The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Two and a Half Rabbis in the Rockies

On Monday, 5 Tishrei 5768, two and a half intrepid Rabbis (Asaf, Dan, and one Mottel) set off to visit the numerous Jews scattered about Southern Colorado, giving them a spiritual boost between the Holidays.

Click on the link to see more!

Though not clear from the picture, this map contains virtually the whole of the state of Colorado.

When we set out the weather was cloudy; a dull drizzle bathed the somber gray streets in the lonely wetness of falling rain -only the occasional swish of a speeding car through the puddles braking the rhythm.

The sun peaks out near Cheyenne Mt.

Not long after leaving the urban limits of the Colorado Springs the windshield-wiper on the minivan came apart, forcing us to pull over to the side of the road and fix it . . . in the rain.

But suddenly, despite the continued rain, the sun came out, showering the valley in light . . .

. . . and creating an amazing full sized double rainbow.

The rainbow video was taken on my cellphone.

Once the windshield-wiper was fixed, the rain stopped -as if the the stop had been for the sole purpose of showing us the display of Natures G-dly endowed beauty.

During the two hour drive from Colorado Springs to Salida we tried to make cellphone calls to various contacts in the town, but bad reception and short notice prevented us from making any appointments that evening . . .

From my previous trips around America, I've noticed various roadside attractions and tourist traps . . .
Not having anything to run to in Salida, we were attracted to a large sign proclaiming:

Royal Gorge and Bridge
The worlds highest suspension bridge

We decided to spring for the five mile detour.

The admission, normally 23 dollars, was discounted to a 'paltry' 13 for the last hour before the parks closing.

Tourist trap that it was, it was a mighty awesome one.

The Royal Gorge suspension bridge, rising 1,053 feet above the Arkansas river.

On a lookout over the gorge.

On the opposing cliff.

The West side of the gorge

Another Treo Video

The East side of the gorge

On the other side of the bridge there was a currently closed 'wildman encampment' and a park for Bighorn Rams and Bison.

We then went up to the lookout over the cliff . . .

The Two and Half Rabbis pose at the lookout

. . . and left in time for the park's closing.

Reaching the town of Salida, we went to the local Walmart and bought food for dinner.
On the way out the lady at the checkout counter smiled and asked us why we had come to the town.
We answered that it was our first time here in Salida -pronouncing the name so as to rhyme with the name of the famed Jewish Boxer , Dmitry Salita (the i making an ee sound) - and that we had come to reach out to the local Jews.
"You mean Salida." She said -the i making an ay sound.

We went to the Travelodge where our room was reserved . . .
Inside a small room lined with animal horns, travel brochures (including one to the Royal Gorge and Bridge) and the wafting scent of cigarette smoke, a few country folk lounged about.
The lady behind the counter ruefully informed us that the computer system had been down, preventing our reservation from registering until after the last room had been sold.

"But I'll send you over to Ted in the Silver Ridge Hotel, he's real nice and all -you can stay there."

So we packed off to the hotel - hungry, exhausted and grumbling at our fate.

As Asaf unloaded the car, Dan and I went to the concierge to check in.

Ted smiled and welcomed us in warmly . . . His accent was foreign, and disconcertingly familiar.

Looking around the room I noticed a matryoshka doll, several small statuettes, and paintings of people dressed in brightly colored folk clothes standing amongst white snow capped mountains . . .

It all made sense. A chill ran down my spine as I experienced a certain sense of deja vu . . . I knew then as I will always know . . . one can never run away.

Dan looked over at Ted,

"So you're from Russia originally?"

Both Ted and I responded in the negative.

"No," Ted said. "I'm from Poland"

"Jak sie Pan ma?" I asked. Bringing an expression of surprise to Ted's face. "Pan z Zakopane, tak?"

Ted was indeed from Zakopane . . .

I told him how my friends had all been there, but due to my being in Vilna at the time, I had missed out.
(Chaim has some great pics of Zakopane that can be enjoyed here)

After schmoozing with Ted, we went to our room -finding to our delight that instead of the two bedroom we would have had at the Travelodge, we had gotten a three bedroom for the same price.

Asaf, Dan and Mottel

All had indeed worked out, and after a hearty dinner, we settled down for some much needed sleep.

Stay tuned for the part two!

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Anonymous said...

brings back some good old memories from that side of town. Keep it up dude!


De van Halems said...

are you the half Rabbi?
nice pics

check out

Mottel said...

I have smicha, thank you very much . . .