Rocky Mountains Have I Known

I was going to title this "Rocky Mountain Howdy" which in my little brain is a sort of clever play on Rocky Mountain High but I thought better of it. Or something. Anyway. I was in Colorado in Mid-October to play a houseconcert at my friend Mary's house and also to run the Boulder Marathon. Or vice-versa. My parents flew out to be supportive because they are awesome like that. I took pictures. Wanna see some of them? Tough.

My friends Carol and Willie were nice enough to pick me up at the airport. They were even nice enough to hang around in a parking lot while I/we waited for my luggage to catch up with me. And then they were nice enough to take me to lunch at a lovely brewpub in Longmont on our way to Mary's house in Hygiene. Pictured here is something of my own devising and a moneymaking opportunity for anyone who wants to develop bacon chips. They go really well with guacamole. Future millionaire: you are welcome.

 

And here we have Carol and Willie with a donkey who is visiting Mary. The donkey's name may or may not be Theodore Roosevelt. I can't really remember. In the background off to the right you can see a horse who might have been named Orville Redenbacher. I can't remember that either. If these animals would wear the nametags I made for them this problem would be solved. My point here is that these animals were neither appreciative of nor cooperative with my nametag making skills.

 

A while back I started taking pictures of people holding up signs with "Hi Meg" on them and then texting the images home to Mrs. Hoke. This sort of thing saves me from actually having to be a good husband. (And to the husbands who are now stealing this idea: you're welcome. Bonus Tip: substitute YOUR wife's name for "Meg." You're welcome again.) This one with Father Hoke--taken at/in Rocky Mountain National Park--was my favorite from the trip.

 

And here's one of Father and Mother Hoke with the park spread behind them. In sepiatone. Which is how I always imagine them. And the Rocky Mountains. I wish I had a photo of them in their crazy hats they wore to cheer me on at the marathon. Considering the years of stress I put them through as a younger Todd Hoke, I consider myself highly fortunate to have the sort of parents who'll hop a plane to spend a few days with me in Colorado. (I am pretending here that I no longer cause them stress--did you note that?)

 

I did a short run at a lovely little park in Hygiene. The one in the picture, actually. Perfect day: blue sky, shining sun, and the trees were all autumned up and reflecting on the surface of the lakes. If you were standing where this photo was taken and turned 90 degrees to the right you'd see a snowdusted mountain range. There was a trio of artists with their windproofed easels out painting on one of the paths. I don't know if you'll be able to make this out, but there is a small black spot in this image--the second longer leaf/blade/frond from the bottom is pretty much pointing at it. "It" being an airplane that emptied a bunch of skydivers into the sky as I ran along below. Which isn't the sort of thing I typically see when I'm out for a short run at home.

 

Me and Father Hoke. He is telling me something important. I can tell this by the expression on my face. Probably something about the stock market. Or power tools. Father Hoke knows a lot about the stock market. And power tools.

 

Some photos are best unexplained. This is one of those.

 

This is from the marathon. Probably before mile 20 because there was very little running and smiling and way more hobbling and cussing at that point (and beyond to the finish). It was an ideal day to run 26.2 miles and it was an added treat to get to run on backroads with mountains all around. At one point along the course there was a bagpiper playing the theme to Star Wars. Farther along there was a trio of teenagers trying to get a goat out of the middle of the road. "Sorry! It's not our goat!" they yelled to passing cars. Ponder that for a little bit. I did. For those of you keeping score, this was my fastest marathon. At 4:41 it would really be more accurate to say this was my least slow marathon. Oh well. I'll beat Paul Ryan's time some other day. Or I will not. That covers it, I think.

 

View from Mary's dining room. Because it's pretty.

 

That's it. No photos from the houseconcert, for some reason. Despite the fact that I really dressed up for them. I mean I looked good. Also, the audience refused to wear the nametags I made for them. It is almost enough to make a man stop trying. Almost. And so. To sum up: if ever you find yourself with the opportunity to visit The Rocky Mountains in mid-October I highly recommend you do so. The one thing I ask is that when you are gazing out at the golden aspens and snowdusted mountain tops as you savor your bowl of guacamole with baconchips you might possibly think a kind thought of me.

Thanks for riding along.

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