As I'm thinking About how to write a blog post about May 5, 2017, I can't help feel like I'm Ted Mosby explaining one of the many hilarious adventures I get myself into. So I guess that's how I'll approach it. This episode will be titled "The Night of The Best Wings I've Ever Had".
I apologize in advanced if you haven't seen How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM). I'll try not to make too many inside jokes.
Although it took an hour to hike up, it only about 20 to get down thanks to our great idea to roll, shoe ski, and butt sled our way back down. Of course, by only using our bodies, my fabric pants quickly absorbed all the cold water, which probably helped motivate the quicker decent. (Posted a quick video to my snap story)
Once back in Lakewood we said our goodbyes and Jason recommended I visit the panoramic point hike at the Golden gate state park near Nederland. I wasn't going to squander a locals advice, so I headed up that way, only realizing once I entered the park that because it is a state park, my annual national Park pass I purchased didn't cover anything. But I paid the $7 because I was going with the flow and the hike sounded nice.
I drove up to the lookout point, got a pretty good view, and proceeded with the 3 mile hike. It was an ok hike until the end as I was walking across a cliff face that offered a picturesque view of the Rockies. I even came across someone meditating with herbal assistance ;) and exchanged pleasantries before moving on.
I checked out the rest of main street, not a whole lot was going on since the town just started it's off-season, the one month in spring and fall they get where they are not bombarded by temporary residents or ski resort customers. It seemed about half the town was closed down. Noticing a nice place to play music on the Main St. Plaza, I grabbed my guitar to jam a little.
When I got back a gentleman had set up shop with an electric guitar, battery powered amp, art, and some pine cone necklaces. I wandered around looking for another spot to play but to no avail, so I decided I would just hang around and see how long he played. Within 5 minutes his amp started cutting out, and after messing with it for a minute, he stood up and started putting everything away. I came up and introduced myself, asked him why he stopped playing tunes, and he said that unfortunately his battery had crapped out on him and he didn't have an extra set with him. Secretly happy for the coincidence, but saddened by another musician's misfortune, I struck up a conversation and leaved a little bit about him. I noticed the necklaces he was selling. They were sliced pinecones covered with some sort of sealer, that made for crazy cool mandala like designs so I picked one up as a memento and to help make his day a little better =)
Being a fellow musician I let him play a song since he hadn't played guitar since leaving NY. Once he finished he asked if I had plans for Cinco de Mayo that night. I confessed that I didn't and was mostly concerned about finding a campsite to make dinner and sleep at. He said his place had a spare bedroom, but He would just have to run it by his family so I offered him and his bike a ride!
*On a side note, I was asked by 3 people in Boulder and 5 people in Breckinridge where things were as if I lived there (happened to me a bit in NYC as well). Do I fit in that well? Am I just such a hipster that I can be tossed into any scene and get assumed to be a local?? I don't think so...but...Maybe it's a sign...
We ended up strapping his bike to the top of my car, and drove up the mountainside just past the Peak 7 bus stop and I met his uncle and aunt Chris and Gretchen (they can be the Marshal and Lily to our adventure). They were super cool and friendly people!! Right off the bat Chris offered me a beer. We chatted and I explained my trip. Turns out they run Airbnb using the lower level of their home, and CJ is using it while he's in town. They ended up offering me a place to spend the night, making plenty of jokes about me not being a murderer, to The extent where we were sat on the porch playing music and I explained a lot of my life's story.
I was still reeling from the coincidence of all the actions I had taken that day to lead me up to this point. If I hadn't climbed the glacier with Jason, gone to that state park to hike, hadn't taken my friends advice to visit Breckinridge, AND if I hadn't stopped to awe at mountains or write a note to a fellow Mazda owner...I wouldn't have met CJ and coincidentally my own HIMYM group for the evening. What a world I tell ya, what a world...
but the story doesn't end there...
After tequila shots, a hit, and a gummy, we caught the free bus into town. With half the town being closed down and CJ being new to the area as well, we asked a guy on the bus about what would be open. He told us a couple things, both of which turned out not to be true, but eventually we ended up at Ollie's.
Their second location, Ollie's originated in nearby Fresco as a fairly traditional bar/pub (think Mclaren's bar in HIMYM but put it in a ski town). We were a couple drinks in, when hunger got the best of us, so we glanced at the menu. Wings soon caught our attention. CJ likes blazing sauces that leave the tongue numb and I like a mixture of flavor and heat. Since you only get one flavor for every 8 wings, we got 32 wings, obviously.
They took a while to get to us, but they were well worth the wait. I'm no Wingspert (as most of my wing experience comes from BDubs) but the combination of cooking and frying with extremely tender chicken and sauces was unparalleled in my small wing tasting experience. Not only did they have incredible flavor (the Chili Thai was the best) but the meat also practically melted in my mouth...It also probably had something to do with the concoction of intoxication...Either way, we orally demolished the wings, and both commented that they might just be the best we've ever had.
Most of the bars leftover had fairly preppy vibes. So after finishing we headed back as to not miss the last bus back up the mountain at 11:15pm. We waited for the bus with a couple strangers, a younger woman and an older man (their names elude me). The man spoke passionately about a number of subjects in a way that made me feel like I was being informed. Unfortunately, I don't recall any of this wisdom (aside from flash fried wings tasting the best), and I'm going to blame the gummies kicking in for that one.
Once we made it back to the apartment, we chatted and watched a bit of TV before crashing. And that's how I coincidentally met a fellow traveler and musician with an awesome family leading me to celebrate Cinco De Mayo by having the best wings of my life (maybe Bob Saggot will narrate that for me if I ask nicely...I mean I don't think he's doing much else these days...)
The area was downright gorgeous and, as I mentioned, made me emotional. That connection with nature was fantastic and freeing. It was hard to take a bad photo with the weather, which ironically had been nice since just after arriving in CO (the morning before I got there apparently was cold and miserable). Even more ironically, the forecast was turning gloomy again the day I planned on leaving CO. The universe was definitely wanting me to experience Colorado in the exact way I did, I'm certain of that.
I've also enjoyed meeting strangers and making connections. I wasn't able to do this as much when I traveled to NYC or any other journey I've taken (Whether thats the location or my mindset, I'm sure its both in a way). This trip has already left me with some brief friends, making it more than worth it.
The emotions, and new connections, and the excitement of the journey is causing all sorts of internal dialogue of questioning previously established connotations and ideas about my life. Overall i would say in a healthy and productive way. The simple coincidence of everything happening exactly as it did with timing that ensured I met the people I met is pretty providential and I'm still trying to grasp at its significance. One could argue its been years in the making, all down to the every little decision and action I've taken in accordance to my perceived goals or "Destiny". This alone kept my thoughts occupied but in the end is just another part of the journey. One maybe more meant to help guide where I look to grow myself and less of what will grow. In the end, we don't control this big beautiful thing called life, all be can do is ride that wave ;).