Wednesday, 4 November 2009

The perfect storm..

Coming into Denver, Highway 285 magically turned into route 30 which couldn’t have been better because we were visiting an old friend of mine who just happened to live off route 30! I hadn’t heard or seen anything of this friend for almost 25 years and then a few months ago he found me on Facebook. There are people from my past who I would really not want to find me on Facebook, but I was absolutely delighted to hear from this guy so Denver was a must.

The weather was fine when we arrived but a snowstorm started later that night and the next morning everything was under 8 inches of snow. It snowed for most of that day and all through the following night and all we could do was grin as the car disappeared under a thick, white dome. It was absolutely fantastic. We did nothing that first day except sit around in my friend’s lovely, peaceful apartment, listen to music, attempt to remember what happened 25 years ago and generally catch up with each other’s lives.

The next day, my friend had to work so spouse and myself decided to go downtown. We couldn’t actually move the car so we headed out on foot looking for a bus. In the end we found a cab which got us to Nine Mile station and we took the light rail into central Denver.
 The seats on the platforms were the only colour other than white for most of the journey and even Denver’s giant blue bear was a little snowed under.  We took a bus down to Colfax (which has got to be Denver’s greatest street) and spent a lot of time in a music store called Twist and Shout where we found some vintage concert posters as well as new (and old) music. Walking back up Colfax we saw a lot of interesting looking places and a rather impressive icicle display …..

When we got up the next day, the sun was out and the snow was already melting. The perfect storm was sadly over so after checking that the interstate going west was clear, we rather reluctantly got back on the road.  We went part of the way back via the eastern end of Colfax where there are a lot of interesting old motel buildings and two old theatres, the Fox and the Bluebird, which are now regular Denver music venues. Next time we'll go to a gig..... or two....

Normally interstates are pretty dull but the I-70 crossed through part of the Rockies and it was breathtaking. The mountains towered above the road on all sides and there was a particular section as we exited a tunnel that is one of the most beautiful natural sights I have ever seen.

We spent that night in the small Rocky Mountain town of Eagle which had a lot going for it. Fantastic location, good restaurant with excellent food, views and a huge log fire. The mural painted Eagle Grand Motel was in spitting distance too. Unfortunately our room was freezing cold with a crap heater but what was infinitely worse was being next door to the resident loony. He had the TV blasting all night while he was crashed out, presumably after taking his prescription meds which he had informed us about earlier. When he was awake he was either running a manic monologue about Bible College or singing disjointed fragments from late Neil Young and Fleetwood Mac albums. From his age and appearance we concluded that he had probably taken too much of the brown acid and didn't get his memory back until the 1970s.

We got up the next morning cold, tired and homicidal but the beauty of the I-70 that took us the rest of the way out of Colorado meant that we were feeling good again as we crossed the State Line into Utah accompanied by Townes Van Zandt…..

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