Another postcard, with photos this time

I’m back in a place with secure internet access, so I thought I’d share a few thoughts about and photos of recent events. My first major Porsche Club event without Kurt brought me some wonderful moments (so good to see old friends again) and some awful ones (the final words at the closing banquet when I suddenly realized that an entire PCA Escape had come and gone and Kurt wasn’t there, not once, not at all). I remember having similar flashes of shock after my mom died 18 years ago from the same horrible disease… time simply stopped for her, but for me it was a day, a week, a month, and finally years when events continued to happen without her.

Now I am here at “Kurt’s Folly,” the condo that he wanted so badly, that I named. He accepted the name good-naturedly, the same way he went along with all my little foibles.

This is a very sad and lonely place. Maybe it will feel less lonely when I return for a longer period with my three cats. I am really missing my cats tonight.

But enough of this sadness. I promised a postcard with photos!

Here is my car at the Hackberry General Store, bascially a Route 66 museum where people take lots of photos and sometimes buy things (I didn’t):

The first thing I did the morning after I arrived was go for a run. I did indeed feel the 6900-foot altitude; I only managed 2 miles, and I was nearly two minutes per mile off my usual sea-level pace.

Then I spent an hour doing a quarter-assed car wash before the “fun car show.” I only did a quarter-assed job because I knew it was going to rain later. Here it is ready to go:

Here is my car in a prime location at the car show (first time ever “off road”):

Here are a bunch of cars including mine in the background… in the rain:

That was the end of the rain for the week. Early Friday morning I joined about 30 other Porsche drivers for a tour to the Grand Canyon. I haven’t been there since I was very young. The crowds at the prime tourist spots distressed me so I walked 2+ miles on a trail along the rim and enjoyed nearly the same views with fewer people and no guard rail. I kept thinking that Kurt (with his great fear of heights) would have been screaming at me to get back from the cliff, but I really enjoyed it. Yes, those rocks in the foreground of this photo are right at the edge:

The trip back was wild and wooly. As people had scattered to various places, the pack diminished to about half its initial size. I started near the back and then watched the 3-4 cars behind me disappear as we drove briskly. I decided to just go with the flow — even knowing that being in a large yellow vehicle at the back, I’d be the one that the highway patrol would stop. Fortunately I saw no highway patrol cars, but I did see some extended triple-digit speedometer readings. It was fun, but not something I plan to do again any time soon.

Friday night I went out to dinner downtown with a bunch of friends old and new, and kept another promise to Kurt by raising my glass and toasting his memory.

On Saturday my friend Colleen drove up from Las Vegas with her husband. Colleen has a keen interest in and considerable knowledge of southwest native American archeology. We went to Wupatki National Monument, which was stunningly beautiful and almost completely tourist-free. We visited several sites within the park, and she pointed out subtleties of architectural and cultural significance that I would otherwise have missed. As impressive as the ruins were, what really amazed me were the brief but frequent moments of utter silence… no human voices, no cars or airplanes, not even a breath of wind. Just silence. If I believed in magic, I’d say it was a magical place. There is a sense of timelessness here that makes 3 1/2 months, or even 18 years, seem like a mere moment.

Here are a few photos that attempt to capture the solitary grandeur of this place:


Saturday night was the closing banquet, at which I sported a new turquoise-and-black poncho (soon to be seen at a Port Angeles “art walk” night) and my lovely blue Vibram Five Fingers shoes. Even though my car didn’t win one of the people’s choice awards, I did fine until collapsing into the aforementioned puddle of tears at the end.

Sunday morning, while others were packing up and heading out early, I went for another run. Still slow, but I did 4 miles at 20 seconds per mile faster than my Thursday pace, and finished feeling reasonably strong. I guess I acclimated somewhat to the altitude. I came back, showered, packed, ate breakfast, and didn’t leave town until 11:00. Six and a half hours and 400+ miles later, I arrived here at Kurt’s Folly.

So here I am, for a few days before I resume my traveling adventures. It’s stifling hot in this desert. I woke up with a headache and didn’t get much done today, but I’m hoping to recover enough overnight so I can go out at the crack of dawn and run for a few miles. One foot in front of the other.


Posted on September 19, 2011, in grief, Nature, Porsches, Running and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. So glad I could share Wupatki with you. Good to see you again, and again in a few weeks.

  2. I’m so happy that you made the trip! Kurt would be proud that you have continued with the Porsche Club activities as well as driving with an “extended triple digit speedometer reading”!

    • Doug,
      It’s good to see you here. In making the trip, I kept my promise to Kurt. While I had some fun, it was really hard sometimes. But I’m glad I kept my promise and did it. I hope that in the future it will get better.

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