Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Day off in Durango
Getting in a day early gave us a whole day to take care of laundry, cleaning up the van, hanging out in bike shops and enjoying a low pressure day. Sean had a bad night with a stomach bug so he was pretty low key but we managed to meet some fine bicycle folks in town.
Mac and Caroline Johnson are fabulous hosts. I feel like we could just stay here and enjoy Durango for weeks.
As I was describing our trip, I told a story that deserves retelling.
As Derrick, Catherine and I were riding up the pass before dropping into Sheep Springs, I startled two wild horses who were grazing by the side of the road. They took off at the same pace that I was riding and we moved parallel up the road for about 300 yards. The horses kept looking at me with a worried, curious gaze until they finally dropped into the canyon and disappeared from sight. Catherine and Derrick were behind the three of us watching our progress up the mountain.
When we stopped for lunch a few minutes later, Derrick announced that he had a Navajo name for me.
"Oliver Runs With The Horses Bock." I felt honored and asked Derrick if he had an Indian name. There was a short uncomfortable silence after which he answered that he did but that no one new it except for him and his grandparent who had given him the name. His daughter immediately queried about whether she has aNavajo name and apparently she does but she doesn't get to learn it until later.
Caroline arranged for Catherine and I to go to the school where she works and talk to two classes of 5th graders about our trip. The kids were great. They had endless questions, comments and curiosity. When we demonstrated our bikes by driving around the parking lot, the kids applauded us. Boy was that easy!!
Later in the afternoon, Catherine and I went to the airport to pick up cousin Jim who is going to ride with us to Boulder. A dust cloud had moved over the area and everything was grey and gross. It was a good day to not be riding and we're hoping that the winds will die off as the week progresses.
Dust storms like this are new to this area. People speculate about why things are getting worse and we hear theories ranging from the many new roads and clearings created by the oil and gas industries that have disrupted the protective surface skin to "global wierding" which is unleashing much stronger winds than anyone can remember.
We all went out to dinner and invited Catherine's friend Catherine Willner along as well. The Catherine's were really happy to see each other and I know sister Catherine was thrilled to reconnect with one of her dearest friends from over 30 years ago.
Catherine heads to town from Johnson's house
Off to the Post Office to get rid of uneeded stuff
Sign alerting "Parkers" about our event
Caroline Johnson soaking up the morning news
Cousin Jim looking forward to a few days of cycling adventure