Part VIII: The Way Back Home

I remember flying through the valley but it’s more lush. Flowers that I hadn’t seen on this trip were blooming. The bushes looked green instead of brown. It was still desert, but different. I dip into what looks like the Pinto Basin and then hug the mountains until I see him. He holds out his arm and I settle myself on it. He speaks kindly to me in a language I’ve never heard but oddly I understand. His face is a mix of Mayan and some other Native American. We’ve been here before…

Often I dream of flying. I’m usually a very large hawk or an owl in these dreams and meeting up with an Indian man. I’m never quite sure if he’s a medicine man but I always feel like we’re looking for something.

Waking from this dream, I notice the sky not being so dark. It’s probably about 6:00am. The dream weighs heavy on my mind and I lay there so I can commit it to memory. I dread climbing out of my cozy down sleeping bag, knowing what I must do today.

Leave paradise.

Sunrise over my camp.

Sunrise over my camp.

Breakfast, pack, check the tires, load the bike.

My heart hangs heavy as I start my journey back to Palm Springs. The only motivations for biking a decent speed are the possibility of a hamburger and definitely a shower, though it isn’t that motivating. This road is familiar to me since I had biked it on Sunday to grab supplies. Once I get out of the town of Joshua Tree, it’s unknown territory amidst cars and large trucks. So what do I do? I lollygag through the rest of the park.

 

Do I really have to leave?

Do I really have to leave?

That thing is HUGE, like bigger than my hand huge.

That thing is HUGE, like bigger than my hand huge.

You'll always be in my heart, Joshua Tree. You were my first.

You’ll always be in my heart, Joshua Tree. You were my first.

After having biked I-10 at night, I was hopeful that route 62 wouldn’t be worse.

I started to wish I had taken I-10 again.

Route 62 has a lot of local traffic: cars, small trucks, the occasional semi. The down side is that on many parts of the road there is very little shoulder and it’s in super crappy condition. The super downside is the areas you want a shoulder, there is NONE. For example going down all the hills…there is no shoulder, there is a super strong head/side wind, and it’s curvy with concrete dividers. Even if you hopped the divider to get to what could be a safe spot, there’s no land to step on. It’s pretty much a cliff.

I had the fear of death on I-10 but at least there was a 5 foot shoulder the whole way. Route 62 scared the living bee-jeebus out of me.

When you crest the hill, the shoulder magically disappears as you gain light speed in a head wind.

When you crest the hill, the shoulder magically disappears as you gain light speed in a head wind.

Normally, I would take a food/water break. I took “get my nerve back up” breaks instead.

With the worst of route 62 behind me, I found myself looking at Palm Springs and the massive wind farms that preside to the North of the city. Almost there! Wait…what’s that sound…

With the little bit of shoulder I had and being careful to keep one eye on traffic, I start searching my bike for a strange whirring sound. Turns out, I lost a screw on the bottom arm of the bike rack so the rack itself was resting on my back tire. Fortunately, I had brought with me the extra screws for my clipless sneakers. It was a perfect fit. No MacGyvering it with duct tape and zip ties!

I exited Rote 62 onto Pierson Blvd, then took North Indian Canyon Drive all the way into the heart of Palm Springs. Civilization again. It was much hotter down here than in Joshua Tree. Exhausted, hot, and smelling horrendous, I arrived at my Air BnB hosts’ house. After dropping off my stuff, I hit the local bike shop to pack my baby up and get her shipped back home to Denver. With that done, I can relax.

Thank you to the bike dudes at Palm Springs Cyclery for all your help!

Thank you to the bike dudes at Palm Springs Cyclery for all your help!

Shower then food.

It was the weirdest thing. Even though I had a good burger, it just wasn’t as satisfying as I thought it would be. I found myself wanting a salad instead. I guess that is what happens when you eat nuts and fruit for a week straight.

