Where: Denver, Colorado to Albuquerque, New Mexico
This weekend,I decided to drive to Albuquerque and visit some friends, and give back some good karma I have received through free rides hitchhiking and offer a ride to Albuquerque on Craigslist Rideshare. I can’t see the point in driving for six hours, 420 plus miles with empty seats.
I ended up getting calls from two different people; one girl named Cloey who was originally trying to hitchhike to Florida for an Earth First gathering, the other was Ilad, a guy who was traveling to Santa Fe for a business meeting and to catch up with some friends.
Ilad got caught up trying to catch a bus from Boulder to Denver, so we didn’t actually manage to leave Denver till about one o’clock in the afternoon, my original intentions being to leave early in the morning. I meet Cloey at the Colorado light rail station, where she is laying out on the grass in the sun with her guitar and backpackers’ pack. She has corn rolls in her hair and I can’t help but notice the bushel underneath her armpits and a slight odor. She has an extremely positive demeanor, one which makes the smiling sun look like a frown.
Ilad meets us at the station and we head off south on I-25. After stopping in Colorado Springs to pick up a scooter for delivery to my friend in Albuquerque, we finally get on the road, Cloey sleeping in the back with a makeshift bed, Ilad in the front with me.
Ilad tells me that his plan is to go to Santa Fe and work on an online company that his friend and him have been plugging away at. It is an online computer program that will be similar to Jumpstart, which is a program that allows anyone to propose a business plan or innovative idea and request for funding. Slightly different than Jumpstart, Ilad’s idea is to start a website that will walk anyone through a legislative bill proposal step by step, in layman’s terms. It will help any individual reach the point where the bill actually reaches Congress.
“Think about it”, he says animatedly. “With the advent of the website, even a kid in high school who is fifteen could propose or formulate a bill if he or she wants to.”
Throughout the trip, Ilad tells me how his and his x-girlfriend’s house was once raided by the police near Boulder, illegally in his opinion, and how that experience led and inspired him to launch this website, hoping to put more power back into the hands and minds of citizens. Ilad likes to talk, and although never dull, can be a bit much at times since I like the occasional silence on a road trip, and we talk about everything from music, to law, to religion, to the Roman Empire. He tells me of his theory that Jesus Christ may have been the son of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra, the Empire of Egypt, secretly. His thoughts are that the Jews wanted to assassinate him because they did not wants his followers (which would later become the Jesuits, or modern day Christians) to take power.
The best scenic part of the trip from Colorado to New Mexico has to be the Raton Pass, which ventures through jagged cliffs and hunks of eroded mountain rock, and narrow passages of highway that weave and cut through the center. Five hours later, having made good time, I drop Ilad off at a gas station in Santa Fe,where his friend is to pick him up.
On the drive into Albuquerque the rest of the way, Cloey shares some granola snacks with me and pops in a CD with swing music from the 1930s. “Those are good”, I say with a mouth full of granola. “Where’d ya get ’em?”
“The dumpster”, she replies casually. I giver her a strange look and just about spit out my mouth full of chew. I ask her for the details and laugh.
,She is a freeloader/ hipster type I suppose, in the purest sense, and has been traveling for the past two years. She tells me that she plans to travel to Dublin, Ireland for five months some time soon. I ask her where to drop her off, and to my slight objection, she insists on being dropped at the truck stop at I-25 and I-40 so she can attempt to hitch to New Orleans through the night. Even I think this is maybe borderline and dangerous,but she insists that she “has done this many times before.” During the drive in, she had been reading one of my fiction books, Yestermorrow, and I ask her what she thought of it. “Do you want my honest opinion?”, she asks. I tell her yes. “Well, as a feminist, I thought that one of your woman characters was kind of a bitch, and it was somewhat offensive.” I thank her for the honesty, as this was the intention of that character. I drop her off, wish her luck, and tell her to at least Facebook me at some point to let me know she is alive and well since she doesn’t have a phone.
Alas, I have now arrived in the Duke City, where green chile spiced food, New Mexican culture, and New Mexican microbrews await.