Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Return To The Land Of The Rugged Yuppie

Denver had been my intended stop from the very beginning.

When I'd first considered vacation, I figured I'd head south -- visit Shorty and a bunch of college friends, sleep on someone's couch, hit a few of the stores I can't find in RC and hang out downtown. It wasn't until I got more time off that the third Great Western Trek was fully realized and Denver became the end game.

Denver, however, seemed to be the center of things that went wrong while I was on vacation. The day I left on my grand road trip, the flooding started there. And the morning I left Moab was only hours after the demise of the Gaslight.

Five miles later, the snow started.
So it seemed only natural that, among other things, this day was the first time I hit weather that impeded traffic -- this time, in the form of snow. At the top of the mountains.

Sophie did not enjoy the altitude. Particularly combined with the incline.

All the same, we made it to Daz's downtown apartment by early afternoon. He was nice enough to let me stay with him -- and even better, to leave his door unlocked so I could get in while he was still at work. To be totally truthful, this was just as much for his own good as mine: we were going to go grab dinner that night and I'd been camping in the desert for the last few days.

I smelled pretty funky.

Denver was a whirlwind of people and places; it had been quite awhile since I'd seen most of these friends, and each day and evening brought something new. The first evening, Daz and I got caught up, staying up late talking like we used to in college. The next day, Shorty and I wandered downtown and I introduced him to REI. That night, it was sushi with Matt and Justin (and M&J's wives, only one of whom I'd met before), a tradition that started years ago but we hadn't had the opportunity to observe in quite some time. The last day was more quality time with my little brother and the last evening, it was time for a "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" stop with Mr. Rogers.

It had been some time since I'd spent that much time actually in Denver proper. In two and a half days, I got to know the light rail and bus system much better, found a new favorite coffee shop (which reinforced my ideas behind the rugged yuppie), and did plenty of window shopping, knowing full well that I couldn't afford much more actual shopping.

And that brought me to the end of my trip. That Thursday, I steered Sophie out of the city, heading back to the Hills. In a few short hours, I'd be home again ... and right back to work, as that's just the way it goes. For that moment, though, I savored the last of my open road.


No comments: