Embrace the adventure, Part 2

I’d had a pretty normal day, but due to work-related events I ended up heading home on a different bus route and a later time than usual. I arrived at a connection point just in time to watch the next route I wanted to catch pull away. No worries, I’d just sit and wait, with plenty of ways I could occupy my time and mind; “boredom doesn't come from a lack of things to do (activity), it comes from a lack of action and intention.”

I sat at the stop, while continuing to listen to an audiobook, but decided I wanted to use the time creating/engaging rather than only absorbing. Remembering that there was a Pianos Around Town [fcgov.com] piano nearby, I walked over to play while I waited for my bus.

Photo source: http://www.fcgov.com/artspublic/pianos.php

I started playing a melody which always seems to tune my mind into music and spread a peaceful calm to the world around me.

As I played, I heard the strings of a guitar being plucked. I concluded my song and turned my attention in the direction from which the sound of the guitar had come. My glance was returned by the smiles of two travellers I had seen sitting together against the wall of the bus station. One held a small guitar in her hands, the other clapped his hands together in applause.

They complimented my music and asked about the song. The guitarist said she’d been trying to find the right notes and chords to play along. Many people might have ignored or even passed judgement on these two travellers, based only on their appearance and gear. However, I saw an opportunity to welcome the discovery of a new story -- or in this case, music. I offered to attempt a song I thought they’d appreciate and recognize.

“Try this one. Let’s see how quickly you guys recognize it.” I said, as I started to play again.

I’d barely started playing the first notes when the guy exclaimed, “The Pixies!! I was just thinking about this song!”
Exactly. The three of us called out the well-known title lyrics: “Where is my mind?” I continued my attempt to play, broken as it was due to my recent lack of practice. I named the chords as I played, so the guitarist could play along.

After a minute or two, she began to sing. Her voice was incredible. The smoky rasp in her singing voice gave it fullness and character which fit perfectly to the song. I immediately wished I could record her vocals for this song and combine it with my version of the piano arrangement.

I’d love to say that we played beautifully to the end of the song, but the reality is that I was so out of practice that I could barely play the first stanza. Eventually, I noticed the time and saw the bus I thought mine pulling in. We exchanged names and social media information and I hurried toward the bus. Had I been sitting in passive waiting, I might have been disappointed that it ended up being the wrong bus, but instead I found myself relieved… I could return to continue the conversation with my new acquaintances: “Travelin’ Trav” and Cole.

I was greeted with when I returned to their spot, “You even have the hat!”; they’d already pulled up my website and saw me wearing my fedora. Our conversation turned to a discussion of adventure and travel. There I was standing among kindred spirits, not wearing the appearance of Indy the adventurer but of Indy the tie-wearing professional.

Embrace the adventure. http://blog.indy.cc/2016/05/embrace-adventure-part-1.html

A photo posted by Indy Hart (@insta4indy) on

We discussed the magic of our meeting. How our inner mantras had brought us to the same place with compatible attitudes and openness. My desire to seek adventure throughout life, Trav’s enjoyment of peaceful meandering and exploration, and -- most significantly -- Cole’s draw to “always follow the music”.

In the first part of this writing, I described how I found paradise instead of despair. In the adventure of life, we’re sometimes the ones stranded in the wilderness, other times we’re the tow truck driver. Had I not decided to play the piano and had Cole not followed the music, our lives would be short one story and another amazing adventure.

Someday, I might try to combine Cole’s spectacular vocals with a piano arrangement of that song by The Pixies. Regardless, I hope I can continue to “embrace the fun and adventure of each day and strive not to take things too seriously.” Because…
With your feet in the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
If there's nothing in it
And you'll ask yourself
Where is my mind


Embrace the adventure, Part 1

Tonight, three adventurers met at a bus station. Before we get to that story, though, I should explain what made one of them an adventurer in the first place.

Three years ago, I was sitting in an engine-dead vehicle in the backcountry of a wilderness area. I had been on my way to the trailhead of a big mountain hike. In fact, the trailhead was just beyond the small hill on which the engine of my vehicle had seized up and quit. I was stranded. My week of multiple big mountain solo hikes had been cut short.

I flagged down some ATVs and got help moving my vehicle out of the way of potential 4x4 traffic. I was overwhelmed with despair, but I made up my mind to allow myself one last hike. Afterall, I was nearly at the trailhead. I slept in my car and hiked as planned the next morning. Perhaps it was the knowledge of what troubles awaited me back at the trailhead which made the hike one of my favorites; everything on that less-travelled side of that mountain seemed more full of life than any other prior hike.

I returned to the trailhead, ready to handle my challenges with a clear head and open mind. I stopped a passing vehicle and was pleasantly surprised to see a familiar face. One of the passengers was an old acquaintance. I asked for a ride back into town and they agreed. Considering my circumstance, it was an enjoyable drive to be able to catch up and truly understand the meaning of the word serendipity.

After arriving in town, thanking my companions, and sending them on their way, I found my way into an art studio. I introduced myself and explained my predicament. The artist graciously allowed me to use her space and internet so I could make arrangements for an off-road tow truck. Conversation passed the time quickly as I waited for the truck to pick me up in order to retrieve my vehicle. Soon, I was on my way back toward the mountain.

On the drive to my vehicle, the tow truck driver and I discussed arrangements for the evening. Once we returned to town, he would have to transfer my vehicle from the off-road truck to one suited to highway driving. He asked where I’d like the vehicle taken. I decided that, with the engine likely destroyed, I might as well just get a ride all the way back to Northern Colorado. I would have to get back there eventually anyway.

Considering the lateness of the hour, the driver asked if we could make that long drive the next day. I agreed and suggested that he drop me and my car off in a grocery store parking lot or somewhere I could put my tent for the night. This is what I heard next….
“I could do that, if that’s what you want, but I have another idea. Before I came to get you, I’d been camping with my family near the lake. Why don’t you camp at our campground and stay there for the night?”
I remember taking a moment to consider his invitation. I didn’t want to impose, I’d already interrupted his vacation... but, then again, it was a better option than a parking lot.
I agreed.

The campground exceeded my expectations. His family was friendly and welcoming, the food was spectacular, and, after the fire died down, I wandered out to the lake and watched a beautiful show of inside-cloud lightning. With the distant rumble of thunder, I slept wonderfully. At dawn, I awoke to take in the daytime view of the lake and the surrounding mountains.

Photo by Indy

To this day, that place in my memory is paradise and it all came about because I embraced the adventure instead of accepting defeat when challenged. However, tonight, I didn’t seek out adventure. Adventure came to me.

For now, I need sleep. I’ll split this into two parts and tomorrow I’ll finally tell you about those three adventurers at the bus station.

Part 2: http://blog.indy.cc/2016/05/embrace-adventure-part-2.html