You never know what will happen when you’re riding a Harley. You never know what will happen when you’re on an adventure! So, Ben and I decided to take a Harley trip to Crested Butte & Aspen—a short, but exciting 3-day exploration. It’s particularly good to get out of the kitchen when you’re working on contest recipes. Why? Because you can get stale. You can lose your perspective. You can become thwarted with your creativity, so what better to fuel the juices than something entirely different~~as I’ve always said, inspiration comes from the most unlikely places~~and, meeting new people can give you entirely new levels of creativity~~read on….
A few hours into the ride, the clouds were forming—they looked real ominous hovering over the peaks of Mt. Harvard and Mt. Princeton, 14’teeners of massive size in Colorado. Riding on a Harley makes you feel really miniscule beside these massive structures, and with the wicked-looking shades of grey clouds, we knew we were riding into the mouth of the tiger as we were gaining elevation. Weather can turn on a dime, and you don’t mess with Mother Nature!
The rain drops were starting, and we pulled off the main road looking for some shelter before ascending the massive Monarch Pass. Stumbling upon a guest ranch with just a few cabins, we pulled in hoping to buy some coffee and wait out the better part of the looming and intense storm. Ben got off the Harley and headed to the check in cabin…the sign said ‘open’…I lingered behind getting some things from the saddle bags. As I walked towards the sliding screen door that had a big smiley face spray painted on it, I heard Ben, who looked like Darth Vader all in black from head to toe, helmet, gloves, chaps, boots, sunglasses (and me not looking like Princess Leah, but the mini-version of Darth Vader), saying, ‘Don’t be frightened, I’m a nice guy…we’re looking to buy a cup of coffee and wait out this storm.’
As I walked in, the lady, not 5 feet tall, behind the check-in desk who was probably in her late 70s, her face wrinkled and lined like a road map and her thinning hair cut like the Dutch Boy paint character, matter-of-factly said, “I ain’t scared of you—my kids and grandkids ride motorcycles…and I don’t drink coffee…my husband drinks it, in the morning and he drinks one cup.” End of conversation. ‘Go ahead and sit down…’ No conversation.
Ally~~“When I was outside, I saw your purrdeee kitty sittin’ in your pittchur window.” (The windowsill full of bottles with colored water in them, nick nacks, and doo dads.) Smiling. ‘We love cats…we have one, an ol’ creek cat…’ And, I proceeded to tell her all about our gnarly and semi-feral cat, Callie kitty that we took in when we found her injured, domesticated and healed her and made into a princess house kitty.
Sitting in her glider rocker methodically going back and forth the entire time, she doesn’t lose a beat…’I have two cats—Dezi and Lucy…they were rescue cats, ‘bout 18 years old now…we ‘bout lost Dezi not long ago…’ My expression of awe—‘Oh, no, what happened?’ ‘Went to bed one night, he was fine, woke up the next mornin’, and he was ‘bout dead…’ Another expression of ‘oh no…what did you do?’ ‘Took ‘em to the vet in town…she ran everrrr thing on ‘em, blood tests, Xrays, MRI…found nuttin’ Another expression saying ‘What did you do next?’ ‘Now my vet’s holistic, so she said I needed to git a Cat Intuit…ya know what that is?’
‘Uhhh, no, is it like a cat whisperer…I’ve seen one on TV…’ ‘Yeah, like a psychic…figured since you’re a cat lover, ya need to know, just in case…’ My expression now is ‘Yes, go on…’ ‘Well, my daughter emailed that cat intuit who’s in Calllifornia a picture of Dezi, and she called and communicated with Dezi…found out what was wrong…’
‘Did you have to put Dezi on the phone?’ Plainly dressed in sweats, slippers, wool socks and a faded sweatshirt with ‘Alpine Rose’ in the center, “Nah, you know how these people can use their brain waves and distance doesn’t matter…’ ‘Well, what was wrong?’ ‘Come to find out Dezi had a blockage in his intestines, Xrays didn’t even show it…she knew it was there…so I got them Metamucil tablets and sprinkled on his food for a few days, and before long he passed it…big ol’ poo (turd)…now he’s just fine…’
Me~~‘Wow, wonder how Dezi got so sick all of a sudden?’ ‘Well, since yer’re a cat lover, I’ll tell ya…ya know animals can transmit…’ ‘What? Not sure I understand…’ ‘Dezi knew I was feelin’ bad that night, he took what was in my body and transmitted it to his…poor littl’ thang just didn’t have the energy to pass it out on his own…’
By now the rain had started clearing, Ben brought my rain gear, I put it on. We thanked the lady for her hospitality and letting us stay for a spell, and we were on our way not fully realizing what we were about to encounter as the ol’ hog started climbing another 3,000 feet over Monarch Pass.
The thing about life and adventures is that you’ll never have these incredible experiences unless you take some chances and move past what’s just so complacent and easy to do. This side bar with this interesting woman at the guest ranch is just one more escapade that has enriched me—the magic carpet ride through life~~