Ever been in a car with a driver that goes too fast? But it's not JUST the speed that bothers you, it's the style in which they maneuver the vehicle, jerky and scattered like, a danger to all. Whenever I find myself in this situtation, I opt for the "Oh-shit-bar". You know what I'm talking about, surely. Those big rubber handles they install over the window, on the door and to the dashboard, they are specifically built for when things are going too fast and out of control.
This week sort of felt like that for me. Life is my vehicle. I've been on too many planes to count and in between jumps and bumps the one thing I grab hold of to make it all better is Lyds. I just give her a good squeeze and leap onto another plane. Scotland to London, London to Denver, Denver to Boulder, (SQUEEEZE) Boulder to Denver, Denver to L.A., L.A. to Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara to Ventura, Ventura to Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara to L.A., L.A. to Denver, Denver to Boulder, (SQUEEEZE).
But I will tell you this, the one thing about traveling is that you get to see old friends again. The sort of friends who will give you the shirt off their back and the rack from their shoulder. The sort of friends that no matter how much time passes without a peep they still greet you warmly with a cold drink in hand. You don't spend much time playing catch up, you just pick up where you left off last time, and get on with it.
This last week with all my crazy flights, the man who stepped up to the plate for me was Big Willy Stanhope. I owe him a few ales for that. A late night arrival into Denver and then 29 hours later a 5 am departure from the same airport, an hour and a half drive, a hangover from the depths of hell and a sunrise that made it only marginally managable.
I had a three day meeting with Patagonia where we discussed products and design for 2009 and 2010, it was a wonderful trip, I got to slip into the ocean and take away some of my favorite new clothes.
Unfortunately Will went back to Canada while I was in Cali and my return flight landed me in Denver at 12:45am the worst possible time to be miles from anywhere. It was long after the final shuttle had departed. SUCH A BUMMER. The airport was an empty ghost town. Dark as night, a few flickering lamps and tumble weeds blowing across the vacant lanes. I went up to one lady sitting at a bus stop and asked her if she knew a way to Boulder. "BRIAN" she hollard over her shoulder. Her name was Stacey (late 20's) and she had just finished a three year program at Naropa, giving birth to a six month old son and spent the last week looking at houses in New Hamshire to settle down in. "Sure we can give you a ride, where do you live?".
I could not believe it, door to door service from two of the kindest strangers I have ever encountered. The sort of people you meet only for a second but can tell that they'd be a good friend for a long time. Luck is a funny thing.
Okay, so now I am here, Boulder Colorado and it's feeling hot. Yesterday I went up to Eldorado Canyon and did some soloing. I found a knife blade ridge high on some feature and climbed it to its pointy summit, the exposure was enlightening, the view was distant and the wind was alive and well. I scrambled down the backside and dropped into a meadow. I'm not going to lie, I looked over my shoulder ever so often as it was perfect mountain lion terrain. A faint trail led me back to my car, it was nothing short of a perfect day on the Front Range. When I got home I chilled for 30 minutes or so, Lydia came home from class bearing rice noodles, vegetables and a big white smile. It's good to be home.