Saturday, September 10, 2005

To the north, the peaks and canyons, the sheer rising cliffs of the Rockies, stretch away to a horizon shrouded in cloud. Below, the plains of Colorado shimmer off into a distant Kansas. Denver is a miniature collection of matchbox buildings huddled together for protection in all this exposed vastness.

Pine clad slopes soar to the treeline, above which the jagged peaks - black and silver and rust red - rise to a bruised and ominous sky. We are up around nine thousand feet, and dip down to Echo Lake, which in just a few weeks will be snow-covered ice, and gather around a picnic table where thieving birds swoop and dive to try to steal our food.

Marilyn has prepared a picnic, and we feed our hungry faces with roast beef and egg and salad. And I sip surreptitiously on a cup of red wine poured from a hidden bottle. This is America, after all, and God forbid that we be seen with alcohol in the great outdoors - nobody's paid a liquor licence out here.

Today I have a day off. Blissful peace. Breakfast at Starbucks, lunch in the Rockies, and Charles and I spend the afternoon preparing an Indian feast for our evening meal - interrupted only briefly by a sudden, ferocious squall of wind that has swooped down unexpectely from the mountains. Then back to the food. Mmmmggghhhrrrr! Pure heaven. Pierre the cat watches enviously and sniffs my chilli fingers with which I accidentally rub my eye. Ow! Ow! Ow, ow, ow!

Tomorrow at midday I give a presentation at "Murder by the Book" in Denver. I hope I can still see.

The day after, it's off to Houston, Texas, to be reunited with La Patronne.

I can't wait!

Charles at Echo Lake

The picnic

No comments: