On the Road | S. Colorado
Albuquerque, NM to Canejos River, CO
“Happy Birthday!” said the mechanic behind the counter as I handed over my keys. It was 7am on a Monday, I was suppose to be having coffee in the wilderness somewhere West of Albuquerque. Instead I was sipping lobby coffee from the Double Tree which was walking distance to my new buddies at Reincarnation-The Subaru Guys!
By 7:05am my Subaru went from being a lonely car, to a car lost in a lineup of at least ten others. “We’re short staffed and extra busy.” It was the exact answer I was hoping for. I had already played out all scenarios, unless the car could be fixed in the next 3 hours the longer it took, the better justification for a rental car.
“Happy Birthday!” Said the man behind the Hertz counter. The gesture had more meaning as he handed over keys to a 2019 Jeep Wrangler. I turned to Cody who had just arrived on a flight from San Francisco. The plan was to camp for the next week or so in New Mexico and then continue the road trip to Marfa. All I could see was his silly confused grin and the extra large duffle bag he brought full of gear. I remember staring at that duffle wondering how it would fit in my car to begin with.
As we drove back to transfer gear from my Subi, it all hit how great my birthday was turning out. This is thirty-four. What an ordeal a broken wheel bearing would have been if I had other obligations. Im not at all where I thought I would be but I’m still free. I needed that check. That day we drove and drove until we hit Southern Colorado, dipped into a fly shop, wet a line and camped on the river.
As luck would have it the Salmon fly and gray drake hatch were going off simultaneously. Cody had the best dry fly day of his life. His words, not mine. Every time I glanced over he had a fish on. It was spectacular to witness against a backdrop that resembled a scaled down version of Montana; big lush meadows, fish, cliffs, a little bit of snow on surrounding peaks, it was a place to feel tiny. Four days wasn’t nearly enough but I’m still free.