My journey began in New Orleans and took me to the secluded mountain town of Telluride, CO. The show kicked off at 5PM on Friday, but my adventure started on Wednesday. It would become my most beloved memory.
My flight from New Orleans to Denver was at 6PM, but I was dropped off at the airport at 1PM. It gave me a few hours to kill. I was still compiling notes for The Horror Show, so the extra time was needed. The flight went first to Atlanta, GA then to Denver. I got in at 10:30PM and needed to juice my phone, so I sat in the airport for a while then made my way to the bus. There's a regional bus that takes you from the airport directly to Union Station - it takes 45min. When I got to downtown Denver, I had a custom google map to let me know where to go, but of course I got lost. What is there to do in Denver at midnight on a weekday? Not much. My first stop that seemed close on the map was a bar/arcade.
It took me twenty-five minutes to walk there with a 20 lb. pack on my back and a 10 lb. messenger bag across my shoulder. The Jameson and Ginger Ale drinks I had at the bar were a bad idea since I hadn't had any food in ten hours, but the time playing Tron, Frogger, and a Tales From The Crypt pinball machine (which I was really good at for some reason) were great. I left the hipster haven with a buzz and deep hunger. I knew that Tom's Diner was a 24hr hangout, but I didn't know it was nearly an hour walk. My stomach was eating itself. I made it to the diner at 2AM and ate a feast that couldn't be beat. A huge thank you to my server, it was her first night and the place was strangely packed. She was awesome. I told her to take care of the rude customers first, I had all the time in the world. The food came out and it was an okay breakfast, but when you're starving everything tastes like Thanksgiving. I took an Adderall that kicked in after my fourth cup of coffee.
The pack was lighter and everything I saw began to render itself into a deep focus. My phone died when I was trying to find the next spot of my all-nighter. It's not like you can ask anyone for directions at 3 in the morning. I was asked if I had any bubbles, which I later found out translates into: you got any pot? Finally, I made my way into Leela's European Cafe. With the drugs taking effect, I wrote nearly twenty pages of my ongoing novel - and when I look back at those pages, they actually work.
The next step in my trip was supposed to be a train ride through the Rocky Mountains that left at 8AM, but I received a notification that the train would be delayed till noon. So I sat in the cafe and watched as the sun rose through the city streets. The barista put Maury Povich on and the stragglers at the bar laughed at the various paternity tests. I left Leela's at about 8AM and walked to the train. They let me leave my luggage. When I took that pack off I finally felt free. I then watched as the 16th Street Mall filled with people. It is a mile stretch of stores complete with its own free bus. I grabbed a french toast cinnamon roll from Duffey Rolls and waited for a certain store to open.
By 10AM I just wanted to lay down, so I hopped on the train - though it would not leave the station till noon. I figured I could get a few hours of sleep, but that was simply not the case. Every sound was amplified and there was no such thing as comfort. Normally, a nice train ride is accompanied by short bouts of napping, but after 25hrs of being awake all I could do is close my eyes and imagine what sleep would feel like.
The train left the station at 12:15 and for 8hrs I stared out the window as we climbed further up the mountains. We passed through a handful of tunnels along the way, but there was one in particular that lasted for ten minutes. We were told that there was 3,000 feet of rock above us and not to travel between cars due to the gasses that build up in the tunnel. Not even in total darkness could I find the sleep I needed. The train ended up in Grand Junction. I had a reserved motel room that was nearly a two hour walk away. I decided to call a cab. The room was CHEAP, but it had a surface level clean. You know the type, everything was dated but there wasn't any visible dirt, but when you stare at any one spot for too long you begin to notice a possible blood stain or two. Nothing else mattered. I had a shower, bed, and a tube TV with 12 channels. I fell asleep at 11:30PM. For those of you that have been keeping track, you're right, I was awake for a little over 38hrs. The dead don't sleep as well as I did that night.
The next morning, I decided that my choice in carrying a back pack for this journey was a stupid one. I figured there was a few hours to kill before I had a friend picking me up, so I'd go to Target. The map said it was only two miles away, but because it was off a main highway it suggested a route through neighborhoods that would take me an hour and a half. I decided to check for any buses in the area and one was scheduled to arrive a few minutes from when I looked it up. I quickly grabbed my things and made the bus. The downside of the bus was that it traveled into two other towns before circling back to Target. A five minute car ride took an hour, but it was shorter than walking. I walked around Target for a few hours, got some terrible Starbucks, a rolling suitcase, and waited for my ride. Once she arrived it was smooth sailing. We arrived in Telluride with a few minutes to spare before the roasted pig kickoff party.
Stay tuned for Part 2, The Telluride Horror Show