Day Twenty-One: The Great Cluster… of 2015

Special and I wake up late, as is our custom, but that’s early for the rest of the waking world – at least it seems so in Salida. It’s quiet here, peaceful, and while Crank’s been up for a little while, may or may not be getting antsy, the temptation is great to just lie here. But our stomachs are having none of that, so we negotiate a late checkout with the hotel and walk ourselves to Patio Pancake, about a mile and a half away. A leisurely stroll, and the breakfast is worth it.

I get more and more excited as the morning goes on – I get to see a bunch of my friends today! We get to go to Mount Princeton Hot Springs tomorrow! – and I throw myself into my chores to distract myself from the oh-so-slowly ticking clock. We check out the library, peruse Salida Mountain Sports where I grab another can of fuel because paranoia, and then head back to the hotel, gather our things to live like turtles for the rest of the early afternoon, until M comes and swoops us off to the Heart of the Rockies Campground around 1p or 2p.

While we’re headed out to resupply, our Programmer friend calls, informs us that M is taking a student this afternoon, and she’s sending him in her stead – he should be here around 5p or so. …Okay, fine, I guess. It is what it is. We shake down the Safeway for vittles and then head our separate ways: me to the library, Spesh and Crank wherever Spesh and Crank go. I write like a maniac, swapping computers as necessary to keep going for four hours. M calls, I talk her through her drive to her meeting with her student, the only reason she’s still in the Front Range at 4pm. She gets off the phone with me to call him – he’s not coming, wasn’t planning on calling to tell her. Ehhhhh.

I finish up the post I’m on, meet Spesh for leftover pizza by the river around 5:30, where we talk about life things and actually get a lot sorted to the tune of the Arkansas River. I start to feel more settled – at least, until Programmer calls, telling us he’s just now leaving the Front Range. I’m a little annoyed that after knowing about this whole shebang for about three weeks, both he and M decided that today was a good day to work and/or decided to say that they could come when they couldn’t, but whatever. Nothing to be done about it now.

This, of course, is only the beginning of The Great Clusterfuck of 2015.

Leftover pizza isn’t enough for both Spesh and I, so we go to get pho, realize how spoiled we are with the Vietnamese food on the Front Range. My vague sense of annoyance is spoiling my appetite, but is interrupted by a call from the Irish Lawyer – he’s on break from law school, just got finished with a trip in the Sierra Nevadas, and is going to drive all night and a fair bit tomorrow to get to the shindig – he might not be there for the hot springs, but he wants to see me, and he’s excited to hang out tomorrow night. I’m much more animated when I get off the phone with him, and we shift through a set of doors to The Victoria, where a band’s setting up to play live music. We invite Crank over, but she’s having fun on her own at Benson’s. It’s 8pm.

I call M to check on her status; she’s picked up A and they’re on their way, stuck in traffic, not likely to get here before 10 despite the student cancelling at 4:30. They play a song and they’re good, I’m excited to listen to them – and then they stop, apparently just testing their levels; I start to feel like some higher power is teasing me, making my present in particular mimic my evening at large. I’m fighting off disappointment by staring into my beer; when I come back from a bathroom trip, Spesh is on the phone with M, upset on my behalf. M and A, to make up for their tardiness and the fact that we’d now not only be setting up in the dark but in the rain as well, offer to get the six of us – Spesh, Crank, M, A, Programmer and I – two hotel rooms. I’m not happy about it, but it seems like the best thing to do, so they start to make calls.

The Programmer finally shows up at 9:30, and seems confused as to why I’m disappointed; we have a long-but-rational conversation about why his waiting until today to work this week was hurtful to me. He apologizes, says that he always gets to his campgrounds late-late and that he didn’t think it would be a big deal, but it’s hard for me to get over it, especially since he wants to be away from the “noisy” band I waited this long to hear. We call M and A to tell them to ix-Nay the otel-Hay, but it’s too late, they already found one, and the payment is non-refundable. Awesome.

And then I get a call. It’s the Irish Lawyer – he says that his attempt at a surprise has clearly gone horribly awry; he’s already at the campground, been there since 4pm, has a fire going and has been waiting for us. Of course he has. His only regret is taking this long – it’s 10pm – to figure out that something’s off on our end.

Soooo that’s when I decide that, if I’m hiking, I’ll never, ever arrange anything like this ever again.

We grab Crankster and get dropped off at the hotel. I want to go to sleep pretty much immediately, just get today over with already, but M and A insist that we all drink a beer to speed us on our way. So it’s a brief musing over what is now the “hilarity” of the events of the day, before finally, sweet unconsciousness.

Start: 260.2  •  End: 260.2  •  Day: 0
Notable Accomplishments:  Noshed breakfast foods  •   Probably resupplied with too much food again  •  Wrotewrotewrote

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