thesticks

Sunday 19th June 1983

It is quite late when we get up. I finish breakfast, pack and then spend an hour trying to call Andy. I really need to speak to him. I never realised how much I'd miss him and how it would affect my holiday. I am getting frustrated being with Stewart all the time, but it probably isn't his fault, even though I behave as though it is. The problem is I want to be with Andy and he isn't Andy. I think that if I can speak to him I will feel better and stop being so critical of Stewart for not being Andy.

 

I find a public telephone in the motel reception and call the operator. She says it is $5.85 for a three minute call. She tells me to deposit the coins in the call box and then dial. I check the international dial number and the hotel receptionist changes my notes into coins. I inserst the coins and dial the number. The phone goes dead but keeps my coins. I am heart broken but the receptionist sorts it out. He calls the phone company which says they will refund my money and he says he will get his pay phone mended. He lets me use his private phone and charges me $8 for about five minutes.

Apparently the weather at home is good (typically English to discus the weather!) but Andy is alarmed by my call - he thinks there must be something wrong and is relieved when I explain. He and his house mate try to cheer me up. Andy assures me he is getting to work on time everyday (punctuality is not his strong point) and that he will come and see me as soon as I get home. All too soon the call is over. I go to the car where Stewart has been patiently waiting for me and we set off for Georgetown.

Georgetown is an historic town which is famous for its Hotel du Paris and the Georgetown Loop Railroad. It developed into a mining town during the second half of the 19th century following the discovery of a rich vein of silver nearby. It has retained its original architecture and wandering through the streets, with a bit of imagination, we could be back in the pioneering days of the silver miners. It is very quiet, almost deserted. Everywhere is closed. Some places will open later for a few hours. Maybe Sunday morning isn't the best time to visit. The Hotel du Paris is said to be the first hotel in America run by a Frenchman, and it was apparently considered to be in a truly grand and hygienic style.

We leave Georgetown and double back to our route to the Rockies. The route takes us through Central City where we stop to look around. Central City was an old gold mining town and it is more lively now than Georgetown was this morning. There are advertisements for trips and tours around the town and out to some of the old mines. We are not sure whether we have enough time to take any of them and in the end we can't agree and don't do anything other than wander around the town looking for photo opportunities.

We drive for another two or so hours up into the Rockies to find our campsite at Moraine Park. I see the scenery. The snow capped mountain peaks rising above the tree lines are too picture postcard and I struggle to realise they are real; the reason we have come here. Tomorrow we will be walking in this beautiful place and I try to will my mood to rise to the occasion.

The campground is gravel and it is hard to knock in the tent pegs. We had not anticipated this problem but somehow manage to erect the tent. Once it is up and our camp established I decide to go for a run. I think it will help my mood. This time I know about the altitude and I decide to take it carefully, expecting to quickly become breathless, but that doesn't happen. My legs quickly get tired but I press on, tired legs are not really a problem. My breathing feels good at this slow pace. I start to feel better and settle into a slow, steady run but then pain strikes and once again I am brought to a halt by sharp stabbing pain in my lower abdomen. I only managed a little more than two miles but am satisfied with my performance up to the point the pain forced me to stop. At over 8000ft (2440m) and on only one low fat yoghurt and cheese sandwich all day I hadn't expect any personal bests. The pain eases a little and I walk and jog back to the camp ground.

We spend the evening sitting by the tent. The other campers around are building and lighting wood fires, the air smells of the wood smoke. It is a pity the ground is such hard gravel, it is quite uncomfortable sitting here. I go to the washroom and wash in cold water. While I am there a young woman comes in and we get talking. She is here on her honeymoon. She says she is from Illinois and has never been this far west or camped before, so it is quite an adventure for her. I hope her enthusiasm is contagious but I am nevertheless a little jealous. I imagine being here with Andy.

I return to the tent and pull on a pair of thick woollen socks I bought after our cold night camping at Red River. The day has been warm and sunny but I worry that at this altitude the night will be cold again. I settle down to write my diary and ponder the day. I really need to shake off this feeling of frustration and boredom. How can I actually be bored with all the new places we have seen, the people we have met and the opportunities it is presenting? It can only be because I want to share it with Andy and he is not here. I have to pull myself together and stop being such a misery guts (litterally from the abdominal pain and metophorically from the mood) or I will miss out on a good holiday with a good friend. For a moment or two I feel guilty because I realise I am being cold to Stewart and it's his holiday too. Maybe that's a good sign but it doesn't make me feel any better. I decide to turn in early and get some sleep before it gets cold.