Monday, July 26, 2010

Pot-pie and tall tales

We took a clobbering today, but it felt so great. The self-reliance, and the sheer effort of riding such a far distance had me amped. Even coming in to Ordway, I was on an adrenaline high, and my legs felt no pain, but upon arrival, and two steps off the bike I was in a world of hurt. But, it was that type of exhaustion that feels marvelous. We hammered out a 90 mile ride, 58 miles of which were along a stretch of road that had absolutely nothing. No houses, no gas stations, nothing. I saw a tumbleweed cross the road in front of me, lots of dead snakes . . . and that was about it during that stretch.

At about 80 miles in, we finally came to a little town called Sugar Grove. I saw a slapped together structure that by all appearances seemed to be the town’s general store. As I went in covered in my usual post ride grime, I saw a sign that said, “pot-pie,” and another that read, “bait shop.” I thought nothing of it, interpreting the phrase “pot-pie” in the most literal of ways, and went on in in search of some desperately needed water.

As I opened the door, the overpowering scent of Marijuana engulfed me. I was so out of it, I still didn’t make the connection. Upon entering, I saw a lone little man sitting behind a counter, and nothing else. I thought, well, they must just keep a low inventory at this general store, so I blurted out, “do you sell water and do you have a public restroom” he replies, “we sell medicinal Marijuana, and that’s all we have here” Crazy. He was a nice guy, and ended up giving us two big ice cold bottles of water courtesy of Pot-Pie, LLC. Crazy. Medicinal marijuana in small town Colorado, who knew!

When we finally pulled in to Ordway, I promptly headed to the local bar. The fashion is definitely taking a turn towards “western”. Everything feels so “cowboys and indians, cattle drives and ranchers”. It’s awesome, almost theme-parkish and it makes me giddy and excited to explore. For men, the look as all about cowboy crossed with rocker. We’re talking leather vests, metal studs, black jeans, leather brimmed hats all a la Kid Rock. For the women, whatever they don, it’s bedazzaled to the max, covered in sequins, and topped off with lace trim and a disco ball for a belt buckle. Needless to say, Brooke and I stick out like sore thumbs here with our biker tans, baggy shorts and t-shirts.

So into the bar I go, feeling tough from the long ride and happy to be in Colorado! I walk in, and sit down next to a bearded guy sipping a shot and drinking a beer. We start to talk-- and I’ll be honest, in the regular daylight, with all of my normal faculties in tact, I wouldn’t have given him much room to woo me with his tall-tales from the plains of Colorado. But, in the glow of the budweiser sign mounted above his head, his eyes looked wise, rather than skittish and unable to focus due to alcohol consumption. They looked like they might hold the answers to the mysteries of Colorado’s wilderness, as opposed to looking half crazy and prone to rampant exaggeration and compulsive tall-tale telling. It was like we were in the 1800s and we were cowboys sitting around a fire exchanging stories of fighting off indians, and wrangling cattle, and killing rattle snakes with our bare hands. Ok, not quite, but you get what I’m going for.

He begins, and I eagerly let him launch into several crazy stories. He begins with “ya all seein’ lots of blood splatter out there on the road, but nuthins there, huh? This stretch of road’s like a fast food joint for the animals better at crossing the road.” Next, we start talking snakes. We’d seen tons of them today, all dead on the road. So, he asks if we’ve seen a snake called a Red Racer. He’s says, “them’s fast...I’ll be driving in my truck, I’ll see one of ‘em, and I’ll get on the gas real good, and think I’ve got him! I wait for the thud, and there isn’t one! You can’t hit ‘em theys so fast!” And, he goes on, he says, “they’ll chase you-- they love to chase, you run, and they follow you for miles.” In his words, “they see ya, they pick their head up, look over sideways-like at ya, and they start after ya...”

We talked about tarantulas, how they’ll be ambling along at a spider pace, and then (again, his words with accompanying hand gesturing) “blammo! they jump up at ya, and they can jump high!” He tries to hit tarantulas too, and he says “ain’t there a one of ‘em that’s ever been hit on the road, they jump right out the way.” Apparently, the migrate in big groups that cover the entire road. Tall tale, or truth, I’m not sure. But, he says they head south for the winter, and we’ll be through Colorado before tarantula migration season. Lucky us.


We stopped for breakfast in Eads, CO & shipped 8 lbs home.

15 miles of abandoned rail cars.

Tan lines.


  1. WOW! I just looked up Eads, CO on a map... MAN! You to have traveled so far. That's awesome.

    (And great story also.)

  2. I just love reading your posts. This was was particularly great!! I miss you guys so much, but am so proud of you. Keep these awesome, descriptive, hilarious, and heart- felt posts up.