Wednesday morning, a week ago, I woke up from my makeshift bed in the living room, wanting to be a polite guest, but feeling so terrible that I just wanted to roll over and go back to bed.
I was nauseous, and nervous that I might vomit any moment. My head screamed inside, pounding with pain from a migraine. It was as if a ten beers had been siphoned from a keg into my bloodstream the night before. But it wasn't alcohol that was causing me to feel ill. I knew full well, the ten hours I had driven the previous day were to blame for the way I felt.
My friend offered me a bite to eat. I passed, explaining I didn't feel the greatest. So my friend offered me a guitar to strum instead, and he started jamming on a mandolin. While I strummed, I deliberated, considering whether or not it was too late for me to take a pill and keep it down. I finally decided it was worth a go. I swallowed it down with some water, then admitted to my friend I felt like hell, and needed to crash a bit longer on his couch.
A couple of hours later I woke up again. Thankfully, by then, my sumatripton pill had worked its magic. After a bowl of cereal my friend suggested we "get lost" and do some exploring that afternoon. To be perfectly honest, the idea of exploring sounded terrifying. Yes, my headache pain was gone, but I still felt like a zombie. The heavy cloud of fatigue engulfing me, reminded me that I ought to take it easy.
But I'm a sucker for not knowing how to decline a friend's enthusiasm. So I reluctantly readied myself for the adventure, dreading the idea of more time in a car, and fearing the winding mountain roads might spiral me into motion sickness. I hoped the exploring wouldn't involve too much outdoor activity, but really, I had no idea what I was getting into when I got in his car, other than the possibility of Mexican food.
As we drove north on Highway 9, my friend pointed out the Blue River, where he had guided rafting trips the previous summer. We also spotted two bald eagles, which underwhelmed me in their appearance. I was more hoping we'd see a moose, but no such luck.
After 45 minutes on the road (which proved to be less winding than anticipated, and more glorious in scenery) we arrived at a small town called Kremmling, and pulled into Los Amigos Mexican Restaurant for a late lunch - so late that we were the only two patrons in the restaurant.
To my relief, after lunch we simply returned home to my friend's place. There were no side trip hiking excursions or other, that I knew my body would hate me for if I attempted when I already wasn't feeling well. And I had hopes, that I would wake up the following day well enough to go snowboarding in the Colorado mountains. I didn't want to waste away energy that could be applied the following day - on my birthday.
Later that evening we rallied with some others at Red Mountain Grill in Dillon, CO. There I found myself sitting between a professional poker player and a lesbian, which made for fascinating? conversation.