As I write these words, with my second cup of coffee in hand, Portia has had her morning walk and breakfast while sitting in our trailer at the RV park of Westminster, CO, Elks 2227; I'm still a little tired, even though we went to bed about 9:15 last night. Colorado Interstate 70 kicked my ass yesterday. I repeatedly yesterday said to nobody in particular while fighting to keep the truck and Airstream on the road and out of the damage of the weathered road in front of me, "Come on, Colorado! Surely you can do better!" I swear, between the mountain passes, the whoop-de-doo's and uneven pavement on the highway, and Portia going back and forth from back seat to front seat, I'm spent.
I know this life to some seems romantic and so free, which it is, but here is the reality. In just over seven months, I've probably hitched and unhitched and set up camp over 100 times, driven 20,000 miles, and camped at 60 different locations, some nice, some not so much. That being said, I still love it, but it's not for everyone.
For example, you're always thinking about where you're going next. Now you may know the general location, like a national park, beach, or town, but you may not know where you're spending the night yet. I do a lot of the time, and I've researched, located a place, and made a reservation. But sometimes, it's on the fly as I'm driving and making those decisions and calls on breaks from the road. And just so you know, I do not talk on the phone while towing; I just can't. I realize it's unsafe to drive, let alone tow a 6,000 lb trailer while distracted; I know people do, but I don't have the capacity or desire.
I will say that this life takes you to places you would never go and to meet people you'd never meet. And the serendipitous nature of it all is the most incredible. I've met people at dog parks, craft breweries, RV parks, boondock camping, and service stations. Some conversations are random, some are very pointed, and you say, "Wow."
One example was just the other day at a dog park in Montrose, CO. A midmorning visit to a nearby dog park found Portia and me there with a group of men and their dogs. You could tell they were regulars immediately, but I chimed in on the conversation, and we discussed many topics. At one point, one of the guys, who, I'll be honest, I thought was high or something. He spoke slowly and slurredly, much like Joe Walsh from the Eagles if you've heard him speak. Joe Walsh has been sober for over 25 years but always sounds intoxicated. So this guy starts talking, revealing that less than a year ago, he suddenly lost his wife of 39 years. And that he's still recovering. She dropped dead from a heart attack while hiking together.
The revelation of what he was going through prompted me to share my story regarding Darlene's sudden passing in 2016. It was a wonderful exchange, and in the end, he said he felt better and thanked me. I have to say that it sure made me feel good that I could help someone feel better about a very traumatic experience.
You never know what anyone is going through or when you'll be able to comfort someone.