Day two on the road. First thing in the morning, we packed our bags. The Airbnb was adorable, a coop-themed cottage. I woke up feeling like a luxurious farm creature, arms behind my head.
The night before, exhausted, we ordered Dominos. A nod to the first time I had edibles, overdosed 4x, hallucinated a small dog, and ate lots of cheesy bread.
“You can taste all the layers of the cheesy bread
…And the bread.”
“You literally just described the ingredients of cheesy bread.”
After checking out, we sailed through winding neighborhoods to our first destination. Unable to drive through, we took the pedestrian route instead, filing behind a long line of cars and eager tourists. We entered the park, filled with Very Large Rocks. There were tall rocks. Cobbled rocks. Red rocks. Rock rocks. (In this image, I stand by a rock.) Birds, taking advantage of the view, perched on the rocks, observing the people.
But there were also fields, and trails, and bike paths. We wandered through the park until noon. Eager to avoid crowds, which dispersed the further along we walked, we detoured onto a less-traveled path. It was unpaved, dotted with tumbleweed and the occasional elk sign.
After circling the park, we returned to the parking lot, where we had leftover Domino’s. We watched a couple in front of us taking an agonizingly long time to change sweaters.
For weeks, le beau had been talking about an offroad trail near the park. Although it was listed as CLOSED online, we went anyways. To our surprise, it was open. Le beau was overjoyed. The journey, overall, was smooth. And the weather was sublime.
We paused at several locations. The most memorable was an overlook on edge of the mountain. From there, we could see the zig-zagging road that crept across the mountain, which we had just driven on. Looking down, I imagined all the teens who had triple dog-dared each other to bypass the wiry gates and climb the hundreds of feet below.
As we drove and drove and drove, the climate of every town shifted. Some were arid, others icy. Tumbleweed here, icicles there. At one of our stops, I slipped, knee-deep in snow. Wildlife was abundant. We spotted three deer grazing on somebody’s lawn, and an elk on the highway. We named her Karina the Elkina. Parked by the highway, we ate crackers as she ate her grass. Self-conscious, she snorted when we commented on her appearance, and gave us a long, hard look before returning to her grass.