As previously mentioned: the Brexit election ruined my savings. I was now left with 2 months in the US and my savings had devalued by about 30% overnight. I was frankly, not best pleased! Kai, my climbing friend had also now left Moab. Gabby was heading north again from Arizona and we planned to meet in Silverton, Colorado.
Moab onto Silverton
The ride which I had done before was very straight forward. The road south out of Moab (route 191) is full of aggressive drivers and it’s a single lane highway until you exit towards La Sal mountains. After leaving highway 191, the road narrowed down, the traffic reduced to just you for miles and miles. Which is perfect!
The ride into Silverton was quite monotonous, but totally different from the reverse journey, I saw a whole lot of different from the year before. I wont lie, I was a little excited/anxious about meeting Gabby! I had no idea what to expect when I saw her again. Would it be friends or would it be something more?
I rolled into Silverton at just before 4pm as we had agreed to meet, I decided to play it cool and not stand around like a lemon. I took myself to the nearby fuel station and filled up. I then casually found myself at the information centre where we agreed to meet. Gabby had already been in Silverton for about half an hour and was cold from standing around. Typical! Remember, Silverton is at 10,000 feet and in July it still is cold. We met with a huge tight cuddle, even if it was a little awkward it was nice. I think neither of us knew what was going on.
We soon started looking for somewhere to camp and before we knew it we had a campsite half way up a mountain from Silverton at about 11,000 feet (3,350m) in some dense forest. We had a fire burning away in no time. We stayed up late that night chatting about everything and nothing, trying to stifle our feelings and the sound of drunk “4th of Juliers” shooting their guns and firing fireworks in our vicinity.
We had a strange 4th July together, waking up frozen that morning with frost on everything. We spent the day in Silverton observing the drunk hot-headed folk running around with their flags waving and their guns we were a little sarcastic about all that freedom they wished to show me for a day. I wont lie, it felt a little intimidating! Gabby and I were trying desperately to avoid the elephant in the room, about “what do we do?“. I knew I didn’t want fling but I certainly liked her a lot, she had her plan to drive to the parks and I didn’t figure in her plan.
We decided to spend another night in Silverton and head out the following day to go to Orvis Hot Springs for a relaxing day in the mineral springs. Frankly, this kind of activities I’d not done in years, spending time with someone in this capacity doing fun activities we both fancy doing relaxing in our own skins, getting to know each other.
We rode the Million Dollar Highway (this was now my 3rd time through it). We got to Orvis with plenty of time to spend the day there, and we were blessed with the most amazing starry sky that night.
The following day Gabby had to move on, she had more things to see in Colorado before heading north. We agreed to meet yet again for my birthday on the 9th somewhere near Denver. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to do with myself, I had 4 days to kill and about 300 miles to cover. I headed back to Silverton (again) to see if I could find my friend Megan. Megan and I had met the year before at the hostel she lived in a tent in the fairer months of the year and worked doing outdoorsy stuff. When Gabby and I last saw her she was in bad shape from the 4th of July drinking, and I was worried about her. Gabby and I rode back to Silverton and said goodbye with an awkward farewell, hoping to see each other again.