, we set up at a legal campsite site near town.

     In the morning, we woke to find that the amazing scenery of Moab’s parklands surrounded us.  We met the manager of the campground.  He lived in an old van that seemed to be the offspring of a Ford Econoline and a VW Microbus.  I reminisced about the days when I lived in my van.  Anyway, we soon realized that even though I was buddies with the park manager, he was still going to charge us for another nights stay at the campground, so we left.  We went to town to see the deal on renting mountain bikes only to find that it gets really hot in the desert and even riding Slickrock wasn’t worth the exhaustion, so we opted to rent a kayak and float down the Colorado River.

     The plan had me dropping Wendy off upriver and parking the Jeep downriver then hitch hiking back to Wendy and the kayak.  I figured I’d have a better shot at getting a ride if I made myself look desperate, so I rolled around in the dirt and put fake blood on my clothing.  I didn’t get picked up for over an hour therefore I concluded that Mormons are generally selfish and unhelpful.  The kayak trip down the Colorado was mind-blowing.  We got to the end of the trip to find an official from the parks department handing out $200 fines to everyone caught without a lifejacket on.  It’s good to see that the safety of individuals participating in water sports has such an important role in contributing to Utah’s fiscal budget.  After avoiding the authorities with false names, illegal depictions of marriage, and general confusion we headed back to town for some dinner.  We ate at an authentic Texican restaurant where hard liquor is usually added to the beer for “flavor”, but they had to use sherry ‘cause it was the only legal additive state law allowed.  We camped at Slickrock under a beautiful night filled with stars and 70mph winds. 

     The following morning we woke up, and went four wheeling.  While overlooking the town of Moab, we had my breakfast special, raw tuna from the can.  Later, we took a bath in the Colorado River.  Wendy was unusually prepared with soap, shampoo, and a rubber ducky.  We managed to avoid the lifejacket police and left town before they got any license plate numbers or proof of citizenship.  For the rest of the day, we drove across Colorado and got predictably stuck in the nostalgic Labor Day traffic.

     Our next stop was the hiking trails near the Flatirons in Boulder.  We gave ourselves a tour of the NCAR building, and then went on a search for Chautauqua wildlife only to find a few birds and bugs and a good view of the famous cloud of smog that hovers over the Front Range.  We then grabbed some dinner “On the Hill” in Boulder.  I was reminded that I’m not young anymore as no one offered to sell me illicit substances, although Wendy had a few opportunities, so I felt reassured because at least drugs are still available to the college aged students.  We made our way back to DIA and got a private limo ride from Hertz with the interior lights dimmed and the cool sounds of Isaac Hayes romancing us on the radio in the background, thus making an end to an almost perfect vacation. 

Make a Free Website with Yola.