Buena Vista, Thyme, & The Rockies

So this is new.  I went on a grand adventure and didn't bring my camera.

Silence. Fifteen peaks spread across the horizon.  Chest rising ever so slightly to let the oxygen into my brain - sort of defeats the purpose of scenery if you're passed out. The altitude allowed just enough for consciousness, no talking. But who was there to talk to, I was alone.

Had to get my tires replaced, why not test out the new ones.  Foot to the accelerator, just keep going.  Six hours.  Mountains, lakes, past Pikes's Peak, past the first range, keep going, Wilkinson Pass - fifteen peaks spread across the horizon.  Keep going.  Down into the basin, peaks from left to right.  A stop, sneak a few Aspen leaves for Michael, a pine cone that will never fit into an envelope.  The road goes on forever, the basin like an abandoned sea bed.  Horizon always the same distance away.  Then a choice...right or left.   Left.  South.  Buena Vista, and boy it sure was.  Mt. Princeton, Mt. Harvard, Mt. Yale .... who names these things?

Just keep driving.  So quiet.  No radio.  So quiet.  Just my slow breaths.  Awe.  Its awe-some.  Mountains so tall you have to careen your neck out the window to see the summit.  Streams clear and cold flowing by the side of mountain roads.

I'm so hungry I stop at an old-fashioned burger joint in Buena Vista and slump down next to a tree trunk and call Whitney, Laura's walking by and we talk.  I think I'm getting over moving shock.  I miss them.  I spot a farmer's market and my grease filled stomach cries out for "Nutrition!"  I wish Michael were here, he'd love this.  I pick a peach and a pear - and two honey sticks to call it even.  Did you know they sell honey in sticks? Why don't they have this in Minnesota? Half off Thyme plants, one for the road.

No plans today, keep going. North now.  Leadville....Breckenridge? Do I have enough time? I'll call Michael - tell him what I'm seeing.  Now I'm IN the mountains ... why did I think my car could make this? Turning corners, all is silent.  Its huge.  They're huge.  I keep climbing, I see snow ... its October.  I see snow, the air is cold, the air is pure.  I can't talk at all now - like an alien world - I can't believe people actually live up here.

No pictures, so I capture it in my memory.  I find a small town south of Breckenridge, Blue River something something.  Let's live there.  Now I'm heading South, going home.  The sun is setting behind the mountains.  Its been 5 hours.  Back where I came from.  Houses are poorer, run down, ghost towns.  The scars in the hills whisper past mining booms.

Well, that was weird.