A bizarre account of pushing Colorado Vernacular boundaries...
Let me first say... I’ve never been a great pot smoker. You know what I mean. Most of us have that buddy who is like the Jason Bourne of it. He doesn’t even know why... he just knows he is good at it— Can toke the bowl discretely in a police line up and still be completely undetected... that guy. And for the record that guy is not me. I never got good at it even when I used to do it regularly ( a quarter of a century ago ). Thereby in any event where I have tried it since, it looks more like a 5 year old trying to use a drinking fountain for the first time. With that now established... here’s what happened the last time I got ‘thirsty’...
I was running solo on my F800GSA coming out of Colorado ( of course ) and down into New Mexico on my way to the gulf coast ultimately FROM Utah where I had been living it up Moto style with my buddies for a couple weeks. The circumstances were that it was hot, windy and my itinerary had already been blown. I had to get to Florida... and fast.
A little known fact about me is that I handle adverse conditions very well.... to a point. After crossing that point I don’t bitch and moan or stop. What I do do however in the case of that adversity being in the form of excessive heat is Chaf and rash as though I were wearing a wet diaper .... that also happens to be a body suit. So head to toe my skin goes full rogue if I push it too far. On the day In mention i had done exactly that.
The scene.... a convenient store ( of course ) somewhere in northern New Mexico. It was early fall but in a heat wave. The temp mid day was right at 95 ish and this fuel stop was late day although the temp hadn’t gotten the memo. It was still hot. I had been riding most of the day and had begun to develop the cursed rash. The wind had been slapping my helmet in a strange angle that I really couldn’t predict or do anything about otherwise. This had caused the rash to start on my cheeks and neck.
I was frustrated at myself and hot wishing I hadn’t given myself such a small window to get back East. In need of some form of reprieve in the moment I remembered that in my tank bag I had a wee little joint, or what was left of it, in a receptacle that I had purchased in Colorado on my way ito Utah in the event I wanted to partake in the , so to speak, Colorado vernacular. Haha. Don’t judge me...Not taking a puff in Colorado is like going to Disney and not getting a Mickey hat you know.
I reached into my tank bag and grabbed the receptacle and a travel sized thing of baby powder. Baby powder does wonders for a rash. They nailed the name. Anyhoo... I walked around back of the store. You know the store. It’s the same one everywhere out west— front clean enough, the rear a gateway into Mad Max territory — pop crates, wind strewn trash, a tumbleweed or 1000 lodged and / or rambling through a dusty, rutted pseudo parking lot before the scene gives way to no mans land for as far as you can see.
My face was tingling as I leaned against the store wall scanning for mad max and / or the po-po. Not the good tingle, it was the ‘dude you are sunburned and are going to pay for this day’ kinda tingle. I opened the baby powder like a coffee can and tossed the sprinkle top in a trash can. I poured it all into my hand and slapped it on to my face. Gave it a quick rub for safe measure and then moved on to phase 2.
I opened the receptacle and fished out the little Colorado cockroach I’d been saving. The plan... be powdered, be high, pump gas, haul ass. Seemed pretty straight forward if you ask me. But like I always say.... and you can verify this if you know me well... “it’s not called ‘controlled circumstance’ riding for a reason. Its called adventure riding. And fundamental to the word adventure is the tenet that we don’t get to know what happens. That’s what adventure is. And this scenario held so very true to that fact.
I don’t smoke pot so much that I still call it pot if that helps with the context of this story. That day however ... i smoked pot. Four big tokes and flicked the smoldering niblet of paper onto the wind. I held the last in, turned on a heel back towards my bike. And I’ll be damned if this isn’t what happened next....
I rounded the final corner, smoke still leaving my mouth. Sort of like when you have to pee bad and head down the hallway undoing your belt and pants, essentially having already peed in your mind as u forecast the moments to come... but instead as you almost have the business end out as the bathroom door opens, someone is sitting on the toilet that forgot to lock the door. Haha. (Is that only me that does that ?). So it’s like that ... but instead of a penis in my hand it’s pot smoke wafting from my face and instead of someone pooping it’s a K-9 officer parked next to my GSA. and instead of being able to avert my eyes and quickly apologize and close the door. He looks at me and says howdy. Not like howdy in passing. That’s a different howdy. This was an engaging howdy. A very different howdy and hard to describe but suffice it to say the howdy he slung out there on the ground between us said ... Howdy, I need to talk to you. Haha.
