Woke up nice ‘n early, and went to find Det. Carter – the man we’d been told would know all about our situation – he knew nothing, of course, but at least did his job and found out quickly which is better than one might hope, so all we were required to do was make a written statement. We delivered the car to AACON in Denver, and explained the hassles we’d had. It might have helped a little because the manager there arranged to give us a lift to the highway to hitch a lift to Estes Park. In fact, it required two lifts – the first was in a jeep – a really nice guy, who told us about his stepmother who lived in Estes Park, who liked hiking – he gave us her phone number, and told us to call her. He dropped us in Lines, and we soon got another ride, this time from a guy called Mark in a souped-up Capri – wide wheels, furry interior, the lot. He proceeded to scare the shit out of the pair of us by the speed he drove, especially on the mountain roads. However, he too proved remarkably friendly and on arrival in Estes Park, we all went to the Surrey bar and had a margherita each – a tequila cocktail. Val wasn’t old enough, but lied about her age, and tho’ the waitress wasn’t convinced, she let it pass. The drinks were very strong, and at least two of us felt pretty drunk afterwards. Mark – the guy – bought us some Mexican food – much nicer than what we’d tried before. We then strolled around the town before driving into the mountains a little and climbing up a very steep slope – I think Mark had mountain goat relations. He told us he’d see about getting us a job doing what he was doing – cutting grass. Eventually, he dropped us right up at Estes Park Youth Hostel. That place was marvellous – not at all jolly like the English ones, rather free and easy, with fantastic views, excellent facilities – the perfect place to rest up in fact. The warden was very friendly and helpful – snapped us with his polaroid for the ID card – then we played some tennis, volleyball, table-tennis and ate – but only bread and cheese, before bed. Oh yes, but showers first – the best part.
Yet again, our decision to hitch-hike meant we encountered friendliness and generosity. It also meant that our main aim in abandoning the car delivery business – that of meeting people – was bearing fruit.