Three Old Men

Three gray-haired men sat slumped together on a bench just wide enough, and no wider, for them and no others.

There they sat in rumpled shirts and shorts, a week's worth of stubble sprouting from cheeks and chins, a vacant stare in their tired eyes. Their thoughts seemed so very far away as they sat, immobile, just past the checkout stand, between the magazine rack and the Duraflame logs.

They had been driven to the Rawlins, Wyoming, City Market where they completed their minimal shopping -- favorite lunch items -- and now awaited their driver.

To a passer-by, they looked to be patiently waiting for a car to return them to The Home where they might sit and stare, drool and rock as they anticipated another outing.

In reality, my cycling companions Tom, Al and Norm had stowed their groceries -- three day's worth of favorite lunch items -- in the car and were enjoying a few moments of R & R while Carl and I finished our own shopping.

Stepping back from my vantage point in that same checkout line, these wonderful friends looked like three disheveled destitute men...not like hard core mountain bike tourers who had just pedaled more than 100 miles across Wyoming's Great Basin desert on "roads" unfit for most cars.

Three strong men taking a moment of rest before tackling the mountains of Colorado.


(c) Judy Colwell, 2000.