That time I ended up stranded in Vail, Colorado

On the drive back from Vegas this weekend, the road got icy in the mountains near Vail, so I decided I better pull off and stay at a hotel, or sleep in the car if necessary. I wasn’t happy about it. Even though it was after 2am, I was jacked up on Mountain Dew, and just wanted to finish the last ninety miles to get home.

I got off the interstate at the next exit. The roads were nasty slick, and I slid around the dark collection of motels and gas stations until I saw a skanky motel whose “Vacancy” sign was lit. My car couldn’t make it up the motel’s hilly entrance, so I parked in an open flat area below, grabbed a bag, and walked five minutes in the freezing precipitation to get to the motel entrance, finding footing anywhere I could.

While I was checking in I had a conversation with a philosopher-slash-hotel-clerk that started like this:

Him: So what do you do?

Me: Blah blah blah.

Him: So you’re like a successful version of me?

Me: Haha. Define “success.”

After that we talked for almost two hours without interruption about everything you can imagine, including religion (Christianity, the Vedas, Zen), politics, the military (the need for and purpose of), relationships, trust, people smoking pot outside (“It’s Colorado”), and life in general, until a group of other people came in at 4am and he had to go back to work.

It was interesting — a simple road trip that turned into a David Lynch movie. When the ice forced me off the road it seemed like a bad thing, but with that twist of fate I met a really interesting soul.

(A Facebook entry from March 19, 2013.)