Dodge and I met in the spring of 2010 in Ordway, Colorado. We both were very fortunate to be staying with a lovely woman named Gillian. I basically spent every day for a month straight with Roger and it was a blast. We spent just about every night laughing ourselves to sleep.
I originally came to Ordway for a workaway, working for room and board, but found so much more. I learned many valuable skills and best of all; I met wonderful people. Gillian hosts bicyclists crossing the States every year and always has a helping hand from somewhere interesting as well. I remember pulling up in the driveway like it was yesterday. I was greeted by Gillian, two dogs, and her helping hand, Roger. He showed me where to place my luggage and we started to our chores.
Roger and I had a unique friendship. He was the first true friend I made on my travels. It was a stroke of luck to meet someone my age with a similar sense of humor and outgoing personality. Majority of our time was spent laughing with some work here and there. We worked on a ranch with horses, geese, dogs, two goats and one sheep, which are all obviously awesome. Animals and property equals work, especially since a fire swept through and destroyed everything two years prior. Gillian had us chain sawing, gardening, ripping out fences, putting in fences, and we even forked a stall full of shit. That was a favor to the neighbor. Of course we had our fair share of fun with sailing, flying, horseback riding, and I remember Roger shot a record eleven jack rabbits in one weekend.
We saw a lot of Colorado together and apart, but appreciated it much the same. Some of our visits included Garden of the Gods, NORAD, and of course the movie theater to see Iron Man 2. We set up a reception for a civil union and you can probably guess, yes we were venders at a flea market. A night I will never forget was us watching a lightning storm in the horse pen behind the house. The storm was in a distance and we could observe its furious rage from miles and miles away. We had a deep conversation with plenty of laughter and were amazed by the lighting striking from the sky every few minutes, crackling thunder immediately following. It was a very beautiful scene that is unforgettable.
Overall, I am grateful and lucky to have had such a great friend to share those experiences and memories with. We committed to travelling down the road and I look forward to it because I know he will be right there making me stronger each step of the way. I’ll miss ya man.