Berthoud Pass Conundrum Continued!!

As I sat perched at the entrance of the Berthoud Pass Parking lot, I was at a bit of a loss…

My backpack was gone, driven away by two friendly guys in a Subaru Outback, they haven given me a ride up the mountain following my last run and presumably having no idea that they had driven away with my basic essentials: cell phone, rental car keys, wallet… Not to mention the remainder of the weed I had been smoking… What to do, what to do…

I waited. I sat and waited, hoping against all hope that the two guys would for some reason turn around, see my backpack and turn around to deliver my life back. I figured this was highly unlikely considering the bag was in their back seat, on the floor board, for the most part out of sight. Still, I waited and I hoped. I would say this is about as close to praying as I have gotten in my recent history- having little else to turn to. I didn’t address god directly, but I was definitely looking up.

Still, I waited.

My mind raced, I was close to full fledged panic, barely maintaining my sanity and composure. I was staring down the road, directly where the Subaru had vanished five minutes before. Ten minutes. Twenty minutes…. then thirty. Every time a new car peaked over the rolling hill my hope was reignited only to be extinguished again as the cars innocently passed by, unaware of my current plight.

After 40 minutes of dedicated hope and fighting off panic, I gave up waiting. It was time for me to move, to do something. Waiting wasn’t working. I ambled towards the friendly looking snowboarders, grilling int he parking lot. Hopefully they’re as friendly as they look, I could certainly use a friend.

“Hey, how y’all doing?, ” I started, keeping it light. “I’m Tim! Can I ask you a hypothetical question?”

I launched into my story ending with current situation and its limited options. I was relatively panicked, but kept my composure enough to present myself as somewhat normal, something I figured I needed to do to procure some help from my new friends.

Being typical people from Colorado, they were extremely friendly and proceeded to help in any way that they could!

Mike, agreed to let me use his cell to call my own as well as typing out a brief SOS message that would appear on my home screen. The SOS message being necessary after my call went unanswered due to a vibrate setting and the previously mentioned location of my bag and phone. In terms of reaching out, my options were closed.

Amy, Elizabeth, Mike and Zoe (their energetic lab) were approaching the end of their day and considering my position, extended the opportunity to give me a ride back to my hotel in Golden. The hotel was COMPLETELY out of their way. Their generosity and compassion still humbles me to this day.

Amy, Elizabeth, Zoe and I took one last run to the south and Mike met us at a turnoff. This marked the first time I ever snowboarded with a dog chasing me down the hill- SO fun!!

We first needed to drop Elizabeth at her car and then Amy, Mike and Zoe would take me to Golden. At that point I would be up to my own devices.

Halfway to Golden, I began compiling a list in my head- I would need new credit cards and a new license (I was flying back to LA in 3 days). I would need to get a hold of Hertz and let them know that the keys are gone and their car is now parked by itself on top of a mountain- somehow figuring out a solution to that problem. Verizon was on the list as I would need a new phone in order to accomplish much of this list. And of course, I would need to go to a new dispensary….

The closer we got to Golden, the more panicked I was becoming. Getting into the room would be easy but then what? Start with the phone? How? I could call VZ from the hotel phone but had no way of getting there, short of talking the hotel shuttle driver into driving me to a mall– Also once I got to VZ, I wouldn’t have any way to pay for a new phone. Bank first for a new debit card then tackle the rest? Seems logical but I would still need some serious help. Mike and Amy had helped as much as I wanted to ask them to- It would be up to me once I got to my hotel.

I was petting Zoe in the back seat and trying to relax, Mike’s Sublime providing the perfect soundtrack for my disaster. As my high slowly began to fade, reality slowly but surely settled in in all it’s bold, hideous glory.

I’m fucked. What an idiot, what was I thinking? SO screwed. Dammit, Dammit, DAMMIT! With Golden ten miles away, my hope was gone along with my backpack and possessions. I was determined to take the problem one step at a time and make it right over the next three days in Colorado. It wasn’t going to be easy and it probably wasn’t going to be fun- not what I had planned for my CO vacation. DAMMIT!!!

I stared out the window in disbelief. My anger, rage, depression and anxiety with a firm grasp on my head and heart… My parents raised me better than this- Be smart, think things through, have a reason for everything you do. EVERYTHING. Amy and Mike tried to make small talk to pass the time but my head was full. I tried small talk and failed, lost in my own despair.  I went back to staring at the beautiful landscape. How could something so awful happen in such a beautiful place?

I was so lost in my own mire that I hardly noticed when Mike’s phone rang over the speakers via the bluetooth connection.

“Hello?”- Mike said calmly.

“Hey this is Sam, I have your backpack!”- Subaru guy Sam.

My head immediately shot into 6th gear. “Sam holy shit, thank you so much for calling back, my whole LIFE is in there!!! Where are you, how can we meet, what can I do, where are you??!!,” Me- ever so calm.

“Haha no worries buddy, I can’t even imagine how badly you’re freaking out right now- I’m in Golden, CO. Where are you?!”


The rest of the story went pretty much exactly as you would imagine it. I told Sam I was staying at the Table Mountain Inn and by the time they dropped me off, ten minutes later, my backpack was waiting for me at the front desk. Sam dropped it off and I never even saw him to thank him in person.

I grabbed the key to my room, which was in the same backpack pocket I always keep it, and headed up to room 403 like nothing ever happened…

Other than leaving my rental car on top of a snowy mountain it was just another day in the life of Timmy Pahooter…. What’ll happen tomorrow??

Bethoud Pass 2.jpg






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