A week in Colorado visiting #1 son had some bike riding in the plans. Heavy rains canceled that, but there was still plenty to do, especially if eating and drinking are your thing. Boulder is a place where top athletes live and train so there are more healthy restaurants than fast food joints. We took advantage and the results were positive. If you have a prescription for pot, you will also like this place.
We took a two day side trip to Aspen which included a day at Glennwood Hot Springs, where the $16 entrance fee is worth the cost. There are three pools and each had a different temperature and it is described best by Garrett Porter in his Crazy guy journal.
If you have never been in a hot tub the size of two Olympic pools than you are surely missing out on something (albeit minuscule) in life because it was absurd. Sitting there, I could just imagine what it was like back in the 50s with families and kids all over and a vacation centered around nothing more than a warm pool. By 4:00 I felt I had already gotten my $16 worth of hot springs for the day.
I found a Cafe in Aspen to watch the opening match of the World Cup. It was offering a breakfast special for the game, and encouraged guest to stick around to watch after eating. The French owner put a TV outside and positioned it so the kitchen help, three men from El Salvador, could watch. I was joined at a table by a guy from Spain and his friend from Argentina. The owner sat with us whenever there was a lull in the business. It was pretty cool being with this mixed group of friendly rivals.The cafe had a deal with the hotel across the street which offered a good discount on breakfast for the hotel guests.
There was a lacrosse camp in town which was staffed by Duke and Bryant University players and coaches staying at the hotel. During the game featuring South Africa and Mexico, a Duke coach came in, noticed the TV and said. "oh look, soccer. South Africa against the Brownies". It's refreshing to know that nothing has changed at Duke lacrosse. It's still staffed by redneck assholes.
Sue has always been a fan of John Denver and wanted to visit the Sanctuary bearing his name. In the John Denver Sanctuary, rolling grassy mounds contain huge granite rocks. Step closer and you see that carved on the rocks are the lyrics of some of John Denver's best-loved songs. If you are a John Denver fan, the Sanctuary is an incredibly moving place. Even if you don't know or care for his music, it still has a beautiful serenity about it.
Crazy guy. They are having a great time but a couple of them are looking forward to the flatlands to come after some of the mountain crossing they have endured.
I ran into Garrett again at the top of Independence Pass near Leadville, Co. which is the highest paved road in Colorado at almost 13,000 feet. I did notice a couple of touring bikes on the climb and wondered if this was the group from the super marked. At the rate of climb I figured Garrett was a couple of hours ahead of his mates. Other things in his journal lead me to know that he is a very strong rider. I wonder if his 140lb frame has anything to do with that?
Touring group at the market
Cresting the Pass
Meeting Garrett at the top of Independence Pass
The vista crossing the pass is nothing less than spectacular. Being the driver I had to pull over many times to take in the sights. Driving up and down the pass requires lots of concentration and there is quite a bit of "white knuckling" because of the narrowing of the roads, the switchbacks and the lack of barriers to stop you from driving or biking off the side of the mountain. I can only imagine how hot the brakes of bikes must get.
On the drive back to Boulder the rains came and lasted three days. That washed out any hope of bike riding for us. Luckily it was the first round of the World Cup and none of us had any problem staying in and watching the beautiful game all morning. We ate well, drank moderately, saw a crazy movie "Take Me To The Greek", A low key but fun week in Colorado, where we woke every morning to a yard filled with deer.