I have been talking to this nurse I call Red Fox over the Internet and we decided to meet in Montrose Colorado and do some riding together before I continue my quest for Sturgis. We are set to meet tonight so I set my sights west and for Monarch Pass. Leaving Buena Vista and the college named mountain peak views behind I head for Poncho Springs where I will intersect Highway 50. Its a short ride from Buena to Poncho but I am looking for something so instead of going right and towards Monarch Pass I go left and within a couple of miles there it is!
It is only my second day and already I have found “Metal Horse!” It is made out of car bumpers and I WANT IT!!
Now that I have that pic, I can continue with business and ride over Monarch pass. I have a new camera and a holder around my neck that is designed so that Ican take pictures while riding. No better place than going up Monarch Pass to try it out.
Pretty darn cool, it works but then I see this sign! I love signs like this when I am riding but not when I have a camera in my way.
Down Monarch and the long grade into Gunnison. Just a few miles outside of town I see flashing lights and as I get closer I can see cop cars and a bunch of motorcycles. I recognize that patch, it is the patch of the Hells Angels. The cops give me the eye as I idle by and the Angels seem to be taking it all in stride. When I get to Gunnison every motel and every corner is filled with Hells Angels. I pull into a gas station and a couple on another Harley pull in to get gas. “What the hell is going on?” I explained to him that it was the Hells Angels annual USA rally and there was about 500 of them scattered in town and surrounding hills. I would have took pics but kind of like to keep my new camera.
I pull into Montrose and found a place to get a quick bite to eat. I look out the window and there is the nurse getting gas next door. I cut lunch short and walk over and we have a big hug. “Lets head to Starbucks and catch up!” so off we go.
The Nurse. Go ahead admit it, but all nurses are not female. This nurse is my internet and now real life riding bud. Jeff is a travelling Operating Room Nurse. He works short term contracts, normally 13 week terms and then packs up and goes somewhere else. He is in love with the Navajo Nation so whenever he can, he contracts out to work the reservation and right now he is located at Ft. Defiance. He is a nurse, but really hates sick whining people so he prefers O R where they just knock them out, fix them and then let somebody else deal with the sick and whining when they wake up. Jeff doesnt have a bad bone in his body so I think he may have exagerated that part a little bit. We discussed his work, talked about health care in general and then about Ft Defiance. Being a Kit Carson buff, I knew a little of the history of Ft Defiance but when he told me that the hospital has walls lined with old photos from the 1800’s I knew a future trip is in my plans before his contract is up.
The Red Fox. When Jeff first arrived at Ft Defiance he was out checking the res in his pickup and thought he saw a dog running through the ravine, he pulled over and could now tell it was a red fox. The fox disappeared into the brush and Jeff continued on. The next day, he was out on his motorcycle and decided to go back to the same spot. He was about to give up when the fox came out from the brush to say hello. After a stare down the fox disappeared back into the brush only to reappear with a kit in its mouth. It dropped that kit, went back into the brush and came out with another. Jeff has been told by tribe members he is blessed to have something like that happen and to Jeff it was a welcome to Ft Defiance Reservation.
Jeff carries this fox fetish with him all the time and I was fascinated by the story. Jeff has many stories about life on the reservation but we soon changed our conversation to riding. Tomorrow we meet up with a bunch of his friends and my favorite bro in law and ride the Gunnison Black Canyon. I can’t wait!
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