Walden goes to the doctor. I drink Beer.

I woke up this morning in a campground in Bear Creek Park. I’d been there since about 2:00 yesterday afternoon. It took a while to get packed up. When the wind got so crazy that I was thinking that I might get blown back to Kansas, I pulled down the tent and threw it in a wad in the front seat. The rest of the place was similarly akimbo. And I had to have it all straight so that I could get all the stuff that’s usually in the back moved so that the mechanics could do their magic.

I got to the shop a bit after nine, almost for the 8:30 open. I dropped off Walden and rode the bike down the street. There was a music store that I was hoping would have a little screw that was somehow missing from my guitar. I had to hang out in a pretty cool army-navy surplus place for a while and cruise up the street before they opened.

When Acoustic Mountain Music opened, it was everything I’d hoped it would be. There were three people hanging out. I told them what I needed and a guy pulled out a box full of a bunch of broken stuff, which was just what I’d hoped for. They also lent me a screwdriver and an Allen wrench so that I could do further adjustments of my ailing guitar. It was pretty clear that they weren’t going to charge me for these small acts of kindness, so I bought a set of really expensive strings.

Now seems like a good time to mention that among the things that I left in Knoxville that I wish I’d brought with me was ten sets of guitar strings. They don’t take up very much room, and buying guitar strings is surprisingly expensive.

I hung out with the good folks there until I got a call from Larry saying that Walden was ready to go. I bid farewell and got this photo before I left. The shirt I’m holding and the one that Terry, who’s standing next to me is wearing, are made by a local artist and are available there at the store. If you live near Englewood, Colorado and like acoustic instruments, you should check them out.

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When I got back to get Walden, I asked Larry if he had a Vanagon logo to replace the one that had fallen off of Walden. He spent about ten minutes locating one, locating a little plastic bushing that makes it not fall off, and installing it for me. I don’t know where I would ever find one. And Larry gave it to me for free. I paid only $45 for them to adjust the gas/air ratio; it had been running lean.

I considered seeing a movie, but Google led me astray once again and then the fuel pump started making this weird noise again. If I weren’t about to be traveling through the mountains, I’d have ignored it, but I took it back to Larry. He heard the sound, said it was probably nothing, and replaced it with another one free of charge. He even wrapped it in some rubber, so that when this one did the same thing it wouldn’t be as loud.

I then headed for Dad and Dude’s Breweria. This is a real microbrewery. They make and ferment all of their beer in 1/2 barrel kegs. That means that the biggest batch of beer they can make is about 13 gallons (1/2 barrel is 15.5 gallons). They’re something of a victim of their own success, as they have a hard time making enough beer in such small batches. I highly recommend the place if you’re in the area.

From there I headed back to my friend’s house and we went to a beer dinner. There were nice pairings of food with beer from Oskar Blues. And it was a sit-down thing, so we got to (i.e., were forced to) sit with random folks who also liked beer and food. It was a lovely evening.

Afterward, we headed back to my friend’s house where I slept in an actual bed and had a shower in the morning.

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