Wednesday, August 10, 2022

September 9

Wedding day. We asked the two ladies working the front desk at the hotel: “Where’s a good place for breakfast?” The unified response was Starvin Arvin’s.

 Starvin Arvin’s is at 1320 S. Townsend Avenue in Montrose and is fabulous. When we pulled up at just past 10am the parking lot was packed, so we sent Caroline—did I mention Caroline is a great animation artist and you should check out her Instagram and then hire her? —inside to see how long the wait would be. She sent a text back almost immediately, that they had a table for us right now. Once inside I wasn’t surprised. The place was rocking.

Our energetic waitress, who punctuated every statement with an enthusiastic “Alright," recommended the Huevos Rancheros or anything with the green chili. It’s been my experience that green chili is very hit or miss but not here. The creamy sauce walked the line between onions and peppers perfectly and was spread over a bean burrito topped with cedar cheese and two eggs. Strips of piled high old-fashioned crispy hash brown filled out the plate. All of it was to die for. I felt bad Caroline went for plain old, scrambled eggs and bacon—at a place like this scrambled is the most boring thing to do with an egg, but the bacon was thick and full. Donna ordered a Bacon Avocado Omelet, also with the hash browns. She let me finish off her hash browns, but uncharacteristically hid the remnants of the omelet in the hotel fridge and finished it off before I could get to it—so that too must have been fabulous too.

After Starvin Arvin’s Donna and Caroline wanted to walk through the Main Street area of Montrose to check out the shops. Normally, I would have a beer somewhere while Donna (and today Caroline)  did this walk, but it was only like 11am and we had a wedding in front of us. So, I just laid in the back of the van praying that Donna didn’t find any two-hundred-dollar salt-n-pepper shakers that were “cute” or more rocks. I take that back—more rocks—less “cute” two-hundred-dollar salt-n-pepper shakers.

I’ll say this about Montrose. On top of having Starvin Arvin’s it seemingly had everything modern city people like myself could want—schools, hospitals, gas stations, endless places to dine, liquor and real grocery stores like City Market, though it was really expensive. This has not been the case as we have travelled west—every podunk town has a gas station with three-year-old toilet paper and three-year-old breakfast burritos under a hot lights inside a foggy plexiglass box. Also, despite having the upside of a real city it didn’t have any real traffic. Pulling out onto a main drag was a breeze as was finding street parking. There were nice touches too, like the tug-o-war sculpture on Main Street (above). Just a quaint little town with a modern sensibility. And, oh yeah, it was in the shadow of the Rockies. A two-minute drive would have you in the middle of cows, horses and all that bucolic, awe-inspiring beauty.

They did have this too. WTF? It’s not “The Arch” or “The Golden Arch.” It’s “The Golden Arches.” What’s the name of this place—McDonald? Where’s your second fucking arch Montrose?

The wedding was at the Storm King Mountain Ranch on Buckhorn Road on the outskirts of Montrose and was scheduled for 3:30pm. Given the sometimes long waits for roadwork and the spotty connections to the internet and GPS—did I mention anything about the internet bullshit out here in the west? —we gave ourselves plenty of time.

The venue had a large sprawling open floor plan with a huge patio that was adorned with Adirondack chairs, a fire pit, cocktail tables, and breathtaking views of the Rockies. When we arrived, photographers were taking pictures of Kyle and his groomsmen out on the front lawn. Kyle is a pretty thin guy and the eight or so groomsmen stood facing each other with their arms interlocked and were tossing him in the air for some in flight pics. I guess, significant upper body strength was requirement to be in of Kyle’s wedding crew.

Once inside there was a long line to the bar. The drinks were limited to a few different choices and everyone was drinking Moscow mules. The mule maker was a young lady with a heavy, heavy vodka hand. She turned and answered a question from a co-worker while emptying what seemed like a full bottle of Tito’s into Donna’s cup. When she turned back around and faced me, she gave me an Opps! kind of smile, that also contained a certain lightness as if to say, “Don’t worry, your brother John is picking up the tab.” I was never a Moscow mule guy, but seeing how she was pouring them and the fact my brother was buying, let’s just say I was adaptable. Sorry Johnboy.

The bride and the guy buying the Moscow Mules

The marrying part of the wedding was held out in a grassy yard and Rachel’s brother Robert was the master of ceremonies. He not only pointed out the irony of “marrying his sister,” but was both funny and tender in his ministerial duties. Rachel and Kyle exchanged vows giving a brief history of their love and the distance they traveled to get to this moment. It was lovely.

The dress code for this affair was something called "garden attire." I didn’t quite know what that meant and when I asked around nobody else did either. So I went traditional and wore the one suit jacket I owned with a golf shirt and a pair a pants bought pre-Covid that didn’t really accommodate my post-Covid body. Luckily my brother Jerry, who is a master at working angles, seized the "garden attire" ambiguity and wore shorts with a tasteful button down shirt. This prompted me to run out to the van like I was Florence Griffith-Joyner to get into a pair of tasteful shorts purchased to accommodate my post Covid body. What a relief. My brothers were coming up big for me tonight—John with the booze and Jerry with loophole in the wedding attire.

The rest of the night was lovely too—from the bevy of friends and family who toasted the bride and groom, to old heavy hand pouring the Moscow mules, to the food and the catching up. There was even a rainbow after a brief sprinkle. Some of you might think this portends good marital tidings, but I can tell you as a gangster of love who’s made it to through nearly three decades of matrimonial bliss it has nothing to do with rainbows, well-matched astrological signs or even compatibility—it has to do with omelets. Share your omelets. If you get a really good one like Donna’s Bacon Avocado from Starvin Arvin’s it needs to be shared. If it's so good you feel compelled to finish it yourself, then make it up later by letting your spouse finish your burger and fries.

Caroline, Me, Donna

It's really that simple.  

How we got here...
An Ode to Fire and Donna
Chronological Posts From The Road 
Going Mobile: What We Learned
Our Rig: A Pictorial Essay


  1. Enjoying the read! Glad you thought the wedding was good! Whew! Safe travels!!

  2. Nice pics! Love the family photo. Enjoyable story.