Sixty-Second Stories, Memories, Thoughts

  • Walking along the Detroit Riverfront we met two older white men who were passing time before seeing the Whitesnake concert that evening at the Fox Theater. One of them had been following the band since he was 15 and now he is 57. This is his 19th Whitesnake concert.
  • Blasting the Backstreet Boys with the volume on high while cruisin’ down the Detroit street
  • Seeing a rogue tire careening down the left shoulder of the highway, Nick swerving to miss it by the grace of a few inches, and watching it create a crater in the front of the car behind us. Adrenaline come-downs and sighs of relief shortly followed.
  • Playing soccer and eating dinner and Nick randomly climbing huge trees in Winnemac Park in Chicago
  • Met a barista at Emerald City Coffee in Chicago named Tommy who described himself as “Comedian/Leprechaun” and invited us to an underground standup/improv show called “Shithole” in the attic of a house behind a burrito restaurant
  • Did karaoke for the first time at a dive bar in Chicago! I sang “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon and “Who Knew” by Pink. We also took shots of Jeppson’s Malört, apparently THE Chicago drink.
  • Playing soccer and slacklining at a lakeside park in Minneapolis and meeting a lively and kinetic father and son who immediately pulled over their bicycles to play soccer with us
  • How the phrase “Life, man” encompasses literally everything
  • Meeting a Persian man at the Boulder Farmer’s Market named Karim, who has multiple masters degrees in international relations and economics and a doctorate in electrical engineering. He relayed wisdom, such as the simple fact that love for work should win out over the money earned from it and that both outside and inside beauty are essential to a fully formed human. He said he loved us, even though he didn’t really know us, but that you don’t have to know someone for a while to know that you love them.
  • Hiking down into the Black Canyon of The Gunnison, spending time reading and writing by the river, and hiking back out. Five minutes from reaching the rim, I realize I forgot my solar power bank on a rock near the river. Nick volunteered to do the arduous hike again, so I spent the next few hours waiting around the Visitor Center, reading and people watching. That kid did 8,000 feet elevation change in a day—2,000 down, 2,000 up, 2,000 down, 2,000 up.
  • Feeling clearheaded and peaceful while reading Alan Watt’s The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are in my hammock in the middle of the Gunnison National Forest
  • Rafting down the Arkansas River with my friend Forrest and Nick and happening upon a river guide’s birthday party on a small beach, complete with brats, string lights, lots of PBR, dogs in lifevests, and in general a congenial atmosphere
  • Just a ways up from the river beach birthday party going on was a cave in the side of a canyon. Forrest told me how an old Vietnam war veteran lived in the cave for a while and hiked out at night, across the river and railroad tracks, to get food and supplies.
  • Stopped at a mom-and-daughter-shop outside the northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park to get a coffee and cream milkshake. The daughter told me about one bull elk named Touchdown in Yellowstone who rammed 60 cars last year.
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