“Half the fun of the travel is the aesthetic of lostness” – Ray Bradbury.
We have been on the road six days now, lucky enough to be blessed by the technology of GPS so as never to be truly lost geographically, but we have lost ourselves in other ways. Our priorities have become disoriented, our schedules uncoordinated, and our thoughts miscalculated as we focused more on the present moments and less on the longterm goals. I don’t point these things out in a negative manner, rather just to point out that they are there.
Although a week-long road trip should, in most opinions, be the most thought-out and calculated experience so as not to miss iconic sights and essential reservations, our opinions saw otherwise. Instead, we planned our trip like so:
- create a wish list of things to see within a 10 hour (ish) radius of Denver
- determine if we needed to be anywhere on any particular day (answer: yes- Salt Lake City for Grandma’s birthday on Saturday, Denver for work again the following Thursday)
- pull up a map and draw a circle that starts and ends in Denver, passing through our wish list to determine feasibility
- start going and check every once in a while that we are on the right track to head toward something interesting.
This plan worked pretty well until we found ourselves at the Four Corners Monument at 8:30pm last night, staring at this sign: “Hours – 8am to 5pm”
Time to reevaluate.. if we can’t stand on four states simultaneously tonight, do we really want to drive to our next stop (Durango), just to backtrack tomorrow morning? (Missing a landmark was of course not an option in our minds.) We drove along the highway for a bit, contemplating various scenarios, until our hungry stomachs made the decision for us and we stopped at the next restaurant we saw: The Ute Reservation Casino. It was here that we met “Lincoln”, spent the night (but not with Lincoln), and gambled away our last (and only) dollar bill at a dragon-themed penny slot.
Let me first introduce Lincoln. He was our server, and thus the reason for our stomachaches after encouraging us to eat Native Tacos and 99cent strawberry shortcake faster than our mouths could manage. Lincoln is also next in line to become the world champion at fruit and vegetable carving, and he lives in Cortez so as to eliminate all distractions while training for his carving competitions. He is also the bearer of our best (strangest?) advice yet: “Remember to find your Woozledoozer.”
The setting? Two girls hopped up on the adrenaline of a road trip, knowing that they have accomplished both Angel’s Landing and Antelope Canyon within the past 48 hours, walk into a restaurant laughing at jokes nobody else understands.
Lincoln: “Oh and by the way there’s no special tonight.”
Me (contemplating): “… hmm. Ok, then I’ll have the special.”
Lincoln: “There is no special!”
Girls crack up laughing…
Lincoln (covers his face): “Ok I get it. So it’s gonna be like that.”
(And it was like that, for a while)
(insert some small talk about food suggestions here)
Lincoln: “Do you know hippies seem to know all the answers to life? Let me tell you about my neighbor. She came to me the other day and this is what she said. She said ‘Lincoln, I had a revelation and figured out what I need to do in life.’ A revelation, she said. She had a revelation and so I ask her how she had this revelation about life. She tells me, ‘The woozledoozer told me.’”
Lincoln: “No, Woozledoozer.”
Lincoln: “No, Woozledoozer.”
Lincoln: “NO! The Woo-zle-doo-zer. The Woozledoozer. I ask her who this is, and she tells me that’s the name of the person who tells her what to do in life! So, there you go. If you ever think you’re a bit strange… remember that you’re not the last one out there.”
(at the end of our meal, about an hour later)
Lincoln: “Thanks girls! Have a good night, be safe out there. And remember to find your Woozledoozer.”
We’re still not sure if we have found the Woozledoozer, but if he’s the one who suggested we camp out at an Indian Reservation to wake up early and visit the Four Corners and Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings before heading down to New Mexico… well then we blame him for the 8-10 hours of driving that we are doing today.