An Independence Weekend

First things first, if you haven’t seen the rafting photos from last week  (and want to) they’re now up on last weeks’ blog.

This week of work was relatively uneventful. Heck I don’t even recall what I got up to.  There was less meandering through simple tasks, Mark wasn’t travelling so he threw more work my way. Otherwise nothing highly eventful happened at work. Yay, dullsville!

Outside of work on the other hand…

Monday I had an evening at home.  I guess it was slightly marred by an afternoon of running errands; I finished work at 1630 but wasn’t home until 1830. But it was a little restful.  Tuesday RB and I caught up for dinner. We had tacos and a chat, nice tacos! Thankfully an early night that one.

Wednesday I headed up to Jac’s and took her out for dinner.  Well she partially took Chris and I out for dinner 🙂 she had a voucher for Sushi Den so the three of us pigged out on sushi. It was super yummy. And awesome to catch up with Jac. Her speech is coming along in leaps and bounds. Apparently she’s already up to having 60% of her speech back, so she’s progressing super fast. Determination I tell you, does wonders.

Thursday I went to the Denver botanical gardens. So for those in Melbourne, you’ll know what I was expecting.  A big lush green garden with lots of trees and places to chill etc.  Not much of that happening. These gardens are small and are kinda like the zoo in that an area is dedicated to one area or type of plant etc. But tiny! And oddly not that impressive. Oh well, ticked that off the list of things to do at least. Mum will probably like it, all the different plants.

Friday I took my flex day. I had a slow relaxed start to the day then headed down to Cotopaxi. It’s a good 2.5 hour drive (okay, it takes me a little less than that thanks to having fun with Red). Turned out most of the guys had a rafting trip to do so Wade got his boat out and we headed off, after a car shuffle.  It was good fun!  Rafting with two people and a much smaller boat is super different to the bigger boats!  Then we did a little fishing.  My fishing curse continued…we could see the blasted things jumping but none of them were deceived by my hook.  Bobby came out and offered super helpful (there is at least a little sarcasm there) advice for a bit, then disappeared and returned with his line, two casts (maybe three), hooks a fish, threw it back in, then wandered off with a “just to prove they’re in there and do bite”, snot face!!!!

Thoroughly dispirited, Wade took me up to feed the horses and I met his mule Penelope. Yep, he’s training a mule to take hunting… I think he’ll be pushing shit up hill to get on her by August: Good luck to him.  The silly mule turns her arse to you as soon as you get within 10m of her, every damned time, to any person!  I hear the theory is that she’s been abused so it’s going to be a long road for Penelope and Wade.  I met Gene’s brood of horses plus Hope’s barrel racers.  The girl is 16, 6’2″, and headed off Sunday morning to National Championships for her age group of barrel racers with two or three horses.  I’m told her best horse does sub 15 seconds. Fast!

Sunrise Saturday – promise I’ll take more photos whenever I go back down there.

Saturday was a bit quieter. While the guys did their morning rafting trip I chilled at the shop with Hope, Ross, Bobby, and Sammy.  Then we were going to go for a hike but rain rolled in so we had lunch and I headed home and left them to their afternoon tours.  I guess I should introduce you to the people here. Hell, maybe a little context?  This is the rafting crew that Ben and I met at the Vallie Bridge when we were on our road trip.  Two weeks ago I headed back down there and did their easy half day.  Of course they were enamored with the Aussie and said I should come back.  So I did – I’m not sure they quite expected that, but the offer was there!  This is ostensibly a rafting outfitter on the Arkansas River, family owned and run business (both a blessing and curse), with a bunch of guys that live there and are the extended family. To the people (and I’ll miss some because it’s a big family and I didn’t chat with everyone):

  • Gene is the owner of the outfit. His crew does rafting, rock climbing, riding, fishing, etc. The full gamut. It seems he’s one of the local influential people. He’s 67 and the typical blunt, jaded, old chap.  I like him.
  • Sammy is Gene’s missus, she must be a good fifteen to twenty years younger than him.  Nice lady, breeds miniature poodles. Has the fun job of keeping the rag tag mob in some semblance of order.  I don’t envy her that job.
  • Hope is sixteen going on twenty-something.  She’s tall, blonde, great rack, a bit tom boy, but also a lot spoilt. I guess she’ll inherit her dad’s everything one day. I hope her husband doesn’t mess it all up.
  • Wade is the first of the extended family. He’s been there eight years so I guess being the longest standing employee gives him a little more freedom and the best cabin, he faces the river, the others face into the communal area. He’s a redneck country chap, loves hunting, fishing, the whole lot. Lovely guy, hilariously chivalrous (which I had a great time challenging), scatter brained a lot of the time, but seems to be pretty good at teaching people stuff (rafting, fishing, etc).  Typical hunter/fisherman type can spot anything in  the shitty water or furthest trees.
  • Bobby is the old man of the crew. He’s the bus driver. It took him until mid Saturday to work up the courage to ask how it’s his fault I’m there (he’s the one that Ben and I had a chat with on that Monday), he then took all the credit for my being there.  Bobby is older and jaded also, Southern California chap, happy to live the simple life with this mad family and plans on dying in the Rocky Mountains.
  • Aron has been there only a couple of years. He was a little quieter with me about.  He managed a great ‘guide launch’ on Saturday morning, the photo was him flipping backwards off the raft two feet in the air. Brilliant photo!  Not what he was planning I guess and he got a whole lot of shit for abandoning ship.
  • Hayden and Zac I didn’t talk to much at all, but they’re there….I’ll have to fill in some blanks one day (bad me).
  • Ross was on the outer with Gene on Saturday.  He borrowed a truck Friday night to go to work in Salida and said he’d be back that night.  He wasn’t.  And he was late for rafting (slept thru his alarm apparently).  But I guess he got a free pass despite Gene’s early seething anger…I suspect Sammy talked him down.

