(Another) True Story….(
well - mostly anyway)
I think the Ye Olde Jews had it right the first time… “Thou shalt not covet”, though I’m not sure
what the Great One was thinking… I mean, all we had at first was one rule, and we screwed that up. What made him think
we could follow ten others - I have no idea…
This gal walks
into the parts department having been sent on an errand by her boyfriend to bring back a rear tire for his bike. She’s
pretty well put together, obvious low mileage but lacking a little “regular maintenance” you might say. Shortly
we come to a suitable agreement which involves a tire and a “date”.
plan was I’d pick her up at a bar in Bailey Colorado on my way to the Aspen 6 hour road race, a Le Mans type event where
the different classes all run at one time and he who compiles the most miles over the 6 hours was bestowed a kiss and the
title of the fastest man in the Rockies on two wheels, at least in his displacement class… Ok - lets be honest, It
was a three day party where there was some motorcycles too.
deception she concocted to disappear for a Friday night through Sunday afternoon I know not, but presumably
the tire would keep him occupied and I left it in her capable harlots hands. Now - if you’re going to Aspen from Denver,
Bailey is not on the map even if you’re taking the long way… So after a great soaking by a flash flood falling
piece by piece from the skies on the way up Hwy 6 at 66 miles per hour I arrived. While waiting I broke out the map and searched
for a way to get from here to there…. Not wanting to wander the desert for 40 years and miss the start of the race,
it was imperative that I find a short cut that by passed Leadville. LO! A little blue dotted line! Mosquito Pass - that was
what I was looking for! In case you’re wondering, this is not where I went wrong, no my friends, this tale of woe was
sorrowful back at the parts counter when I traded what little integrity I had for a tire. But it didn’t help.
So off we set, 2 up on a beautiful Colorado summer eve with hanky panky afoot. It was truly an evening
that fulfils the reasons why we ride. The bike seemed to turn itself picking the perfect lines through the asphalt apexes,
the warm wind as we wound through the Rockies We stopped for fuel in Fairplay a few miles short of the
turn off for the little blue dotted line and topped off. We were on schedule should make Aspen soon and party in the pits
until we passed out… what an adventure!!
Mosquito Pass… it starts as a gravel road at it’s base elevation, I forget what it is but the bike was still
running well on Denver jetting so guessing somewhere around 6000 feet? Immediately but deceptively you begin to climb, and
as you do the gravel turns to stones, then to rocks, then at about timberline where trees don’t grow for lack of oxygen
they become boulders. At the same time the weather turns from Fairplay fair and mild to windy, then the
rain begins and before you realize it the rain has transformed to sleet and snow… So here we are -
Bathsheeba bitching as she walks behind David as he bounces the bike from one boulder of Uriahs Heep to another. Soaked and
freezing, the bike running as rich as a wall street bank executive, I’m having to red line the motor and pop the clutch
while trying not to dent the exhaust. I have no idea how close to the summit we reached before the bitching won out. Truthfully
I don’t blame her, it was fucking miserable and besides, bouncing the bike from boulder to bolder had left less fuel
than I was sure would get us to town…. Any town.
killed the motor as we headed back down, At the time I had no idea - and still don’t - how far we had come or how far
we had do go and with the last glimmer of adventure being extinguished I glimpsed at the raged edge of the fading headlight
what appeared to be a cabin!! Shelter, a basic need, and in these unrelenting elements a sure haven of survival.
A hundred feet off the little blue dotted line stood our lodgings for the evening, not what I had planned,
but what the hell, couldn’t get any worse right? The bitching had subsided into chattering teeth and she was “agreeable”.
Sadly, we found, the only two standing walls were the ones visible from the angle of approach, the other two had been used
for firewood after the roof had been burnt in the firepit of the “floor”. I had one sleeping bag and it wasn’t
a 2 person either…. I set her up in the corner as far out of the elements as possible, astounding ly she didn’t
say much as she crawled into the damp Dacron. I lit two cigarettes, one to smoke, the other to warm my hands. I sat there
in the dark shivering so hard I can’t say I was actually “thinking” just enduring when she says “if
you don’t get in here we’re both gonna’ freeze“. She was right and I had no illusions this was an
invite to carnal c’nuptuals. I crawled in and attempted to close the zipper which of course broke.
Now I know I did actually get some sleep that night because I kept waking up every 5 to 10 seconds to
have a shiver, which naturally implies sleep of a sort. At some point the tempest settled into a misty fog and the sun gave
a mild glow to the dawn as it began to beat back the chill and mist of morning.
To be Continued – Michael P.