I’ve been lazy, I’m the first to admit it. Writing continues to be something I *want* to do but also something I struggle to do well, as well as consistently.
Nevertheless, this will be the promised post on our trip to Colorado.
Truckin’ for Jesus! Spotted on our way to Colorado.
We left Dallas around 6pm on Friday, March 25th, prepared for the roughly 900 mile road trip northbound. We chose to follow US-287 for the majority of the way. It seemed like a more interesting path than the more conventional route through Oklahoma and Kansas (turned out it was too, we took the Oklahoma/Kansas route home, and it might’ve been the most boring 13 hours of my life). As it happens, the trip nearly had a very tragic end only 20 minutes from the apartments.
An unfriendly motorist decided to cut in in front of me not far from where I had to turn off George Bush Turnpike, onto I-35N. He was obviously driving and SUV and effectively blocked all forward vision for me, so I let off the go fast to get some space, just as I did, he bounced out of the lane, exposing a long line of cars at a complete standstill. I can now happily report that the brakes on our still relatively new Impreza works very satisfactory and managed to stop us in a distance I didn’t think it would. The incident got my adrenalin pumping, something the wife didn’t appreciate, apparently laughing just after a near, possibly fatal, accident is not the right reaction. She was mad for a while…
After that, the drive was relatively uneventful. Other than a few stops at some very local gas stations where what I assume was the one police officer in town was drinking coffee and trading stories with the staff, a close encounter with the local law enforcement (well.. he blinked his lights at me, suspecting I was going over the speed limit, suffice to say, he suspected right. Didn’t stop us though) and the inherent danger of going 85 Mph in pitch black darkness, with deer and rabbits sleeping along the side of the road (Don’t worry Dianne, I kept my foot very close to the brake pedal. ;)) nothing particularly exciting happened.
We entered Fort Collins, CO around 6am on Saturday. Starving and worn out I parked in front of a Denny’s and we ran for the door, desperately hoping that it was open. It was and soon after, we found ourselves digging into a perfectly unhealthy breakfast and (for me) ungodly amounts of coffee.
Not long after we found ourselves at the home of Cortney and Bob, the lucky couple who volunteered (well, invited us) to be our host for our 4 day stay. A short nap later and probably a shower, though my memory is a little fuzzy on that account, we were ready to go shopping for our planned camping/hiking trip that evening.
Some beer shopping, tent renting and campsite holding later, and we were ready to go. We loaded Cortney’s Corolla to the brim and headed out on a road I still regret I didn’t get a chance at with the ‘preza. We got to the campsite, pitched a tent (no pun intended), well… two and got ready for some food.
Cortney and Karin had prepared chili which we enjoyed around our camp fire. After that followed smores (for the yanks, personally I stay away from such abomination) and a couple of beers before bedtime.
Getting all the stuff out of the car.
Cortney and Bob in a warm embrace.
Beer = Happy and judging by the picture, retarded me.
Turns out Colorado gets cold during March… freezing, as it were, but what we lacked in sleep the next morning we made up for in enthusiasm, it was the day of our hike up Gray Rock, a 6 mile, 2000 ft in elevation hike. As it turns out, it was more like 8 miles and I was completely shattered by the end of it, but lets forgo my humiliation and focus on how beautiful it was up there.
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t perfect for pictures and for some reason, I didn’t take that many, but rest assured, It was beautiful. Feel free to gaze upon the few pictures I did take on our hike up and down Gray Rock.
Have some mountains!
Karin on a bridge at the base of the mountain/beginning of the trail.
Cortney walking off and Bobby looking handsome at said bridge.
The evening was spent resting and then at an Italian restaurant, eating some very enjoyable food. Both Karin and me were severely exhausted, my legs would hardly carry me at this point (yes I am ashamed), and I think we ended up falling asleep just after 9pm or thereabouts.
The next couple of days were spent with Cortney, exploring Fort Collins and Denver. I have to say that I liked both places, they had an organic feel that’s sorely missing in Dallas and (most) nearby areas. The amount of small, independent restaurants and shops were also a welcome sight, we had a great diner experience at a breakfast place in Fort Collins, I still think back on it and wish there was one similar around here, but alas, we’re still looking.
As already mentioned, I wasn’t terribly “trigger happy” as far as photography goes on this trip so I have few pictures to dazzle you with. You’ll simply have to trust me then, when I say that we had a good time, and that it was cool to see Cortney and Bob again. (As some know, Cortney “took me under her wings” on my very first day in the US back in 2009, showing me the curious world of university laundromats and Walmarts)
Parts of downtown Denver and what I suspect is an alien taxicab teleporting to and from NYC.
We left for home pretty early on Wednesday the 30th, knowing we had a long drive ahead and Karin had work the next day. After tearful goodbyes, only rivaled by the mothers and girlfriends of brave soldiers venturing forth to a war*, we were on our way. The drive home was, as previously mentioned, even more uneventful than the drive up, and I have to say, judging by what you see from the highway, Kansas has to be the most boring place on this earth. We entered Dallas city limits around 2am and found our way to bed soon thereafter. Little did I know at the time, that the two 13 hour drives (sometimes sitting in some odd positions due to disagreements with the seat) and (probably) the strenuous hike had played a number on my lower back. A (not so) amusing tale of my third encounter with the US medical establishment was to follow, but more on that in the next post.
I’d like to thank Cortney and Bob for a memorable visit to Colorado, and hope we’ll make it up there again in the future, though probably by plane, we had a great time!
*Statement may be exaggerated slightly.
In the next installment of this vikings rediscovery of Vinland (America) you’ll hear about how I ended up not being able to walk for 48 hours and the following (slow) recovery. Until then!