I can’t remember what time I fell asleep. I just remember laying on the bed, which was so comfortable it became uncomfortable, thinking, “How the heck do I assimilate back into my normal life after this? Is it even possible?”

Not really.

Part VI: The 46 Mile Grocery Trip

Do you think I could get another pin into Denver?

Do you think I could get another pin into Denver?

Sunday.

It’s said that God rested on this day. He may be resting, but I’m definitely not.

As I sit in the Park Rock Cafe and charge my phone and GoPro, it slowly dawns on me there are no grocery stores in the town of Joshua Tree with the lonely exception of an organic store. The closest is about 5 miles. The 23-ish miles I just rode to get into town weren’t so bad considering they were mostly downhill. An extra 10 miles and then back uphill to Jumbo Rocks does not sound like fun times.

Note: The signs in the park at Jumbo Rocks says it’s 23 miles to the town. The question once I hit the park entrance was, where does the town begin? Did the town start at the park boundary or some other odd spot on the road? And how many extra miles from the park entrance (if it was 23 to it) would I need to go to find a grocery store? As it turns out, it’s 23 miles to get to the information center right smack dab in the middle of town and next to route 62. Be aware that Map My Ride’s initial route to town takes you on Queen Valley Road which turns into dirt/gravel from pavement, though it knocks off 3 miles. 

You may be asking yourself, why the hell did she leave the park and go into town? Didn’t she pack enough?

Well, yes and no.

What I did not anticipate was the energy being sucked out of my devices from the cold nights (I started sticking them in my sleeping bag at night). However, I had planned on Sunday being grocery/water fetching day. I knew I would only be able to carry so much water so why waste calories trucking more food and water around when I could just hop into town.

If I had known what my first day biking was going to have been, I probably would have loaded up. Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t. It was the most relaxed biking day I had the whole trip. Easy cruise into town with one pannier and backpack and hit the coffee shop, the park’s gift shop and organic store (expensive but organic). In addition, I found the post office (I needed stamps for postcards. I don’t buy chintzy souvenir crap. It’s wasted beer money.), the alcoholics’ liquor store, and an overpriced hi-uppie coffee shop.

Hi-uppie: noun. a person that is a combination of hippie and yuppie. They have both sensibilities which create the most annoying mishmash of patchouli/sandalwood, tree-hugging laid-backness with high irritability if their $9 coffee order doesn’t come out exactly the way they think it should as they drive off in a brand new, macked out Touareg with Save the Earth and jam band stickers on the bumper. 

Swiss cheese, a couple of avocados, bananas, and pears, a tomato, an orange, dried papaya, strawberries, two bottles of organic beer, and a second coffee in my system later, I’m headed back up to the park. I figure stocking up on water at the entrance is the better idea since the hill into town looked like it was the worst part of this upcoming 23 miles.

That was the best decision I had made besides waiting until 1:00pm to get moving again.

The trek from town to the park entrance kinda sucks. It’s steep-ish rolling hills all the way (though it looks like one big hill). The upside was bumping into two other cyclists on their way back to Jumbo Rocks that had come into town for brunch. The lady was living in Estes Park, CO, while the gentleman was visiting her from Belgium. We chit-chatted most of the way and they invited me to stop by later that evening for dinner and relaxing by the campfire.

It's only about 5 miles from town to the West Entrance. Those 2 red hills are the worst parts. Especially when all you want to do is drink the beer in your pack.

It’s only about 5 miles from town to the West Entrance. Those 2 red hills are the worst parts. Especially when all you want to do is drink the beer in your pack.

Once into the park, the ride was so easy I started singing songs as I biked. The afternoon became cooler yet the sun was still strong and warm. The worst part of the day is 11:00am to 1:00pm. It’s just so horribly hot.

It’s 3:00pm and I’m back to my campsite. After a much needed nap, I take a bit of a walk around on the rocks again. The sun is fading to orange as a large group of spandex-clad cyclists go huffing up the road. I yell out to the stragglers, “Get it!! There’s cold beer at the end!!!” One sits up on his bike, shakes his hands in victory at the air, and with a huge smile on his face yells back, “YES!!!”

