First thing in the morning Jamie removed the useless pile of fur atop my head, kindly using clippers rather than reenacting the local Ute scalping ritual. We then returned to the City Market where I stumbled through the usual series of goodbyes and thank yous.
The geography changed quickly as I traveled northeast out of Delta. The new environment is called the Dobe by locals, short for adobe. I may never have a chance to walk on the surface of Mars, but I imagine the landscape there is not too different. Everything was brown and gray, the air so dry my tongue turned to sandpaper. Once great mountains had been worn down to nubs, they now appeared as sand dunes frozen and sculpted into wild shapes.
As I moved onto higher ground the rock structures became larger and more imposing. An occasional bit of greenery was added, more by the mile until eventually the arid region was replaced by fruit orchards and vineyards fed by the runoff from the Grand Mesa. There had been few signs of life on the Dobe and I imagine few organisms plant or animal could thrive in such stark conditions.
I reached Cedaredge around two, just in time for another media session, this one with The Mountain Valley News. My interrogator, Linda, had written about the Wounded Warrior Project before and was impressed with the work the non-profit is doing. I learned from her that the organization is in the process of setting up a facility in the nearby town of Crawford designed to help returning soldiers cope with PTSD.
I refilled my rations bag and visited the library before vanishing from Cedaredge. For the knowledge of future visitors, there is an impressive Pioneer Village in town dating from 1907. I am not yet willing to view anything that happened in the century I was born in as "old" so I gave it a miss. Three miles north I found an inexpensive campground and left the world of the conscious.
18 miles/2873 total miles