“How would you feel about driving back to Denver next weekend?” my BFF asked, and honestly I didn’t feel good about it, seeing as it’s a five-hour drive, three of which are on very lonely rural roads and my air conditioning was out at the time.
“So…boss,” I said to my boss…”how shorthanded are you for next week?”
“Don’t leave,” she said, and those words hatched my second week in Denver. By then, the company had tired of buying me lunch. I got myself breakfast at Einstein Bagels and lunch at Potbelly’s most days. I took myself to a different Ethiopian restaurant Monday night for dinner, but that one was not as good as Axum, so I bought salads and microwave dinners from Target for the remainder of the week.
I spent it working on curriculum, substitute teaching, and trying without any luck to get a D5 cache to complete a Geocaching Road Trip souvenir. I vaguely wanted Colorado to best New York and make it into my Top Ten states, but I only managed to find two caches in two weeks.
Finally, the weekend came. On Friday afternoon, I met my BFF and her husband and son at a friend(from college)’s house, where we ordered pizza with his family. It was a splendid almost-end to a splendid week, but Saturday was the day when I accomplished a great goal of my life: I took a former student of mine along for my triumphant return to Rocky Mountain National Park.
He didn’t want to go.
I didn’t want to torture my car up the mountains, so I rented a tiny and ridiculous Ford Fiesta, which shuddered its way up to the Visitor’s Center.
All the way to the park, he complained about not liking nature. I pointed out to him that I intentionally wore inappropriate sandals, so that I wouldn’t want to hike.
We didn’t do much. We drove part of a scenic loop and spent some money in the gift shop. We had lunch and then returned to Denver. The selfies were all I really wanted anyway, in order to say, “Look! I took my former student to the mountains!”
His selfie was the triumphant one. His was the one posted to Facebook and sent to Shutterfly. What you see here is from my collection of rejected images.
Dear reader, if you are loyal enough to have made it this far into the post, you will now be rewarded.
I don’t have any tips about how to camp in Rocky Mountain National Park, or where to eat, or how much things cost. I can, however, show you what it looks like.
Here, for your education and your meditation, is the masterpiece.
Goodbye former student, and goodbye, mountains. I’ll be back when I’ve got longer to stay.