The benefit of traveling alone is meeting new people. As I walked the camp roads looking for the biking couple, I strike up conversation with an older couple out for an evening stroll. They’re snowbirds from Canada, as are many of the snowbirds in Joshua Tree and Southern California. According to them, Mexico is too far and it’s warm enough for them here. Huh. Go figure.

The biking couple had moved to another campsite, to which I had been redirected, to let a large group of older hippies all camp together. Apparently, this group comes to JTNP once a year to see each other and party like the good old days. I hope that I’m that kind of bad ass in my 60’s.

The campfire was just starting to roll. It was wonderful to have company for an evening, sharing stories over a glass of wine and pasta. I never appreciated pasta as much as I did that night. They shared stories of how they met doing a trans-American bicycle tour, how small the touring community is (apparently there’s a pair of Portuguese twins and an Irishman that tour a lot), and some tips on touring. They were on a month-long road trip and biking wherever they ended up.

There’s always more good people out there than bad.

I still sleep with my knife close by, just in case. I’m a cute girl… can you blame me?

 

 

Part IV: Another Hill Workout at Joshua Tree National Park

The Cholla Cactus. To touch  or not to touch?

The Cholla Cactus. To touch or not to touch?

Zero shade.

It’s almost noon.

Maybe this was bad planning.

But I left at 9:00am…

34 miles shouldn’t take this long.

Deja vu.

I’m trying to get a little bit of shade from the fence while I eat lunch and rest. It’s Friday, day three of my trip, which means I’m on the move to my next campsite at Jumbo Rocks. It’s blazing hot out. I’m wearing the long sleeve USA biking shirt I won in a raffle. I grok why cyclists wear this stuff but it still is one of the worst fashion statements ever.

If I didn’t die getting into the park, then this can’t possibly kill me. Right?

Two small panniers, a small backpack, and all this stuff. Did I buy too much food?

Two small panniers, a small backpack, and all this stuff. Did I buy too much food?

My tent had the soft glow of first light on it. I should start out early just in case. There’s another big ass hill I have to climb to get to the other side of the park but I only have 34 miles to go. Packing up all my gear takes me a little longer than expected due to changing up my original configuration. No more heavy water bottles in my hip pack, only the camel back, food for the afternoon, and cameras.

Regardless of my new packing job, the back tire has gone flat over night. Do I change out the tube? I already fixed this one on the first day, so it should have been good. Take the wheel off…check the tube…no air is escaping it. Huh. Perhaps I’ll just keep checking it as I go.

Bike is packed with everything for the second time and I’m off on my second long haul of the trip. The ranger station just flipped the “open” sign so it’s 9:00am. The weather is absolutely perfect for biking. A little nip to the air but the sun is nice and warm. Being on my bike again feels great even though my legs are still struggling a bit. They eventually stop complaining and find their groove again.

It’s weird…I can see the road going up ahead of me but it feels like I’m biking down hill. Oh well. It’s beautiful out here! One of my friends said the rocks were alive. From what I can see and feel, I believe him. Their presence pressed on mine, feeling like two goliaths meeting and I was in the middle. I started thinking that they chose to be where they were instead of what geology says. I believed that if I sat long enough, they would start talking to me.

No, I didn’t have any drugs on me. I didn’t even have beer. I definitely wasn’t delusional anymore from my first day.

That’s how alive the rocks in Joshua Tree feel.

See those mountains? I'm headed from them in the Pinto Basin.

See those mountains? I’m headed from them in the Pinto Basin.

Photos can not capture the beauty of the desert. It is raw and unyielding. It beats you down with heat and sun mercilessly. But while you’re trying to hide from the sun under a boulder or next to a fence, it shows you the budding red on the ocotillo or two small lizards that think your backpack and you are the best playground ever. The desert forces you to stop so you can see it’s beauty, otherwise, you miss it completely.

