It seems every year I live I become more like my parents than the year before. Nowhere does that become more evident to me than when I am driving for Lyft. When my dad Bill retired at age 62, he found the volunteer job of his dreams. He went to work for the Pueblo Chamber of Commerce at the Southern Colorado Information Center. It was housed in a red caboose which sat at the intersection of Highway #50 and Interstate 25. Travelers from all over the world 🌎 would stop 🛑 there and ask for directions, suggestions, have a cup of coffee or use the very clean potties. My dad was beloved there. As my mom would say “Bill loves telling people where to go”. His taking this job coincided with my move to Alamosa and the San Luis Valley. I am not exaggerating when I say he directed hundreds of groups down to the Great Sand Dunes, The Alligator Farm, The Stations of the Cross in San Luis, Creede Repertory Theatre 🎭, or the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge… and many more little known and delightful experiences. He was named Pueblo Volunteer of the Year. He was perfect for this role. On to my ride today.
I picked them up in Glendale at a hotel. I knew when they got in my car 🚗 that they had accents that were a combination of Canadian-Scottish lilt. I was taking them to the Cherry Creek Mall. When we got there in just a few minutes, they asked me for some tips on what they should do given they only had this weekend before she had to leave, and he go to a professional meeting. I asked them “What would be your priorities”? “Oh, that’s easy, we want to see some mountains. There is a four hour tour that costs $100 a piece to go by the Red Rocks”. I thought for a moment and then asked them, “Can you rent a car”? She quickly replied with a loud “Yes”! “How much time do you have”? Together the said “All day
Sunday”. My Bill Pumphrey—tour director extraordinaire— kicked in. “Ok kids, here is what I would do if you were my family. Rent the car and take off after daylight. Head West to Estes Park, I would use your GPS. When you get there find one of the many places to have breakfast. Then head up to Rocky Mountain National Park. Have you ever been in mountains”? “Not really”. “Oh my you are in for a treat. Drive up as far as they will let you. Take the side trip to Bear 🐻 Lake”.
They wrote all the stuff down. She then asked, “Is there any shopping in Estes Park”? I could not resist, “Does a bear 🐻 sh_ t in Rocky Mountain National Park”? “There are bears there”? she asked with a bit of ambivalence in her voice. “No worries – they think that Nova Scotians taste funny” I smarted off. They both laughed and then said as they headed to the Mall, “We are in”!
Onward and Upward,