DAY 22 – COLORADO
We entered Colorado around not sure, there was still light, let’s say 7, 7:30? and immediately felt better. Maybe it was the woodsy welcome sign, or the fact that we weren’t in Nebraska anymore, nothing against Nebraska, but it was a very long drive. Or maybe it was the fact that I had been here before, that I knew what to expect, that I knew it would be scenic and green and rolling. There is something very comforting about returning to a place I’ve already been, and I enjoy digging a little deeper for something new, personal, and undiscovered.
The whole point of coming through Colorado was so I could see my friend Ryan and we’d have a place to crash and so we could drive through the Rocky Mountains the next day. That was pretty much it. We were entering the natural beauty part of the road trip and the drive through the Rockies was the first part. I had set it up purposefully that way, hoping that it would provide us with a some respite after the insanity of cities and marathon driving before we returned home.
Ryan is one of my best friends. He has stuck by me through the good times and bad times, even when I almost burned his apartment down. We initially bonded busing at Chi-Chis Mexican Restaurante back in Lancaster, having a mutual affection for the Sprite commercial displayed on this page. I think he was 16 and I was 17 at the time and we also really liked to smoke blunts, so a relationship was forged over blunts, laughter, and later, life shit (both of our fathers have passed during the course of our friendship for example). It’s one of those rare relationships that outlasts the party days and evolves naturally into adulthood. At this point I can be stone cold sober and we laugh just as much as we used to, if not more. It was Ryan that introduced me to that Colorado life during the summer/fall of 2009, when I lived on his couch in Boulder for about 4 months.
When I flew out it was on an invitation and a whim. The only money I had wasn’t even money, it was food stamp currency on a Pennsylvania ACCESS card that managed to work in Colorado. At the time I thought hey maybe Colorado will fix me, and it will be fun hanging out with Ryan. I found a call center job in a couple weeks and we proceeded to live it up, maybe a little too much, no definitely too much. I eventually got fired from that miserable job and ended up doing day labor and working at Urban Outfitters before I gave up and went back to Arizona. Now even though times were tough in Colorado I have many many fond memories of when I lived there. I mean who knows if I’ll ever get to cook pork chops over a bonfire, underneath the milky way, passing back and forth a handle of cheap whiskey, writing comedy sketches, ever again. Shit I don’t think I would want to do that ever again, some memories deserve to rest pure and undisturbed. It’s the same reason one should not try to recreate memorable events shared with an ex-girlfriend with a new girl, shit just won’t be the same, trust. Colorado was also the first place I attempted to play music in a band. I wasn’t very good and we, Ryan and his cousin Seth, always got too drunk and it fell apart, but it was a good experience nonetheless and we had a lot of fun.
We arrived at Ryan’s place in Longmont at about 9:45, after a long rainy drive through half the state. We went over to the Mexican hot dog stand and grabbed some of those delicious edible Satans, then went right back to Ryan’s place and kicked it. Josh passed out on the floor within about an hour, but Ryan and I stayed up for a bit and laughed and reminisced, like we always do. He went to bed and I spent some time going through hundreds of photos and uploading the best, then I passed out. I woke up briefly when Ryan went to work to say goodbye and take his picture for 299atsavers.com. His is definitely one of my favorites.
Another late start to the day. Josh graced me with a breakfast burrito he picked up on a morning run, very necessary. Showered up, powered up, we hit the road. Driving through the Denver metro area Josh was impressed with the skyline and overall aesthetic beauty of the city as a whole, as was I. Talked turned to Colorado as being an ideal place to move to, and I really started to think about it, to the point that I had to tell Ryan later that I was seriously considering it. We’ll see what happens.
The drive on the 70 through the mountains was unbelievable. It really was everything I’d hoped for. Driving through mountain towns, alongside rivers, through tunnels, just taking in the sights. At some point we got off at a random exit and I pulled over to take some pictures. Josh climbed a tree. I meditated on a rock. It was a grand ol’ time.
After making our way through all the scenery we stopped in Grand Junction to grab some coffee and give me a little time to do some site updates, then we were on the road again, off into the soon to be Utah night.