Between Idaho and Colorado, I stopped in Douglas to meet a boy, and then I spent the weekend with him at his house in Laramie. He had stocked his fridge and cupboards with some of the foods I had mentioned were my favorite during the course of our numerous conversations prior to my arrival. He had soft blankets and enough pillows for two forts between the living room and bedroom. I walked through the door and felt like I already lived there. When he came home Friday afternoon, he took me out to visit the local breweries and craft bars, and then made me dinner. On Saturday, he escorted me to my first ever shooting expedition, we drove to Fort Collins and shopped around downtown, got tattoos that weren’t matching, but had a common theme (because this is totally what normal people do), stuffed ourselves with meat at a Brazilian steakhouse, and washed everything down between a couple FoCo breweries. He bought me my first Leatherman, too, so I can be even more badass.
Sunday we went to a Rockies game at Coors field and imbibed a few tall boys and some delicious burgers from CHUBurger – AND WE SAT IN THE 8th ROW – this guy pulled out all the stops, seriously. The Rockies lost, but that didn’t keep my new friend from carrying me out of the stadium on his shoulders – super awkward when you’re really tall, and the person you’re sitting on is just a smidge taller than you. All in all, it was a fantastic weekend and I was sad to be on my way Monday morning after he left for work. I enjoyed my time in Denver with my friends, but something was just gnawing at me, telling me I needed to go back to Laramie…that there was something still there for me to experience.
I called Ira as I was going to bed on my last night in Denver and we talked about what I wanted to do with my life; where I wanted to go. I had nothing left for me in Kanab, I couldn’t go back to Arizona or Wisconsin, and my next options were extremely long-winded pursuits for my next move. He said I had a place to stay if I wanted to live in Laramie, and there were a lot of educational options both in Laramie and Cheyenne that I could look into. We already knew that we got along and had a lot in common, but I had to keep reminding myself that I might be on a vacation high, and that can lead to poor decisions and quick judgements. Fortunately, I’m well-versed in dealing with the consequences of both of these actions, so I returned to Laramie.
The second weekend went a lot quicker knowing that I might actually be moving to this city of 30,000 people at 7,500 feet above sea level. We went on my second ever shooting experience, and I managed to get 8 of my 10 shots from a .223 assault rifle with a scope from 100 yards away inside the target, with 5 of those clustering in the middle. Ira also started showing me how to fly fish, but for some reason that was more intimidating than shooting guns. We hung around most of the weekend just enjoying each other’s company, but then Monday came around again, and we were off to get through another week.
I drove 10 hours back to Kanab as he headed to Douglas to continue his training at the police academy. It was almost the longest 10 hours I’ve ever experienced, save for my return trip to Laramie with my SUV packed with all of my worldly possessions. I pulled into Kanab in the early afternoon, took a nap, and started packing. I crammed everything into the SUV that brought me out to the tiny little southern Utah city not 3 months earlier, and was eager to hit the road to my next home. I stayed Monday night to see some friends and say goodbye, but at 10pm on Tuesday, I was out. So driving all night through the mountains and into the high plains of the west is an interesting adventure – filled with absolutely no light whatsoever until the sun rises, constantly threatening some sort of ungulate or winged creature in the road, and not promising where the next gas station will be. And as I don’t enjoy the benefits of caffeine: slapping my face as hard as I could, blasting myself with cold air, and eating grapes like they’re going out of style were all I could do to keep myself awake long enough to make it safely to the soft king bed that was waiting for me at my new house. I will say, though…watching the sun rise over the rolling landscape that I would now get to familiarize myself with, that was absolutely priceless.
And what does one do when they first move to a new city with a new guy that they LITERALLY just met? The answer is: a lot. Some examples I’ll expand upon next time: brewfest, puppy, graduation, farmer’s markets, puppy, school. Until I decide to write again, here’s a sample of the puppy item I mentioned: