Something about high altitude makes me lay awake all night sometimes, feeling like I can’t get enough oxygen. I start to try and regulate my breathing, which doesn’t work, because breathing is supposed to be involuntary. So, no matter how tired I get, just as I’m drifting off it feels like I stop breathing, and I wake up in a panic gasping for air. This sucks. It’s 3:30 am now. This is the third time over the last couple of weeks. So, ok. Instead of fighting it I’ll just bang away at the typer, as Bukowski used to call it.
I left out of Red River the other day and drove up here to Cuchara, to the home of my friends Michelle and Claude Appel. This is a very beautiful part of the Rockies. On the eastern slope of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, in the Cuchara River Valley. You need 4 wheel around here sometimes just to get up peoples driveways. Lots of bear, deer, elk, raccoon, the hawk and the raven. I’ve seen them all in the last day or two. Fat little chipmunks darting around from woodpile to brush. Tonight the wind is really up and working the aspens over pretty good. This area is in drought still, but at least they’re getting some rain, and it’s greening, though they say they need years now to catch up. Like a lot of places. Basically like anywhere that hasn’t been washed away by floods. Extreme times we live in now.
Claude and Michelle have a beautiful little theater room downstairs and occasionally have house concerts. Last night was my third time here. Had a nice time but my thumb is acting crazy and I was forgetting a lot of words. That’s kind of charming maybe if you do it one time, but I got a little shook and started thinking about it, and that made it worse, so that I had to just stop and give up on a couple songs. I went back and played them on second tries, but that’s only partial vindication.
We got up this morning and drove to LaVida, another nice little town about a half hour from here. We boarded the Rio Grande Scenic train club car, one of the old original cars from the famous City of New Orleans. If you want to read a good page or two about it, go to http://www.highonadventure.com/hoa11jun/sylvia/coloradooutbackbytrain.htm. The photo of the locomotive above is from that site. the exterior and the interior of the club car were taken earlier today, with Claude and Michelle in the background. Our reason for riding up to Fir on this old train was to see The Rifters, a great band I first and last heard several years ago in New Mexico. Don Richmond is a great multi-instrumentalist and general all round good guy. So are the other guys, but my brain is too fried to recall their names for sure right now. I’ll try to fix that soon. It’s now 7am and I still haven’t slept, so I’m gonna give it another shot. I have a show in Alamosa this evening with Don and I’d like to get some damn rest. I may be feeling a little cranky right now…..