thesticks

Saturday 18th June 1983

We wake after a very cold night and little sleep. After packing the tent we drive into the town for breakfast. The options for style of egg is baffling: easy over, easy up etc and we take a guess. Stewart orders easy up and fortunately it's what he wanted, a plain fried egg.

After breakfast I start to feel ill. My guts are hurting. I am sure it can't be dehydration. We have been drinking plenty. Could it be emotional distress from missing Andy? We have been gone a week with no contact. Or is it something I ate for breakfast?

We drive out of Red River and head for the Colorado border. Stewart drives. After a short while I notice he is drifting in and out of the lane and it is clear that he is struggling to stay awake. The cold night in the tent has affected him quite badly. I take over the driving and drive all the way to Idaho Springs on the edge of the Rockies, almost 300 miles including a detour to see the "Garden of the Gods" in Colorado Springs. 

At the Garden of the Gods we walk around the trails. It is pleasant enough but a bit disappointing. Maybe it is because we only ever do the short trails from the visitors centre and the scale of the country around is so large we can't really take it all in in our rushed schedule. It is as though we are working though our must visit tick list. 

After the first trail we split up and spend some time on our own. I walk around wondering how Andy has been getting on without me. Does he miss me as much as I miss him? I assume Stewart will be taking photographs. He is a more serious and much better amateur photographer than I am. I think he is in a photography society, at least he used to be because he invited me to one of its meeting to show my photos of India a couple of years ago.

We set off for the Cave of Winds but due to a navigation error end up back on the main road to Denver. We are tired and after last night it seems like a long day of driving so we decide not to turn back. It is a shame to come all this way and not make the most of the places we visit but neither of us has been feeling well today. We just want to arrive at our overnight destination.

We arrive at Denver in the rush hour. At least the roads are very busy. Cars overtake on either side and are weaving across the road. We see several occassions when vehicles from the left and right lanes both attempt to move into the same spot in the centre lane at the same time. Fortunately they all avoid collisions, but this over and undertaking might explain the relatively large number of vehicles we have seen with dents down their sides.

We arrive at our motel having safely negotiated Denver. The motel is posher than some of the others we have stayed in and Stewart is visibly relieved to see the comfortable bed after the discomfort of camping last night. We settle in and I think of trying to call Andy. I have been thinking about him all day and have half formed the idea that tonight I will call him. I think it has been keeping me going most of the day. But he will be asleep - it is the middle of the night at home. I try to work out what time I would need to call to catch him before he goes to work before remembering that it is the weekend. I can call him tomorrow morning. He should be in on a Sunday afternoon. There are no phones in the room. I'll have to use the public phone from the reception area. I have no coins, and how many would it need?

I eat too much in the steak house where we go for tea. Amazingly, given our route it is the first proper steak meal we have eaten. The portions are huge. Back in the hotel we try to watch TV but are too tired to stay awake.