"..he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” - James Lachard
After closing on the motel property in mid-November, we decided to stay in Texas through the Thanksgiving holiday to see family and wrap up a few loose ends in Texas. As always, it was a mad dash to clear out the closets, my two storage units, which had all thankfully been made a little more vacant through some Craigslist and OfferUp hustling as well as some good old bulk donations to local clothing banks. It felt like a great weight lifted off our backs to get rid of the stuff that just seems to pile up. You can only sit and shake your head at the sheer amount of crap that most people (ourselves included) have, but that's another discussion/post entirely.
After the madness of loading up Kaitlyn's car during a power outage (headlamps to the rescue), the cars were loaded to the brim and we set sail from Fort Worth west towards the Texas state line. My Subaru sat about 3 inches lower under the weigh of most of my worldly possessions (with three bikes mounted on the rear and roof to boot). As we pulled closer to Salida, the car thermometer kept dropping. First it dipped below freezing, then the 20s and finally into the low teens. We knew we weren't in Texas anymore...
...and to tell you the thruth, when we finally pulled up and opened the door, the thought running through my mind was 'what have we done?!'
It was certainly an odd first feeling, because the process of deciding to uproot our lives and live in Colorado was something we had put so much time and effort into. It was a decision that had taken months, if not years, and here we were wondering just how far in the deep end we had jumped. So, what would compel us to do such a thing?
I don't speak for Kaitlyn, but I can safely assume there is a lot of overlap in what influenced us to steer down this path. It was partly rational and equally irrational. It was well thought out and spur of the moment at the same time. It was the culmination of a lot of ideas that has been swirling around, only to be ignited with the spark of someone like Kaitlyn, who was just crazy enough to try something like this.
As I mentioned in my first post (Why are we doing this? Part 1), I had grown a little tired then jaded of the life I had built in Dallas. I looked around me and saw a lot of (seemingly really happy people) busting their hump for a piece of the life you are MEANT to want. Bigger houses, the right schools, the cars, the memberships, the expensive meals with valet parking are not ALL there is, but certainly they seem to define a lot of what surrounded me (us). Not to say that it isn't fun and there aren't genuine people, but it just wasn't something that I could get excited about. It always just seemed like a stretch to get involved with the things I enjoy most - namely being outdoors cycling, fishing, skiing, etc. The vacations to scratch the itch skiing in Colorado or fishing in Montana only made me more frustrated in a way - they were almost cruel teasers of something great from 30K feet.
So, while the outdoors had a lot to do with my decisions, I think beneath the surface there were a lot more things at play: like the desire to downsize and simplify, the calling of a smaller town life, the ability to be more mobile, and to build and sell something I really believe in (because, after all, we are our own target consumers with The Amigo Motor Lodge). These were all things that came into direct juxtaposition with what I had been doing for most of my 20s. Now in my early 30s, those forces reached a breaking point and that's why I find myself here in a Colorado mountain town making a go of this motel dream.
I suppose that in the end, this is something of a lifestyle project. It sounds glib, but, then again, aren't most decisions based on maximizing your or your loved ones interests and enjoyment. We only have so many years. I realize we are extremely fortunate to even be in the position to consider a project like this, but that's no reason to shy away from it. Besides, we all need some good stories to tell the grandkids one day!
So with that, we are now two rooms into the 17 room renovation that will surely be marred with budget issues, construction woes and cabin fever. But I am oddly looking forward to pushing through and seeing what we can accomplish.
Oh, and if you are thinking 'Salida, where the hell is that?' well, here is just one reason we love the town: blue ribbon trout water with class 3-5 rapids in and around town. Below is a quick video from an overnight float this past Summer: