Mary Jo and I drove to Trinidad, Colorado, today, leaving the house around noon after a harried morning of writing instructions to babysitters, packing, and cleaning. Regardless of what I’ve written about GRS and the trip to Trinidad to this point, it definitely felt like a serious journey, and my emotions were all over the place. One minute I was tight in my chest and feeling panicked or sad, and the next moment I was excited about what is to come.

We drove without talking for a long time, listening to the various Sirius satellite radio stations we enjoy. I think we both felt as if we were being propelled down this highway by an outside force, that this trip was always already destined once we figured out how to accept the new nature of our relationship.

The miles rolled away, and we didn’t stop for food or drink, preferring to have a big appetite when we arrived — after all, this would be the last day of “fun” for a while, and we felt like eating a big Mexican dinner and drinking when we arrived.

After climbing up the winding Raton Pass, we descended into Trinidad, the towering Fisher peak off to our right and the little city nestled between smaller peaks to the west. One of these peaks sports the word “Trinidad” in bright white letters (that light up after it gets dark). A rail line runs straight through town, and the streets downtown are paved with red bricks.

Thanks to our GPS unit in the car, we detoured around downtown construction and found the Morning After House, where we were met by a wonderful trans*man named Danny and the guest house’s owner, Carol. We got the full tour, which included the newly-opened second floor rooms and the soon-to-be downstairs massage and nail salon. Suffice to say that Carol is a planner and a do-er. Her floors are beautiful parquet patterns and the feel of the house is very communal, as bathrooms and common areas are to be shared.

Mary Jo and I ate a big Mexican dinner, just as we had anticipated, me with Chorizo y Huevos and beer and her with the Carne Asada and a rather large Margarita that mellowed us both pretty rapidly. Waiters sang Happy Birthday to two different patrons, who had to wear a garish green traditional sombrero while they got their song. I just hoped there wasn’t a tradition in Trinidad (the Sex Change Capital of America) for serenading transsexuals on the eve of surgery (there isn’t).

After stopping by the store for a few supplies (like good coffee and sparkling water, both of which appear to be essential food groups for Mary Jo), we settled in and had a very nice talk with Danny, a FTM from Alaska. There will be other patients and their family/helpers in a day or two, but tonight, it was just Danny, Mary Jo, and me, and we stayed up late talking about evolving bodies, about how spouses are forced into transitioning alongside their trans*partners, and about how we remain within (or must leave, in some cases) communities to which we belong.

Tomorrow I visit the doctor, fill out paperwork, and generally become a patient, but tonight, we were just travelers on a really interesting journey, meeting new people and reflecting on how we got here.