May 13, 2003. Tuesday. Taos NM

1043pm Taos, NM

I am irked. When I checked into the Hampton Inn here, it seems that a woman came in around 430 and cancelled my reservation. She had my confirmation number and last name. I would really like to meet this person and find out what the blazes is going on. I can think of no logical explanation. Hopefully this won't keep me up at night and will either solve itself or be a one-time fluke happening. I've been perturbed all night. 3 things have helped: Simpsons, great Mexican food at Taosnos (?) and the cute girl who checked me in, even though she left and I didn't ask her out for a drink. Maybe I'll be here one more night before Jess and Ryan find a condo here so they can have a kitchen.

All the work here will suck and its either on Reservations or 10 surveys in a small overlapping area. Not fun times, though 1/2 can be done from Santa Fe instead of her and SF was OK. Maybe I can pick up my Ansel Adams print there.

Everclear was an average show--it took them 4 songs to get the levels right and only at the end did things get energetic.

It was a good time--Vicki came along, so did Ryan's friend Byron, who is absolutely hilarious.
        She came back to my place. I took my time on my way South, and once again she disengaged and I got messy. Almost shot in the face.
        That was the last I talked to her--I told her I'd call for the weekend, but didn't--things were solo, and besides, there's no spark there, just passed the time till the clothes came off.
I'm looking for something more, which is why--if I see her again--I'll behave with Natalie and really see what happens there. Any 2 people can mess around--it takes more to sit and talk. And I want a 'matching' relationship with her--equal footing on physical and emotional, otherwise the unbalance messes with my head and I wonder what I really want and if the side lacking (usually emotional) is possible.

The previous pages' playbill was from a hilarious show [I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change]. Well-written and very true. I might have to look into purchasing the script/book--however those things work. Wonderfully acted and choreographed, good actors--one had a Carol Burnett award for humor. Esp good was 'Because I'm a guy' and the 'sexual satisfaction lawyer.' After seeing it, I don’t know if I'm excited or scared about a family. Definitely scared over the notion that baby takes precedence over everything and that the parents speak Baby-talk to other adults and lose real conversation and interaction with peers. And then there's the whole Busy Busy Busy when you have kids and end up too worn out for 'special activities' and pass out at 930pm.

There was also a funny scene about being too buys for a first date, and in the course of conversation, went through the whole relationship, breakup, awkward meeting, etc. Clever.

Friday was crummy--it was cold, raining, hailing, and snowing. Forecasts for Sat (proposed hiking day) were equally bad and I don't like being miserable if I don't have to be.
        So I drove to a bunch of those little towns on I-70 W and took a bunch (20!) of pictures, went to Coors for the brewery Tour (all the hot girls weren't in my group). It's the largest single brewery and the tour was good--short and just enough information. Plus, free beer at the end!
        I bought some postcards and a poster of the twins though I'm not sure what I'll do with it.

Afterwards it was a gorgeous day but too late to hike even though the snow from Friday already melted. Instead, I saw X-2: X-Men United. Great women--Rogue (Anna Paquin) and Jean Gray (Famke Janssen). Wow. I need super powers.
        Really good movie--maybe better plot than last time, more minor characters--and more Wolverine. I'm 1/2 temped to grow out my chops if I guide this summer.

    I had to get a jump on the summer movies, otherwise I'd fall behind on the ones I really want to see--like Matrix:Reloaded is coming out this week. Really pumped for this one.

My first hike on Sunday (after Church of course) to Chasm Falls was a bust. Shorter than expected (that was good), but I was expecting frozen Falls, not thawed and flowing. And the hike itself was only moderately scenic.

Hike II to Gem Lake started too steep for me (wuss) at the Twin Owl trailhead, so I drove to the actual Gem Lake trailhead and started there, threading across a relatively flat piece of land, broken by private residences.
        Only a few minutes into it, my path was blocked by a huge bull elk. He was young--no antlers yet, but stood on the trail between a small granite hill and a barb-wire fence.
        We regarded each other a while, he chewing slowly, me videoing and taking pictures, before I decided to go up and around. If he didn't like me, I figured 'too bad' elk can't climb rocks.
        It was a good steep climb up to the lake, which was nestled between 2 granite 'mountains.' I followed the opp trail to find the 'Balanced Rock Trail' but everything was snowed under. After following another hiker's trail 15-20 min, I decided to go back to the lake since it would be dark soon.

Trail notes:

The Southern approach, gaining elevation, was cut and criss-crossed by melting snow streams, while the Northern approach was thick with snow--past my ankles--yet to see the sun.

The cold lake lay in an imposing granite fortress, protected and cold, like it had melted only yesterday and the stones and branches marking the bottom were still frozen.

Granite slept, but oh! The waking hours must've been ferocious, cut by wind and rain, chiseled by expanding ice, disfigured and folded upon itself by its faults.

Gem Lake was serene, but not unprotected--forces were only dormant. The altitude and climate and landscape discouraged lengthy visits, as the wind stirred its surface in through the South and out through the North.

The sky cleared in the West--enough so that the sun peaked its head beneath the blanket of clouds and cast the faintest palest light on facing snow-covered peaks opposite the valley of me. The sleeping sides became bluer and grayer, depending on snowy or rocky exposure.

Estes Park laid sleepily in the valley between the stone guards of Gem Lake and Twin Owls, and the sharp peaks of the Rocky's Ridge. Streetlights below appeared as sparks thrown from a kicked fire.

The 3/4 moon grew higher and brighter. It would've been a beautifully cold night which I wanted no part of, other than to sleep in a bed insulated from it. So I ran the 2 miles down to the truck. I didn't want to navigate the granite steps, loose gravel, or sharp turns on the trail (though well-maintained) at night in the cold. Running kept my heart rate up, increased energy consumption and therefore BTU's so that by the time I reached the truck, I could've been shirtless in shorts.

It was 830pm by the time I got my gear up, drank some Power-Ade and took off my shoes--my fav part of the hike sometimes--to stretch and air out white damp toes in the fresh air. 830, the time of evening (this part of year) when the color seeps out of everything and all that's left is contrasting shapes of darkness and light.


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