So, where are you guys from?
We got the question sitting at a Leadville coffee shop on Friday from a group of three guys who we were sharing a table with. Scott and I sort of looked at each other. ‘Around? Durango for a few months…Winter Park now…wherever the van takes us.’ They laughed, as a group of Outward Bound instructors, they seemed as homeless as us.
I’ve never been good at that question. It’s always bothered me a little bit. Back in the Bad Old Days of endless weekend Ned rides with the 8:10 bus, I remember a final ride on a trail that would end up being closed shortly after when we ran into an older woman hiking. We pulled over, let her pass, and without a ‘Hello’, she said, ‘Where are you from?’ Dumbfounded by the complete lack of social skills, we said, ‘Boulder.’
‘Right,’ she said coldly and continued walking.
Now, I understand Ned folks getting upset with Boulder people coming up to ride trails, I’m not sure if the NIMBY mentality is nature or nurture, but I remember being really upset, ‘Why does it matter where we’re from? Shouldn’t it matter more that we yielded the right of way? That we pick up trash when we see it on the trail? That we enjoy being out here and respect the environment?’
In CeeBee, the ‘Where are you from?’ question came often, because there, 95% of the population is from somewhere else. The answer of ‘Boulder’ always got the, ‘Ah. Right.’ response that drove me nuts.
I’m from Planet Earth. I’m part of the human species.
Last week, scratch that, over two weeks ago now, Scott and I packed up our posh little existence in D-town (I’ll miss having the river within walking distance!) and moved up to the Hermosa campground for a few nights. I was ‘Special Guesting’ at a showing of Ride the Divide for a Texas High School Mountain Bike League camp, so we had a few days to kill in town. We found some of our old neighbors still up there: Constitutional Conservative was still making his daily rounds around the campground, HotBox was still hacking up a lung all night, every night. It seemed like 90% of the sites were there for the long haul. I had to wonder, where were all these people from? What’s their story?
Soon, after explaining that Swedish Fish and cashews really were power food, it was time to go north, both because I wanted to spend some time at altitude and because camping in Durango during monsoon season isn’t exactly a romantic notion. After a morning ride and splitting our belongings in half, leaving one car packed in Durango and putting everything essential in the van, and stopping to get Zia burritos one last time, we made it to Marshall Pass to camp under the stars.
In the morning, we headed up the road, arguing about whether the Tour Divide route took the first or second turn up to Marshall Pass from Poncha Springs road. I swore it was the first and that it was where my track told me to go. Scott argued that he had the 2012 route on his GPS there and then and it said to take the second. We wondered if I would have to nullify my record if I had taken the shorter, but steeper route up. We then wondered what the actual ACA route said to do. (For the record, apparently my memory is faulty, because it turns out I did take the second turn and even got a SPOT dot on the longer route…memories are a funny thing.)
And then we tore down Rainbow trail, which I’ve only ridden once on non-Vapor Trail legs nearly a decade ago. Oh my goodness, it was fun. Bikes are fun!
Lunch at Amica’s with Tom and we were headed north once again to my birthplace of mountain biking for a week or two.
Where am I from?
Fantasy Land, apparently.