An experience I had last week on the Rio Grande Trail I suspect tells me a lot about my new neighbors in Glenwood Springs.
Quick background: I had cancer in 2010 — technically oropharyngeal cancer. It originated in my right tonsil, and the only sign of it was a swollen lymph node. The treatment, because this cancer is in the throat, is rough: 35 radiation treatments to the mouth and neck, plus “light” chemo. I wouldn’t wish it on Putin. It’s a highly survivable cancer that’s also on the rise. All the cool guys get it: Actor Michael Douglas and former Denver Nuggets coach George Karl had the same thing the same year I did.
When I went back to work, a colleague at the Detroit Free Press gave me the headband you see pictured. I treasure it. I wore it in the Marine Corps Marathon 14 months after I finished treatment and drew strength from it.
Tuesday morning, I decided to bike to work, and I wanted to wear the headband under my bike helmet to keep my ears warm but couldn’t find it.
I had worn it running the previous Saturday, and knew I’d taken it off and looped it through my hydration belt after I warmed up.
“I’ll be sad if I lost it,” I told my wife. “It’ll turn up,” she replied.
We just got into our condo in Carbondale last weekend after two weeks in a Glenwood Springs hotel, so Tuesday was the first day it worked for me to do the bike commute to which I’d looked forward ever since I started talking about taking the PI editor job.
I was about a mile from the PI office when I zipped by something black with white lettering lying in the middle of the Rio Grande Trail.
It had a flash of familiarity, and I hit my brakes.
And three days after I apparently dropped it, there was my headband, lying just as it’s pictured, as I biked to work.
Assuming it’s not someone else’s (email me if you lost yours), my presumption is that it had blown to the edge of the trail and someone noticed it and put it in the center of the path, lettering up, just in case the owner happened by.
I’m going to believe that and believe it reflects the kindness and thoughtfulness of people here. And I offer my sincere thanks.