June14th 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Val at the Garden of the Gods

Not too good a night for me – bumpy ground.  Still, we lay in the tent until quite late, enjoying the luxury of just lying around.  Got up at around 10, packed up, and walked back towards town, managing to find a quicker way.  When we reached a main road, we hitched, heading towards a place called “The Garden of the Gods”, which we’d read was interesting.  However, we didn’t realise how far away it was.  We got a lift quite quickly, which took us a few miles, yet still let us about 6 miles from the place (tho’ we didn’t realise that at the time.)  We walked a mile or two, then, with both of us tired, and my feet dropping off, we hitched again, and got a ride right into the Garden.  It was a big place, and we got taken a bit too far, so we had to walk back.  It was a real pain at the time, but in retrospect (from a day) it was a good thing, since we had to see quite a lot, and weren’t tempted just to take a quick look around and then leave again.  Saw the Balanced Rock, + even more interesting to us, mainly because it was away from other people and we came across it almost by accident, was a rock called “the Siamese twins”.  We were able to grab a quick look at the rest of the park from an observatory, but the place was the sort one needs either a car or a lot of time, and no bags to carry.  We rested for a while in a picnic area to regain some strength, then walked back out of the park.  Once again, were very lucky and got a lift quickly with an USAF guy, going, I think, some way out of his way to drop us at a good exit.  And then a lift within 15 mins, which was fortunate – it was very cold, and about to start raining, and we had no raincoat or anything.  A friendly guy, knew a lot about engines, managed to make a fair bit of conversation on the journey.  He dropped us about 2 miles from P + M’s place, + we would have rung them for a lift, but couldn’t find a phone, so by sheer determination managed to walk.  Found them both in, Pat cooking dinner!  Able to relax – a shower, beer, dope, marvellous food – chicken, barbecue sauce, zucchini – bed.

Sooner or later I need to apologise for the somewhat banal repetition of the previous night’s sleep, the recounting of the most simple and insignificant daily chore.  Plus the word interesting, which seems to be the go-to word for every experience.  Still, the diary is what it is; I just have to hope that there are a few nuggets of… well, interest, among the dross.

Finding a phone was another staple of regular life in those days that we have moved on from; the idea of being able to contact someone else whenever you wanted (Always allowing for signal, battery, etc) was pure science fiction.

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