I looked forward to this short 2 day camping trip for nearly 2 weeks! It was nearing the end of school and my friends who work in different school systems were already out for summer……… I can remember walking out of my house in Denver, staring up into the stars and wishing I could be sleeping underneath them, or doing night watch in the middle of the ocean……….not getting lesson plans ready for another hectic day of school! (not that I minded, it was some of the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done. But I was ready for SUmMerR!) So Forrest came through town on his v-strom and we were off, to explore a bit of Colorado’s front Range! It was a dreamy June day. Beautiful Blue skies everything was very green. We rode on a little dirt road along the South Platte, not helmets,no jackets……such a feeling of freedom. There were all sorts of people out enjoying the beautiful day. As we rode, we stopped and talked to a few people. One couple (with accents!) came up from the bank of the river as we were driving by with a huge fish in their hands. They were thrilled. We offered to trade them a bottle of rum for their fish (in the sailing world, this is a good trade) They laughed and laughed, they thought it was hilarious. I was a little embarrassed about how serious our offer was. Later on, Forrest and I were joking that the couple wouldn’t have given up their prize catch for ANYTHING…..let alone a bottle of rum! We stopped and watched another fellow catch a fish with his bare hands and celebrated with him and his friends…….until we all realized it was a bottom feeder. He let it back in the water and we went on our way. We stopped briefly in the small town of Pine where they were having a Rhubarb Festival (random!) We watched some fat white belly dancers dancing :-).

Forrest is a very skilled rider and riding with him is so much fun. He seems to be able to handle just about anything. I’m sure having this adventure with him, improved my riding skills! Some of the trails we ended up on were quite sandy and rocky. I got to a point where I actually wanted to get off the motorcycle cuz I was sick of the hours of riding and getting bounced around and feeling uneasy.

Forrest expressed awe at the fact I trusted him on some of the trails. I didn’t mention to him…. but I felt SO much safer riding with him, then with the moto guys in the Philippines, as we zipped through the rugged dirt roads and through the barrios to get to where our sailboat was docked. They do CRAZY stuff! The SCARY thing is, I’m not sure how much they value their lives……perspectives and priorities are different in that part of the world. My eyes were opened to just how SAFE and CAREFUL we are in the United States.

It was a special weekend, great conversations with Forrest, super fun riding and a wonderful time of year to get out and explore Colorado’s stunning scenery. On Monday, it was even harder to go back to work because I had just had a weekend of feeling so wild and free. But at the same time, Sunday night, when we got back from our camping trip, I felt lonely and detached from the world. Kinda depressed (like after you finish a really good book or are going through culture shock) So I was thankful that I would see my co-workers the next day, have a day of challenging rewarding work ahead of me and of course all the smiling happy kids who are always so excited to see you!

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