When I entered Colorado I was excited and had high hopes for lots of outdoor adventures; camping trips, fly fishing, hiking, overnight trail rides, maybe some rock climbing, the whole works. None of it happened.
Instead what I got were snowstorms, some lost items, and a swollen esophagus. Things did turn arou however, after close to a week. Due to the whether, I was unable to fly fish at any location I went to, Estes Park, Aspen, Breckenridge, Frisco...I stopped everywhere in search of good weather and could not find it. I had not given thought to the fact that Colorado does not experience spring in many places but rather it jumps from winter straight to summer, and winter was not ready to quit. Also, Colorado is the kind of place where you have to plan ahead, way ahead, if you want to get the most out of it. I then came up with a couple of crazy ideas that would make Colorado fun...including learning how to wrestle an alligator. This did not pan out either.
Denver & The Shaman Priest
Despite my failure to make the most out of Colorado, my first day in the state was great. I toured the state capitol, visited with the staff members of the House Majority Leader, shared some stories about working as a legislative aide then got a tour of the US Mint. This might not have worked out, I had my backpack on and the guards wouldn't let me in, but there was a gentleman named Mike who was kind enough to give me the keys to his car which was parked just five minutes away (my car was way over on the other side of town), I had to run and a five minute window but was able to make it back in time for the tour. The Mint tour is free so I advised hitting that up if you're ever in Denver.
Later, I went to a nearby starbucks to catch up with some people back home when I was suddenly and randomly approached by a hippie looking guy with a ponytail..."Looks like you're planning a roadtrip" he said, I had my map out so this was pretty obvious. "Yeah, me and my wife did that for a few years once..." he continues on and on and somehow we ended up in a conversation about how is wife is a palm reader and the 'real deal', not like all these other "junk" psychics. Uh huh. He himself he later revealed, is a Shaman Priest, or in otherwords a "witch doctor". I thought this was intriguing and he told me about the experiences he's had getting involved in the wiccan rituals with other witches near Manitou Springs whom they he said, are pretty "hardcore". Now, I don't know much about this stuff but I told him it would be sweet to go to one of these covens and preach the gospel and how I planned to do this (halfway joking), he literally feared for my life and gave me his card and told me to call him if I got into any trouble. These people just happen to be celebrating their annual Betane Day in Littleton, Colorado.
First Trip Ever to an ER
Of all the crazy things I wanted to do in Colorado, and of all the things that COULD have put me in an ER, what got me?...A piece of frikin' meat..food that is. You have got to be kidding. So after being trapped in Frisco for a couple days b/c of snow I headed out to explore Aspen and hike up to this famous hot spring there. Halfway along the trip I stopped at another ma and pa diner as I always like doing and after the first bite into my lunch I suddenly can't breath, but was able to gag enough to allow some air to flow. For 20 minutes I couldn't swallow anything down, water would bounce back out as quickly as it would go in. I never felt anything like this before. Mike the manager was kind enough to take me to an ER which was literally right behind the place. Seriously, the whole time I'm sitting there I'm thinking, "What?!? A piece of food? Seriously, this is ridiculous, why couldn't I have had my finger bitten off by a gator!?" Lame. It actually turned out to be kind of serious(possibility of it going into my trachea), and it actually wasn't entirely my fault. Apparently, my esophagus was swollen and I have what is called eosinophilic esophagitis or something like that. Basically a disease where white blood cells build up in the tube between your mouth and stomach. Ya' learn something new every day.
The Most Awesome Dork I've Ever Met
A title I will display with pride. Give me a holler if you want to hear about this one :)
Ransomed Heart MinistriesThe next day after my trip to the ER, when I decided I had enough of Colorado. Nothing I wanted to do had worked out and I was tired of lingering, so I set out to head south onward to Moab, Utah. As I made my way back down south I stopped at a few guest ranches and outfitters to network in case I ever wanted to take a summer to work out there. I got a return call from a ministry I contacted the first day I was in Colorado called Ransomed Heart Ministries. I gave up on hearing back from them but I had finally heard back as I was on my way to Colorado Springs for they had just gotten back from a retreat. If you haven't heard of this ministry, it includes the authors of the books "Wild At Heart" and "Captivating", both very good books. While John and Stasi Eldridge were not there (they were at their son's graduation) I had the pleasure of meeting Sue and Greg and they were very incredible people. They gave me some audios and stuff to take with me for the rest of my trip. If you guys are reading this, thank you so much for the gifts. After my frustration at the ER, those things provided really uplifted my mood and I am so grateful for your generosity. The extra blessing venturing out that way was getting to hike around the Garden of the Gods, and spending a night in Durango which was a cool town and I got to meet some very cool people. So despite the hiccups, Colorado ended on a good note.
Tootles For Now,
PS: The picture of me and Joel Olsteen is now up on Facebook, thanks Amos for the picture!