And I think that’s everyone who lives at the rafting shop.  There are a few other guides that I can picture but for the life of me cannot remember their names (tsk).  There are three cabins and a caravan that the guys live in through the summer. Come winter they head into the main building which is better heated etc but I gather much closer quarters.  So everyone is super nice, chatty (I guess they have to be with their guiding type jobs), and welcoming.  They all enjoyed having a random person hang out I think, and I know I had a great time playing.  I’ll have to find more flex days to go visit some more.

Saturday night I slept like the dead then Sunday headed out to Michelles.  Paula, Michelle, and I headed up to Greeley Stampede. Again, I loved it!

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After the rodeo we headed back to Michelles and were joined by Kari and Cat.  All the girls have worked or currently work for AECOM and have done so for quite some time so know a lot of the same people so there was a fair amount of comparing notes.  We’re all also in strange and / or complicated places with men folk.  It was a fun night of chatting.  One great story for you though.

This is a story of determination:  Last weekend Michelle headed up to Alaska to catch up with a chap who broke her heart but is considered worth the effort.  Evidently he’s grown up a hell of a lot and is much less likely to stomp on her again.  Anyways, she went up to Alaska to join him and his family and friends for a fishing weekend.  When she checked in at Denver the lady didn’t check her in for the connecting flight on the little baby plane across the state, so the plane was all fuelled for the passengers except Michelle.  Her options were to hire a car or wait until the morning flight. Given there was a very early morning plan to head out fishing she opted to drive. After visiting all the car rentals in town and not finding any availability someone jokingly said “you could take a u-haul”.  Not such a stupid idea! Unfortunately u-haul only had a 15′ truck available. This gutsy awesome lass took it! She drove for five hours over the Thompson Pass (google it), and arrived at 2300 to a rousing reception from his family.  His dad has declared her a keeper!  Driving a truck for five hours across Alaska to make sure you don’t miss a fishing trip, yep, that’s determination. She came back with 50 pounds of Halibut, so Kari cooked that up for us for dinner. It was scrumptious,  totally worth the effort if you ask me!

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The tiny marshmallow story starts with coffee on Tuesday.  At this stage I will warn you all that this is not a child friendly story, not safe for work, and if you don’t want to read about man parts stop reading at the  row of stars.  There is nothing  more after the stars other than the NSFW story.

So after a fun night with Halibut and cheeky women I headed home.  One of these times I visit Michelle I’ll remember to turn right out of her driveway…I keep turning left, sure there is a loop there that doesn’t take much longer than turning right, but still…I’m a goose.

Sunday I’d considered heading up to visit Anna and have a pool side BBQ for Independence Day.  Instead, I slept in, went for breakfast, snoozed, cooked dinners, read, wrote this post, and generally tried to recover from the weekend.  Damn, one day I’ll slow down but at the moment I’m having fun!

I did catch up with Uma for a coffee.  Totally accidental meeting while we were both at the car wash.  Chatting with Uma is always fun.

 

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Are you sure you want to keep reading?

 

Okay,  I guess you think you’re sure.  If not, close the damned page now 🙂

 

Well that is enough chance to skip the story, so here goes.

Michelle and I went to coffee on Tuesday and had a good long girl chat about life, the universe, dating, and dicks.  Michelle has this wonderful theory that men get to see how big a woman’s boobs are and that’s not fair, women should get some signal too.  The proposal: a tattoo on the forearm indicating size…sometimes there just is no working with what he’s got.  There is also a hunt for the correlation between dick size and something, feet size? Nope.  Hand size? Nope.  Wrist thickness? Nope. Epiglottis size? Maybe but how to tell!!  I’m happy to consider it a small mark, maybe from the wrist crease to a dot up the forearm.

Anyway, this concept struck quite a cord with me.  Around the fire I recounted a recent experience:

I had progressed through a few dates with one of the Bumble chaps.  Nice sort of guy.  Not at all intimidated by me, which is super refreshing.  Outdoorsy and active. Certainly the one I met in May with the most potential.  He’s one of the ones that I didn’t write about in the Dating Game post. So I guess almost six weeks of dating later (maybe four if you discount the two weeks I was exploring Colorado with Ben) we were getting hot and heavy and I reached down.  All I could find was balls.  A little hunting later I glanced down (useless, he’d turned the light off), but eventually I found that all I was going to find was less than the first knuckle on my thumb.  Maybe turning the light out is the sign.

What do you do with that?  I was dumbstruck.  Quite shortly (no pun intended) thereafter I made a diplomatic retreat.

Everyone around the fire has a similar story.  The luckiest was Michelle who was given pre-warning.  He warned her and she called it off, they both rolled over and went to sleep and are friends still.  So as you can imagine we had quite a few laughs and some fun trying to toast the tiny marshmallows using toothpicks laughing our heads off with ll the innuendo.  Yep – girls can be just as crude as guys.

 

 

 

Okay, the coast is clear now 🙂

I haven’t had any more Bumble first dates lately, I’ve kept myself busy enough without adding the stress of first dates!

 

2 thoughts on “An Independence Weekend

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