"In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take."

2017 Colorado Adventure: Day 9

– Saturday, 7/1/2017 –

What is it they say about best laid plans?  “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”  I’m not sure if I was the mouse or the man today, but, I do know that the word of the day was “clusterfuck.”  The plan for the day was much like yesterdays – 14 people up, fed and in vehicles by 8am.  The “up” and “fed” by 8am went swimmingly.  The “in vehicles by 8am,” not so much.  At 10am, everyone was scattered about the RV park doing a menagerie of fucking around – some on their phones, some drinking coffee and bullshitting, some trading clothes, some simply wandering aimlessly around with no particular mission except to fiddlefuck the day away.  And there I was…having had gotten dressed while everyone was eating, packed my bag while they were after-breakfast-bullshitting and asking people for the last two hours if they were ready to go.  It was our last full day in Colorado and I did NOT want to let it pass by, fiddlefucking around at the RV park.  10 minute warning time!  Less than 10 minutes later, we had 2 ATV’s hitched to two trucks and we were on the road.  The plan was to haul the ATV’s to Piedra Road, get them off the trailers, Josh’s uncle and Josh’s aunt’s boyfriend were driving them (along with the 8 additional people they would hold) and the rest of us would pile into Josh’s truck.  We would head for Piedra Falls for some hiking and then to Williams Creek Reservoir for some exploring, fishing and picnic lunch.  Josh’s brother needed to take one of the vehicles back to the cabin between 1 and 2 to pick up his girlfriend who had declined to come with us to Piedra Falls because…too much nature.  They were headed into town for an arts and crafts festival and whatever else people who don’t enjoy nature do.  No problemo, he’ll take one vehicle, two will have the ATV trailers attached to them, parked at the bottom and Josh’s truck would go the whole way with whoever who didn’t want to ride ATV’s inside, basking in the air conditioning and non-dusty cabin (which was supposed to be me, Josh, Josh’s mom, dad and brother).  FANTASTIC!  Until we pulled in to unload the ATV’s.  And that’s when the best laid plan turned into confusion, agitation and general “what the fuck.”

[redact allow=’author’ redactor=’alexisgosik@gmail.com’ date=’08/31/2017′ style=’solid’]At some point, Josh’s uncle decided that he was not going to drive one of the ATV’s and, instead, take his truck to the falls and the reservoir, which left three vehicles at the bottom.  But, Josh’s brother needed to take one of the vehicles to pick up the girlfriend.  Which left two trucks and two trailers, all four of which would need to remain at the bottom because the trailers had to remain hitched to a vehicle while they were parked.  Which also left one ATV without a driver.  Josh and I had no desire to ride in an ATV and elected to ride in Josh’s uncle’s truck, which meant Josh’s mom, dad and brother were stuck in an ATV (which they wanted no parts of).  While riding in the truck was marginally better, the view from the back seat was pretty shitty, not to mention the high rate of speed the vehicle was traveling, making it impossible to see, let alone take pictures, while we drove for an hour.  Oh, and, don’t forget that all the shit that was divvyed up and packed into vehicles during the two hour fuck-around-session earlier in the morning had to be unloaded and redistributed to ensure it all went along.[/redact]  (Text redacted for your safety, due to overwhelming negativity.  😉 )  I’ll absolutely admit that it was the first time all week that I was absolutely over it.

I’m pretty sure that it hasn’t rained for years in Colorado based on the amount of dust that the truck and the ATV’s kicked up along the road.  It was, at times, impossible to see the road, let alone other vehicles on the road.  When we arrived at the bottom of Piedra Falls, the ATVer’s were absolutely covered in dust.

Piedra Falls was stunning.  Packed full of tourists, but stunning.  We completed the short hike relatively quickly and had an opportunity to stand beneath the mist of the falls, which provided a short reprieve from the heat and dust.  The photo opportunities were plentiful and there was even a rainbow formed in the mist from the falls.  People were swimming in the ice cold water, kids were leaping from rock to rock while their parents warned them about getting their shoes wet and there was a guy on an inflatable hammock that looked very much like a huge banana, taking it all in from a really cool overlook.  My agitation melted away and I was, once again, thankful for the opportunity to experience something new with Josh.  And thankful to not be at work.

Everyone got their fill of the falls and we headed back to the ATV’s and truck for some water (and bug spray).  It was about 2pm.  It was at least an hour ride (via truck or ATV) back to where the three other vehicles and two trailers were parked.  We had not eaten lunch.  I had a headache from not having enough caffeine.  And Josh’s brother was to have already picked up his girlfriend.  [redact allow=’author’ redactor=’alexisgosik@gmail.com’ date=’08/31/2017′ style=’solid’]So, the five people that wanted absolutely no part of riding in an ATV piled into an ATV and took an extremely dusty, hour ride back to the vehicles, in nearly complete silence.[/redact]  (I promise I get more positive soon!   😀 )  Except for the time that I muttered, “This is dumb.”

Back at the vehicles, we unhitched the ATV trailer from Josh’s truck, hitched it to Josh’s dad’s vehicle, loaded the ATV and got the fuck outta there.  I had definitely had enough.

We headed for food, as it was 3pm and everything edible had been left with the remainder of the group.  Walmart saved the day and we pigged out on subs, mozzarella sticks and apple pies in the air conditioned truck, in Walmart’s parking lot.  Life was, once again, good.

Since Chimney Rock National Monument was only a short drive from Walmart, we decided to take a drive to check it out.  When we arrived, we realized that Chimney Rock was only open until 4:30 and it was already 4 o’clock.  There was also a $13 admission fee per person (it was discounted from it’s normal $15 per person rate because the elevator was broken).  We saved $26 and checked it out from the road.  We came, we saw, I clicked a few photos and we took off.  We had more things to get done on our last day in Colorado!

Josh had been looking for a new pipe and we passed a placed a few days ago that was called Elevation Head Shop.  We found it again and stopped in.  There must have been hundreds of pipe in that place!  I found it really interesting that there were a number of different artists featured in the shop – each artist’s pipes had a separate section in the glass cases.  There were some really wild pipes made of seashells and a variety of incredible glass work.  Josh found a really cool pipe made of deer antler and leather and we splurged the $37.35 to get it.  We got to talking to a few people in the head shop and they recommended that we check out another dispensary that was reportedly much larger with a much larger selection than San Juan Strains.  So we did.

We took a brief drive out Piedra Road again, (no ATV’s this time, though, thankfully), to Good Earth Meds.  It was a great recommendation as it was much larger with a much larger variety of cannabis products.  We got a good education from the knowledgeable staff, picked up a few things and headed for the truck.  We still had to pick up a birthday cake, card and candles for Josh’s uncle’s birthday celebration at the RV park.  A quick trip back to Walmart (yes, we pretty much live there) provided the birthday supplies and we headed back to the cabin.  We spent the evening eating steaks and birthday cake, drinking wine and beer and catching up.  It was a pretty relaxing evening after a chaotic day.

In other, non-vacation-related news, July 1st brought me a 2% pay increase today!  So, hurray for making $.52 more per hour, despite the fact that work is the farthest thing from my mind.

MONEY SPENT TODAY: $282.84 ($5.99 for Josh’s mocha-choka-latte at Starbucks in Durango, CO on the way to Mesa Verde; $31.23 for fuel; $15.99 for lunch at Walmart at 3:30pm; $37.35 for a deer antler pipe at Elevation Head Shop; $165.41 at Good Earth Meds and $15.99 for birthday cake, candles and card)

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