Motel Winter Week


Though all up and down Main Street orange plastic mesh fences line the construction zones as they repair the street and sidewalks lining, this small town hidden in the very foot of the Rockies just west of Longmont is mountain home quintessential.

A woman with a kind smile and long gray hair is working the natural foods store around the corner from Main Street, a white house transformed into everything organic, good and wholesome. Locals gather in the coffee shop down the street from our motel to discuss the trappings of the day: the legalities of marijuana, jump starting cars, and how one man’s girlfriend wound the windows down to smoke last night, leaving the dome light on and a pile of snow in the backseat that morning. Dale’s Pale Ale is brewed in the bar across the street from where we’re staying, that craft batch brew of beer that comes in a can or keg only. School children are playing in the yard behind us, two girls kick their legs in desperation on swingsets, both seemingly alone and neither deciding to join the other and communion their solitary recess ways. Lights blink Christmas on every street post, random tree and house front porch. When night comes, the pinball arcade opens and 30-something adult men wander in with pockets full of quarters to play decades old games of paddle and ball.

The morning sounds of Mexican workers laughing in spoken Spanish, few cars on the street as life is slow here in Lyons, Colorado. An orange, a croissant and a cup of some pecan flavored coffee help me get everything up and going. Tristan complains over doing dishes and I head into the parking lot of our home for the week to fire up the bus. She’s fresh out of a two week mission into the garage–while the lady and I wandered to Florida, the boy and I to Pittsburgh, all only to reconvene here in this two bed little motel who’s sign reads The Aspen Leaf Antique Shop & Motel–where new brakes, a fixed horn, a tightened clutch, a new CV joint and freshly redone dash lights hold the promise of sending the little bus on the road so merrily. She fires right up even though I apparently left the radio on for the past two days, and I smoke a cigarette while she unthaws the various cranks, wheels and spitting pistons that I can tell are only as happy as the three of us to get out of this cold, to experience some desert life.

Our sweet Lady goes off to early morning work scenes and the boy and I leave our little room, the kitchenette still smelling of coffee and last night’s festivities, the beds half-heartedly made, the shower steaming with morning cleanse. Snow covers each and every inch of the ground as we navigate the maze of construction sidewalks and one way streets our feet lead us through on our way to the day’s activities. Tonight, perhaps, we’ll drive around and look at Christmas lights or play more pinball, having parties on our beds with music and good locals beers and talking about whatever future, past or present plans we’ll all partake of together. It’s a final week in Colorado, at least for the year, the Winter season, and Ioving every minute of it.