‘The Vortex Is Real, It Sucks You In’

I’ve been trying to leave Salida for a couple of days now. But its fighting me , its like being on a ship in rough water constantly trying to trip me up, and as I climb through the decks I fall over buckets and mops tumbling head over heal to the previous level . I’m concerned I’m going to become swallowed up by the furniture. A downward spiral of soft pillows and comfy chairs with backpackers and hikers never going anywhere. Its dangerous. My mind runs through the potential jobs of busking and bar work. Here there is no politics, no stress, just laughter. Its easy to forget why you came to a place, ‘have I really just travelled half the world and hiked and cycled thousands of miles to sit here?’

I’m in a hostel, where several people have stopped a day or two, or three. I’ve fixed  my bike and adjusted everything to go but inertia has slowed me down. I have packed several times to leave but the stairs going up to the dorm room seem to be a slide down hill for my kit and I get spun around trying to find the exit which evades me every day at 11. By the time I find it its 3pm and too late to go. I wake again at 9 am, its Ground Hog Day. Sitting back each day listening to music, singing to songs with other backpackers, and short walks around the town. Everybody here has given up everything at this moment and its peaceful. Backpackers go out to the shop, buy cheap food and cook it. Then share everything. When someone new walks in, they are invited without question. Life is cheap to sustain. There is no tearing hair out with big bills. Every hiker has a different colour and energy and its wonderful.

Yesterday when walking to the shop we came across a scared bear in a tree. The ranger in charge of the taped off area said he will likely come down in the evening when all the people are gone and run straight out the town to a quieter place. I kinda felt sorry for the poor fella, so many people vilify these black bears but he looked exhausted draped across a fork in the tree petrified of the people nearby. I hope he made it out ok.

Hopefully I do too.







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