The Charlie Bravo Story

Crestone Pt 1

Crestone, CO is one of those places that I didn’t even know existed, but I still needed to experience. Tucked away at the base of Sangre de Christo mountain range, the tiny town of 187 pilgrims is located in the largest alpine valley in the world. It is also home to many major world religions; more than two dozen ashrams, monasteries, temples, retreat centers, stupas, labyrinths, Catholic, Protestant, and on and on. While many religions are represented, it did seem that most of the religions represented were of the far-east variety. Solar and other forms of alternative energy are popular, and the community has attracted many artists and healers as well as spiritual seekers.
Let me put it this way: there are a lot of people wearing tie-dye in Crestone.
After a side trip to the UFO Platform (vastly overrated, as A: I saw no UFOs and B: I wouldn’t have known to do with them if I had), MacDuff and I pulled into Crestone well after dark, only to find every. single. campsite taken. It turns out that there was some sort of festival happening that weekend, exactly the opposite type of vibe that we were hoping to experience.
To find a place to camp, we had to climb high into the back country, finally finding a spot at around 9500′; the lack of oxygen did not equate to ideal sleeping conditions. Sometime in the wee hours, I found myself dreaming that I was hearing static on my phone. I awoke to find that it wasn’t static, but the sound of rain pelting the tent; this was no bueno. I quickly saw the error of my ways, as I had backed the sidecar rig down a bit of a hill to have it closer to the tent and any amount of rain would make it almost impossible to get back up the slope once it turned to mud.
Or maybe it wouldn’t; as I did not want to emerge from my cocoon. I tried to convince myself that it was just a shower, but I realized that denial is more than a river in Egypt. The cold rain soon found me clad in naught but my skivvies and motorcycle boots as I struggled to get the bike up to the road. And of course, the rain then stopped.
The next morning, I decided to bypass the festivities in Crestone and up into that part of the mountains where the Buddhist stupas and shrines are said to exist. It was on that day that I had one of the most surreal experiences of the trip…
…stay tuned!

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