100 Books Project :: The Continental Divide


[Book #25, left at the Continental Divide in Loveland, Colorado by Book Fairy Justin Davanzo in April 2010.]

Dispatch from Justin Davanzo, reporting at 11,990 feet above sea level last month:

"So I am one of the lucky ones to have been chosen for the Book Fairy Project and not only for one book, but for two.  The first book was easy, as I was instructed on the location desired and therefore it needed no creative thinking on my part, just the doing.  The second book...well...let's just say it took me a while to find a place to leave it.  I held onto the second book for a few months, and every time I looked at it I would try to think of the "perfect" spot for it, but ideas weren't coming to me.  This book book traveled with my wife and I through two moves in four months, and I always kept it in the front of my pile of "to do" list items.  I received a few pokes and prods from the Swirly, and kept feeling like my well of ideas had run dry.

And then it hit me....

Last week I went on my End of the Ski Season trip with a friend of mine.  As I packed my gear up at home I suddenly flashed on the Book Fairy project and thought, 'I'll bring it just in case,' not really having any firm idea of where I might drop it off.  We drove late into the night through the Rockies and spent the next two days skiing, and then i got sick - really sick - so sick that I couldn't ski and had to hang out in the room while my friend hit the slopes.  I felt pretty bad, not only about being sick, but also about not being able to ski, so I sat...and sat...watching some lame TV and wishing I was feeling better.  At an altitude of 9250 feet, a bad cold feels especially bad.  The next day was much of the same, but we had to pack up and get going as it was time to drive home.  As I was packing and planning our route back to Denver, it suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks:  The Continental Divide!!!  Our plan was to drive over Loveland Pass, and I decided that is where I would leave the package - near the top of the Rockies!

And so we packed up and drove off...up, up and up...and as we drove higher and higher, I felt like a small child getting ready for a treasure hunt.  We pulled off into a small parking lot next to a load of snowboarders, each of whom was smoking a cigarette like their life depended on it and wearing pants that were way too low.  I found out they  were hiking up the nearest ridge to do some back country boarding and thought, 'Maybe this wasn't such a good idea,' but then I looked across the road and there it was - the sign that showed us we were crossing the divide.  And then I had another thought:  'Who's to say one of those dudes wouldn't be stoked to find this gift?'  So I walked across the road and stood there with the wind positively howling, so much so that I had to lean into it to avoid getting blown off the ridge.   The base of the sign was sheltered a bit from the wind, and as I took out the book and placed it there I felt a feeling of happiness.  I tried to imagine who would find this - who would be brave enough to actually pick this up and receive it.  I hoped the wind wouldn't take it first, but felt free knowing that the book was now on its own journey, a journey that began with me months before and was now finished.  I snapped a few shots and walked away, leaving the little brown package with its message for all:  "A Gift For You" at 11,990 feet above sea level."

I have a number of great stories in the hopper - this project just gets better and better!