Stopping is what I did a lot of.

Especially after lunch. I had stopped at the Cholla Catcus Gardens (about mile 20 of 34 and at 2200 feet) around 11:00am for lunch and to rest a bit before tackling Wilson Canyon. The Pinto Basin had been a beautiful morning ride but it had taken me down to about 1760 feet and my next destination was at about 4400 feet.

Note to self for next desert tour: Bring an umbrella. Taking a much longer walk in the Cholla Cactus Garden would have been nice if I could have escaped the sun for a wee bit. I had heard that they glow at sunset, but at the end of this day, I would decide that it was a sight for when I return with a car. Hundreds of cacti waiting to make someone into a pin cushion beamed like white angels of death under the blistering sun.

At noon, I started my way up the last 14 miles. I had no idea it was 14 miles, nor that I was climbing 2200 feet of elevation in that one chunk through Wilson Canyon. Which was a good thing. Sometimes knowing what you’re up against is worse than being ignorant of it. Instead of counting the miles down and getting discouraged that I was going a turtle’s pace, I appreciated seeing the landscape or watching the cyclists out for their daily ride bomb the canyon (with a touch of envy of course). I would peddle anywhere from 100 meters to a quarter-mile, stop, drink water, rest for 10 minutes, eat a few nuts or dried fruit, and start again.

Elevation gain? What elevation gain?

Elevation gain? What elevation gain?

My stop by the White Tank Campground was one of those moments that made me think, “Yep…there are definitely strange people out there”. I was alone at a point of interest, resting next to a rock and getting a touch of shade when a guy walks up to me out of nowhere and starts talking to me asking where I was headed and if I was alone. My Spidey sense was on red alert: I’m camping at Hidden Valley (lie). Friends are meeting me tomorrow to tour the park (lie). Not sure which way we’re biking tomorrow (lie). Only here for a couple of days (lie). As we’re talking, I starting nonchalantly rifling through my pack, pulling out a bag of nuts but secretly palming my pocket knife. As much as I believe the world has more good than bad people, I’m not stupid. Maybe he sensed me being slightly stand-offish or it was the presence of another car pulling up but he decided to continue on his way. I noticed his car and license plate, making a mental note of it just in case I saw it too frequently the rest of my trip. He came back for a second and tossed me an orange. Normally, I’d be okay with it, but the top had been plucked off. Hmmm….I think this is turning into a snack for a chipmunk. Stranger danger, kids. Always be aware.

Anyhoots, that was life from noon until 5:00pm when I arrived at the Jumbo Rocks Campground to find the camp sign being flipped to “full”. The next campground was about 6 miles away, I had no clue what the road ahead had in store, or even if that campsite was full too. So I did what made sense. I went in regardless and looked at the campsite tags. Fortunately, there were open sites, the last inhabitants having just left that day.

Legs still wobbly, I decided doing a little walk about the rocks would do my muscles some good and give my brain a little candy by watching the sunset on top of these stone beings.

It was similar to the movie City of Angels, where the angels would all congregate and watch the sunset. Most of the higher rocks had people siting atop them, watching the last rays of the day fade into shades of pink, purple, and night.

Just as the campfires started to roar with laughter and stories, the last rays of my consciousness faded into dreams.

“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.” ~ Crowfoot quote

“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.” ~ Crowfoot quote

 

 

Joshua Tree National Park: Am I Crazy?

Where I came up with this idea, I’m not sure. Joshua Tree National Park has been on my list of places to visit for quite a few years. On Thursday, I had the bright idea that I should make it a point to visit this stunning ecosystem for my birthday at the end of February. Not just visit though. To bike it.

Apparently I'm trying to kill myself.

Apparently I’m trying to kill myself.

Yep, you read that correctly, to bike my scrawny ass about 35 miles to the park, bike around to all the cool shit in the park, and then bike back. The “back” would be back to Palm Springs.

