Travailing to Iowa

Rabbit Ears Pass. The summit has the shape of rabbit ears, which displays two large columns of basalt rock formations from the second volcanic episode. 

… With an elevation of just over 9,400 feet, Rabbit Ears Pass is lower than many other mountain passes in the area, but it is still inundated with heavy snowstorms during the winter, making avalanches, icy roads, and low visibility all too common.

Auto Bound Therapy

The week before Thanksgiving until the first business day in January was my emotional demilitarized zone. Since 2008, first in Mainland China and the last four years in Antalya. Turkey, I had avoided crossing the Happy Holidays DMZ.

The Karmic gods finally caught up with me when Jane Marie and I were reunited with her ex and their oldest daughter, with the mission of driving the daughter-father gifted car from Santa Rosa California to Iowa City, Iowa.

To add spice to the journey there was to be a stopover in Salt Lake City to break bread with the ex’s son from an previous marriage.

The Siri GPS experience worked well all the way to Salt Lake and back on our I-80 East route to our next stop Sidney, Nebraska, except when Siri suggested an alternate route via Baggs, WY. A turn left at Howard Street led to a road closed November-May blockage and asking the Baggs-lady what do we do now?

Best Baggs advice: go straight to Craig, take Hwy 40 to Steamboat Springs then over the Rabbit Ears Pass to rejoin our I 80 East route at Laramie..

Jane “The Caretaker” doged the deer to Craig, turned north to Steamboat in time to catch the night skiers and then passed the Siri baton to Willie “The Loner” for the Rabbit Ears Pass Challenge. As the recently gifted owner of the car – a 7th of August Leo SIX of Diamonds, the Card of “Financial Responsibility” and the only even numbered card of our auto bound therapy threesome, Willie “The Loner” got the call.

Even numbers do better in the mundane world, odd numbers weigh-in matters of the spiritual realm. Jane and I, both JACKS (the eleventh card), as well as definitely odd, prayed for Willie.

The Christie Peak Express high-speed chairlift whisks you to top of Christie Peak (8000′) to embark on your night adventure across 5 trails.

Willie proceeded with caution but ever upward – Steamboat Springs at 6,732′ already had enough snow to ski but neither Siri nor the locals knew what lie ahead. Not too worry, Willie took care of the ‘NOW’ and within an hour we were over the top and our way to Walden.

Rabbit Ears Pass in the daylight I’m sure would be beautiful but even a half moon night scape was a slow yet scary trip.

Willie, energized by passing the pass with flying colors, was eager to continue on to Ft. Collins for a hookup with I- 80 but for the grace of Walden, we were destined to spend the night..

The Town of Walden is a Statutory Town that is the county seat of, and the only incorporated municipality in Jackson CountyColorado, United States.[7] It is situated in the center of a large open valley called North Park. People from Walden and the surrounding area refer to themselves as “North Parkers”. 

There were four options on Main Street in downtown Walden. Jane Marie turned down the first three b/c of the $75 room charge. I, “The Avoider” got the 4th and last chance to get off the road. The clerk was not in a negation mood b/c the motels close down from Thanksgiving until May and he was leaving in the morning for Florida.

The Walden population was 734 at the 2000 census and reduced to 608 at the[8]2010 census. The town sits at an elevation of 8099 feet (2469 meters) and is the only still incorporated town in the county. It was established in 1889 and was incorporated 2 December 1890.[3] Mark A. Walden, an early postmaster, gave the community his name

My Corps logo USAA credit card got me a 20% discount as the Millennial ‘Jarhead’ showed me this triple triangle tattoo representing the 37 brothers he lost in his tour of Afghanistan and participation in the documentary Combat Obscura.

Just out of high school, at the age of 18, Miles Lagoze enlisted in the Marine Corps. He was deployed to Afghanistan where he served as Combat Camera — his unit’s official videographer, tasked with shooting and editing footage for the Corps’ recruiting purposes and historical initiatives. But upon discharging, Lagoze took all the footage he and his fellow cameramen shot, and he assembled quite simply the very documentary the Corps does not want you to see. COMBAT OBSCURA is a groundbreaking look at the daily life of Marines in a war zone as told by the soldiers themselves. More than a mere compilation of violence, the edit ingeniously repurposes the original footage to reveal the intensity and paradoxes of an ambiguous war from an unvarnished perspective.
The Bad news: “The Caretaker” and “The Loner” didn’t think the Walden accommodations merited even one star. The Good news: once back on I-80 East at Laramie, they almost forgave me.