We had some problems with our timeshare. The place was right on Route 70, our room was at the front of the hotel. The traffic zipped by, semis and motorcycles roaring past. A broken muffler added to the cacophonic symphony. Rich was mad. “I can’t sleep here. We need another room. This is ridiculous.”
He went down to the front desk only to discover all the two bedroom units ran along the front of the building. I called Marriott but we’d traded for the room through Interval International, so I had to call them. I was out on the deck, shouting over the noise, hurling complaints and grievances. “We have been members for over ten years.” “We’ve never had a bad experience like this.” “How can you have this place on your registry?” “We can’t sleep here, can’t you hear this noise?”
I held my phone over the railing as a motorcycle zipped by. It literally made a loud Zzzipping noise. “No, ma’am. I don’t hear anything,” the woman on the phone said. I knew she was lying. But she did try looking up vacancies in the area. Nothing. From Breckenridge to Aspen, all the places were booked. My husband didn’t take the news well. We left for Vail Village, found a bar, and drank heavily.
We actually slept well that night. We closed the windows and turned on a fan we found in the closet. It also could have been the drinks.
The next day we drove to Steamboat Springs to pick up daughter number one so she could join us for the week. As always, driving through the West calmed my nerves and soothed our souls. The scenery was stunning, most of the way we had the road to ourselves. We bounced between Grateful Dead and Pearl Jam radio. I need Sirius in my car while I’m living in Florida.
I love trains. As you may know, I wrote a book about a romance that began on a train. The trains are always nearby out West, crossing the plains, hugging the mountainside. For me there’s something so romantic about a train. It speaks of foreign places, adventures, hobos riding the rails, romantic trysts in sleeping cabins, passing through sleepy little towns where you get a glimpse of a place you may never visit. Traveling through France, I passed a group of men playing bocce in the town square of Auray. I saw miles of quilt like patches of green grass and yellow mustard while on a train to Loch Lomond, Scotland, and goats wandering through clotheslines in Greece. The pictures are just memories in my mind’s eye, but they stay with me always.
There’s always those large rocks along the road, a western twist on a city skyline, rock sculptures replacing skyscrapers.
I love the ranches and wish I’d taken more pictures of their entrance gates on my recent travels out west. Rich doesn’t like to keep stopping, so I snapped them from the window, although the really good ones always seem to be on his side of the road.
The Steamboat turn around was quick. Our daughter was packed and ready to go. We had plans to stop in State Bridge for Sunday bloodies and blue grass. It’s a funky little resort with four lodging choices: teepee, yurt, cabin, or camping.
We checked out the grounds, then ordered a round of bloodies, and settled down to listen to the music.
A string band, with four guys playing bass, banjo, mandolin, and guitar provided excellent tunes. Little kids danced with hula hoops, an older couple tried to two step and the smell of red meat grilling was making me hungry, but we were saving our appetites for another walk through the Vail Food Fest.
By the way, you don’t have to take the road to Steamboat to get here. You can also arrive by kayak.
Music from the road trip soundtrack.