If you travel and you don’t make a mix CD/playlist with the song of the place you’re going to, you’re dead to me.
A few weekends ago, the husband and I set off to wonderful Telluride, CO. Of course, the first song on my mixed CD was Tim McGraw’s Telluride.
After a quick pit stop at the Easy Rider gas station…(woot!)…we headed into CO.
In every state I travel, there’s always a different vibe. You can feel it hanging in the air. I had been to Denver before but driving through Colorado, the small towns, the mountains, there was a very striking “you’re on your own” quality to it. Get lost in the wilderness and let a bear eat your face kinda vibe.
It made me miss Montana.
The adorable town was similar to a Montana fave of mine – Red Lodge. Quaint, everything within walking distance, a main street with overpriced and indulgent shops.
We went during the off-season but that was peachy keen because the lines weren’t long and the streets weren’t crowded. Telluride was seriously a dream. No worries, no cares, hey screw email! and yay! let’s drink!
This blog post could be a million miles long but for the sake of your sanity I’ll try to narrow down the trip. I’ll leave out the part about kidnapping a hitchhiker, so you’re welcome. Although, is it really kidnapping if he stole my mescaline?
Viking Lodge – condos and relaxation. Walking distance to everything and the slopes. Great service and amenities. Can’t go wrong. So don’t.
All of the food was hands-down amazing in Telluride. There was no shitty bar food that gave you gas and cramps. Unless you’re into that sort of thing. Just good food, tasty Colorado brews and serious cooks.
Brown Dog Pizza – drink Dirty Hippie Beer and order the award-winning 3-1-3 Specialty Detroit Square Pizza. Take photos of a man who reminds me of one of my story characters at the bar. (sorry to the husband)
Floradora Saloon – four star cuisine in a dark bar. Duck tacos. Baked Brie and Apples. Gourmet Burgers.
Baked – go eat donuts every morning and gain five pounds. It’s worth it.
Telluride Sports – one of the best sport shops there – although a bit pricey – the items they have are unique and very furry.
Telluride Music Company – I bought a harmonica.
Overland – a leather and fur shop with steampunk and aviator hats. Fun to browse and try the merchandise.
As prior posts tell you, I love signs. They’re so much fun. Story ideas. Insights. Neuroses. Honesty scrawled on walls. Stuck with stickers. They can lead the way. Not everything prophetic, but still. Telluride was filled with goodies.
On the literal front, some of my favorites consist of:
I don’t talk a lot. But on vacations I’m a little bit less like Patrick Bateman and instead turn into a veritable Elle Woods – minus everything annoying about her.
P.S. I seriously hate myself for that reference.
Kismet is a strange bitch. This particular Sunday (Nov 10, 2013, to be exact) was filled with so much “coincidence” it was scary.
To set the stage – I’m at a bar (odd, right?) with a book, ignoring the football game and listening to these two men’s conversations. And I’m eavesdropping because 1) I’m a writer 2) I love their accents and I reckon they’re from Tennessee.
One catches me ogling (I’m real sly) and tells me I can laugh at his accent. He’s getting used to people laughing at his drawl.
Feeling like a dipshit, I say I’m just listening because I love his accent and the current book I’m writing is set in TN and I was wondering if he’s from there. Smooth, Jules, smooth.
The man – Terry – is kind. He’s got a smile that makes me want to buy him a beer. Genteel manners. He asks my husband if it’s okay with him that we’re chatting. Asks if he can buy ME a beer. Southern charm can kill me now.
So we strike up a conversation. He’s on the road to visit all the sites on his bucket list, having had a heart attack about six months ago. He was on his way to see the Grand Canyon, got turned around, flipped a coin on where to go, and randomly ended up in Telluride. Traveling by van and meeting new friends along the way, he’s been posting his story on Facebook. I ask if I can follow him and his trip and this leads to phones being whipped out.
When I find him on Facebook, I see we have mutual friends. A bit mystified, I scroll closer.
Our mutual friends are my ex-neighbor’s (“ex” as in because they moved away, not “ex” as in because they are severing-ties assholes) who just recently moved to Salt Lake City. He met them a day ago at Arches in Utah. They had dinner together. That very same day, my husband and I had been considering going to Arches but decided to postpone.
Needless to say, small what-the-fuck world.
It was kinda surreal. Here, Terry had somehow stumbled into Telluride. My husband and I chose a bar we probably wouldn’t have chosen if the other bars weren’t so crowded.
We invited Terry to dinner. Shared stories and drank beers. Though I hung out with Terry for maybe eight hours total and had never met him before in my life – I love him so hard. There’s something incredibly special about him and I feel so, so honored to have spent the time I did with him. It also makes you think about – and believe in – fate. A whole hell of a lot.
Meanwhile…that same night…
At that very same bar I met another man with a sweet fedora. A cool cat, we chatted about motorcycles, writing, art, books and a variety of other random topics. Come to find out he’s a DJ at the local radio station KOTO on Sunday nights. He invites the husband and I to come down and hang during his 9pm – midnight shift.
And so after dinner with Terry we grab a bottle of wine and a bottle of whiskey and head to the station.
Glorious CDs everywhere. A small space and music. He tells us to start picking tunes and it’s like a shrimpfest going on in there. Sensory overload of awesome. I’m hanging with a Telluride DJ, drinking wine out of a coffee cup, and helping choose the music that is going on the radio.
For three hours, this is my life. FUUUUUCK YES. Writer’s gold. How many people can say they wrangled their way onto a radio station in a strange town?
I ask him to show me how he works the controls – for future story knowledge – and select The Velvet Underground as my first song.
Cut to later at night when I realize I have a CD from Parker Millsap in the car. Mister Millsap is a singer/songwriter from Oklahoma who I interviewed about a month ago (interview to be published in December). I goddamn adore his music and what better way to spread it than on the radio? Hey, I’m a pimp, okay?
So I slip into my husky voice and the DJ puts on the tune and I introduce the song. Boom! Parker Millsap blowing your minds out in Telluride.
You can watch the clip of me introducing the song and trying to be suave afterwards. Please note, it’s my first time ever on the radio. It’s not my forte to speak off the cuff. I’m proud I didn’t gag like Sweet Dee on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Instead I just got all giggly and silly. So enjoy the herp derp moments.