Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What I Would Have Missed

Left out of Haswell, CO this morning around 5:30 to make my way to Pueblo, the place we all were looking forward to because it promised a rest day. Most of the crew, though, had opted to move past Haswell yesterday, not wanting to camp in the town park, leaving only two of us to camp overnight. Some went 40 miles beyond, to Ordway, where they stayed in a hotel, and some were bolder, going the whole 89 beyond to Pueblo because then they'd have two rest days instead of one. Me, I opted to stay in Haswell. 79 miles for the day was plenty, and I wasn't scared of the outhouse.

Around 8 pm, a storm began brewing to the southwest. We watched the lightning play across the sky and listened to the thunder rumble. I took out my camera and waited patiently for a bolt to cut the sky. After three failed attempts to capture lightning through the lens, I squealed in glee when my trigger finger was quick enough to actually make it happen. Not satisfied with just one picture of the lightning, I stood at the ready to get another shot. It didn't take long.

As I was walking back to sit with the others, one of the route leaders pointed me towards the moon rising in the east. Haswell is just a tiny, run down, dusty village, but with the deep yellow moon rising above, it became a beautiful, peaceful, quiet host to those of us who had decided to stay in its town park.

During the night, the wind blew out of the north, rustling the fly on my tent for most of the night. At times, I wondered if the tent with me inside was going to take flight, ending up back in Kansas. My little tent, though, stood strong against the 35-40 mph winds. I slept really well, and at 5:30 I started out for Pueblo.

Not even a quarter mile down the road, I came upon four antelope standing on the side of the road. They moved to the higher berm further off the shoulder but stood there as if posing while I took several pictures. I thanked them then started off again. About another quarter mile down the road, I stopped to capture the moon setting in the west. The road stretching out in front of me with the moon hanging low on the horizon made me think anything is possible. When I turned to see if the sun was rising, I marveled at the red glow of the eastern sky. The sun sitting on the horizon line along with road stretching out behind me filled me with a peace I've never felt.

All of these things I would have missed if I, too, had decided to move on past Haswell yesterday afternoon.

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