Boone, CO and Beyond
I’m writing a book. In April it should be finished, printed, and in your hands for whatever price you deem suitable. It will be called We Were Like Sons.
Here’s an excerpt from middle-of-nowhere Colorado:
The street makes waves of heat and oil a mile or two outside of town. There are images floating in the air, beckoning, saying: Come, this way to the unknown. It’s hotter than hell out here. But come. Don’t stop now. Come.
The highway is typical. They turn south and then east again, the Rocky Moutains at their backs, and now the color brown. Dirt is today’s pastures. Dirt, empty road, and dead trees.
They fill up on water at a spicket outside a gas station on the outskirts of a town called Boone. It is around seven in the evening and the sun is lingering along the continental divide. The mountains are silhouettes. Telluride, Gunnison, Salida, Colorado Springs, all memories now. Only this, the town of Boone, in the middle of nowhere, where even trees refuse to reside, is real. The air feels empty, like the mountains behind them are a vacuum that pulls life and sounds into their midsts. Boone perpetuates the idea that life was not meant to exist outside of places where other people don’t reside.
They set up camp past a row of unlit houses and a closed-down convenience store.
“Eerie, right?” says Louis.
“What this place? Really eerie. Freaking eerie. Almost weird, and a little sketchy.”
While they sleep that night a train passes. Otherwise, they sleep heavy.
In the morning they eat leftover yogurt and granola pancakes from Rick and Iris and peel off pieces of bread from a day-old loaf they bought before leaving town
They watch the road quietly. They wait. Nothing happens. No cars pass, no even another train.
The sun is up and the land is knowable again.
Highway 96 leads east with a slight bend north. Just like leading into Boone, the road offers the eye only scarcity.
Louis pulls a picture into the camera, and while looking at it, both riders calmly moving along through the middle of the street, straddling and weaving in and out of dotted yellow lane paint, he says, “If we carbon-copied this picture here twelve billon times and posted it on the blog every day a million times, then our fans would know what this road feels like.”
“Ha,” Michael says looking up. “Our fans?”
“Our viewers and cheerleaders, man. Our people who anxiously await reading our stories.”
“I know, I know. Just thought ‘fans’ was a funny way of putting it. Like we’re a sports team. But then again, I guess we are athletes.”
“Best damn athletes in the world!” Louis yells into the open air, his arms off his bike and spread wide. His palms are exposed to the sun and his chest is out. “I love this man. I love touring the United States of America!” He yells. “Can you believe that we get to do this?”
Michael nods, knowing Louis’ excitement, but not sure how to show it in a way that feels as genuine as screaming out loud. Even if he did, he didn’t he have the energy to match Louis anyway.
Forty miles further and Colorado is quickly coming to a close behind them. The Rocky Mountains, for which they trained on hills in California, miles and miles of hills, jerseys soaked and stained with sweat, are now specks upon the horizon. Unforgettable, of course, but the stories they’ve heard, and the road they’ve covered, are forever memories.
One can always revisit and try it all again, Michael starts to think. He glances back to try to pinpoint the Springs, where Jasper, Midge, Rick and Iris live. There is always future opportunity, but even still, the hours we shared with them will never be replaced. We can relive nothing, only remember. Everything is fascinating, boring, terrifying, exciting, and everything else the first time around. It is the unknown, and we pack our bags to see it all the time. And why? What draws us to having original adventures? Why do we crave the road when we know it will never be like before? Maybe, he thinks, it is because we hope each time we go that it will be better. But it won’t. It will be different, but it can never be better.