Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ruthie On The Road, Update--Part One

The trek from Sterling (which I returned to but only for a day and a night) to Fort Collins, Colorado was an experience in itself.

The weather turned cold and drizzly, when a cold front passed over the State. I woke up at the rest area in Sterling when a woman banged on the picnic table. I was laying with my head on my backpack when she walked up.

She smiled at me, handed me a plastic bag and quickly walked away.

I wiped the sleep out of my eyes and peered into the bag. The woman, who had vanished, left me a can of Chef Boyardee (with a pull tab) lasagna, crackers, a bottle of lemon-flavored water, napkins and a plastic fork. Oh, and five dollars in cash, too.

I ate the food, drank the bottle of water and after a visit to the facility building, walked out of the rest area with a smile on my OWN face.

I wanted one thing more than anything else: Triple "A" batteries for my Walkman radio.

So I walked over to a nearby gas station and bought them. Then I took the money that I had left and boarded a city bus to the edge of town.

I walked up a hill, got picked up by a young man who lives off a dirt road...and with that, I was out of Sterling, Colorado once again.

The young man took me back to his ramshackle house. The house is located in a crowd of corn stalks that stand in whispering rows all the way to the horizon.

He got me some sausage, cheese sticks, crackers and a banana. Then he handed me an old jacket that I used as a blanket against the rain and cold, after he dropped me off in a nearby village.

I sat on my pack, with the jacket draped over my lap, by an old "Road Closed" gate, at the edge of town.

It was so quiet. I looked around at the tall grain elevators that towered like ridiculous juggernauts over the tiny hamlet of New Raymer, Colorado. An American flag flapped on a pole above an old log building, a bar with a red pump on its roof stood like a monument to the hick town and it included no sign or mention of its name, I spotted an open post office but no bank. New Raymer is truly a Colorado outpost.

A semi truck, wheezed and whooshed to a stop and I was soon far away from BFE.

A medical student picked me up next and drove me into Fort Collins, Colorado. I did manage to get a little rest there. But not as much as I should have.

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