Keep in mind as I roll this next few minutes out.... I am unshaven, stink, my visible face and neck skin look like I had just wrangled my way free from a Rear naked choke, my riding gear is covered in dried everything from camp food to desert clay.... and ...yup ... my entire face and neck is covered in globbing, uneven patches of baby powder. And ... also ...yup I am slowly but most assuredly becoming more high by the second. And well... here’s how that went....
The officer continued.... How are you? I’m like... good and you? Keep in mind this fact that somehow makes the story more delightful— I had forgotten the baby powder psycho mask I had on. He says hang on a second and hops in the truck, starts it and pulls forward. Bittersweet relief... I thought he was leaving but then why did he say hang on? Gah.... I was beside myself at this point and certain the swat team was near and he was pulling up to give them room to ruin my life. Haha.
Instead He pulls to the pump in front of my bike and hops out. Immediately he says, I was just gonna do the windows but figured I’d fill up. What kind of bike is that? I shoot high in my reply trying to seem normal and also excited by the conversation. Truth is at this point I had nixed the swat outcome and had calmed a tad. I said, o man it’s a wonderful bike it’s a BMW F800Gsa. No need to explain the type of bike. Most folks in the west know what an ADV bike is. Back East you get a lot of ... “well why you have dirt bike tires on a crotch rocket?” Haha. True story. He replies— nice. I haven’t seen any of those. Only the 1200 and I think I saw a 650 once. I confirm , yup they have a 650 too. And commence to making a little small talk about versions bikes being offered exclusively in certain countries complaining that in the US we get skipped by a lot of rest bikes. Yada yada.
The officer clicks the pump handle stay so it doesn’t stop and he walks to the back of the SUV and says “Bolt is getting a little hot “. At first I didn’t catch what he was saying but as the rear hatch door lifted my heart sank. Bolt... Bolt was a massive German Shepard drug dog.
Stepping back into my head for a sec... I was now officially high AF, as I’ve heard it put. All I wanted to do was ju in the saddle and go. Not a possibility... I was on E and this stop was it for awhile in terms of fuel availability. The door slowly opened to expose the all of BOLT. Here’s the thing.... dogs love me. I hit it off with dogs and people most always. I love people and dogs and I think it shows so it’s usually a given that THATS how it’s going to go down. I crossed the fingers of my mind and said, “hey there Bolt.”. Bolt went from a happy panting looking at the officer to a glance at me that instantly went sideways. Bolt looked like he’d seen a ghost and instantly went berserk barking and staring at me as though he were trying to slice me in two with lasers.
The cop continued, FLORIDA he?! I’m from Florida. Oh, sorry about Bolt he gets anxious in the pen. If he wasn’t such a good K9 Officer he’d likely be retired because of it. I let out a little laugh in response. And tell the officer where I’m from. He then asks where I am coming from and headed to etc. just being friendly. .... or was he. I couldn’t tell yet!!! Meanwhile Bolt is in full on ape shit mode directed entirely at me. He is stammering, barking, sitting, looking at the cop and then stammering again looking at me, lunging against the cage all the while whining and barking on level code red for the most part. I’m thinking ... sheez I know what the dog is saying for god sakes how does the officer not!!???
The officer continues explaining he knows exactly where I am from because he is from the same area. We had a ‘ it’s a small world ‘ laugh about that and exchanged a few more shots of small talk as he finished pumping. There were two worlds going on simultaneously.... there was mine and his .... a pleasant exchange of social grace and there was also mine and Bolts ... a desperate game of cat and mouse inwhich Bolt was having none of losing his prey. It was absurdly stressful and by the time it was over i couldn’t even swallow
The officer closed the door on Bolt and apologized again for Bolts rude behavior. Bolts barks muted by the closed dooor but if anything were ratcheted up a healthy notch or two in intensity. The officer came over and shook my hand and told me to be safe. He laughed as he walked off and said, “ Bolt probably thought you were a crazy person trying to get me. Hahaha. But I know how it is man. I get chaffed riding too. Happens to the beat of us. “. With that he hopped in and drove off.
I turned to look in the mirror remembering the baby powder. I looked nearly like Heath Ledger as the joker ... but a super high Heath ledger. I took a few deep breaths and shook my head. Dude had to know I thought to myself but I guess I’ll never know.
I finished pumping gas and hauled ass southeast with a chuckle thinking to myself. Well how’s that for some non controlled circumstances riding .
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