Sometimes the very best trips happen, when you have no idea where you’re going…
My friend Lily is an adventure seeker… she’s been a fire fighter, a paramedic, a nurse — heck — she’s even skydived! And when it comes to cars, thanks to her car collector dad and a ton of nationally renowned Concours events she’s judged along the way, she can teach any aficionado not only why a vintage vehicle is special, but she can find exactly what it takes to get it moving once it stops…and did I mention, that she drives like the wind – fast, confident and flowing.
So when I got a phone call inviting me to join her for a 1,000 mile drive through the Rockies, there wasn’t much time to think twice — especially when I found out we were going in her very ‘real’ 1959 356 convertible D… a tub by any other name would be just that, a tub. Yes, she’s a purist all the way!
But it wasn’t just her car that swayed me… though hers’ happens to be my favorite on the planet — and it wasn’t just the chance to make about 100 new friends with whom I have a certain two-syllable word in common (Por-sha) — it was when she mentioned that each year in late July, she finds something incredibly fun to do to honor the anniversary of her brother’s passing — and this year, she picked me to help make it fun. And though I was a bit less daring than dear Lily, I knew I couldn’t let her down.
So PCA – Rocky Mountain Region – as you prepared to celebrate your 60th anniversary, not so sure you knew what was about to hit you — a ‘thelma and louise’ type of twosome that weren’t about to let wind, weather, altitude or horsepower diminish a drive of a lifetime…1,000+ miles in 4 days in a state I’d never seen and with a very prepared friend who could handle just about any situation thrown her way — yes, I was ready… and not just to be a darn good navigator, but taking into account her goals for this particular trip, I was ready to be an awesome sidekick too!
And off we went — leaving one Portia behind (Lily’s 19-year-old daughter) but making up for it with 40+ 911s along the way!! Which btw, was also a beautiful sight, as our “little 356 engine that could” let its air-cooled 60 horsepower motor run all the way up more than 11,000 feet without skipping a beat — I dare say our two favorite hashtags for the weekend became #chasingthesun and #chasing911s — and we pretty much consistently caught them both.
Having never been to Colorado before, and Lily being a longtime resident, it wasn’t hard for her to fill me in on all the wonders of her world — beginning in the foothills of the Rockies in Boulder, lunch in Gunnison, reaching our highest peak of 11,646 above the town of Lake City, through Grand Junction and crossing the famous Rio Grande, as well as the Continental Divide a mere six times!! We enjoyed Durango, Ouray, and Palisade — even wineries and rest stops had great shopping in common — but it was the company throughout that will keep my memories in check…. that, and the other friends we made along the way!
PCA friends, winery friends, small-town store owner friends, dog friends, stuffed animal friends, real animal friends on the road and driver friends that simply liked our car and wanted to either honk/wave/or just tell us type-of-friends…all now friends that will make us smile when we remember this journey…
So here’s to adventure… to expanding horizons…great scenic journeys… and most of all, good friends along the way.
And the best lesson of all — it’s the good friends that really come when one calls 🙂
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