A recent conversation with Kyle:
Kyle: "How you doin', buddy?"
Me: "I'm trying to find the bottom, dude. And when I do I'm gonna kick the shit out of it and swim like hell to the surface."
My wife, dog, and I set out for Denver from east TN back in mid-August in search of new beginnings. Me in my truck pulling a Uhaul trailer, my wife and dog following behind in the car . We made it as far as Knoxville before I knew there was something seriously wrong with my truck. The diagnosis wasn't good. $2500 and at least a week in the shop to get a new drive shaft. I had to get to Denver to start my clinical rotation in 3 days. Shit. We repacked the car with only the essentials, left the truck in Knoxville, and set out to begin what was to be the hardest 4 months of our life. The photo op at the "Welcome to Colorful Colorado" sign was about the lowest point in my life. The truck wasn't the only thing that fell apart on that drive. Within a week of being in Denver, assisted by the stress of the move and being in a new place, all of the hurt and pain we had caused each other boiled over. I did what I do best. I ran. I turned my back on my wife after 8.5 years. The compassionate, people-centered guy I had always been turned into a numbed and hardened animal. My only escape was working with the kids at the rehab clinic and, of course, getting lost in the mountains. I tried to soak up the the Rockies, but the more beauty I experienced the more lonely I felt. This life is meant to be shared. Nevertheless, I found some great waters on my own and with the help of some fellow Drakians was led to some new waters and found respite in their company.
I took hurried trips to the waters of the Front Range at the beginning of the trip when I didn't have a lot of time and ended back in the same areas the last few weekends when snow was hitting the mountains. I had to work for it, but I found pockets of solitude.
Fish were caught. I did have my ass handed to me at first thinking that CO, being in the west, held naive fish that would willingly eat bushy dries. Though this was true on smaller streams, I quickly found that the same tailwater tactics needed in the southeast would be necessary on these waters. Once that was realized, success was had.
Days ended with stunning sunsets on the water and days began in the bed of the truck with my sleeping bag covered in frost.
In general the scenery was stunning. I drank in the endless skies and forgot to fish sometimes when I remembered to take in the landscapes. [/url]
I got a visit from a good friend on my birthday weekend, so we got a new comrade's boat, met some Drakians, and floated a river that had always been on my bucket list. That same weekend we checked out some new water deeper into the mountains and found pre-spawn browns that were more than eager to crush streamers.
As days got shorter and snow covered the front range, my time was nearing an end. My wife and I have decided to try to work things out and are in the process of finding the bottom together. It's a painful journey at times, but it feels good to struggle together rather than apart. I love that woman. So last Monday the dog and I set out for the southeast again to get the house ready for my wife to come home. I also graduated after 4 long years of tedious, unrelenting school. After a hard 24 hour push I made it to the house in one piece, walked in, and was hit by all of the memories that only echoed louder with the empty space. The next day or two were spent chasing musky on familiar water. My wife got home a few days after me and accompanied me to my graduation. And now the future is wide open. East coast or the Rockies? I have options and freedom, and finally a degree that will help provide much needed stability. After my travels and tasting the other drink, I can say that community is everything, and that the textures ofthis life are much richer when shared. Merry Christmas to everyone.