Playing Cowboy Days 52-55: Demolition Derby and the Road Home
September 11, 2021
Friday morning on the drive across the Rockies from Aspen to the ranch I really started to feel like it was time to get going home.  I've been itching to play some live poker and get back on the grind.  I always play my best when I want to be there playing, and now's that time.  I was fully intent on grinding my ass off primarily in online tournaments, but since my backers declined my live schedule due to "not being sharp" and "not enough online volume" my motivation for that plan has evaporated.  I'm more than happy to invest my time in other places.  

Like on Friday night, at Poag's during karaoke with a lot of good people that I've gotten to know this summer.  I stayed a bit longer than I intended since I was going to do a day ride in the Sangres Saturday which ended up not happening because I was out til two am the night before.  I made it awake in time to watch the 10am ride leave the premises.  I had some coffee, cheerios, and booked a 1pm ride that afternoon.  Dave and I played some Chinese, I whipped him for a bunch of quarters, and then I led the afternoon ride, a married local couple.  Good times with good people.

After I pulled saddles and pastured the ponies I was off to Canon City to meet the Greys for the State Fair round two, demolition derby instead of Blake.  Definitely rednecker, I had a damn good time wacthing eight rounds of cars crashing into each other.  They had 4 heats for the main that advanced five cars each, then 3 special divisions that played to one car like a sit-n-go, top three make the money.  There was the hooptie, full size truck, and broke person classes.  Then twenty cars came back for the grand finals and smashed each other until one was left, the winner claiming victory by multiple front end smashes into the runner up's rear end, completely disabling the vehicle.  

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Back to the ranch, didn't get pulled over this time and a dirt road wasn't the most optimal route home.  Made it up the next morning in time to join up with the morning ride, and I had decided that it was time to hit the road.  I enjoyed one last morning with a critter underneath me, savoring the views of the Sangres and missing the place already.  I took my time packing, finally hit the road after two pm, had lunch in town, and then began my journey home.  I lasted three hours.  Made it to Pagosa Springs, a town I really enjoyed driving through two months earlier and wanted to check out.

I got a hotel room across the street from the hot springs, anticipating spending some time there.  Then I found out that the discounted rate was $19 for a one time entry.  No thanks.  I don't want a resort or attraction, I want natural springs with naked people solving the problems of the world.  So I went to the hot tub instead.  Cleaned up back in the room, then embarked on a drinking adventure by foot.  

First stop the Pagosa Bar, I sat at the bar for fifteen minutes, had a decent conversation with the dude next to me, saw the bartender twice, and was never even acknowledged.  Whelp see ya later.  I started walking down the street, ran out of town, turned around, and found some Bear bar around the corner that I had missed on the way out, my attention focused down the street.  Entertaining night, three to five of us at the bar.  I walked back to the hotel and was on the road by 9:30 the next morning.  

I'd had enough of this hotel, electricity, running water, and big city life.  I wanted back into the woods.  At least for one more night.  I had no clue where I would end up as I sipped my coffee, the old Ford truck rumbling West on US 160.  Moab area perhaps.  Having just recently discovered Zion, Monument Valley, Mesa Verde, Lake Powell, and the general splendor of the upper Southwest, I wanted more.  I've never been to Arches, Bryce, Canyonlands, Capital Reef, or any of the other parks in Southern Utah besides Zion.  

I stopped in Moab to buy a power inverter, have lunch, and get supplies.  AKA cheerios, beer, milk, corkscrew, wood, and ice.  I drove to the front gate of Arches National Park, was informed that the campground was full, and I asked about the neighboring parks.  He asked me if I had been up the river, and then told me about a place I'd never heard of, 25+ miles of Colorado River through a gorgeous canyon chock full of BLM land and campsites.  I picked a spot six miles up, and wondered why I'd never heard of this well kept secret.  

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The next morning I was on the road by 9:30 again, once again unsure of where I would end up, and thought it might be the middle of nowhere again when I took a left on 89 instead of continuing to the 15 South.  I had lunch at this awesome little cafe in Marysville, enjoying one of the best burgers I have ever had, right up there with the Squeeze Inn in Sacramento, but not quite beating out that burger.  I continued South under mostly cloudy skies threatening rain, but the only thing that poured was Montezuma who showed up pissed about something I consumed in Mexico ten years ago.  It's been a long time since I've experienced the pre-poop panic that miles of open highway will induce when you know you're carrying a ticking time bomb.  

I destroyed this toilet for customers only in Junction, UT.  I didn't buy anything, got back in my truck, and headed for the interstate.  It was starting to drizzle and my bed was less than four hours away.  I couldn't find my garage door opener cause I left it in my car when I was back a few weeks ago, got a hold of my brother, and arranged for him to meet me at the apartment and then go get sushi.  I hadn't had raw fish in a couple of months and was really craving some fishy goodness.  

It started the two of us, and then there were four, six, and nine.  The sake and beer flowed, a pool party was proposed, and it was going to be at my house.  It was a good homecoming, a spontaneous group of friends hanging out for the evening.  

So I'm back. I'm excited to be doing some work.  And it's cooled down here enough that it feels like it did in Colorado when I got there two months ago.  

Peace and good luck,



3 months ago
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