I’m sort of blown away by all the kind, thoughtful and interesting people I met on such a short trip. But this happens to me more and more on every trip. In part because I think I’m becoming an extrovert. Yikes. You know the type. You’re having a peaceful moment reading and some dude you don’t even know is suddenly asking you where you’re from, what your fav travel destinations are…yup, that’s me these days. That guy. The one who used to annoy me not too many years ago.
I had an awesome ride over Trail Ridge Road to Grand Lake. I quickly find my hostel and I walk up the stairs to the balcony of the hostel I’m and I see an older gentleman sitting in a chair soaking in the killer view of RMNP. He’s the picture of serenity. I make a mental note that I want to meet this guy at some point. I get checked in and turns out Dave is my roomie. Interesting guy. Retired professor who lives in Denver but spends most of his time traveling the world, staying in hostels. He’s every bit of eighty and has memory issues and he’s still out there living life.
But what strikes me the most about Dave is what he’s reading. I see a book, “You Can Heal Your Life” sitting on his nightstand. Eighty, and he’s still doing the work. Damn. Dude’s my hero now.
Actually I lied. What really strikes me the most about Dave is how he occupies a space like he was painted in there. Every time I see him outside our dorm room he’s taking in the view from the deck or resting on a bench in the woods or sitting on a cozy chair watching the sunset from the common room of the hostel. We photographers love this shit. So often I see a cool scene but it’s missing that human element. Or the human element is in the wrong place. Or is wearing plaid. Something.
Dave takes the bus or the train from Denver when he stays at Shadowcliff. And the staff drives to Granby to pick him up and to drop him off. And they stay with him until his train departs. Amtrak sucks at being on time, so sometimes they’re waiting awhile. Pretty certain no one is thinking about the $25 a night Dave spends for his hostel bed. Just people being kind. My guess is Dave is helped along on his travels by quite a few of these souls. I think there are a lot of these angels out there. Some of them even support the candidate I don’t. I forget that. That’s why I’m doing this photo project.