The Opposite of Storm Chasing

I left Denver early in the morning to avoid snow. I hate snow. No, hate isn’t a strong enough word. Snow and cold make me miserable. The kind of misery that seeps all desire except to curl up in a blanket and sleep until hot, sunny weather makes an entrance.

So when I heard that snow was quickly approaching Denver, I could think of nothing else, not Rocky Mountain Oysters, not wild game, not authentic Mexican food, and certainly not a tour around the city. My only reaction was to pack my bags and hit the highway before any sort of inclement weather fell on the city. And I did.

But what does that say about my ability to enjoy this road trip? Probably the same thing my therapist said to me years ago—that my pursuit of perfection would make me miserable.

It’s true. In addition to my desire to tour the country, I want to take perfect pictures and eat the perfect food. And by ‘perfect’ I don’t always mean good or the best, but what I imagine to be the most true or authentic experience for that exact moment in time and place. I imagine small diners off the Interstate where an older woman makes homemade pies and the soda fountain remains active, and of course under a sunny sky. The problem is that my expectations aren’t always realistic, and often don’t exist at all.

So I will continue to snap textured photographs showing peeling paint from years of wear, but will try harder to appreciate each city as it is, not as I imagine it.

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