As you can see from the trip I made in MapMyRide, I might have finally bitten off more than I can chew. At about mile 21 I’ll be at 4128 feet of elevation. That is a steep climb from 485 feet where I start. For a woman who hates biking hills, this looks like a trip from hell. I complain about biking up the hill on 16th Ave going up Capitol Hill in Denver. That’s only 2 blocks. And I’m going to tackle this behemoth?

I must be crazy.

I apparently love to abuse myself for some strange reason. The first time I did any sort of long distance was August 2012. I was still healing from a broken sternum and had been on my bicycle for only 5 days when I decided to bike from Boulder to Longmont for a training. Four days of biking about 34 miles round trip. I ended up doing it only 3 days and then a friend loaned me his car. The mornings were wonderful for biking. The crisp early morning air…the lack of cars on the Diagonal Highway…some good tunes…the rising sun…it was heaven. The evening was hellish. Hot with cars and busses zipping past me and a head wind that never gave up. By the end of day 3 my legs were jello. It did something to me that I wasn’t expecting.

I fell in love with distance cycling.

Up until that point, I had done shorts. Six miles here. Three miles there. A 1.5 mile bike sprint to my office. Maybe even a 10-15 mile ride but broken up between stops at breweries. There were days that I could total my riding miles to 20 but never were they in one shot.

I have a feeling once I do this trip, that biking will never be the same for me.

If you ask me, I’ll never say I’m a cyclist. Even though I’m investing in my first clipless pedals and shoes(of which I NEVER thought I’d do, just wait for the video of me biffing for the first time trying to use them), in my mind I just love to ride bikes. Cyclists are those people who wear spandex and have bikes that cost more than the car I used to own but weight less than my pint of beer. They look so uncomfortable and stuffy. I wear summer dresses or jeans when I bike and I definitely do not go fast. The most I’ve ever paid for a bike was $20. The beer bike was found in a dumpster in Boulder by a friend. That’s the bike for this trip.

For a Specialized that was totally trashed out and resurrected, all the times I was told by hardcore riders that I was crazy for taking it on long rides, and bike mechanics looking at me, the bike, and then me again and saying “you did what on this?”, I don’t think I could take a different bike on this suicide mission. She’s been good to me and I couldn’t think of a better companion. She’ll also get the fame of surviving this trip, which I’m sure will surprise a lot of people.

Since this is a multi-day trip with camping, hiking, and what ever other mischief I can get into, I’m going to have to add panniers to my baby. I’ve been eyeing these sassy bitches:

Ultra-lite

At only 14 ounces, they’ll give me a fighting chance of not dying from extra weight on my way there. That is, so long as I don’t die from lack of water. I’m going to have to tote at least a gallon to get there.

Why am I doing this again? Oh yeah…because I’m crazy and I like to bike.

My dad is going to kill me if I die on this one.

Paris: a Story of Love and Disappointment Part II

A man that can serenade me can have my heart anytime.

A man that can serenade me can have my heart anytime.

This isn’t titled A Story of Love and Disappointment for shits and giggles.

Ah, love….the concept I perpetually struggle with.

His name is Thibault.

We met in Prague. We talked. We smoked. We drank. We danced. We looked for my “lost” travel companion. There’s alot of other things we did but I’m not telling you about it.

Well…I guess I am telling you about it because it wouldn’t be titled as such without this story.

Going to Europe, for me, was about the culture, the sights, the people, the food…not the romance story I had heard so often. Or even the hook up stories. Shagging was the second to last thing on my mind. Falling in love was definitely the last thing. I was done with love at that point. All it had brought me was pain, dashed dreams, and innumerable nights of crying. It felt good to be someplace where there was no way in hell I could fall for someone. Someplace where I could forget…

Thibault was hilarious. He made fun of Texans (“HOOOW-DEEEE! My name is Chaz! I like George Bush Senior AND Junior.”). He asked questions. He organized people to have fun. He was passionate and full of spitfire. He talked with everyone. He spoke intelligently not only in French but also in English. I found myself liking him. And then I found myself dancing with him. He was kind and caring. He was optimistic…I found myself liking him even more. We sat up all night and talked and waited…and waited….and then he said “would you like to see my suite?”. We stared at the stars on the roof top patio and then time went out the window along with the last two things on my mind.

