I stumble down the grey stairs at the airport of Billings, Montana, with burning eyes. I just survived 29 hours in three aircrafts with light-year-long overlays at whatever-airports. With two screaming toddlers on the long-distance flight between Amsterdam and Minneapolis, a one-hour interrogation at Homeland Security at the border and the unobtrusive need to just throw myself headfirst into some hellhole.
Then I see someone with a strange sign. Saying "Smokin' hot German woman". I am wide awake within a second. Only one person can write such nonsense. My boyfriend. Instead of falling into hellmouth, I fall cinematically into his arms and declare myself dead. But since my boyfriend was a doctor in one of his seven cat lives, however, he immediately measures my pulse and confirms to me that I am completely undead. I believe him. We settle down in an old motel for a few hours and then drive off the next day - 1,200 miles down to New Mexico. Where the wind chimes sound like stars, the desert blooms and the sky sinks into infinity.
The path leads us from Montana all across Colorado. I'm excited because I haven't seen this State on my four-month trip in 2017. Soon we drive past a sign saying "Colorful Colorado". On a relatively uncolored, shit-brown wooden plate. Fits perfectly. Not.
"We could take the Interstate or the longer Scenic Highway. That will take eight hours instead of six," my boyfriend says. We take a look at each other. We're smiling. Of course, we drive eight hours. We agree that there is nothing to miss out in this life and that the straight way usually is boring as shit. Who wants to arrive somewhere? Being on the road is what excites us.
The road bends and begins to twist. Through red rocks, turquoise-grey bushes, past icy streams and up to hills that seem to lead into infinity before an endless valley opens up with green meadows, blue lakes and huge white mountains. "It's like a fucking postcard!" I scream. I have no idea why I'm screaming. Perhaps to drown out the sheer beauty of the landscape.
These never-ending roads. This country that seems to swallow you up. The fabulous nature that can't be real. All those memories of my big solo trip two years ago are coming back. How I laughed, cried and lived the shit out of my life. And this time, I can share all this. With someone who is as nuts as me. With whom I can talk for hours about geology, history and philosophy. About gods and demons, about the beginning and the end of everything. In between, we sing along old country songs in a stupid and wrong way.
"Where is that entrance sign for New Mexico?" I ask impatiently at some point. My feet are just dying a painful death because I had the idea of walking barefoot through snow on a mountain pass. At least I didn't feel the sharp rocks afterwards.
My boyfriend looks at me in a very serious way. "I could swear it's right on the state line," he says.
I give him a glance of death across my crappy sunglasses and he laughs with his warm and loving voice. I totally admire his laugh. It is like stars are shooting out of his golden-blue eyes and igniting fireworks in the middle of the desert.
After another eight million miles, we actually reach the sign. New Mexico. Land of Enchantment. There has never been a truer saying. This State is pure enchantment. I manage it not to ram a piece of wood into my finger again while we take a photo - like I did at the entrance marking of Wyoming last year. Then we drive off to Taos.
Taos is like the smaller version of Santa Fe. All houses are made of light brown adobe with round corners. It's a bit like a colorless Hundertwasser artwork. Magical. Exciting. Different. Artsy flags are fluttering in the warm wind, the streets are paved with galleries. Turquoise gemstones - something very typical for this area - shine behind windows.
We have booked an Airbnb that is located a bit outside of the Old Town - with a jacuzzi in the garden. After we spent a lot of money for cheap red wine in a bar and stumbled
through Walmart by giggling all the time, we decide to drink even more wine and test the whirlpool. At midnight or something. We look up at the Big Dipper on the sky and my boyfriend is showing
me how to find the pole star. Then we talk about the end of life and what happens afterwards.
Suddenly a falling star shoots across the sky. True stroy! But I can't tell you what I was wishing for. True story.
We stop at Madrid while roadtripping down on Turquoise Trail. It is slightly smaller than the Spanish capital in Europe with its population of 150 people. The biker movie "Wild Hogs" was shot here, in which John Travolta accidentally torched the bar of a gang. If you like stupid, funny motorcycle road movies, you should definitely watch this film. We get ourselves a monstrous cone of ice cream and almost buy an freaking expensive painting. But then we decide otherwise, because we are actually very thrifty and prefer to throw our money down the drain for anyhing but traveling.
In Albuquerque my boyfriend finally shows me around his old hood, where he once lived for a few months. We think of buying a house there someday, because it is always minus 9000 degree in Wyoming's winters. I have no idea if we will ever do that, but that's what's so interesting about someone who's as crazy as yourself. Anything is possible. Everything could go to hell. Or to the moon. Who knows? Or as we use to say: "Who cares!"
Our last stop on the way back is Boulder in Colorado. There we spend the night at Michael's, a guy we found on Couchsurfing. Michael has a huge house in a snowy mountain slope, a ton of historic TV and radio sets and a tarantula. We go to a Nepalese restaurant for dinner and my boyfriend tells Michael how he once travelled through the country as a hobo on a train. Then we dance to Bavarian music in the living room before we decide that after nine hours in the car we feel a little disgusting and want to take a shower. Shortly thereafter, however, my boyfriend is back again.
"There's something strange in the bathroom," he says in a way that almost makes me die of curiosity and laughter again.
"What's strange?" I ask.
"Well. . . there's a rock formation."
I'll snort with laughter and tip my forehead.
But in fact there is a strange pile of stones right next to the shower and in parts of the shower itself. Taped on.
"Michael is definitely one of the best and craziest hosts I've ever had," I say before I nearly stab a banana plant in my eye that is growing behind the sink.
The next day we finally go home. Oh, and how Wyoming is just home to me! I'm sitting on the driver's seat, almost tearing the steering wheel apart with enthusiasm. "Look at that! HOLY SHIT!" I yell every two seconds with no idea how high the speed limit is. There are beige mountains that look like petrified pudding, deep gorges half gilded by the setting sun, rain that seems to be frozen in the air. Violet clouds over crystal-white mountain peaks - and finally Heart Mountain. I asked myself over and over again why this mountain is called like this and why it is off all things right here where I met my Heart Man.
We both believe in the universe. That there's something that arranges things and lets them happen. For reasons. Nobody knows where life is going. Whether it simply falls over behind the horizon, whether it gets wings or simply goes to hell. Sometimes I wonder if I want to know. Or if I just ride on the roller coaster of my life, crash, bleed, be enchanted and someday blow up in an exploding biker bar with John Travolta and cheap booze in my hand. But you know what? - Who cares!