Not your average travel blog
According to a chap I met in a mountain town in Colorado, I would fit right in. “There are beards everywhere in Dillon!” He was not lying.
Since beginning my journey, my viking-clown facial fuzz has provided entertainment, a problem or two, offered reason to be thankful in the cold, and as my chin is normally open to the elements, often made me think as to how I am now perceived on initial interactions.
My beard has only been a talking point in America when people see photos of me without it. I have found I have been perceived a little differently to how I am maybe used to – but this hasn’t been completely the fault of my growing growler.
My beard has clearly insinuated a misinterpreted lie, of who I really am.
My gruff has actually been more accepted, and admired in general society in the states than I think it might have been in the UK. However this is probably due to not working an office job and slinging a backpack around with me daily; Winston’s beard has become an expected part of my associated uniform.
As much as I enjoyed the Colorado mountain break for a couple of nights, I was glad to drop down from altitude. The extra few hundred feet on top of what I had been used to while travelling down the Rockies, was an overwhelming surprise for my rather fatigued body. Mixed with a house full of friendly critters and some unfamiliar cigarette smoke at altitude, I suffered.
I had been invited by Julia, a friendly restaurant manager for one of the resorts in the mountains. As welcoming as she is, it is the first time on my trip that my body has given up, and I have never suffered altitude sickness previously. My organs felt like icing, spilling out from a split icing bag, controlled by an arthritic man who had never iced a cake. I was a mess and any attempt to dam the leek, just made the haemorrhaging worse. Everything aches, and the migrane-type pain is only intensified by the interrogation from Pedro.
Down at an altitude where I didn’t feel like dragging a cinder block around the inside of my head to reduce the constant pain, I was back to my old, British self. I took a free tour around the Celestial Seasons tea factory: A rather impressive outing with some intense and invigorating smells. They had a mint room, where they stored the imported, dried leaves and welcomed people in to make their eyes water and their nostrils melt. Recommended.
Colorado continued to throw up some intriguing adventures, and after spending some time in the Mile High City, enjoying some hospitality in a microbrewery, and in the quiet, secluded foothills overlooking Boulder, rumours began that somehow, I would catch a ride sixteen hours south to Austin, Texas.