This really feels like a case of how time flies. I am in an RV Park in Loveland, Colo. Since my last blog post I drove through Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and into Colo. Arriving in Park City to visit an old friend of mine, I was seriously considering turning around. Driving Augie over the mountains and across Nevada was neat but also difficult. Arriving in Park city to visit and old friend was like a reward. It is really beautiful there and the road to town is wide and not steep. I stayed for a couple of days and the highlight was seeing Chubby Checker at the Egyptian Theatre. At 73, he was fabulous! After the show I got his autograph, told him that he was one of my brother’s favorites back in the 60s. Chubby reached out and gave me this amazing handshake. He’s really cool!!!!
After Park City, I drove on 80 towards Colo. 80 is a beautiful highway but notorious for wind. At one point I pulled off the road in hopes it would settle down and it did. I got to Lymon, Wyoming. There is a KOA there and it was about 5:00 pm so I decided to stay for the night. There were only a few campers there. The owner came over to the office and I checked in. I didn’t even think about it but I asked him if I could do a show for the campers that night. Hew said “sure”. That was fun. I got Augie all hooked up and settled in. Clint, the owner came over in his golf cart and helped me bring my PA over to the office/dining room. He went around the park and told people that there’d be a concert at 6:00.. It was cool, there were 4 of us.
I left the next morning. It turns out that a childhood/neighborhood friend, Kacy, lives near Fort Collins. She wasn’t going to be in town but she was and we were both excited to reconnect after many, many years. We grew up in Clayton and went to Our Lady of Lourdes church. Our neighborhoods were one street apart and her cousins lived a few houses down from mine. We decided it was 1961 when we became friends. My first memory of Kacy was one winter when a bunch of us were ice-skating around Brentmoor Park. In those days they didn’t plow or put salt down, I don’t know why but it just didn’t seem to matter and the snow would be packed really well and icy enough to skate on. Those were definitely the good old days. Well, Kacy was sitting at the end of our driveway that afternoon in 1961 struggling with her skate. I can still see her, blue over coat with a fur trimmed collar, long brown braids. We all gathered around and Anne, an older girl realized that Kacy’s laces were loose. So, she tightened them up for her and off we all went. How fun!!!
It’s slow going in Augie and even though Cheyenne is really close to Fort Collins, I stayed in the KOA there and arrived at Kacy’s the next morning. It was so fun. We had a great time retrieving our memories from those childhood days at Lourdes and running around or riding our bikes all over Clayton and University City. That night Kacy and her husband Lon invited a couple of friends over and we had a show. I played about 10 songs and we had a great time. That’s what this trip is about.
On Saturday I drove to Estes Park. That was one of my stops 10 years ago on the first leg of this “trip” with Augie. My cousins live there in the summer. I remembered driving up the pass the first time. I was terrified. It was raining and I really wanted to chicken out. But I of course clutched the steering wheel, bit my lip and did it. Half way up, a little rock hit my windshield, then the whole damn thing cracked. My heart sunk into my stomach and I told God that I promised to be a nicer person and I did not look to the right or the left which would have been straight down into the canyon. I kind of laugh at that that now but I still avoid scenic roads in Augie if I can. This time it was a piece of cake. It was a beautiful day and I felt confident.
I got to their house and my cousin George was there, so was Isabel and Punch. How fortunate I felt to have a big, wonderful family that I keep in touch with. Forgot to mention that there had been a little puddle of oil under Augie at Kacy’s house. I didn’t want to panic, thinking I could get it checked in Estes. I did and it was not serious but I got an oil change. There was no house-concert in Estes but a magical 3 days catching up with family and sightseeing in Rocky Mountain National Park. What a far cry from LA. Earth is so neat, it talks to us. I need to spend way more time listening and understanding it’s language.
We are almost up to date. Speaking of dates, I have one with a fabulous circus…The Zoppe Family Circus. They are performing in Colorado this month and I will join them next week. I hope they will let me perform my songs for them. I met the Zoppes through my brother in law, David Balding who was one of the founders of Circus Flora which is now based in St Louis. David and my sister Laura got married on a sweltering June day in 1994 in none other than the circus tent. It was such a neat wedding and Tino Wallenda performed the ceremony. Laura wore my mother’s wedding dress and she really did look like a fairy princess. So, we have had a circus in the family and I have had the privilege of meeting some incredible, talented, amazing people through the years. It makes me feel old when I think of the first year that the Russian Cossack riders performed in the circus. Oh my God!!! I was young and it was fun!!!! That’s possibly a whole other chapter. Those guys were sexy to say the least and I hung out with them after the shows. I didn’t drink any Vodka though, of course not! I did’t join in any Russian toasts with them or stay till dawn, no way, not me!
When I left Estes Park I really winged it as far as looking for an RV Park. I called a couple KOAs and they were booked. Of course they are. It’s the end of August and everyone is camping or vacationing because it’s the last chance before summer’s over. The very reason I gave Augie his name, August. I did find one that could take me through Labor Day. It’s just outside of Loveland, not too far from Estes I almost made it full circle. Perfect, sort of. That meant Id be there for 2 weeks until I meet the Zoppes in Winter Park. Well, I’m not complaining, just wondering what it will be like for the next 2 weeks. I’m done with driving Augie on mountain roads probably forever. I rented a car and drove to Winter Park just to check out what going over Berthoud Pass would be like. It didn’t take me long to decide. I’ll be there to see my friends the Zoppes but I’ll be staying at the Best Western. So, we are up to date. A lot more goes on with me on this trip. I do a lot of introspection, it’s impossible not to. I have to think it’s a positive experience. I have spent a lot of time alone in this adulthood of mine. This is something that I don’t recommend and I would like to find my way out of. I feel like I am more mature, more understanding and compassionate than I was 10 years ago on the first leg of this RV trip. I’ve made a few deals with God regarding these things. At times I have created situations for myself and realized I had no idea where to go or what to do. I only knew what I didn’t want to know and that was that I couldn’t turn around. Like driving Augie on the scariest road in Idaho. I couldn’t turn around, it was not even possible.
Thanks for joining my RV trip. I love having someone to write to. I hope this post wasn’t too long or drawn out.