He smelled of crisp spring water and ferns.

His eyes burnt with so much want.

I melted under his fingers tips.

We made plans to meet up in Paris.

Yeah, yeah, yeah…it all sounds like a cheesy romantic movie. All those movie writers get it from somewhere!

Paris with my travel companion was disappointing. I admit, I didn’t research Paris as much as I had the Czech Republic and Prague. My original plan was to spend 2 weeks just in Czech so I was under prepared. All the same, it’s hard to realize half way through a trip that maybe…just maybe…..you chose the wrong travel companion. That’s something you can’t take back. Trips like that will either make or break a friendship. It broke ours.

But there was Thibault. He was like sunshine after a month of rain. All I wanted to do was bury my nose in his neck and breathe him in. I didn’t want to admit to myself that he was amazing. He lived in France. I lived in America. And I SUCK at long distance relationships. If you’re more than a 4 hour drive from me, it’s probably going to go south at some point. I was still hopeful and thought I could overcome my own character. Maybe I could move to France?

We enjoyed Paris. We had a picnic on a bridge with hundreds of other people over the Seine. We drank wine in a cafe late at night. We kissed in the streets Paris. We saw the lights of the Eiffel Tower. We hung out in Montmartre with his friend and got pulled over by the police. We napped next to the canal in soft, late summer grass. We made love. We promised to call. I cried when he left to go back home.

That day, the sky cried with me.

The SLC Epilogue: The Moab Detour and San Luis Valley

“Well…it looks like it just adds on an extra hour to the trip. Do you really want to go or not?”

Famous last words.

That extra hour added onto the 8 hours we needed to drive already turned into a 3 hour detour, on top of not having good directions to the campsite in the San Luis Valley. Beer was necessary when we finally arrived.

I like Moab. It’s a groovy little town. I love Wicked Brew. But if I had known it was going to be an extra 3 hours, I would have voted no. Getting to the campsite sounded like a much better idea but hey….it’s the journey, not the destination, right? Not always.

After days of driving, I really just wanted to get this leg of it done. I wanted to be in the middle of nowhere with a tent pitched and stars beaming down on me. I wanted campfire and the fear of being eaten by a much larger animal than me. I wanted to be where the population of trees out numbered the population of humans.

Although, I do have to say, my travel companion was actually upset about the detour. He was definitely not happy it took us so much longer.  Sometimes there are pluses to detours. Like finding an awesome deli for lunch!

Pantele’s Desert Deli doesn’t look like much but their hulking Dagwood-ish sandwiches make up for the lack of ambience. I think their club sandwich is the best one I’ve had in years. They don’t skimp on ingredients.  Well worth the price.

After taking a much longer lunch than anticipated, we detoured around town for extra groceries and beer. Detour with a big D because the main strip through town was completely under construction. Two and a half hours after arriving, we finally are back on the road to the San Luis Valley.

On the way, we pass through Olathe, CO. If you’ve never eaten uncooked corn on the cob from Olahthe, then you have no clue what sweet corn is. We turned around on the road when we saw what looked like farmer Joe with an old pick up truck full of corn parked on the shoulder. He gave us 6 ears for $2 with an extra one for us to try! After my first bite, I didn’t want to hand it over to my friend. I wanted to eat the whole thing and the other 6. Holy corn, Batman!

