Thursday, 7/5/01 - My First Time in Colorado
The state line into Colorado from Wyoming is only a handful of miles from Cheyenne. My first stop was the Visitor's Center, as usual, looking for maps, campground directories and other brochures for activities and points of interest.
Stopped at Texaco for gas in Ft. Collins and started talking to the woman, Sheryl, behind the counter. She was asking if I was traveling alone and when I said yes, she began to tell me about her love of travel. We talked about both of us being Sagittarius and what that means. She was so excited about my trip that I went into the RV and got her a copy of my book. She came out from behind the counter and gave me a big hug. Being able to touch someone's life, albeit briefly, is an amazing thing.
I've never been to Denver. All I knew about it is that it was a mile high which caused me a little concern because of the RV, but I soon realized that a mile up is much less than other places I've already visited, including Cheyenne which is at an elevation of over 6500 feet. So what's the big deal?
The big deal for the day was the heat - oppressive, angry heat, beating down on the RV and sending the engine temperature into the red. I parked the Apache in a big lot at the Pepsi Center and took a cab, with Berts hidden in their Sherpa bag, to the Barnes & Noble for my booksigning.
The manager of the store was super nice and very accomodating when a documentary film crew from Canada showed up to film some footage for an upcoming show about women and power. After the signing, I followed the crew down the road and out of town as they hung out of their van, camera following the Apache's every move. We ended up at the home of the cameraman, hoping for a quiet hour to tape an interview.
His home was situated high up in the hills above a small town called Evergreen and weather and nature did not cooperate, with aspen leaves rustling, dogs barking, wind blowing. So we finally decided to wait until the next morning to film the interview. The cameraman, Scott, and his wife Heidi invited me to join them for dinner.
A delicious homecooked meal, good wine and fine conversation was just what I needed after a long, hot day. Then the Berts and I went to sleep in the RV which was parked in the driveway with an outdoor extension cord hooking us up to power.
Friday, 7/6/01 - Heading to Colorado Springs
The interview went off without a hitch at 7am and then I headed back down the big hill, through Evergreen, and winding my way down through a scenic canyon, back to I-25 South and the humdrum interstate drive.
Passed through Colorado Springs to get to the Colorado Springs KOA, checked in and settled in for the day, riding my bike around the big campground with my laptop to check email, buy ice, rent movies and later getting a hamburger at the campground canteen.
Monday, 7/9/01 - Mountains and Water Sports
After a weekend in Colorado Springs, headed to Salida, Colorado in the mountains for a whitewater trip, with a company called Canyon Marine, down the Arkansas River. The rapids were Class 3 whereas my two previous river trips were Class 1 and some Class 2's, so this ride was more challenging and exciting. Once again, I was the lead paddler by choice and got splashed time and time again.
The raft floor filled with water, making it difficult for our guide, Dan, to steer, so we ended up paddling extra hard with more varying moves to make our way through technical portions of the river.
After the trip, I asked Dan what I needed to do to prepare for a Class 4 and 5 rafting trip. "You're ready now," he assured me. I also learned that there is a great section of river near Taos for more advanced rafting. I'm ready!
Stayed at a campground right outside of Salida, the 4 Seasons RV Park, and got a great site right next to the river. The sound of water rushing soothed us to sleep
Tuesday, 7/10/01 - Another Hot Day in Colorado
We're getting tired of this heat. I think I need to be in Alaska in the summer, or at least close to water at all times. Drove down the mountains and eventually back onto I-25 South, hoping to get into New Mexico. The heat, however, had other plans for me and the Apache, and I knew I had to stop driving by 2:30pm, opting to stay at the Colorado City KOA. Just in time for a major storm bursting through the campground.
When I checked in, I gave the woman behind the counter a copy of my book as I always do when I stay at KOA campgrounds. She was thrilled and later told me, a little embarrassed, that her horoscope said that someone would give her something in the 2nd or 3rd week of July that would help her market her crafts on the Internet. She couldn't believe that I had given her my book which was all about helping women use the Internet for their careers and businesses. Another brief moment of positive impact on another person's life. Priceless.
Life on the road has really just become my life, the road nothing more than the location of my home and home being wherever I park it. Now that my booktour for my 2nd book is over, I have less obligations and a looser schedule. Having more time on my hands is not always a good thing. I tend to be more motivated when I'm pressed for time. Will I get things done now that all I have is time?
I am looking forward to a week-long writers conference in Taos starting this weekend. I'm taking a magazine writing workshop so I can get out of my rut and send queries to magazines in hopes of having a more steady income. Then I will take a travel writing workshop, looking for guidance as I put together my RV travel book which has been a challenge for me as I wonder "What do people really want to read about?"
If you are reading my online diaries, please drop me an email and let me know what you like best and what I could improve. If I were to turn my travels into a book, what would you hope to discover when you read it? Thanks for your help!
The rest of the summer will be spent writing my RV book in Santa Cruz, then returning to New York City for a few weeks in September to start my next booktour, this time for my 3rd book, PowerTools for Women in Business which comes out in October.
Being able to work while on the road has been great, however, I'm looking forward to finding a place to hang out in for a while. I can't see returning to New York City - the thought of it is suffocating. There must be someplace else for me. Finding my place is an emotional mission. Where do I belong?
So far, some favorite places for me have been Jackson Wyoming, Bozeman Montana, Key West Florida and Santa Cruz California. Maybe I'll be like the snowbirds and stay in a warm place in the winter and moderate place in the summer. And I'll live in my RV which I love so much. Fingers crossed that it will last that long.