Sunday, September 12, 2010

EoB: From the Mile High City to the Moab

I'm continuing to repost diary entries from my trip..I'm in DC now, but if you scroll down you can relive my Oregon Trail odyssey in real time. As always, pictures are click to enlarge.

We made it to Mallory's without getting lost, great success. Her townhouse is super cute. Saturday night we met up with Hilary and some of her friends, and went out for Mexican and margaritas overlooking the Rockies game.

Sunday we slept in a bit and then went to wander downtown Denver. The city is really quiet, it was odd. It's clearly a big city, and I know it was Sunday, but we couldn't even hear the crowds from outside the baseball stadium while the game was on.

Lila came to meet us for lunch, which was really fantastic. She's been doing AmeriCorps in Denver for the past year. I haven't seen her for a while, so it was good to chat and catch up. It's always exciting to hear from old friends, and to hear about the amazing things they've been doing with their lives.

After lunch we walked over to the convention center to see the Big Blue Bear statue. As our trip theme is World's Biggest, we're just going to go ahead and assume that this is the World's Biggest Blue Bear. Lawrence Argent, the sculptor, intended it to represent the native fauna - I just see curiosity. Tomatoe tomahto.

While everyone else went to the botanical gardens, I met up with Lisa and went hiking for a few hours. We went up Lookout Mountain for some cooler temperatures and great views of Denver. It was a beautiful hike and it was good to see and talk to Lisa, especially at this particular drifting stage in my life.

Back at Mal's we made dinner and ate on the roof. Played some boardgames and watched bits of the VMAs. Did some laundry and went to bed early in anticipation of today's long drive.

We left just after 7 this morning. We decided to skip Wyoming in favor of taking route 70 across teh Rocky Mountains. Totally worth the extra hour of driving. The mountains are absolutely stunning. It's really been just amazing the change in scenery we've seen today. This morning we were in a 12,000 foot coniferous forest, and four hours later we're in the heard of the Moab desert (4,000ish feet I think)

We went up to Loveland Pass rather than take the Eisenhower tunnel. The pass is at 11,900 feet and marks the continental divide, which is pretty cool. Alison and I opted to climb up the ridge so we could say we'd made it to 12,000 feet. (Which reminds me that we picked up Chrissy and Alison in Denver and are giving them a lift to Salt Lake).

After the pass we dropped down through the mountains past Vail and entered into red rock canyons. The canyons leveled out and the mountains are not red sandy buttes and mesas. We're definitely in the desert now. We just dropve by the exit to Arches National park. We don't have the time or mileage to stop, but I could almost see the arch from the road. So cool.

Anyway, we're halfway to Salt Lake now. Thank goodness for air conditioning!

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