Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Our First Month in the Valley of Big Pink, Part 2

Yes, by this point it’s already been two months. Work with me.

As an epilogue to the epilogue of my trip back to Colorado Springs on 25 August, I want to note that the meat I’d purchased at the US Air Force Academy commissary turned out to be the only worthwhile thing. Even then, whatever money I saved didn’t fully offset the time, money, and vehicle wear-and-tear involved in the drive.

Except for my brief visits with each of my grown children, I might as well have stayed home. 

True, we enjoyed the chips we used to have in Colorado Springs. Those six family-sized bags I brought back barely lasted the week. (I hasten to add that my daughter made a surprise visit of her own to Monte Vista, and helped.) Still, those chips were hardly worth a seven-hour round trip.

The biggest, most startling revelation was the beer.

I’m no beer snob, but like most who know the difference between a pilsner and an ale, I can’t bring myself to drink the common U.S. mass-produced beer. My go-to beer was as inexpensive as one could get for a craft-brewed amber ale. 

Interestingly, this beer is not brewed in Colorado. For some reason known only to the taxman, Colorado beer is actually more expensive in Colorado. It’s my best choice in Monte Vista, though. Not only can you not get a six-pack of anything decent in the San Luis Valley for under $8.00, you can’t get this Oregon-brewed beer.

I have been drinking this beer for almost as long as I’ve been in Colorado. This beer helped fuel the creation of a prototype novel, and two and one-half novels after that. Along with whatever my wife prepared for meal times, I called it my “genius fuel.” Night after night, season by season, year after year, gallons of this stuff poured through my liver and kidneys.

I picked up two cases for $12.65 a 12-pack on my way out of town. If this still didn’t exactly pay for the trip, it took a lot of the edge off.

By now, you should have an idea in regards to the magnitude of my disappointment when I popped the top on one of these beers after six weeks of drinking the more expensive Colorado brews.

Some beers are much worse than others.
(Image from Pixabay.)
My daughter once observed that bad beer tastes like rancid apple juice. Here, my once Semi-Official Beer of the Zombie Apocalypse tasted astringent. A little metallic on the aftertaste. 


I have been drinking this beer for years, and just now noticed this.

This was the real climax of Return to Colorado Springs adventure, nearly an hour after my return to Monte Vista. Cute, huh? Like the ending of an O. Henry story. So much for my genius fuel, right? Ha!

I managed to force it all down. And now the lesson is yours.