July 23 and 24
I spent my last two days in Grand Junction volunteering at the VA Hospital there. Patients and employees alike rave about the facility, which is smaller and easier to navigate than those in Denver and Salt Lake City. There is a sense of community and much of that is thanks to volunteers like Peggy and Betty who have become institutions, assisting those who wonder where to find their doctor, how to get to the radiology department, or what they did with their missing prosthesis for well over a decade.
I was lucky enough to follow them and learn enough over three days to have an idea where to send people when I was at the front desk on my own. I also rediscovered my hate of liver and onions thanks to Peggy. Even this meatatarian now has boundaries.
Newer volunteers Janet and Sandra taught me as well and I hope to have an opportunity to work with them in the future. Everyone made me feel comfortable and a part of the team from the moment I entered the VA.
Sadly on the second day I had to move on, too much time in one town makes Alastair a dull boy and no one wants that. Barbara had been a gracious host and her care as a nurse for those poisoned by uranium in the nearby mines is inspiring, but my welcome was well worn and I needed to head up to the Colorado National Monument.
I walked seven miles after leaving the VA, some of along the muddy Colorado, before reaching the Liberty Cap Trail, which leads into the Monument on the ADT. The path leads to the Monument Mesa, which is topped by the Liberty Cap, a sandstone formation of different hue than the rock below. Climbing to the apex would be a task for tomorrow as the sun fell low and I tired of the trudge. When encountered a nice soft flat place devoid of debris a few feet from the trail I took advantage.
7 miles/2941 total miles
Thanks to recent contributors:
Kenneth and Lois Irwin
Michael and Duffy Petty