1,171 MILES

I am no longer in Colorado.

14273970812_9ab3d658ab.jpg

Tuesday + Wednesday + Thursday = 3 tanks of gas.

14109530809_5cb239d42f.jpg

I am no longer in Colorado.

14089389739_65e4f778da.jpg

From brightbrightbright Colorado Springs down into the brick of Trinidad, where just outside on the 25 I supposedly raced with a military boy in a Mustang but I didn’t know we were racing until after the fact in the parking lot of a Safeway and he said thanks for the entertainment during the dull stretch.

DULL STRETCH? Dull stretch? What a fool. The pastel mesas and cracked land and burnt ridges, the suddenly changing slopes. Cross the border into New Mexico and the black skeleton trees and charcoal flats of burnt Raton Pass. The caramel plains evening out only to curve into the bends and endless pinon trees. Sunset. Blinded by my dirty windshield. A night in Santa Fe. A day sweeping across the quiet desert. Hot and numb, a cocoon, until we found the smoke of the Slide Fire. Poor northern Arizona. Flagstaff choked by fiery hot clouds.

14089438450_b0e7be4671.jpg

And then, the final leg, the white Mojave. My sister complained because I didn’t let her drive once the entire 22 hour drive. And even on that last day, sick with a cold of doom, eyes tired from days of road staring, the empty desert so pale, I wanted to drive. I needed to drive. My way of saying goodbye. Of leaving Colorado. And it’s like I blinked and I was driving through an afternoon rain storm into the Angels National Forest, almost home. Home. This home. Colorado was home. Is home. This has always been home. Soon Alaska will be a home too. I hope so at least.

14294254572_ddf153f29e.jpg

I’m no longer in Colorado. It kind of hurts.