birds of a feather

I have joined a new group on Facebook and I was excited when a member said ‘we wanna start hiking together!’ I love hikes and have several amazing ones just out my back door …literally. So it took me a minute to put together an invite for a week away. Although I didn’t have any takers from that platform I did end up on 2 of the most adventurous hikes I’ve been on in 20 years!

The first with a lone local 22 yr old young man named John. I offhandedly mentioned a hike and he was thrilled and off we went. He lives up in the canyon – home-less. He is not on Facebook nor part of my intended target audience. His story originates from Indianapolis. The streets thereof. His mom was a drug addict and he had meth, heroin, etc in his blood when born. We’ve been acquaintances since I first arrived in town as most frequent Good Karma Cafe for free wifi and yes coffee. Back then I had noticed his wrapped finger and I suggested he soak it in warm salt water – often. He’d dropped a rock on it and it looked painful …still does now months later.

Chica has begun to run and jump when she sees John was happy he was there when the inevitable headwall would cross her path on our hike. He kept saying ‘I can go into 4 wheel drive!’ and plowed ahead scrambling up across over the alpine terrain, I suggested he pace himself instead. When he had asked every group of hikers ‘Hey do you need pot brownies I have them for sale!!’ and received only raised eyebrows and no takers I suggested he save his products for another crowd. He quit after the next group ignored his sales pitch altogether.

We had a blast on the hike. Made it to the Williams Canyon Waterfalls. So beautiful. We ventured way above the falls looking for crystals as the locals vaguely point this to be a good area. John found prettier rocks than I did! He even learned to keep the volume down in the canyon by saying ‘I’ll show you this if you don’t scream.’ I tend to get excited about life’s simple pleasures, it can be a bit much at times I’ll admit even for me. But I have noted the younger crowds are much more forgiving and we tend to balance out in some fashion.

On Sunday I decided to hike alone. A comedy of errors ended up a day full of adventure with me, Sky, and Sarah. The two 17 year old girls had  seen me way up above the canyon trail and thought I knew where I was going. Sky works at the local chocolate shop and hadn’t been back here since the massive Manitou Springs flood wiped familiar away. They’d caught up with me and we hit it off immediately.  Actually it was after I’d put them to the Pam test and they actually took it gracefully that things began to flow and I accepted I was not going on a solo hike. Later when I apologized Sarah laughed and said ‘no we would have said the same thing!’ We’d found ourselves terribly off trail and loving every minute as we fueled each other at the exact right moment.  Yet, I’m an old rock climber so if I sense a hint of danger I’m safety focused and we had some of those moments. It was too much fun and I must’ve time warped to being 12 again. Scrambling up these cliffs and caves therein, seeing the waterfalls from WAY far away, not knowing which way to go and switching leads. Magnificent views.  We didn’t take pictures as it couldn’t be captured. We couldn’t turn back as down climbing was not an option. We somehow ended up at the base of Williams Canyon Waterfalls after seeing it from so far away never believing we’d end up at it’s base and the familiar way out. There we shared the hand sized blueberry pie I’d brought along for this exact spot.

Birds of a feather ….. it’s fun to be together. We’re gonna do the Incline next. Sarah hasn’t done it and we know we’ll all enjoy each others company. Chica isn’t invited as she ends up in my backpack too much. When I told John about the girls he was interested in their adventurous style and ‘I’d like to have a girlfriend.’ In the meanwhile, he’s gonna meet me at the laundry mat as we both need to do some cleaning up.

I love Manitou Springs 🙂

 

 

Traveler’s

I go to Woodstock NY from time to time just to mingle with the locals and wander around the artsy town. I met Daisy and her dog Star on the village green in the middle of town. She was full of smiles, stories, and had a warm nature to her being. She had ‘found’ her boyfriend, Charley (and his dog Bella), while traveling in Ohio about a year ago.She yelled to him from across the road and soon after they hopped a train. They’ve been together ever since. They are both in their mid 20’s. She is the oldest of 3 and often returns to visit w her mom/family. It was their generous nature that caught my attention. There was this other woman playing a flute (she did seem a bit ‘off’ mentally/emotionally) on one of the nearby benches. Charley dug $2 out of his pocket and placed it in her collection jar/hat. I commented on his kindness and he shrugged it off as did Daisy. Full of smiles they both were. He later was showing us a polished agate he had gotten recently. As I admired it (I am a rock lover) he said ‘you can have it.’ His nature was simply infused with kindness and it showed in his actions. 

Daisy pulled out her ‘banjo’ (small model) and started strumming a sweet tune. Another part of their story unfolded. They had been in Texas and had seen a music shop with this instrument in the display window for $300. Charley suggested they make a sign and raise the cash to pay for it. Daisy made one that said ‘Smile, You’re Beautiful!’ and they stood at a street corner and raised the money for the banjo. here again I was touched by their simple life and belief they could manage whatever needs they may have. They were humble.

She said ‘we are Travelers’ and the right things come to us if they are supposed to.

That day I learned something about myself as well. I, too, am a Traveler.

🙂