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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Measuring Time in Places Rather than years; How I Met My Birthday Bobbie



Bobbie and I had something in common long before our paths ever crossed. Though mere youngsters with nothing much to show on our Resumes of Existence beyond preparatory schooling and Pie in the Sky dreams, we both valued where over what… Place over Occupation. It was that shared philosophy that landed our orbits out west where they had a chance to intersect… and eventually did.

Bobbie thought sticking around Virginia after college sounded boring… same old people, same old places, same old things. Her dad must have thought his little college coed daughter peculiar; she smoked a pipe when studying, and had her heart set on, of all things, a Willys CJ-5 ragtop Jeep for her graduation present. 

Not ready to jump into a teaching career right out of college, Bobbie joined VISTA (a minimally stipend volunteer organization) and pointed her Jeep west to a Navajo Indian Reservation in Northwestern New Mexico. It was an obscure, off-the-map, backward place, a century behind reality. Bobbie met her partner, Sandy, at a preliminary crash-course in Navajo language and customs. A couple of weeks later they they were shipped off to be "Community Organizers" in a culture that didn't really lend itself to "organization," at least not in the sense of the American Way. It was at times a frustrating and unfulfilling experience, but she left with a better understanding of the trials and tribulations of displaced native Americans.  



To this day, I remain in awe of Bobbie's courage and adventurous spirit at such a young age. It was a giant leap into a completely oppositional lifestyle, one of "damn the torpedoes; full speed ahead," casting off safety nets of home, family, and security in order to fully embrace the unknown. 

When her year was up on the Reservation, Bobbie migrated a couple hundred miles north to the San Juan Mountains and took a job teaching manners to wild and wooly elementary school conscripts in Montrose, Colorado. She fell in love with the rugged outdoors and Wild West atmosphere and decided to call this place "home."    


Our paths intersected at the Montrose Athletic Club where Bobbie worked as a fitness instructor and personal trainer. Our first date was a training run in preparation for the Black Canyon Ascent… a six mile race with two thousand feet of elevation gain. I knew I had found my soulmate when she kicked my ass in that race. 
And the rest, as they say, is history.

Happy Birthday Peppermint Pattie! From your Big Hunk :) 



Photos are from a recent snowshoe outing to Barstow Mine up on Red Mountain Pass, 12,000 feet above sea level. 

































14 comments:

  1. What a great story! Happy Birthday, Bobbie!

    Gorgeous scenery:)

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  2. Loved reading about how you and Bobbie met. A match made, if not in heaven, at least at a very high altitude!

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  3. Happy B-Day Bobbie! You are truly blessed to be living there and the travels you have had. May you have many more to come.

    Mark, anything to report re: the biopsy or whatever?

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  4. Great story...............happy birthday Bobbie!

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  5. Happy Birthday! Bobbie is a very special sweet girl that seems to have defied the time clock. No mountain is too high, a true Colorado gal.

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  6. Happy Birthday! Bobbie is a very special sweet girl that seems to have defied the time clock. No mountain is too high, a true Colorado gal.

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  7. Happy Birthday Bobbie! Wishing you many more years of your fabulously healthy lifestyle!

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  8. Happy Birthday Bobbie! What a great life to have found your soul mate......pictures are over the top perfect!

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  9. Your story, your pic's, your gal Bobbie.....beautiful! Congrats to you, you lucky feller, and Happy Birthday to Bobbie!

    Laverne

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  10. Happy Birthday! What a stupendous place in which to spend it!

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  11. Great pictures, great lady. As I began to read this started from my playlist, Suite No. 4, Sarabande, a Bach Cello Suite performed by Yo Yo Ma and seemed perfect for the story. Don't know why, could be the beer. Give it a listen tell me what you think.

    Gayle picked me out of a police line up.

    Love you guys.
    Peterman

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  12. Then the song It Was A Very Good Year came up and that seemed good too. Gotta be the beer. Think I'll have another.

    Back on the clipless and lovin it.
    P

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  13. Don't know you, but it sure looks like you are in the perfect place/time for each other. Congratulations.

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