Forgettable – Only With Alzheimer’s

1Spending time with Daniel Schoen is never forgettable. Dangerous, probably. Predictable, hardly. Legal, mostly. Forgettable – only with Alzheimer’s.

What was I saying?

Daniel picked me up on Wednesday to play in SW Colorado. He arrived in his hell-bound motorhome filled to the roof mounted satellite antenna with diesel, food, and a ticket home – should I survive. The motorhome, with the trailer, stretched 60 mountain-road-lane-hogging feet. It was a wonderful place to stay, and being in the motorhome at 25 mph uphill in the mountains rather than stuck behind it was a pleasant feeling. Still, all motorhomes, Apple products, and cats end up in Hell someday. It will 6be sad when this one goes.

The second we arrived in Silverton, I remembered why I shuttered, yet couldn’t say NO, when Daniel asked me to join him on this little adventure.

• Daniel was just out of the jungle of Surinam in 1976 when we worked together at Camp Peniel. He had purchased an AMC Javelin, which he immediately customized by putting monkey skulls over the back dome lights. He kept me close to God. Before meeting Daniel I never knew you could put a 1 before a speed limit, drive at that speed on a regular basis, and live.

• I remembered climbing up a narrow cave spout with 18 campers – and almost losing one to the depths below, catching him at the last minute only by God’s grace.

• I remembered his brother fishing – with his machete – and cleaving 7supper near in half. From then on I called Daniel and his brother Tom, “friend.”

So what is the first thing Daniel does when we land in Silverton? He drives his 4-wheelers off of the top of his RV trailer using two fiberglass and aluminum ladders. Suddenly I knew, that after 25 years of not being around Daniel, that I was in for a treat. Dangerous, probably. Predictable, hardly. Legal, mostly. Forgettable – only with Alzheimers.

We had a great time talking about our kids, joys, struggles, God’s blessings, bible studies, old times, and fixing Datsun’s. Then we talked about our kids leaving, our vision diming, our teeth dissolving, and let’s just stop there.

Daniel gave me time to catch up, realizing that in the last 25 years he had kept playing in the jungles of Surinam, while I mellowed in Manitoba. However, on the last day, we did decide to take a run up this trail we saw on Red Mountain. After playing around in a few old mines, we wanted to get up to the holes you can see on 5the left side of Red Mountain. It looked like that path would bring us up there.

It didn’t.

Instead we hit a major rainstorm that AM, and I was soaked. Then, at the top of Red Mountain the path was so steep that the 4-wheelers would barely move. More gas made no difference – I’m not sure if it was the steepness of the path, or the extreme elevation. The path got narrower, the rocks looser, the further we went. Finally, we were on a suitcase-wide loose rock path that just stopped at the snow pile you can see in the picture.

3Since we couldn’t turn around, we died.

Thanks for all the years of reading this blog. It was a great way to go. And a great location awaits.

There is something God-given about old friends that challenge you in your faith, your walk with God, your future, and your sanity.

Thanks Daniel for a bit dangerous, totally unpredictable, totally legal and unforgettable 5 days in SW Colorado.




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