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Published: October 13th 2015
I tried to do as Columbus did, and infect an indigenous population with smallpox, but I failed miserably. On the flip side, I did manage to see some spectacular landscapes - to the point that they almost became a real distraction while I was driving.
After a pretty dull 3-hour drive from Nebraska to Denver, I was ready to see some stuff. Along the way, I saw no purple mountains' majesty, but I did happen upon quite a few amber waves of grain. I first caught a glimpse of the Rockies around 10 AM MDT, and it has been over 10 years since my last viewing. I'm more of a mountain guy than a beach guy, so it was a sort of zen moment for me to see them again. I just got more and more excited as I approached Denver.
Denver had its (literal) highs and (metaphorical) lows. Yes, it's a mile above sea level. I got a picture of the stone steps at the Colorado State Capitol that attests to that fact. I also got to see the Mayan Theatre, which is another art deco beauty. My other sights were, well, less than stellar. The Paramount Theater,
another art deco building, was much smaller than pictures I had seen, and not in the best place for parking, so I didn't even get out and see it. I also wanted to see Coors Field, where the Colorado Rockies play. I did see it, but there was also no place to park. Are you seeing a pattern here? Denver is a pedestrian- and biker-friendly city. Which is great, unless you own a car. One sight I hadn't counted on seeing was Sports Authority Field, where the Denver Broncos play. That thing was massive. You top the ridge on I-25 coming into town and it's all you can see. It dwarfs everything around it.
My last sight in Denver was the Lakeside Amusement Park, which has rides and buildings still functioning from the 1930s. Art deco paradise. Unfortunately, it was closed for the season. The gates were locked and I couldn't do anything about it. I had expected to stroll around there for at least an hour, but with those plans thwarted, I headed to my next stop: Boulder.
Denver has nothing on the biking-minded Boulder. I was very afraid of hitting a cyclist the whole time I
was there. My first stop was the stadium, which turned out well, since I could park my car in a pay lot and walk around campus too. The stadium was open, except for the field. So, I couldn't get any good shots inside the stadium, just of the offices and such. Boring. But outside the stadium, there was a great vista of the Rockies. I would totally love to attend football games there, even if it meant watching the team lose more than they win. The campus was also nice, but really what made it special was the mountain view from any spot around.
Colorado State University in Fort Collins was up next. Theirs was a difficult campus to maneuver, since there weren't many signs for visitors and there were tons of people. Not as many cyclists as earlier, though. I tried to find somewhere to park, but I was confounded at every turn. It didn't help that one of the major roads in downtown Fort Collins was undergoing extensive work. I did find an off-campus store, but they had no pennants or pins, so CSU will be another of those "lost schools" for me.
The drive between
Fort Collins, CO, and Laramie, WY, was the best of the trip so far. This was where I had difficulty keeping my eyes on the road, since Mother Nature had done such a good job with the landscape. A few tumbleweeds crossed my path, and vehicles were few and far between. So were the houses. At times, the landscape was hilly, and at other times flat with prominent rock formations jutting up from nowhere. The colors were all over the spectrum, with lots of reds and yellows. I'm glad I'll have another couple of days to admire the landscape before heading back to the flatlands.
Laramie, what can I say? I love this town. The campus of the University of Wyoming is here, and it was gorgeous. I went by their stadium, of course, and I couldn't believe when I saw a pickup truck with a GA license plate and even a Georgia 'G' sticker on the back window. I wish I could've waited around to see who it was, but I was illegally parked, alas.
It's been a long day, and I may come back and write more for this later on. I've got to get something
to eat, since I haven't had a proper meal all day. And then I may hit up the only movie theater in town and see The Martian
. They're only showing that and Hotel Transylvania 2
. So, yeah.
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