Sunflowers and thunder showers.

Descending from the Rockies down to Denver (Colorado) the temperature quickly rose thawing my fingers chilled from the cool high altitude temps of the prairies. Having a preconceived visual picture of the city and what it might look like, instantly I was taken by the vast sweeping urban sprawl on the plains before me. I scrunched-up my mental image, tossed it in the bin and started to take in the visual feed before me.

After being isolated in the canyon for a week, the site of so many houses, a city skyline and endless miles of intertwining freeway systems momentarily made me consider turning back to my home away from home. The thought was swiftly blown away as we neared the city center.

Despite being ‘trapped’ near Gunnison being somewhat of a trying personal experience, the delay unknowingly had perfectly aligned with my first Couch Surfing host. Bethany was a shift nurse and had just been given a schedule with the following five days off free. She warmly welcomed me into her third story attic apartment complete with guest room! That evening a friend of Bethany’s came by and we all headed out to a local bar for a drink. As we walked downtown a short distance away, I heard a pay phone ringing on the side of the street. Naturally, out of curiosity I answered. ‘Hello there. Who’s this?” inquired a husky females voice. “Who’s this?” I slung right back at her. (After all, they’d rung me). “This is Janice, what are you doing tonight?” “Just heading out for a few drinks with some mates” I replied. “Want to have a good time?” she said. I hung up the phone and continued onto the bar.

The following week was spent hanging out with Bethany and her friends, going to summer jazz concerts in the park, hiking in the rockies and a day trip to Fort Collins where we explored the micro breweries the town is becoming infamous for. On our boozy return to Denver, we made a detour through a farmers corn field, got chased by a dog and ran amongst an entire field of Sunflowers as the sun set behind the silhouette of the Rocky Mountains.

Field of Dreams. Sunflowers Four seasons in a frame. Field trip FH000017 Free beer Odell brewing Odell brewing Fat Tire brewing New Belgium

As the week was nearing its end, and Bethany’s days-off soon to be no more, I made arrangements to be hosted by another Couch Surfer in town. On the day I originally planned to leave a huge thunderstorm blew over Denver (I’d like to think Mavis is beginning to become synonymous for thunderstorms). The storm was intense as the city authorities sounded the hurricane warning siren. I postponed my departure from Bethany’s by another day. After the clouds cleared and the rain trickled away I asked Bethany if she’d like to go for a ride around town on Mavis. We headed out and before long the day became dark with the night sky. Mavis did her best to shine light on our path, but her headlight suddenly shut off altogether (as she likes to do at the worst possible times. I pulled over to the side of the road to fix the loose connection. As I did this, a fellow motorcyclist stopped and lifted his goggles. “Do you know you’re riding with no tail lights?” he asked. “No” I replied as I looked to Mavis’ rear. A faint glimmer of red light was all that was visible. I cut the joy-ride short as we edged our way back to Bethany’s, trying to avoid the wrath of the Law. Come the morn, I packed my things in preparation for my eventual departure from the all to comfortable attic apartment.

Down on the street sat Mavis, with her fucked tail light and smirk on her skull. I set about trouble shooting the problem and soon enough I found the fault. I guess from all the off road riding in the rain, the mud, lose gravel, grime and general road-wash had made the small solder connection on the LED tail light weak which had actually corroded off. Instead of trying to solder it back on (as I figured if it happened once, it’ll happen again), I rang around to a few motorcycle shops in search of a replacement tail light housing unit. Not long until I found what I was looking for. A quick ride to the store and I set about trying to figure the wiring. Three wires coming from the bike, two wires from the new tail light. I spent a the good part of the afternoon blowing fuses trying to get the hook up right.

After testing my patients, and some help from Bethany, we eventually got got the connections right and I was ready to move on.