Dec30

The Train … My Colorado Adventure Part 4

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{Wearing: Tank: c/o Blush. Bra: c/o Market Miami Beach. Jeans: c/o Market Miami Beach (similar here). Necklace: Bib + Tuck. Hat: Vintage. Photographed by Jorge Camaraza.}

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We awoke that morning with a full agenda. Today, just like the previous day’s journey at Hanging Lake, involved a heavy dose of nature. We’d risen early, eager to just go and see and do and be. After loading up on DIY homemade waffles from the breakfast bar and nabbing another pre-packed snack and a Lippy cup brimming with hot chocolate from our Hampton by Hilton, we popped outside and headed straight for our bike. The day was full and there wasn’t a second to spare. We’d managed to cram as many plans as you can dream up into one day, all in and around Glenwood Springs. The first stop: Fly fishing lessons. They were obviously for Jorge and not myself. I’m not one to fish. But he is and though he’s spent his entire existence on the water, it was one form of snatching fish from the water that he’d never gotten around to learning. Today, however, all of that would change. But first, we needed to mount the Indian and go for a spin to get the ball rolling on the day’s bucket list. We hopped on, popped in our headphones, Tom Petty blaring in our ears, and headed off int the horizon. We careened, we curved and shot straight into the canyon, twisting and turning along with the sprawling road, the wind nipping our fingertips and noses because the sun hadn’t reached its peak in the sky just yet. But a beautiful day awaited us, as evidenced by the sky blue sky above, the river running alongside, the lush greenery ahead.

By now I felt so oddly comfortable on the bike, it was as thought it had always been a part of my life. How had I ever been fearful of this? It was the most majestic way to see this place, God’s country. In fact, I couldn’t imagine seeing it any other way. En route to our fly fishing lesson, it happened. Just as we were coasting along the open road, we spotted it. And we spotted it a good distance ahead, the excitement mounting as we grew closer and closer. It was so perfect in every shape, way and form that I started to quiver. You see, there’s something deep down inside me that loves train tracks. They’ve littered the pictures on this blog since its inception. Maybe it’s because they’re rusty and old. Maybe it’s because they’re stubborn, managing to still exist in a world where they could so easily be replaced by sleeker, more modern means of transportation. Maybe it’s because they are ripe with stories, literally carrying them from near to far. Whatever it is, I gravitate toward train tracks, finding an odd beauty in them. But today, today they birthed something so grand, that it took my breath away. Resting atop the tracks that stopped me and Jorge dead in ours was a train. An entire train. Parked. Abandoned. And right smack in the front was the engine.

He pulled over without either one of us saying a word. He knew. And I wouldn’t have been a bit surprised if he didn’t hear the internal gasp that must have come from my depths when I saw it because my whole being screamed with joy upon spotting it.

He parked the bike on the side of the road, and we both scampered off and headed toward the train. Between us and it was a downed fence, riddled with barbed edges. He stepped down on it and guided me through, my boots protecting my feet from the tall grass and nature’s hitchhikers who kept stealing rides atop my pant legs. He unearthed the camera from its bag and began shooting. We had no clue how long we could be here, how many pictures we could take. Time was of the essence and yet it managed to stand still simultaneously.

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I started off on the tracks, but it wasn’t long before I climbed onto the engine. It’s yellow paint with red lettering made it so picture perfect, I just kept waiting for someone to pinch me wide awake. But the dream of having carte blanche atop this empty train carried on and on and on. Before I knew it, I’d mounted the top of the engine, climbing rusty rungs of ladders, gripping this and that. All the while listening to him warn me to be careful. I got this, I said. And I did. I truly, truly did. There’s a million sayings about standing on top of the world. Here, I experienced it. Atop the nose of an engine, God’s glorious mountains to my right, bluebird skies above me, my best friend and ultimate partner in crime beside me, our sleek motorcycle resting just to the left, here, in this moment, I truly felt like we were the last two people on earth. Nothing else mattered but the here, the now.

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Because yoga lives way down deep inside of my soul, I popped into a pose or two. I couldn’t help myself. We stayed for what felt like forever, taking as many pictures as we’d taken the whole trip combined. There was always one more thing to climb on, one more angle, one more thing to see. As I worked my way down from the top of the train, he looked at me and said: “This is a gift.”

“I know.” I replied.

Like so much else on this journey, this escape, this adventure, we’d been handed a gift.

I looked down at my boots, the only pair I’d packed for the entire trip. If these shoes could talk. Oh, the stories they could tell.

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