Many hours later and after one of the more scary parts of my life*, we reach the northern edge of the absolutely beautiful San Luis Valley. What road are we looking for? Dorsey Creek? Ummm…I don’t see one…

Oh wait…that’s because Dorsey Creek isn’t a road. It’s a creek and part of the National Forests so it’s marked with a brown sign. A very small brown sign. After driving up a treacherous dirt road for a Tiguan, we find our two friends that found this out-of-the-way little piece of camping heaven. Settled into the side of a mountain with HUGE aspens and an amazing view of the valley, we pitch our tent, get dinner rolling, and crack open much needed beers.

Go camping in the San Luis Valley. Especially when there’s a meteor shower like the Perseids. It’s freaking fan-tabulous. It’s all free camping but you need a vehicle that has some clearance and 4 wheel drive is a definite plus. Just look for the brown signs (they’re all up and down 285) and go on an adventure down a dirt road! Be sure to bring a shovel and your Freshette…there’s no bathrooms.

All in all, it was a fast, furious, and fun 5 days. Over 1,300 miles, 2 nights of camping, 2 nights in a hotel, 4 destinations, and a crap ton of laughs and good memories. That’s what car trips are for.

Yeah...we did that.

Yeah…we did that.

*My friend was a professional race car driver for 10 years. He was having having alot of fun on going up the switch backs and applying his skills. I, on the other hand, was scared poopless because there’s no guardrails along the road  and I could see ALL THE WAY DOWN the mountain side. My mind just kept coming back to flying off the road because some tourist who doesn’t know how to drive in the mountains pushes us off. I asked him to slow the hell down because I was sweating. I rarely sweat. I trust his skills. I don’t trust the other drivers. Oy vey….

Distance Does Not Make the Heart Fonder

I said I wanted to spoon, not I wanted A spoon.

He’s so cute. I said I wanted to spoon, not I wanted A spoon.

Love is the strangest force in the universe. It makes us do things we never thought of. It makes us think in ways we never imagined. It makes our dreams strange realities of emotions we didn’t think we had.

It never gets easier.

As a young adult, it seemed so easy. I love you. You love me. Easy, right?

Nope.

As an older adult, I know it’s not easy but it doesn’t cushion the effect. It’s more complex because I know what I want and don’t want so I can weed people out faster. Which kinda makes it easier… But harder to find. The extra additive is since I’ve been in many relationships, I have my own quaint little wall that goes up even when I do find a good one.

I’m working on that one not hindering me.

So what is this LOVE thing people talk about?

Really…from all that I’ve learned thus far it’s the craziest addiction ever. No one can escape it. It makes me want to throw pint glasses at windows and scream at the top of my lungs. It makes me stay in bed for hours admiring my love’s body. It makes me cry when it’s lost and cry when it’s found. It makes me want to smash beer cans on foreheads when it’s not working right and smash cars when it’s working perfectly.

It seems as though there is no reason or rhyme to this creature, that it consumes like a black hole and is just as merciless and unyielding. Yet, black holes shine light back out.

Is it about living in the dicotomy of love’s bipolar behavior and finding the eye of the storm? Always living in the quiet of the whirl of disaster?

It seems cruel to always be forced to live on the edge of disaster in order to feel the ecstasy of love. Or is it actually quite simple and our human minds have a hard time comprehending the complexity of this simplicity?

I know….it’s almost 11:30pm in Denver and I’m 3 beers and 2 sakis in pondering fucking love. This sounds like a recipe for disaster and a bad night of sleep.

Of course, the kimchi stuck in my nasal passage isn’t going to help my sleep pattern at all. Inhaled at exactly the wrong moment.

People find love at all different ages. Is it really love? Is it lust? Maybe loneliness? A mix of everything? Do some people settle because its the closest thing? And is that worse than holding out for the real thing or the same?

Is it possible that love is multi-tiered and for 5 years one person is awesome and someone else is awesome for a different 5 years? And then where does that leave my grand parents?

I guess what I’m getting at is this:

Love is a mysterious force that nobody understands but we all feel and when you know it’s right, it’s right and you just have to ride the wave no matter where it takes you.