On a Tuesday afternoon, I left my husband, kids, and (most of) my dogs at home. And then I did something I’m quite certain I’d never done: I hopped into a car with someone I barely knew, crossed four states into a land I’d never seen, and spent five days in a place I didn’t know existed.
Slot in Long Canyon along the Burr Trail.
By the time we arrived, we knew each other well. Garret liked his coffee black. He had excellent taste in music. Running on empty made him uncomfortable. We agreed on topics of illegal immigration, marriage reform, and recession spending. (Or lack of recession spending. Details.) We talked about our families, our upbringings, our jobs. And then at some point, I was finally convinced that this guy wasn’t going to drive me into the desert and hack me with a chainsaw. (Kidding. Sort of.) And he was likewise convinced that this city girl might be okay in the sticks.
With Garret at the wheel, we spent a couple of days exploring the Colorado Plateau. We turned off roads, dived into canyons, walked along washes (and found a 1,000 year old arrowhead), and just plain ol’ took in the scenery. When we ran out of things to talk about, we listened to Alexi Murdoch. We drank our beers. We let our dogs run. We basked in the sunshine. We absorbed what was around us. And then we listened to silence.
At some point in the trip, Garret mentioned he could see himself living out here. I chuckled and said, “me too, actually.”
At that precise moment, I couldn’t know that he was serious. And he couldn’t know that I wasn’t kidding.
Our two dogs, standing in a sea of petrified wood.
Back at home, I was miserable. Utah had affected me in a way I couldn’t describe, and I knew I needed to get back. I spent most of Sunday just moping around the house, telling Barry that we had to get back. We had to get back.
And then on Monday, August 19th, at 10:36 AM, I received this message from Garret:
I need to take you and Barry to Cortez, Colorado. (Not too far from Southern Utah.) There is a brewery for sale… I know the owner… he wants to sell his restaurant… he’s asking $XX.XX… it includes the building and a distribution deal… the business makes money… Are you interested?
In our five days together, not once did I mention the RGB blog to Garret. With so many other things to talk about, or not talk about, it just never came up. So Garret sent me this message without knowing that I enjoyed eating, made food, wrote recipes, and longed for a restaurant of my own someday. He couldn’t know that my blog already included a category/collection called Bistro Eats, potential menu items for my someday-restaurant. He had no idea I was piling up commercial cookery skills. He just knew me as a starry-eyed gal who liked beer and wanted a way out of the City.
I simply wrote back, YES.
On Monday afternoon, we all sat down together. Me, Garret, Barry. While munching on some salmon spread I pulled out of the fridge, we began our due diligence.
And at this very moment, on a Wednesday morning, Garret is in Cortez, Colorado, meeting with the owner/seller. Barry and I are back in Southern California, on stand-by to await the report.
Go, or no go?
Excuse me while I vomit in anticipation.
To serve something so pedestrian for an occasion so momentous seems a little wrong. But – sometimes, you just have to dish out what you have lying around. There really are more important matters to discuss.