Rideshares. The thoughts that come to mind when I read that word are serial killers and well…serial killers. I report to you, my loyal readers, (mostly now my grandma and her bridge club) from the friendly confines of the Steaming Bean Coffee shop in Telluride, Colorado. I arrived last night to stay with my nomadic friend Danny, whom they admiringly refer to as “Pootie” here. Pootie sleeps in a loft in an all-wood two bedroom apartments of sorts, I sleep on the couch below Poot.
To say the apartment is immaculately clean would fall into the category of biggest lies in world history. Beer cans are strewn about in every place imaginable, and it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. PBR cans rest in the all-wood shower, the kitchen counter, the window sill, creating a Colorado-esque photo opportunity for the alcoholic outdoor adventurer in all of us.
Before I ramble on about the beauty and uniqueness of Telluride, I will introduce you to Paul, a mid 50’s retired banker from Castle Rock, Colorado. Paul’s wife e-mailed me after I posted an ad on the craigslist rideshare board asking if anyone wanted to come along for the 7 hour ride to Telluride in exchange for gas money and shared driving time. Cindy, Paul’s wife emailed me stating that her husband needed a ride to go visit their grandson in Delta, Colorado. She promised me he was sane (a requirement I listed in my ad) and that he could pitch in with gas and driving. I learned a long time ago not to count on anything with rideshares so I told Paul if he was at the meeting point at 3:15 he could come along. He showed up.
Paul was a missionary who had worked in Thailand and South Korea. Ride shares can be pretty awkward, just ask my friend Brian about awkward when we picked up RainShadow for a lift from Portland to Boise. I think she had a guitar case but no guitar and smelled like a warehouse. She didn’t kill us (though she did agree to 30 bucks and paid us 20) so it was a successful ride share. By rule, any ride share that doesn’t in getting stabbed by the person is generally successful. Paul and I chatted for a few hours, listened to NPR (couldn’t read him on his political views), and sat in silence at times. He believed Buddhism was the religion of lazy people because they are required to pray just once a day and they receive housing and food. He was a strong advocate for racial profiling in the airports but also showed random other moderate views on issues such as religion and government. He didn’t kill me and even gave me 20 dollars more than I requested and blessed me on my journey to see my buddy and then back home to my girl. A successful ride share.
I parked the truck somewere in town and ten minutes later we were in a bar meeting all of Danny’s friends. I woke up on a couch staring at the mountains the next morning, unsure exactly where I was. You might be wondering what happened between the arrival at the bar and the morning. You aren’t the only one. Telluride, you’re a monster.
The next morning, after a few advils and buckets of water, I walked with Danny to take the gondola to his job. I’ll write that again, he takes a gondola to his job. The views on his way to work are unbelievable and like he said, it beats the L in Chicago. I’m not sure what’s in store for the next 3 days. Rumors are that it’s going to snow tomorrow. Not sure Telluride could get much better but come tomorrow I might be eating those words.