Hippies Days – Westward Ho!

Independence Pass, CO

On through golden wheat fields of Kansas we go. Many people we’ve talked to abhorred the drive through those flat middle states, but because I’d spent most of my life in the flatness of Florida, I appreciate the perfectly connected puzzle-pieced vistas of farmland going on forever. Camping spots are scarce, but on the Colorado border a shimmering oasis appears in the distance. Alone in the middle of these great plains stands a manmade reservoir surrounded by trees so lofty and isolated they look artificial. A plain’s wind is blowing as we pick our campsite. I start cursing “Oh shit!” and Ray “Goddamnit!” as everything loose flies in all directions. If only we’d known that we had it good. When the winds recede the flies descend. We race through a dinner of rubbery pancakes and put away all the food to deter the bugs. The kids let off steam at the playground with some other camp children and are soon covered with mud after a quick game of baseball in a recently irrigated field. We’re all getting used to being dirty.

The sky darkens, giving us respite from the bugs. The children fall asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillow. Peace reigns. I look to the stars flashing everywhere, take a deep breath and reminisce. Days are pretty hectic and not always fun as the children become more aware of their restricted quarters in the van. Although they can’t get along without each other, they can’t get along with each other either. When they grow bored antagonizing each other they start on the dog. Luckily our dachsund Kobi is a tough little dude and starts growling, raising his lip and showing his teeth when he’s had enough. The vision of my life as a hippie is very different than this reality.

With a good night’s sleep, the morning brings a sunnier attitude. We’re heading into the Colorado mountains towards Independence Pass.

Children’s Diary – Eldorado Springs – July 6

We drove way up in the mts. and we saw snow. It was called Independence Pass.