This man. He and I went for a hike recently in the beautiful mountains of Crested Butte. This place is likely the Jeopardy answer to: Heaven. We were very excited for our adventure. I picked a trail that was scenic, easy and short (less than 2 hours). After a lot of winding roads, we finally found the designated parking spot for the trail. Brian asked me if we should walk toward the mountain or down the dirt road. I point to the dirt road and tell him it will lead us to our path. “Really?” he asks? “Yes, of course,” I reply.
We marvel at the beauty that surrounds us. And we walk and walk and walk. It’s muddy. We are getting splashed by passing trucks. Our feet constantly sinking into the ground. Brian looks at me and says, “ I really don’t think this is the right way Nat. Why would they create a trail that has you dodging cars on a muddy road?” “This is what the book said,” I quickly respond. So we walk and walk and walk some more and now I am hot, and I am thinking to myself, “If this shit is supposed to be 2 hours long, why does it look like we can walk until our legs fucking fall off.” I say nothing, but Brian mumbles, “Shit is starting to look the same, it’s time to head back.” “Thank God,” by my heart sings. Me and mud – not friends.
We finally get back to the car. I am happy just to sit down. Brian decides he will sit on the hood to take in one last breathtaking view and I guess experience what they call the “Colorado Rocky Mountain High.” The smoke clears (figuratively) and I see Brian is taking selfies. I decide I want a picture of him taking selfies. So I get out of the car and within three seconds, we are both shaking our heads. We notice that behind Brian, 20 feet away from our car, is a trickle of older white women, exiting a little pathway. They are really friendly and chatty. They tell us we should move to Crested Butte and they go on and on about the beautiful trail. They have no mud on them. And there is a big sign next to them that says, “Trail.”
We start to laugh at each other. We are thinking the same thing: (1) Our hike was actually a long walk down a dirt road; (2) Black people don’t hike and (3) If this was Amazing Race, we would be a disgrace to our family. We couldn’t stop laughing. But I felt warm inside realizing that muddy dirt road or wildflower-lit path, there is no one else I would rather share life’s journey with. Brian, thank you for your patience, love and kindness. You sacrifice so much for our family, yet, you always just laugh. I can’t wait to get our black asses back to Crested Butte with JoJo and Lucca in tow, but this time on a trail. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY LOVE. Nothing but the best for you today and everyday. Where ever you go, I will follow.